By Patricia Bebia Mawa
My childhood dream was to be a lawyer. In Nigeria, most parents want their children to either be lawyers, doctors, engineers or study professional courses. This informed my initial desire to be a lawyer. My career in the media was a divine orchestration. It’s interesting, because I feel like I was born to do what I am doing today. I love what I do. It is a blessing to have platforms that inspire and empower.
I used to write and direct plays in church while I was at university. One day, after moderating a play, someone came to me and told me he was starting a TV show and asked if I was interested in auditioning to host the show. I did and was told that my audition was so good that it would be the first episode. While I was at university studying Political Science, I was hosting the show on weekends. Eventually I divinely got an opportunity to do another TV show, followed by hosting a daily talk show called Lunch Date on DBN Television in Lagos.
I came to Canada in 2000 for a program organized by CBC Television, after which I pursued further studies at Algonquin College of Science and Technology in Ottawa, where I studied Multimedia. While in Ottawa, I met my husband Moses and decided make Canada my new home after we tied the knot in 2002. Shortly after, I joined him full time in the business. Since 2002, we have both worked full time on the business.
Our company; Silvertrust Media is involved with publishing, television production, ,marketing and events. We launched Afroglobal Television, a 24 hour television station to showcase the best of Africa and the Diaspora in March of 2016. Seeing the different media platforms that we have establish thrive, have been really gratifying. God has indeed been faithful. We currently publish four regularly scheduled magazines including Planet Africa Magazine (now called Excellence Magazine), Destiny, Legacy and Diversity. We have also published over 20 magazines titles in our discover series including; Discover Kenya, Discover Zambia and Discover Nigeria which we published for President Goodluck Jonathan. We have produced countless TV shows and documentaries including a groundbreaking documentary for the government of Ontario in Canada on the 200th year of the abolition of slavery.
Growing up, I saw my parents working hard and understood that success is never presented to you, but comes as a result of what you present to the world. It takes passion, perseverance and perspiration. As a kid, I was constantly bullied. It was so bad that a few times I thought of killing myself. I discovered that one day the teacher gave us an assignment and I did very well. She told the class to ask me to explain the solution. I noticed that some of my bullies became my friends as a result. This inspired me to work hard and be at the top of the class. I got used to trying to go the extra mile and giving everything I can. When CNN International did a half hour documentary on my husband and I they asked me the question; “what is success?” I said; ‘success is not doing one big thing but doing a number of little things excellently’ I continually strive for excellence.
I am proud to be Canadian. I remember when I just came to Canada and was in Halifax for Input 2000, a conference organized by CBC Television. A white Canadian learned that I was paying so much for hotel accommodation and offered me a room in her house at no cost. She would wake up to make me breakfast every day. That is the Canada that I love. Canada has accorded me the opportunity to pursue my dreams and to not be limited by the colour of my skin. My four Canadian children can become anything they want to become and know that they are an important part of the Canadian mosaic.
While racism in many forms still exists, the beauty of this country is that people from all parts of the world are embraced and are free to achieve their full potential. I always say that Canada is a cold country but the people have warm hearts.