In the Diaspora: Boohema Boohene
Boohema is a young and motivated female who is currently working in the media industry as well as events. I am also more commonly known as the co-founder of online student magazine MCM (Master Class Magazine). At MCM, we offer opportunities to students all across the world, to share a platform discussing Fashion, Music, Sports and Lifestyle as well as helping to find job opportunities.
JF: Tell us about yourself.
BB: I am a corporate events organiser for the likes of ASOS and House of Fraser. Aside from that, I am the co-founder of MCM Magazine which we started 5 years ago. I also started a radio show not too long ago. I do a bit of everything,
JF: Have you ever lived in Ghana?
BB: I actually went to school in Ghana for a year. I must admit, the transition was difficult – my peers did not understand me and I them. I do love the atmosphere in Ghana – there is so much love in the nation. My aim for my next trip is to go back and actually be a tourist; there are so many amazing places to go.
JF: Ghana has developed over the last decade or so and our travel and tourism industry is very healthy – great to tap into that. You mentioned that you are the founder of MCM Magazine.
BB: MCM is an online magazine for university students and content covers all things fashion, music, sports, lifestyle and everything that affects students. Our content is written by university students here in the UK an abroad also. MCM aims to give young people a platform to speak their mind. You do not need to be a blogger or writer to contribute, we have a lot of one-off contributors that speak on a variety of issues including illnesses suffered – sickle cell, lupus – to creatives that want to get into arts and music. We have also featured interviews with start-up owners. It has been an exciting journey thus far.
JF: One of my personal favourite posts was the interview with ‘La Swave – Let me Live’ (follow him if you haven’t already!). Definitely enjoy the relatable content. So how did MCM start?
BB: In my first year of university, I must admit I was very disappointed with my university experience. I had seen the American sorority lifestyle and thought that it would be like that. We had a university newspaper and department that was run by graduates. I felt as though there was an evident disconnect between the reality of student life and post-graduate life. During my undergrad, I studied a ‘Women in Business’ module and the university was holding a competition to give away £1500 to start their business. My business partner and I pitched the concept of MCM – a publication for students and by students – out of the 80 people, we were selected to be in the top 30! This was an amazing achievement so early on in our business journey. The whole journey with MCM thus far has inspired me to start my second business – launching soon so keep your eyes peeled!
JF: That’s really inspiring to hear. It is so interesting to see how something you started very randomly has grown into a fruitful platform. What challenges have you faced in starting and running MCM?
BB: Turnout to our events and staying motivated when we didn’t meet our initial attendance targets. We held our first event in Coventry was a careers event where we had young business owners eager to hire other young people. I handed out so many leaflets in the city centre and across campus too. I kid you not only one person came to the event. The following year, we hosted a political debate concerning the 2015 General Elections and had MPs from all the main political parties. Around 30 people came this time, it still wasn’t the best but it definitely was better than the first.
JF: So tell me about ‘The Networker’?
BB: We hosted ‘The Networker’ in 2016. I found that a lot of networking events did not appeal to me as I found that the professionals would talk at us and it would be rather overwhelming. We wanted to create an environment where people could get to know their peers. Around 50 people came and it was a really good event. Last year, we had ‘The Networker Part 2’ and it was a sold out event with over 100 people which has been an amazing achievement. This is a testament to our perseverance. Determination is everything – it has been 4 years of serious hard work but I would like to encourage you all to keep going in whatever you are doing.
JF: I think that is a real testament to your character. What challenges do you think Ghana currently faces?
BB: I watched Black Panther the other day and the film resonated with me for several reasons – the main one being vibranium. Africa is so rich in resources. I mean Ghana was previously called Gold Coast for a reason. We are also known for our cocoa and I think it is so important for us to take control of our resources, industries and try and better manage or international relations and trade. I remember going to the Cadbury museum and seeing them discuss where the cocoa beans for the popular chocolate came from. I couldn’t help but think this museum could totally be about Ghana and an international, Ghanaian owned brand of chocolate! I think we are making a step in the right direction as culture is rising and the nation is becoming more developed but it is important to snap out of our ‘laid back’ nature and become a force to be reckoned with in Africa and internationally.
JF: Do you have a desire to go back to Ghana and what for?
BB: I really want to go back and trace my lineage to really discover greater sense of identity
JF: Finally, what advice would you give to someone building a brand?
BB: Have a genuine passion for it. Once you have figured out what it is that you want to do, Keep the right people around you. My business partner is literally my sister - granted we have differing opinions on certain issues, our common ground is furthering MCM. She keeps me dreaming and vice versa. Have someone in your team or in your corner.
MCM is a fantastic platform and encourage readers that are currently in university to contribute to the platform. Hardworking is the only word I can use to describe this inspirational young lady. If there is anything I have learnt from Boohema, it is to continue persevering, regardless of the circumstance. I implore you all to do the same. Be sure to follow Boohema and MCM on all their social media platforms!