Amonua Tabicca '13: Helping African businesses tell their stories

In her junior year at Ashesi, alum Amonua Tabicca ’13, was a member of the Ashesi Student Council’s Entertainment Committee. As part of her role then, she would spend a lot of time thinking of creative ways to make events on campus more exciting for students. It was a tough task, but in spending so much time making the events work, Amonua discovered a role she thrived in: communication and advertising.

“My friends, especially my roommates at Ashesi, always told me I would start a career in communication,” she says. “They used to tell me I was good at it.” They were right. 

After initially joining Ogilvy & Mather Ghana as an Account Executive, Amonua was eventually moved to join the team at the company’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya – Ogilvy and Mather Africa. There, she is in a more senior role of Account Manager, where she is heavily involved in planning and coordinating advertising campaigns for some of the ad agency’s biggest brands and clients.

Yet Amonua had never quite known what she wanted to do after graduating from Ashesi, despite the comments from friends, and the fact that she had enjoyed her Marketing and Branding classes. It took a gentle push from the Career Services Office on campus to get her to do her first internship with an ad agency, where she really connected with the prospect.

“Abigail at the Career Services Office was my fairy godmother,” she says. “In my junior year, she had expressed concern that I wasn’t exploring enough internships to build work experience. In our conversations, I mentioned my penchant for communication, and she helped me get an internship with an advertising agency startup. That hooked me in.” 

Looking back, Amonua appreciates how the experiences at Ashesi helped her transition into her career. “Most times, we are managing projects, attending client meetings, having sessions with our Creative Directors and working through unforeseen roadblocks, she explains. “Being in this kind of role means you have to be able to reach into different skillsets, and be dynamic; exactly what Ashesi prepares you for.”  

Now, she is driven by how much of a difference stronger storytelling can make for Africa’s brands. “Working with a pan-African organisation helps you really understand the landscape of African markets,” Amonua says. “We get so intrigued with what’s happening elsewhere in the world, but there is so much happening within Africa as well. There are so many people offering great products and services that are unheard of because they are not advertising right. That’s why I love my work; everyday I get to help brands tell their stories better.”

Her team in Nairobi is a diverse one, and Amonua believes that all the cultural experiences they share allow her to gain a broader view of the world. She credits her continuous growth to these teams that she works with, and the people who lead them.

“I have been fortunate to have the best bosses so far since I have started work. In Ghana, my boss Gil Kemami was a big influence. He taught me to never be content with the present and always think of the next step at work and in life. My current boss and the CEO of Ogilvy and Mather, Nadja Bellan-White, is my driving spirit. She offered me the opportunity to grow further by inviting me to Kenya. She has taught me that passion and diligence go hand in hand at work, and is always ready to give her support in nurturing many of our ideas at work.”