Posted by Virginia Makoti on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Under: Personality Profiles & Interviews
Having worked 13 years for Business Day Newspaper as a journalist, and worked 3 years as the editor of the Nigerian owned publication Business in Africa. Mrs Dianna Games is one of the most outstanding inspirational leading personalities in Southern Africa.
Zimbabwean born and raised, Mrs. Dianna Games have lived and become a citizen of South Africa. She still has a passion and holds great sentiment for her homeland Zimbabwe, visiting her family as frequently as possible.
“My first visit to Nigeria was in 1995” says Mrs. Dianna Games. She found Lagos to be fascinating and very different from what it is today.
Mrs Dianna Games took the opportunity to become one of the early tourists to Nigeria, thanks to the invitation she received from her friend in Nigeria.
“A few South Africans travelled there at the time, there were no direct flight and I had to go via Ghana” she reminisced…
She was privileged to see the late Fela Kuti perform at the shrine before his untimely death.
Mrs. Games acknowledged that there have been more changes in Lagos and Nigeria in general than what the first time visitors to the country give credit for. She also raised the fact that Nigeria still has a long way to go to live up to its potential, “it’s a very big ship to turn around and this is very difficult to do’ she pointed out.
Mrs. Dianna games academic excellence and passion for hard work has brought her to her current position as CEO of Africa at work, an African business consultancy company established in 2003.
She is also the author of the books; Business in Africa and Corporate insights which includes articles and interviews of CEO’s from different sectors and economic experts, looking at different aspects of doing business in Africa.
“It is a move from all the so-called experts’ reports on Africa that are mostly written from air conditioned offices” said Mrs. Games.
She strongly pointed out that most of this expert report on Africa are written from the distance without concrete insights and look on what the business people have experienced on ground, what some of their observations have been, as well as what some of the emerging business trends are in Africa.
The first print in hard cover was published by Penguin South Africa and was sold out in less than a year.
Included in this must read publication is an article by Tony Elumelu and an interview with UBA… The paperback is now on bookshelves across South Africa.
Embodied into some of Mrs. Games achievement is the honorary position of South Africa – Nigeria chambers of commerce.
“It has been a great honor for me to have the privileged position of helping to facilitate business ties between Africa’s two biggest markets” Mrs. Games stated.
The work has opened a lot of doors, given me great insights into Nigeria in particular the people, culture, geography, historical evolution of business, politics and many other aspect but into bilateral relationship as well, she emphasized.
Mrs. Dianna Games admitted that the job can be challenging at times when it comes to the complaints she receives from these two countries about each other and attitude etc. she strongly believes without doubt that her role as a bridge builder has been very important.
“I believe a lot of problems between nationals of these two countries is about lack of knowledge about each other’s histories, cultures and general environment, and not enough is been done to improve this information” said Mrs. Games.
Mrs. Games has learned a lot about the Nigerian culture, tradition and ways of life through her Nigerian friends and contacts “a key lesion is not to judge any country by the way it seems to you from a distance, but to go into it, communicate with the people and interact with people”, she stressed.
Without doing this you are always an outsider in your own mind and that of theirs. Mrs. Dianna Games have not only worked with Nigerians as an employee, and this is the reason she learned a lot about how business works and the corporate mindset.
Having spent so much time in Nigeria as a 3rd home, it still keeps that continuous fascination for Mrs. Dianna Games due to her interest in the company, she experienced great friendship and hospitality in Nigeria and loves the fact that Nigerians have great humor about their circumstances, the country and tough times they have been through.
She pointed that it can get a bit frustrating at times while trying to do things there and appreciates the fact that it is all part of learning about Nigeria.
Mrs. Games recently received an award for most inspiring non Nigerian personality by The Nigerian voice Newspaper at the Nigerian community excellence Award. She expressed her gratitude to The Nigerian community for being aware of her contributions to building up their country by informing South Africans about it in a positive way and in a range of other ways.
She advised Nigerians in South Africa to really tell their story about the role they played in securing South Africa’s freedom, but to do it in an informative way, rather than in a slightly aggressive way which is how it often comes out.
She raised the fact that South Africans are interested in Nigeria’s role, but they do not have enough knowledge of it. It is something to be proud of.
“After 1994, there were so many things happening at once, the focus was not on Nigeria specifically and the stories have got a bit lost in the clutter” say’s Mrs. Games.
When asked about her thought of The Nigerian Voice Newspaper and what advice she has for the newspaper. Mrs. Games commented that “the newspaper plays an important role because it is a specific market and it quickly becomes part of the people’s lives. This is even more important in the case of Diaspora newspaper that serves a community from their homeland as it gives them a voice and greater sense of belonging”. Having worked as a journalist herself, Mrs. Games understands that, it is not always that people appreciates the hard work that goes into producing a newspaper, therefore do not give it the support it needs.
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