By Kazi Mohua
I often think about the reason for our existence in this universe. What is the main reason that creates our sense of being? Is it being successful or making our lives meaningful? In striving for success, we are guided by our choices, society, profession and many more. But we need more people who worry less about success and more about making a meaningful impact on humanity. How can I be one of them? How can I make my global brand have a meaningful impact to society or change lives in a positive way?
Change is Constant
A good example of people who made a meaningful impact comes from my childhood. I was born in a place where girls could not go to school. There was only one school for boys. Most of the girls were denied any education at all. My father and uncles fought to bring about change in that situation. After they finished higher education in distant towns, all of them returned to the village and worked to establish a girl’s school. It was a tough decision to make but that single decision changed thousands of people’s lives.
Throughout my childhood, I grew up watching society’s hostile and demeaning attitude towards women. Although Bangladesh is a leading country in the gender equality gap in South Asia, it still has a long way to go. In 2016, more than 4,900 women were physically assaulted in Bangladesh. There’s hardly a safe place for a woman to live alone.
It isn’t easy to grow up in a country with so many obstacles against women. And being a journalist is considered among one of the toughest female professions. When I decided to be a journalist, all I wanted was to be strong, and set an example of bravery for others. Journalism gave me that platform. Since then, I have shaped and reshaped myself repeatedly in the pursuit of being that person. Starting from a small village, I have managed to make an impact nationally. Now, I believe it’s time that I take steps to make a difference globally.
While I was continually reinventing myself, I realized many younger girls aspire to be a journalist like me. In my country, women are not happily welcomed in journalism. To many, I was a rebel, a looser and a complete waste when I decided to stay in this profession.
Moreover, as I kept working as a journalist, I was humiliated, harassed and my life was threatened a couple of times, too. That gave people around me reasons to drag me back. It bothered me for some time and I even left my job for a brief period until I realized that I have to be the torch bearer! Now that I see myself doing something that has positive impact for fellow women, I am eager to shape my global brand!
Defining “global” in my life
As a Humphrey Fellow, I realize I have an extended and global target audience that I can communicate with. I am learning new languages and skills. I am engaging my audience in multiple platforms every day. I have never been more fascinated and challenged at the same time. I am learning to package and showcase all the talents I have on a global stage.
Social media and personal Branding
As they say, part of personal branding is using social media effectively. If personal branding is the strategy to gain economic gain only, I am not interested in that. My culture, identity, faith or my ideas are my brand, I carry them with me. But I am more than that also. I am more than a Muslim, an Asian. I do not wear my faith or ethnicity on my sleeves. I do not portray all my opinions and reflections on social media, it only shows a piece. It may showcase some of my unique differentiators, my strengths or weaknesses but it cannot categorize me in a fixed formula or identification. Me and my work is beyond what these digital pages can bring to the world, my impact goes beyond them.
Growing my global influence
The next step in growing my global influence is to get out of my comfort zone. I am one of the prominent broadcasters in my country; I have my audience and followers and until now I have never run out of opportunities in my field. It’s time to challenge and stretch my abilities and leadership skills to create an impact in this highly competitive world. So, I want to brand myself as a global leader, an influencer and a role model to millions of women in my country and all over the world. That mission is what can make my life a truly meaningful one.