More often than not, the business of entrepreneurship becomes a life-long journey that constantly fuels an inner drive to make an impact in the world.
Stories have been told of determined Africans who defied the odds and carved niches for themselves in the world.
Such has been the story of public speaker, leadership, business and career coach, mentor, HR consultant and MC, Emmaline Datey, who has become a force to reckon with in a fast growing industry in Ghana.
Emmaline was named one of Ghana’s top influential women in 2017 and one of Top 100 speakers in Ghana 2018.
At present, she is part of an online platform for mentors, coaches and young mentees called ‘Dream Hub Africa’, which provides numerous coaching and mentorship opportunities.
She is a regular writer on Facebook (Coach Ema and The Fearless and Fabulous Network), on Linkedin (Emmaline Datey), on Instagram (@thefearlessandfabulousnetwork and @emativator_gh) and on Twitter (@emadatey and @TheFnFNetwork)).
As keynote speaker, she has been on platforms such as Presbyterian University College Women’s Conference, Business Milk Tour Entrepreneurship Seminar, GIJ Students Seminar, Moneywise, Jogging with Heroes, The Bambini Show, Ghana Skills & Employability Summit, The African HR Leaders Conference, Time With Heroes, WordSmith Global Tertiary Tour, Live FM’s Girl Code, The Business Startup Clinic, the Brands Kitchen and Building and Monetizing your Brand Master Class. She was the official MC for African Twin Fashion Festival in 2016 and 2017.
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Additionally, Emmaline served on the Ghana Event Awards board as Board Chair from 2017 to 2018, and is a Freelance Leadership Consultant with Ekow Mensah Consulting.
An individual who displays such versatility is usually the ‘face’ of a network of professionals who coordinates their efforts to achieve a goal; but that is not her story.
Emmaline reveals, “Everything happens on my phone; I am a digital media enthusiast and my phone is my working tool. You would become irrelevant if you fail to use technology in getting things done.”
With the device, she employs the use of several social media tools to organize her schedule and influence lives whenever she meets people.
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In an interview with BizzAfrica, Emmaline revealed that her story began in the year 2000, when she realized she had become people-oriented and had a penchant for saying positive things about people.
She admits that till today, she is constantly “happy for people; I enjoy saying lovely things about people; I simply don’t know how to envy people. I constantly aim to become either a solutions provider, or a link to someone who can assist people with their challenges.”
Between the years 2000 and 2003, during her “discovery period” in Nigeria, she became part of a youth empowerment organization called The Solid Rock (TSR).
She joined the choreography team, became the women’s leader and took an active role in the choir as well.
And that is where her journey started; as she took every opportunity to inspire and empower every young person she met.
Emmaline left and joined another group, The Rock Foundation (TRF) at University of Lagos Campus, Nigeria, which gave her another opportunity to positively affect lives through youth mentorship and coaching.
A message from her choir director, then at TSR, that her mouth would become her wealth and that is where her gold would be, failed to make sense to her at the time, until she realized she had been constantly practicing the truism in the message all her life.
“I don’t solicit for certain things; it comes to me. When something is naturally you, be you; be passionate because people will trust you. When you are passionate about something, excellence is not debatable,” “What I am today found me; I am just doing what I love” she explains.
A common challenge people face with regard to guiding or being guided, she reveals, is the distinction between mentorship and coaching.
Emmaline explains that in both instances, people are being led or groomed, but the difference is that coaches seek to help people intelligently explore their inner potentials to arrive at a decision regarding their purpose and what they intend to achieve, whilst mentors share their experiences with people with the assumption that their experiences will help in expediting their learning.
She mentions renowned talk show hostess, Oprah Winfrey, Motivational Speakers Mel Robbins and Tony Robins, as well as popular Christian leaders such as Joyce Meyer, Chris Oyakhilome, Pastor Paul Adefarasin and T.D Jakes, as a few of her role models.
Inspirational speaker and leadership expert, John C. Maxwell adds up to the list of people she also looks up to as role models.
In her opinion, it is wrong to call yourself a mentor or a coach when you are not walking the walk, as people invariably look up to you for guidance and or support.
“Many people who call themselves mentors don’t know what mentorship is”, she discloses, and adds that people are often surprised at the attention they get from her, because they do not get it elsewhere.
“Entrepreneurship is about building a legacy,” she says; “Funding is big challenge in Africa but there are private people willing to support and some people are working towards that.”
In 5 years, she is convinced mentors and coaches will make sure that Ghanaians are well groomed in the areas of emotional intelligence, financial literacy, leadership, networking, strategy, ethics and integrity.
Touching on entrepreneurship, she says that “a businessman is someone trying to make ends meet; an entrepreneur is someone trying to make a difference. Put the needs of the customer, brand and company before you, and you are an entrepreneur. Attitude is everything; life does not have to be perfect before you start pursuing your goals. Nothing is impossible; you just need to work smart.”
Emmaline’s message to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo touches on a number of challenges that have bedeviled Ghana’s growth and development plan.
She argues that Ghana’s future is dependent on the capacity of its labor force and the potential of its citizens.
For that reason, there a conducive environment for both strategic partnerships and indigenous entrepreneurship, which would create a win-win situation for Ghana and its citizens.
To her, it is no longer a partnership but a master-slave situation, if one party has nothing to bring to the table.
She goes on to say that Ghana is selling its resources for technical knowhow, and that must be addressed if there is a willingness to balance the odds.
Emmaline is convinced there is an urgent need for the president to focus on Ghana’s educational sector, as the curricula being used in educational institutions appear to be unready to face the current changes.
China’s educational curriculum is futuristic, she says, and futurists are working for tomorrow; sadly, Ghana has been left in the cold.
She advises that it is imperative we change the narrative of our educational system, with specific focus on how talents are grown and treated. She is convinced that there should be a change in our educational curricula to be matched up with the dynamic business environment.
“Our labour force needs to be respected; we need to put people first; China doesn’t play with its people; we need to look within us,” she concludes.
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