Home Entrepreneurship Untold Success Story of Betty Irabor’s Genevieve Magazine

Untold Success Story of Betty Irabor’s Genevieve Magazine

There is a popular maxim that says there is hardly any
successful individual, venture or organisation without a story to tell. That
perhaps explains why Betty Irabor, award-winning
CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Genevieve Magazine
, turns emotional any time she
is discussing the success story behind the glossy lifestyle publication.
In her view, “There were times when I was so discouraged as
an entrepreneur that I wanted to quit
but I thought of all those people I had promised that quitting was not an
option, those who believed in me and started their various enterprises because
I said it was possible.
“I have since learnt that there is a process to success and
that process can break or build us depending on our beliefs and inner
strength.  Our thoughts can make or mar
us so be careful what you’re thinking about.”
In truth, those who know Betty’s story and how she forayed
into the world of entrepreneurship would
readily affirm that she has indeed weathered the storm and teething problems
associated with the first-five years of every new publication.
Was there never a time that the publisher feared Genevieve
Magazine would die off due to paucity of fund and lack of patronage?
A staunch believer in miracles, hear her story…

“For those who feel God has abandoned them, let me share this story with
you! I hope it rekindles your faith in Him!

One day in the early years of Genevieve magazine (11 years ago), we had no
funds to publish our next edition. I sat in my office bemoaning my fate and
feeling like a downright failure when I got a call from the front desk that I
had some visitors.

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“Did I not say no visitors? Send them to the editor!” I

A few minutes later, my phone rang again. This time, it was from the
advert guy!  MD, I think you should meet with these visitors” it was
a plea. “Ok, let them come up” I said truly exasperated.

 Minutes later I sat face-to-face with this genial woman and her West
Indian partner. “You may not remember me, but I am a great admirer of you
and Soni (hubby). I see you together all the time at parties and you are always
so friendly. I also love your magazine. I am a distributor for Revlon and here
is my UK partner. We have adverts for you and want to sign a 2-year
contract” she said.

To cut a long story short, by the time they left, we had a cheque of
about three million Naira (N3 million) in our hands… and hope rekindled. 

Do you see why I said that miracles still happen?” she quipped.

Interesting testimony, isn’t it?

Today, Genevieve Magazine has since risen from the shell of
that near-fatal trial to become Nigeria’s leading lifestyle magazine circulating
across Africa, America and Europe, inspiring wholesomeness in all women
Just in case you are wondering how somebody like her suddenly
dabbled into the world of journalism,
let us take cursory look at the background of the ace publisher.
Born 59 years ago, the mother of two is married to ace
broadcaster, Sonny Irabor. She had
worked as a journalist at Concord
and held freelancing jobs at the Vanguard, The Guardian, Thisday and some lifestyle magazines
abroad before venturing out with her own publication idea for a glossy
lifestyle magazine for women home and abroad.
As planned, Betty entered into the world of publishing 13
years ago with a simple vision that has since grown.
Over the years, the magazine’s cover has been graced by
leading women of style and inspiration; high achievers like Tara Fela-Durotoye,
Tiwa Savage, Edewor twins, Agbani Darego, Abike Dabiri, Onyeka Onwenu and Genevieve
Starting her magazine at the age of 45, Betty braved all odds
to transform her dream into the success story that we know today. However she
has since attributed her success in entrepreneurship to an inner strength,
strong will, and divine sense of purpose, maintaining that entrepreneurs must
possess the quality of stubbornness in order to keep going WHEN the storms
When interviewed in a recent publication, Betty confessed
that the secret of Genevieve’s success bothers more on passion.
“Passion is top on my list, followed closely by tenacity of
purpose. I love what I am doing especially as it is impacting people.  Genevieve changed my way of thinking from “What if I fail?” to “What if I succeed?”
“I grew on the job both emotionally and mentally and I am
still learning and growing because in the words of author, Anthony Robbins “The
road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not
an end to be reached,” she said.

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Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis is a communicator, Journalist, blogger, business coach and, of course, a prolific writer. He has Dip (Journalism) and B.A. (History & International Relations) from the Lagos State University (LASU). The self-effacing young man has worked for national, regional and local newspapers. He had worked with THISDAY covered community news for ISLAND NEWS and corresponded with P.M. NEWS (evening tabloid). Presently, he is the editor of CITYPULSE MEDIA and senior correspondent of PHARMANEWS, West Africa foremost health and pharmaceutical journal.


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