Navigating Leadership as a Woman – Interview with Barr. Nkiru Joy Okpala-Perkins

Note: This is part of the transcript from our interview on the show #MyStoryLive with our guest Barr. Nkiru Joy Okpala-Perkins, which aired on May 19, 2024. The full transcript will be available shortly. Feel free to learn the valuable lessons from this interview and check back later for more.

Interviewer: Abiola Mutka Ayuba
Guest: Barr. Nkiru Joy Okpala-Perkins

Abiola: From your experience, what is the greatest quality you think a leader needs?

Barr. Joy: The very main thing, first thing is patience. When you are patient, you can lead because a lot of things, attacks can come from everywhere, anywhere, even least expected angle. But if you’re patient, you can move on. Then the other thing that goes along with patience is perseverance.

The other thing that goes along with patience is perseverance.

Barr. Nkiru Joy Okpala-Perkins

Then I have to also put what I call authenticity. If you’re authentic, if you know that, yes, you are there to do something positive, you know yourself. You know what you seek for. Forget the other things. Those ways you can always move forward.

So those are the very basic qualities of a leader. You know, you have to build confidence in others. And how do you do that? You have to be patient. You have to persevere for them to at least understand where you’re coming from and know why you guys, you people, are moving forward towards achieving something positive.

Abiola: Thank you so much, Barrister. In, in Hug Day family, we prioritise good mental health considering the, torture or the way people, the stress people are undergoing today, which is affecting their mental health negatively. So the next question is, how do you manage relationship, work pressure, and leadership to ensure you maintain a good mental health, which is key in the course of carrying out your duties. How do you do this?

Barr. Joy: Well, I’m managing anything.

First of all, I have to go first by saying time management is crucial. You have to understand you have 24 hours of the day. Within that 24 hours, what do you assign to your work? What do you assign to your family? And what do you assign to yourself?

Assigning to yourself, you have to understand there are times you just have to pack up everything, close it up, put your head to rest, and then, you know, recover yourself. Because if you, if you’re not able to determine where the work should stop and family should get in and then yourself as a person should get in as an entity, you will muddle up everything. And before you know it, that’s why you see people dropping on the streets, dropping in offices, dropping at homes. The next thing they say is high blood pressure.

You have to understand there are times you just have to pack up everything, close it up, put your head to rest, and then, you know, recover yourself.

Barr. Nkiru Joy Okpala-Perkins

The next thing they say is, the person fainted and couldn’t be revived. And no CPR could get the person back to life, you know, and the at the end of the day, the person goes. So if you’re able to understand that, first of all, whether you are there or not, life continues. You know, you have to tell yourself that, look, I have to put this, you know, a barrier. That’s a kind of limit to everything you do.

So if you determine what to do each day, probably through setting up your calendars and knowing when to stop and look up look inwards for your family needs, Put them there. And then again, remember that you as a person, you should at a stage in your life take a vacation, you know, to at least… Ease of all this … because this issue of mental health is really, really very critical. A lot of people have lost it without … it has escalated beyond, recovery. So those are the things.

What I do is I learn to know when to go for work. It’s very tedious. I also learn to know when to focus on family issues, handle those ones, and don’t mix them up with work. And then I learned to know when I myself need something. Sometimes you see me walking all over the malls.

It’s not as if I’m going to buy everything. But it’s just to give myself that ease to bring in the air back into the brain. You know, see things that are different from what you do on daily basis. Watch things. Do window shopping.

Even if you don’t have money to buy, I just go there, see new things, see you know, the beauty of it will make you your mental health impact to … And then you put yourself back in order.

Sometimes, take an exercise. If you can get to the gym, good! If not, take a walk. Walking on the mall is also part of it. So those are some of the things. You know what gives you joy and try and bring it in as part of your life. That’s what I do.

Abiola: So at this juncture, if you are just joining us, we our special guest of honor for today is Barrister Joy Okpala. And we are talking about women in leadership and how you can protect your mental health considering the stress level people are going through today. You can provide your comments in the comment section. And if you have any inputs or any question you’d like to ask, please feel free to drop it. And we will get back to you.

You can also go on our website,, and get and familiarise yourself with our upcoming events. We have beautiful blog articles that can promote your mental health. So we encourage you to read them. If you also participate in any form of exercise yestarday, if you do any form of workout, please feel free to drop your picture, your, your video, and tag it with hashtag #HugWorkout. And, we’ll get back to you.

So, Barrister, thank you for being on board. The next question, if you don’t mind, is what would be your aspiration if you have no limitation? What would be your aspiration if you have no limitation?

Barr. Joy: (laughs) I know.

Abiola: We are mindful of our time. So let’s make this quick. Yeah.

Barr. Joy: Well, for me, I would always want to see myself, you know, as an advocate that everyone across the world will come to on advice on bridging the gender gaps. Those are the things. I am not it’s not about maybe sitting as a president or this of a country or something without knowing the right things to do. You can sit behind the curtains and be the one pushing the policies. So I would want to my aspiration is to see myself as an advisor to the entire world, to different countries of the world on issues that will bring up about equality for all.

That is my very main desire.

My aspiration is to see myself as an advisor to the entire world, to different countries of the world on issues that will bring up about equality for all.

Barr. Nkiru Joy Okpala-Perkins

Abiola: What is your opinion about #HugDayEvent, a platform that brings people together for education, games, and connection?

Barr. Joy: It is really, really, really fantastic. It’s awesome.

It’s amazing. It’s inspiring. Honestly, I dare say that, you know, whoever came up with the idea is a fantastic human being. It’s quite educative when it comes to issue of mental health. A lot of people don’t even have money to go see their primary health provider, their doctors, you know, which is very, very critical, which is very necessary.

But with this #HugDayEvent, a whole lot of things are thoughts to them on issues of mental health. If your mental health is not stable, you can’t even function well. Before you know it, you are a working corpse, and your loved ones are really missing you because you can’t you can’t flow. And the worst of it is if the person drops off and they stay untimely dead. Nobody is praying for that for anybody.

With this #HugDayEvent, a whole lot of things are thoughts to them on issues of mental health.

Barr. Nkiru Joy Okpala-Perkins

So I think the #HugDayEvent, Hug Day Event is amazing, particularly on this issue of mental health, which a lot of people … and then most times I tell you when you talk about #HugDayEvent, if you can’t give that hug to people, even give a virtual hug, it can ease off some tensions. Send forth information to people. They go through it. They learn a lot. So it’s really amazing. I know this.

Abiola: So our viewers you’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth. If you cannot give a physical hug, please endeavour to give a virtual hug. So, Barrister, will you be open to sharing your wealth of experiences with others in any of our events?

Barr. Joy: Oh, definitely.

That’s for certain. I will. I will. I’ll do that. I’ll do that.

An experience that is kept in somebody’s heart alone is not enough. You better share it so that others can learn from it. So I’ll really be very glad to do that.

Abiola: So on behalf of our viewers, myself and my producer, which is Peter, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Barrister Joy for your invaluable story on this show.

Your insightful contribution on promoting good mental health has greatly enriched our program and resonated deeply with our audience. Your dedication to advocating for mental well-being is truly inspiring. And we are honoured to have had you share your expertise and encouragement with us. So on behalf of all of us, we say thank you for coming on the show, and we look forward to having you on our program in the future. Thank you so much, Barrister.

Barr. Joy: Thank you.

Abiola: And to all our viewers, we appreciate you for tuning in to enjoy the story live session with us for today. And we appreciate you also for giving us light to be able to come on board. And behind behind all these successful, program is my able person … I’m appreciating you too. I love you.

And thanks for bringing this, this show on board. Promoting mental health is key. A lot of people are going through stress. And our word of advice is irrespective of what the situation will be, it could be at home, at work, in the course of carrying out your day to day activities, your various form of businesses. Please take time to balance your mental health.

When last did you go for your mental health checkup? It is key. Please take time to do so. Take time to rest. Take time to break free from the normal day-to-day activities.

Just rest. Have fun. Just say it out. If you if you need a therapist, we are here for you. You can drop your comments or your contacts, and we are going to link you up to a professional person that can assist you with … to to clear your chest and to make your life better.

We all need to see a therapist. Don’t think it’s a thing of joke. It’s really, really important. Prioritise your mental health. On my story live session, we love all our viewers.

You matter. Your, your voices counts. And, we look forward to having this session again, same time next week, 8PM (West African Time). And before then, we’ll drop the next topic for discussion on our website. So feel free.

You can feel free to go on our website, and keep yourself abreast of the latest information. So thank you so much for coming on board, Barrister. Have a wonderful evening. And, I wish everyone a fabulous night rest.

Barr. Joy: Thank you. Good night.

Abiola: Thank you and good night.

Barr. Joy: Bye. Good night.

Abiola: Bye bye.

You like it? Blow your trumpet.

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