Monikah Lee ' Social media, the good, the bad and the ugly'
Meet Monikah Lee
The presenter and host who aims to advise and support young women as they navigate social challenges
Have you always wanted to be a presenter and host? What was the dream?
‘ I know it might sound cliche but I was born to perform, for the 1st 12 years of my life my mum entered me into baby modelling competitions, beauty pageants, I was even a singer lol, I attended drama and dance school, I was in commercials at one stage. To be honest i thought i was going to be this big Hollywood Actress. Then life hit me hard and to be quite frank there wasn't many opportunities in the early 2000's that encouraged and motivated young people to choose vocational subjects. My passion then went into another direction and I wanted to be a probation officer but after all the intense training, work experience and challenging situations I then realised that the change I wanted to make will not be so beneficial to the community. I wanted to make more of an impact and realistically with the amount of restrictions that is involved in the public sector it would be impossible to achieve my goals.”
How did you get into the business, who or what supported you.
“I built up my profile as a host by crossing the atlantic and going to Jamaica with no experience to interview some of the best dancehall artists such a Mavado, Beenie Man, Masicka, Bounty Killer, I Octane & so many more. I thought why not start with what i know best and that was my Island. Even though I was such an amateur I knew I had to create my own space, regardless if people liked it or not or if I was considered as 'elite or not' and that was my entry into the industry. A year later I joined Flames radio as a co-host radio personality alongside Epik Jones which eventually developed to me having my own show on Westside & the late radar radio. I continued to progress as a presenter and ended up having my own Street Quiz show & Carnival review on Link Up Tv which transpired to me working with UKs controversial Talk Show BK Chat LDN and God has been amazing and have brought many opportunities my way. Once you step out of your comfort zone and start to walk in your purpose the universe will align to give you what you pray and work hard for. This has been proven by the amazing companies I’ve worked with such as iluvlive, O2 Go Think Big, Bacardi, Crazy colors, Wireless and Waitrose to name a few.
My mother has been an amazing support and i've had friends such as Sir Dj Corey, Jazzie, Arnold Jorge, Wardah and my Team Sheg crew to keep me level headed and on the right path. There are so many other people that have been a great addition to my journey and I am so happy for their input.”
What have been your greatest achievements so far?
‘Witnessing the growth of my Talk Show, ‘Talks With Monikah Lee’.
Changing peoples perception for the better, and motivating them to be the best version of themselves. I've been told many stories of my uplifting messages restoring peoples faith to achieve and conquer their dreams. If I can make an impact in one person's life whether its big or small those are the achievements i aspire to and will make my journey feel fulfilling.”
You inspire other women through your social channels and talks, when and why did you start feeling so passionate about social and female centric debates/ issues?
“For so long black women have been suppressed in all aspects of their working life, it was not a popular phenomenon for black women to create platforms to uplift, build and motivate each other. I strongly believe that being positive can bring about a positive outcome. Transferring positivity to the universe was the changing factor that inspired me to create my own debate show, to showcase a woman in power can educated, control and direct conversations in a diplomatic way to not just teach our young women but to give young men the confidence to be open to understanding change and the inequalities we face in our community.
Its crazy because I never set out an agenda or strategy for my social channels to inspire young women, I just initially love to help people and make people feel good about themselves, especially as we live in a world that can be so cold and heartless. Transparency means everything to me and I started to see social media as an illusion, false identity that misconstrues the reality of the world we live in. I started to see so many talented young women starting to look up to unrealistic expectations of what 'perfect' is and applying pressure to look and seem as if they've got it all. I wanted to be that inner voice that screams not everything is ok, but with time it'll be ok. I also wanted to stress that success can be achieved in multiple ways. I started doing my Monday Motivation, coaching and giving advice and now its become second nature for me to talk about all things regardless if its good or bad.”
What do you love about Ohheygirl?
“I love how versatile, fun, eccentric and daring ohheygirl products are. I am not the one to play it safe with fashion and more times i think mainstream is boring! Ohheygirl provides an alternative swag that is East Asian inspired, oversized and asymmetric and thats exactly the look that i love!”
I am a firm believer in working with brands that delivers a message and have a purpose and Ohheygirl represents just that by being a brand that solely represents women and their beliefs to uplift women who have power to make a change.”
Social media: The good, the bad and the ugly
By Monikah Lee #OHGInsight
Social media is a powerful tool and is used to inform, educate and deliver all sorts of messages to the masses.
In retrospect, social media does more good than harm but as with everything in life if you over indulge it has the potential to be harmful.
Social media has had a pivotal role in the growth of my career as a Presenter, TV and Radio Personality, Events Host and now I’ve undertaken a new role as an Influencer, which I still struggle to accept till this very day.
Creating and subscribing to an Instagram has been an excellent marketing tool in building brand partnerships and showing off to the world that I am great at what I do and I am happy whilst doing it. By sharing videos of me hosting, posting pictures with leading brands, creating my own content and expressing simple gratitude by thanking people for their effort in my growth started attracting potential consumers; people who are interested and intrigued by what I have to offer. All the information I display throughout my social mediums is just as credential as my CV, I’m selling my work to those that are interested and once I started capitalising off my social media it started to be less about likes and followers or about whether my pic ‘bangs’, or whether my potential ‘bae’ saw my caption and more about how can my post help to improve the lives of others?
Once I started seeing my social media as a business transaction, it became justified. I was no longer obsessed with competing with my peers to ‘look’ as if I’m ‘winning’ by forcing myself to events that I know will look ‘cool’ or being in the same room as people trending with 100,000s followers, or just to simply look like I’m busy even though I was bloody broke! The irony hey!
I wanted to be a woman of purpose that encourages other women to work smart not hard and show that dreams do come through if you’re disciplined and focused. This was only going to happen if I deleted all my self-centred ‘look at me’ posts, but instead create a space that allowed women to relate, express their feelings and understand my growth by doing ‘Monikah’s Monday Motivation’, ‘Talks With Monikah Lee’ and working with amazing brands such as ‘GRLGNG’ for it to succeed. Social media is useful when you have a strategy; once you’ve got one let the execution game begin!
I know some of you reading this blog might be thinking how can a medium be powerful enough to cause individuals to change their whole persona and at worst cause them to constantly question their position in life.
''Honestly, my own personal battle with social media is an ongoing challenge, as I have to reassure myself that I am good enough and constantly remind myself I am in a league of my OWN.''
The BAD and UGLY.
It is blatant to see that social media has the capacity to capture the imagination and active participation of the public. A recent study by Flint corroborated and statistically found that among online UK 18 + residents, 79% use Facebook, 79% use YouTube, 47% twitter and 41 % Instagram just to name a few Source
We now live in a time where we openly bombard a person with an inquisition, when they state their distaste for social media ; question such as: “Who are you hiding from?”, “You don’t even have Instagram?” “How do you even communicate?” “You know that it’s great for business” “ I only message on Snapchat, who uses text message anymore?” “You’re missing out“
Showcase how people are so reliant on the use of social media in our society that some cannot fathom the idea that social media is not for everybody and this has the potential to be very dangerous.
At times I think the advance in technology is suggesting that old fashioned ways of communicating and connecting is becoming obsolete, this is because my peers and I rarely do phone calls unless something drastic happens; I always opt for instant messaging via Instagram, direct message or Snapchat message instead of emails. I’m even embarrassed to sayit but sometimes my patience wearsthin and I’ll often message an individual of interest via social media prompting them to check their email. How intrusive I know lol.
As we move into a digital age that triumphs social interactions social media undoubtedly creates opportunity for grandiose personalities to thrive, which can get very ugly.
“You look like a yellow bird”
“ No-one likes you stop trying to act like you’re better than everyone else”
“ Who gave you the mic”
These are just a few negative remarks that some individuals have posted about me, I refuse to re-visit all the negative comments I’ve received in the last 2 years because; firstly I recognise how far I have come and I refuse to allow these comments to affect me and Secondly I understand that people will always have something to say and I’ve learned to acceptthis. As Michelle Obama put it: “when they go low we go high.”
But just because I’ve moved on, the reality is I’m only human and negative comments still cut deep. What’s more it saddens me to think that thousands of people experience this hurt and verbal abuse on a daily basis, even witnessing it (seeing others cyber bully individuals or leave a spew of negative rants/comments) leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The mere fact that people are capable of hiding behind protected screens and are able to write negative and hateful comments without seeing the other person’s reaction means that social media can be a very hostile and toxic place at times.
Honestly, my own personal battle with social media is an ongoing challenge, as I have to reassure myself that I am good enough and constantly remind myself I am in a league of my OWN. This proves to be extremely challenging at times because we live in an age where people’s opinions are so easily accessible and often the public opinion can be the deciding factor in living your dreams or GIVING UP. Many people do not understand that the power of the tongue can help you to unlock levels of greatness.
Whenever I feel unworthy or sad, I follow 5 steps which I hope will help you if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the presence of social media.
1. DO NOT GO ON THE EXPLORE PAGE- People only show the best bits of their life. Comparison is the thief of joy and you are more deserving than what you see and envy.
2. Remember you control social media and by default you are what you follow, so learn to filter what you process.
3. DO NOT BE SCARED TO USE THE BLOCK BUTTON- Your peace is everything don’t allow anyone to compromise that.
4. Take social media breaks. It’s ok to delete the app from time to time to just concentrate on YOU and your personal growth!
5. If for any reason social media makes you feel devalued or unappreciated. Write a list of all the amazing things in life that make you smile.
Please leave your comments below, we’d love to hear from you xx
Monikah has also asked for the following women to be credited as her inspiration support and guidance
Styled by @samara.kay Hair @tresses.bytesha Make up @teshlewis Honeia Bunbury @neiaxobunz
Shoot credits @VIENNTY and @no__camera