If you have been following Pulse Nigeria on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, then you’re already familiar with the work of Ben Bassey, Director of Content at Pulse Nigeria. Ben’s story seems to be underscored by one word: options. After dabbling in a bunch of creative and entrepreneurial endeavours, he decided to pursue his editorial career full time, and within the editorial niche, he has also dabbled in a number of disciplines. These days, he’s charged with managing the skilled, diverse, and very creative 30-man content team in Lagos, Nigeria, leveraging social media and the web to inform and engage millions of young people who are part of our digital communities.
In this edition of Pulse People, we speak to Ben Bassey, Director of Content, Pulse Nigeria.
Tell me a little about your background, and how your career came to be:
I have what I like to call an entrepreneurial hustler background. I used to own a fish farm, a music studio, traded forex, and created digital products for sale. Content then was something I did as a hobby or to promote my products. I occasionally did a few projects for some clients. Plus I wasn’t sure which area of content I wanted to focus on, so I trained and practiced as a music producer, animator, graphic artist, video editor and after effects specialist, etc. It later turned out to be a hidden advantage in my current role.
What is your role at Pulse?
I manage the super talented and crazy people (which is the default setting with talented people) that create content for Pulse Nigeria. Together with the various content leads, we chart the content direction, execution, quality, and operations of a 30-man content team. I am tasked to oversee this process.
What does your typical day look like right now?
I start my day by visiting the Pulse pages to ensure we have the latest trending stories while also making sure the quality of the posts are on point. I then monitor other media platforms and what is trending on social media. Check my emails, have meetings with my team to chart content direction or whatever project we are currently working on. In between, I do some day-to-day operational stuff.
What was your path to Pulse? And what has your journey been within the organization?
When I finally decided to pursue content as a career, I told a friend who works here that I was interested in joining Pulse. He told me there was an opportunity but the role was for RSS management, not writing. The JD (job description) fit some elements of selling digital products, so I took the role. It was basically me publishing news wire content in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. After a while, I was promoted to lead the Content Hub, where I was still in charge of news wire content, but now had a video and social media team. We created and distributed content across the various Pulse markets in Africa. In 2018, I was promoted to Head of Operations for the editorial team and was in charge of quality assurance, client requests, media partnerships, inbound sales, onboarding, and day-to-day operations. In 2019, I was made Editor in Chief and later, Director of Content.
What inspires you to work every day?
I love to see ideas take life whether it is in the form of content or project management. My current role allows me to explore my creative, entrepreneurial, and organisational skills. It can be hectic a lot of times and there is always some new challenge waiting around the corner but most times it does not feel like work.
What’s the best part about working at Pulse?
The opportunities to learn and grow are immense. You constantly need to be innovative and you can’t innovate without learning, so it’s an endless cycle of growth. In my role as Director of Content, there are many things that could clog the flow of work, and I’ve come to see those challenges as great opportunities to innovate. I’m grateful for the work culture and environment here because they allow me and my team to colour outside the lines, and really collaborate and arrive at creative and sustainable solutions. It’s the best part for me.
What do you do when you’re not working?
This changes over time. For now, it’s watching movies and daydreaming. Daydreaming is the constant here – I like to let my mind wander. It helps me reboot, lol. I also like to shoot some pool or hang out with some friends.
Ahmed Beddy Kane – Graphic Designer and Video Specialist, Pulse Senegal.
Welcome to another edition of Pulse People. We’re speaking with Ahmed Beddy Kane, Graphic Designer, and Video Specialist, working out of Dakar, Senegal with the Pulse Senegal team. From being inspired by his reporter father to finding release in music, sports, and video games, Ahmed shares his passion for video with us, and how Pulse has helped him grow professionally.
Tell me a little about your background.
My name is Ahmed Beddy Kane. I am a video specialist, photographer, and graphic designer. My father was a reporter on the national channel. As a child, he used to give me the camera so that I could film certain activities that were going on around the house. That’s why after the BAC (baccalaureate), I decided to do Multimedia training.
I attended the professional world in license 1 in a film production company. I was there as an intern in video editing. But I also participated in film festivals too. I went through vibe radio Senegal and Expat Dakar. It was through Expat Dakar that I got into Pulse.
Let’s talk about your role at Pulse. What does it entail? What do you do on a daily basis? And how do you manage all the tasks?
At Pulse, I am responsible for making videos, photoshoots, montages, animations, and sometimes designs for clients. Every day I come to see the schedule, to see my tasks if there are videos to do or visuals. But I manage all my tasks with technique and zero pressure.
How much have you grown at Pulse? If you have changed roles, also tell us about that.
I grew into maturity at Pulse. Pulse also allowed me to find solutions to problems in my line of work, but also things outside the office. At Pulse I’ve learned a lot; I learned how to deal with pressure and stress.
What is Dakar like?
Dakar is good. Life is good here. We enjoy a quiet and rich nightlife. I am an outgoing person, so I’m quite acquainted with the nightlife in Dakar.
What inspires you at work?I’m inspired by the team spirit and the atmosphere, the work environment. What inspires me in my job is music and sports.
Tell me about your other interests, outside of video.
I am passionate about football, photography, and video games. In my free time, I go to drink tea with friends, train (football) and play the Playstation.