Thursday 10 March 2016

I draw inspiration from my father--Enene Ejembi

Enene Zigwai Ejembi is from Adankari, Akpa in Otukpo LGA of Benue State. Born in Kaduna, Enene's lives a life that any youth would like to emulate. She works as Communication and Knowledge Manager for project funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) of the United Kingdom. In this interview, Enene talks to about what shapes her life and work.

Enene Ejembi

How did you first encounter knowledge management as a concept and discipline?

I studied English Literature and always desired to work as a writer. However, I got a job offer and joined Diamond Bank in 2004. In 2008, I enrolled at the University of Dundee and graduated in 2010 with a Master of Letters in English Studies.

I returned to Nigeria determined to secure work in a donor- funded development project but that was not to be. I returned to Diamond Bank and worked there till I resigned in 2012.

During the period I was in Dundee I worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland and I also did freelance copy editing and documentation.

In November 2012, William Anyebe recruited about 55 people, including me, to be trained as
a National Consultant for the DfID-funded programme called SuNMaP. As a programme management consultant I specialised in training on report writing and documentation.

By 2013, under William Anyebe's mentorship I began to read the works of Kimiz Dalkir and Amrit Tiwana and practice KM as a disciple. I also attended several trainings in KM under the Health Development Guild capacity building programme.

Tell us about your role now as Knowledge Manager for GEMS 4. What do you have to do when get to work everyday?

As Communication and Knowledge Manager, I lead on 2 different but related portfolios. Under Communication I design and provide oversight for GEMS4 awareness campaigns and manage media relations to ensure industry exposure of GEMS4 initiatives and to catalyse partners, particularly business membership organisations, private sector actors and government agencies.

I design and update the project's communication strategy to support the GEMS4 team in its engagement with external partners; support intervention managers to develop clear communication materials for their interventions and for the project overall; and produce regular case studies and success stories based on project activities and I disseminate these on the project website, mailing lists and social media pages.

In addition, as part of the Communication component of my work, I produce and share regular project highlight updates to external clients, partners and industry actors; and provide training to GEMS4’s team on implementing the programme communication strategy.
I manage our social media platforms-- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

That's a lot from just one component! What of the knowledge management component?

For the KM component, the goal is to support the GEMS4 team to increase effectiveness and delivery of results. This is done by creating, storing, sharing and applying the knowledge we generate. Day-to-day activities include: to design and oversee the implementation of learning products, like our Food for Thought, an informal learning session for project team. I employ change management strategies to continuously enhance the GEMS4's culture of learning; Manage the GEMS initiative process - capturing ideas and team brainstorming sessions; and I work with a web designer to manage the GEMS4 website.

I manage our social media platforms-- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. I work with a photography expert to develop a robust photo archive, update and maintain the GEMS4 Cloud document archive and manage cloud content classification.

I also manage internal and external knowledge acquisition and sharing. Our products include a quarterly email newsletter (Pestle+); project fact sheet, initiative profiles, success and human interest stories, case studies of pilots, intervention results.

Finally, I develop content for DFID @ Work quarterly publication and provide editorial support to the publication team.
As Communication and Knowledge Manager, I lead on 2 different but related portfolios.

That's a lot! How can GEMS help in transferring your expertise to businesses that you support, given that not many business owners know of KM nor think it affects the bottom line? 

The GEMS4 approach is not to do KM for the sake of KM. So while we do not mention KM to partners, all our activities are an expression of KM. Our partners learn to collect data, manage data, share information and analyse knowledge in order to increase their output. This is a KM function.

Is the task of knowledge management all about books? When you're not working, how do you relax?                                        

"My number one mentor is my father."
There have been several Ages in human occupation. We went from Hunter Gatherer to Agrarian Age to Industrial Age to Information/Digital Age and to The Knowledge Age.

Knowledge is defined as understanding gained from experience, analysis and sharing. In the Knowledge Age people are not just skilled workers, they are knowledge workers.

Knowledge Management is an ongoing strategic process of cultural transformation, required for success in the Knowledge Age.

The question it seeks to answer is “How can we substantially improve knowledge-intensive activities and how can we increase the creation of new knowledge and innovation for results?”

The result of effective KM is your people; passionate, highly engaged individuals who use creativity and innovative ideas to create value for organisations.

To relax I like to exercise, I engage in yoga or aerobics. I also like to gist with friends over drinks.

Do you have mentors? Who are they?

My number one mentor is my father, Prof Egri Ejembi. I draw inspiration from him to live with integrity and bear life's challenges with grace and good humour. I also hope to have a similar work ethic and dedication to excellence.

William Anyebe has also mentored me, particularly in my career in development and KM. He has spent time and serious efforts and with his guidance and transformational leadership I am daily reminded of the call to excellence, diligence and ingenuity.

Christine Chundusu is a senior colleague and mentor, since she has played a critical role at each step of my career development.


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  2. Great interview and great to know our own is excelling in her field and thanks to Uncle William Anyebe

  3. Interesting read. Well done big sis, I really look forward to contributing my quota to development more actively.
    Kudos to the legends -Prof E. P. Ejembi and the 1 & only Uncle Willie Anyebe.

  4. Well done Enene. You have so much to do and very much to contribute to the success of GEMS4. You have lived up to expectation and performed with great excellence. A quiet but very effective delivery style of work. You are just on the path to being celebrated! All the best.

    1. I appreciate Oga Kola, thank you for your encouragement!

  5. It feels good to know that our own is doing well even far beyond our shores. It's quite interesting that she draws inspiration from our fathers who are still very much reachable here. Continue to excel and do us proud over there.

  6. Well done and Mr Okenyodo, I pray more of us will model your dedication to family, community and excellence.

  7. Aliyu Ibn Gaz5:21 pm

    Enene, knowledge management is priceless and I must commend you for this path of choice. Keep your head up as there is more to be done. Cheers.

    1. I believe so too Aliyu and thanks for believing in me since UJ.

  8. Aliyu Ibn Gaz5:22 pm

    Enene, knowledge management is priceless and I must commend you for this path of choice. Keep your head up as there is more to be done. Cheers.

  9. Amazing performance sis. Keep it up!

  10. Great job Enene
    Well done

  11. Weldone Enene. We hope to see more contribution to human development from you.

  12. Awesome..eye opening!!!


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