Eunice Omole is working on the breakthrough project that will take her to the next level. Omole, who became a finalist on ‘The Apprentice Africa,’ the reality-TV program that pits contestants against each other in a battle to win a job, is putting together a show to profile Africa’s top entrepreneurs. “It’s called ‘Footprints’ and the focus is to profile Africans in the diaspora who are based in the U.S. doing amazing things.” A program which will feature the lives of Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie, Chef Marcus Samuelsson, humanitarian Saran Kaba Jones and several other prominent Africans, it’s a series Omole says CNBC and Oprah Winfrey’s Network (OWN) may have an interest in. “Passion projects like this drive me,” she says. “We have pitched to a number of networks in the U.S. and are just trying to lock down the schedules of some of those we want to profile.”
The Washington D.C. native who was born to Nigerian immigrants initially stayed in Lagos after the inaugural season of ‘The Apprentice Africa’ ended to focus on her startup media company O&M Media. “I wanted to help share the stories of entrepreneurs across Africa and the premise behind the company was to create new content for broadcast,” she says. The first program she worked on was a documentary/entertainment lifestyle show featuring the top 100 entrepreneurs in Africa. Her first guest was Deji Akinyanju, one of Nigeria’s most successful food retailers. “It was great,” she recalls. “But I couldn’t raise enough capital to continue the show as it was during the recession and everyone was waiting to see where the economy was going so I couldn’t continue with it.”
The time spent in Nigeria was a worthwhile experience for Omole. Now back on U.S. soil she is taking the concept in a different direction with the new series called ‘Footprints.’ “I learned so many lessons while I was in Lagos. It toughened me up and taught me how to deal with people,” Omole continues. “I have re-branded the show and made it more focused. A footprint is a lasting impression and these African entrepreneurs are leaving behind footprints for people to look up to. They are like change agents and lead by example leaving a lasting impact on the field they are in.”
With only one fleeting moment in the spotlight, many TV reality stars face an uphill battle when it comes to reinvention but with her charisma and entrepreneurial drive Omole has successfully managed to avoid the pitfalls. She’s a motivational speaker and volunteers with the non-profit organization ‘Dress for Success and also supports the Elizabeth Glaser Foundation using her voice to bridge the gap between social awareness in Africa and medical research in cancer care for women. On ‘The Apprentice Africa,’ which was hosted by advertising magnate Biodun Shobanjo, Omole came in second place and if she could do it all over again, there is only one thing she would change. “I went into the show with the mindset that I am here to win,” Omole reflects. “Looking back, I would have made more of an effort to make friends with the other contestants for there is more power in your relationships with people than business skills.”
Samantha Ofole-Prince serves as the Entertainment Editor for Trendy Africa. She covers industry-specific news that includes television and film.