After years as a professional in public relations and other areas of marketing communications including brand activation/experiential marketing and sponsorship leveraging, Yetunde Bankole-Bernard takes on new challenges as an image and personality development expert.
In this interview with TheCable Lifestyle, the New York and Las Vegas, United States trained relationship, style and image coach speaks about how her expertise can benefit Nigeria.
How exactly do you define an image consultant or identity coach?
An image consultant helps you put your best foot forward either as a corporate organisation or as an individual. Helping you to make changes in areas of appearance, behaviour and communication. An identity coach is someone who helps us to create a distinct expression of our gifting, providing support for eliminating phobia and hesitation; assist us to build confidence, gain acceptance and to consistently recreate positive experiences and results. An identity coach also helps us to become more deeply connected with self and deal with life’s transitions with greater ease and resourcefulness, living from a place of consciousness, presence, and fullness.
Why that, what inspired you into building a career in this area?
All of my life has prepared me for this. For as long as I can remember, I have always showed up with clarity for people seeking expression for a voice, a message, an idea or a ‘next level’
I am also inspired by societal ills that frustrate me; mediocrity, celebrated ignorance, intolerance, under-development of the girl child, etc. I daily strive to lend my voice to the correction of them with the work that I do.
Looking at the various challenges that Nigeria faces, is there any contribution your specialisation can make to give us a better country. If yes, how?
I am an identity coach. Identity is basically the unique characteristics that in combination with one another, define your potential for creating value in this world; that is, for making a contribution that comes naturally from the core of your being and touches the lives of others in positive ways.
What Nigeria needs is a critical mass of people with the belief of a new Nigeria where everyone takes responsibility for himself or herself. Where the slogan ‘I must be the change I want to see in the world’ takes commonplace.
I represent authenticity and originality. It means allowing difference and the understanding that even though we are individually different, we are all part of a whole. It is regard, it is respect, and it is making every opportunity to deliver value count.
Do you have any package that can help Nigerian children be the best they can be irrespective of background?
Yes, we do. From my work over the years in personality development, identity and people psychology, I have been able to create intellectual property in the form of workbooks, journals, podcasts and audio CDs that are home-grown and relevant to our people, irrespective of their physical or emotional environment. I am also personally involved in volunteer projects in building self-esteem, confidence, civility and emotional stability amongst the youth.
Society discriminates against women but recent trends indicate that nations that leave women behind may never optimise their potentials, do you have any package to prepare women for the challenges and opportunities available to them in Nigeria?
Like I mentioned earlier, our flagship program RECALL: The identity coaching solution for those beginning or at a new beginning was created to help people deal with various transitions in their lives and gain the courage to commit to exploring and achieving their highest potential.
We currently partner (and open to partnering with more) women and youth empowerment initiatives. I personally teach and coach on identity, individuality, self-worth, pPoise, and building inner capacity. Critically though, the idea is to stay open and ready to offer direction and needed help to anyone regardless of gender.