20 January 2014 2 Comments

Jacob’s Cross: lessons for digital and brand communication professionals

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Life is a teacher. To maximize each day therefore we need to learn from daily events. But it will take a keen observer to benefit from life experiences. A drama/story may open your eyes to new horizons you may not imagine. Around Christmas 2013, DStV, a paid digital television across Africa broadcasted again for viewers a soap-Jacob’s Cross. From the first day I stumbled on the soap, I became glued to it. Jacob’s Cross is a production of Bomb production which was produced for M-NET Africa. Some of the things that got me hooked to the soap were: the production, Plots, casts, scenes and much other excellent stuff that make the play a must watched for me.

The writer of the story and the producer are first class. The play, plot is full of suspense, love, betrayal, greed, lust, corporate diplomacy, a passion for justice and fair play, a commitment to do it right and desire to expose evil at whatever cost. The film was shot in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and  Angola. The casts and crew include Kendra oluchi Etunfunwa(Ada), Anthony Bishop (prosperous), Anthony Oseyemi(Shy soludo),Fabian Lojede (Bola), Moky Makura (Folake), Hlomla Dandala(Jacob makhubu),Omotosho Bankole(chief Abayomi),Montsho Mmabatho(Lerato), Xolile Tshabalala(Busi), Jacqui Pickering( chichi), Patrick Nwenyi(emeka abayomi) Nandi Nyembe (Thembi Makhubu).

The central theme of the play is focused on Abayomi family, a wealthy Nigeria family who achieved success through hard work. The trouble started when the head of the family (Chief Bankole) announced he will make Jacob Makhubu, a child he gave birth to outside wedlock but who had proven over the years he had what it takes to lead. Jacob had established himself as a business executive and demonstrated he can handle the demands of the family chains of businesses. Bola, became a dare devil who will not allow such thing to happen. Bola has always been a bad sheep of the family with lots of criminal tendencies. Bola became violent with his ambition. There is also the dare devil Soludo family, the challenges of building Propserous brand’s company jointly owned by Jacob and Prosperous among other challenges, life threatening missions embarked upon by Folake, Jacob Makhubu, Shy Soludo etc. I recommend you check out this play if it is available on the shelf for sale. But the purpose of this piece is to share the lessons we can learn from this soap.

Be a keen observer: To be successful as a digital media and communication profession, you must be a keen observer of the environment, monitor changes and find out the invisible hands behind the changes. We discovered in a private conversation between Ada Soludo and chief Soludo’s conversation the reason for Ada’s(Kendra Etunfunwa) hatred and wicked acts to her father was rooted in rape incidence that happened earlier in her life. Viewers initially thought Bola was the architect

Forgive and move on: While working with a team, many will deliberately hurt you or just be the link that is slowing down the team. Help them to overcome their shortcomings, accommodate them, forgive and move on. Jacob forgave Prosperous, his close friend who slept with his wife and murdered her.

Fighting for a good cause may be costly: Many of our campaigns will be targeted at increasing our corporate good causes. Do not think other parties/competitors will fold their hands. Keep challenging them headlong.

Never give up despite the challenges: Often our corporate routes are not straight and smooth. To become a market leader, we will require resilience and dedication in the face of challenges. Jacob’s Makhubu success against the cartel was not won on a platter of gold.

Learn to delegate well and share responsibility/opportunity: Within any project are small and varied duties, challenges to overcome. Learning to delegate, share responsibility and opportunity will make you a better leaders. At a point Jacob gave Folake the opportunity to become the Chief of Abayomi’s family. Many felt it was never done that a lady will become head, but Jacob was willing to take the risk

Team member/People do change if we are committed to them: Ada and Bola were avowed bad boy/girl in the film. But because Folake and Jacob showed uncommon love to the two, they eventually had a changed life. Even Shy Soludo, who was living on the fast lane became responsible corporate wizard at the end.

Be an inspiration, be a model, bring a change: You can change the future of people below you through your action, faith in them.  Jacob went somewhere to deliver a speech for some young folks but one of the young folks felt Jacob’s idea may not sell in Africa. According to the young folk, doors are closed for the less privileged. Jacob picked him up and  set him on the path of progress.

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