March 29, 2023


Samira Nwaturuocha: The Art of Risk Management in Finance

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Oluwanifemi Kolawole
Samira Nwaturuocha: The Art of Risk Management in Finance
Expert and African
Samira Nwaturuocha: The Art of Risk Management in Finance

Mar 29 2023 | 00:39:07


Show Notes

On this episode of Expert and African, we spoke with Samira Nwaturuocha. She's the current Chief Operating Officer and Chief Risk Officer of Sparkle Nigeria, a digital bank. She has done a lot in the financial services space, in insurance, in health, and in investment, spending over 18 years in all these fields. Samira didn't exactly start her working career as a risk and compliance specialist with any formal academic training in the field; she simply made a bold move for what would turn out to be a big break.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Samira: Whatever your ambitions in life, whatever your objectives, whatever purpose you put in front of yourself to achieve, there is a certain level of certainty and uncertainty around either achieving it at all or how well you might end up achieving it. All of those uncertainties, dealing with those uncertainties so that you have a better outcome or the best possible outcome. I would say, in simple layman's terms, that's what risk management is about. Depending on what the risk is. I wouldn't say you take off the load because there are certain responsibilities that come with it. So you want to manage your risk. There are certain things you have to be disciplined enough to do. But when you do those things, what it does is it gives you a higher level of certainty that you will then achieve your objectives. Whether it's a business objective or a life objective. [00:01:04] Oluwanifemi: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Expert and African, where we tell the stories of African experts and how they have navigated their careers to become the professionals that they are. Today we have a very, very interesting personality. On this episode, we'll be speaking with Samira Nwaturuocha. She's the current Chief Operating Officer and Chief Risk Officer of Sparkle Nigeria. She has done a lot in the financial services space, in insurance, in health, and in investment, spending over 18 years in all these fields. For most of those years, she has been a risk manager and compliance officer. She has an interesting story, and I believe that you'd learn a thing or two from her story, especially if you're considering a career in risk management. Let's get to the conversation. I noticed that most of the time is it's very difficult to separate who we are from what we do. So I want you to take us through that journey, how you got to being a professional in the risk and compliance space. [00:02:19] Samira: I started out studying microbiology in university. But you do know how it is. I mean, you get out of university, and the hustle begins, right? Let's put it that way. And I've done a little bit of work in the lab when I did my industrial attachment, my internship with a lab. And at that point, I found that I really didn't want to do routine work. I've never been someone who was good at doing routine stuff, you know, something new, a new challenge every day. Something to keep you on your toes, to keep you thinking, it's, you know, It's sort of the excitement I liked. So by the time I finished university, the only thing I knew I really loved was I loved to teach. And I did that while I was, serving my national youth service. I was lecturing at the Polytechnic. So I finished school, and I got a job. My first job after university was with an audit firm which was super interesting. And the forensic part of auditing, looking into financial accounts, reports, I found that really interesting. Deep diving and, analyzing things and researching into it, I found that interesting. Even though I was working in the admin and the human resource part of the company. I worked with them for a little while, and then I got an opportunity to go work with Guaranty Trust Bank. And, you know, in Guaranty Trust Bank, if you're coming in at entry-level, you do this training school, which, I think at the time, was only about three months, and then you are done. During that process, I got exposed to a lot more about, banking, finance, treasury, all sorts of topics, the legal aspects of banking, and customer service. Again, it was very interesting. And I started off working in the bank in sales or marketing, raising deposits, but also writing credits for customers, time loans, term loans. As the relationship or the account officer of an account, you really get into the details of the customer's business. You try to understand their cash flow. You try to understand the potential, the trajectory of the business. You try to understand their inventory. You try to understand how they do their payroll. It just really exposed me to a lot about businesses and how businesses were run and that sort of thing. Obviously, there was also the legal aspects of banking, how to, incorporate in a company who has the authority to do what and not do what, all those sorts of things. Very exciting. I did that for a while. I wanted to do something different. Now in training school, there was one topic that was rather an enigma to me, and that was treasury. So the fact that you're talking about treasury bills and bonds, one is at yield, one is at price, one is at T-1 or T+2, all those sorts of things just were just like, what are these people talking about? And even when I was in sales, in marketing, when my customers wanted to buy treasury bills, I would typically look for a colleague who could explain it better than me to do it. So I thought to myself, okay, why not challenge yourself in that area? Now, obviously, I didn't have the expertise to do treasury, but at the time, the bank was just building up its enterprise risk management team and therefore, the market risk team, the financial risk team, was just starting up. So I did a bit of research about it. And I found out that, okay, this is one area where I could start to gain that knowledge, find something new and interesting to do. So I applied for the role. I got interviewed, and even though I didn't have experience, the manager at the time was happy to give me an opportunity. And that's like how my journey into risk management started. Because it was new, I would have to do research on, okay, what should we even be doing? Like it was that basic in interest risk management. My manager and my team lead at the time, obviously were very supportive, in terms of, okay, go and read about this, go and research about that. You create reports like literally from the scratch. And as I deep-dived into interest rate risk management, I got interested in the other areas of our team at the time, the market risk group, which was trading or FX risk management and liquidity. And I would sit with my colleagues were in, in those areas and, ask them to teach me, what are you doing? Explain it to me. They performed some magic on Excel, and I was just curious as to what they were doing and how it all ties in. A few years into doing market risk, I was redeployed to credit risk management. At the time, I wasn't happy about it at all because I felt like I had done market risk for a while. And you know how you start to think to yourself, okay, this is an area and I don't want to build my career. And I guess back in the day, I think there was a lot more restriction or streamlining, if you were a credit risk manager, people expected you to follow that path, and you tend to, say, okay, you want to develop some competencies within that area. So it was really, like strange to redeploy to another area, especially when you were so passionate about building a career in financial risk management. But yeah, I think in my career as well, I've also benefited from the good council of mentors or coaches at different points in time. Because I remember a very senior colleague of mine at the time, sat down with me and said, "don't worry, just take it as a new challenge. Go there, prove yourself, learn more, and all that." And I said, okay, no problem. So I went into credit risk. And it was really fun. It was absolutely fun, because in credit. And well, maybe it was the way it was done, in Guaranty Trust Bank at the time. You really had to be thorough, you had to be detailed. And remember that I had done marketing and I had written credits myself, right? And now I was like on the other side where I am now reviewing, and validating what I previously used to write. In fact, I remember going back to look at some of the credits that I wrote in the past to say, oh, you should have done this differently, and that sort of thing. But yeah, I found it interesting because, when you finance a business with credits, and it's a business that is growing, you can really see the impact of what a good financial support in terms of a credit can do for a business. Whether it's an SME or a commercial business, or even a big corporate, right? It doesn't matter. I got to experience credits from as little as loans, like retail loans, salary loans, to, being in a team that was reviewing documentation for syndicate-type transactions that involved a lot of different banks. And just being able to experience that by looking at the nitty-gritty details of the legality. A customer gives you a collateral, and you're saying, oh, that collateral is not acceptable because you cannot place a lien on it, and what does that mean? And sometimes having to explain it to the relationship manager, who might not be able to explain it to the customer. And then you have to join the meeting with the customer to say, okay, this is how you can do it differently. And it wasn't just about writing credit, it was also about finding solutions. Because at the time, the way we operated was sometimes, relationship managers could come and meet you and say, I want to do this, but the way they want to do it might not be okay. And then, you have to sit with them and advise them on how they can do it differently, but still make it work for the customer. And then to be able to see loans go bad as well and having to go back and then, try to understand why did it go bad and what can you learn from that experience and how can you do things differently? Having to chase some bad credits and see the antics and the tactics of customers. It was interesting. It was interesting. Yes, it was interesting. And after I've done credit for a while, I moved on to operational risk. By this time, I had started to have a feeling that, okay, like my mentor at the time said, you might be surprised. I was really also pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it, and it had broadened my horizon, right? So I wanted to be more like a holistic risk manager. So since I have done financial risk, when there was an opportunity in operational risk management, I thought to myself, okay, now is your chance to really experience it all. And I took that opportunity. And that also was very was really, it was a great one for me because I got to do not only operational risk management, I also got to do things like business continuity and environmental and social risk management. And then I moved on to AXA and now Sparkle. [00:11:10] Oluwanifemi: Would it be right if I said that it was curiosity that led you to where you are, or you're just trying to make ends meet? Then you found something fun, then you continued. [00:11:21] Samira: I was raised by women who were very entrepreneurial. There's hardly a time growing up where I don't remember my mother selling something or my grandmother, from shoes to wrappers and all that. Even growing up as a child, we were encouraged to sell little things like sweets just to make money. So in terms of making ends meet, I think I was raised with that entrepreneurial mindset. But I was really looking for something that I would love to do, something that would inspire me. I also knew that I really wanted to be able to help people; whatever I was doing, I didn't want it to be, like just about money. Again, maybe because of my childhood and how I was raised. But I think the curiosity was definitely something that spurred me on. [00:12:06] Oluwanifemi: Can you explain what it means to be a risk manager to a five-year-old or a 12-year-old? [00:12:13] Samira: I would explain it this way, that whatever your ambitions in life whatever your objectives, whatever the purpose you put in front of yourself to achieve, there is a certain level of certainty and uncertainty around either achieving it at all or how well you might end up achieving it. So when I talk to young people, for example, in secondary school, and I say, what do I do in risk management? I use an example, I say, if you have an objective to have an A in English or an A in science, there is some uncertainties around that. Uncertainties that, there might be certain topics in math or in science that you might not understand. All of those uncertainties, dealing with those uncertainties so that you have a better outcome or the best possible outcome. I would say, in simple layman's terms, that's what risk management is about. Because you have an objective to have an A in maths or in English, you create certain policies or procedures for yourself. For example, you wake up early, you want to open your books, maybe at 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM, before you go and take your bath. You have one hour of studying and you want to attend classes all the time. You don't want to be truant. All of those processes that you create around yourself is risk management, is mitigating the risk of that uncertainty that you don't have that A. Depending on what the risk is, yes. I wouldn't say you take off the load because there are certain responsibilities that come with it, right? So you want to manage your risk. There are certain things you have to be disciplined enough to do, right? But when you do those things, I guess what it does is it give you a higher level of certainty that you will then achieve your objectives. Whether it's a business objective or a life objective. [00:14:48] Oluwanifemi: Thank you for that. You explained deeply what, um, risks management is in the credit space, but you mentioned operational risk and environmental and social risk at some point. Can you quickly explain those? [00:15:04] Samira: Let me go around, the major concepts so that, you know, it's a bit clearer. In Financial risk, obviously, you're dealing with the risk of losses arising from financial indices. So whether it's things like interest rates, whether it's things like FX. For example, if you buy a hundred dollars today and you decide to convert the hundred dollars that you have to Pounds. What is the risk that when you want to convert that Pounds to Naira, one of those three currencies have not changed such that you lose some money, right? Or you may gain some money. In operational risk, on the other hand, you are dealing with the risk of a business operations across certain pillars. So you have people that operate within the business. You have systems that are used within that business. You have processes that are used within that business and you have the external environment in which that business is set up. A very good example is Nigeria, right? And Techpoint is an organization in Nigeria. You've got people, operational risk deals with the risks of your people. It could be as little as the risk of people having workplace accidents. It could be, what is the risk that, for example, during COVID, a lot of people will be ill and they can't come to work, and therefore the company cannot run its operations. You've got systems, for example, today, we're using Riverside. What is the risk that we try to log into Riverside, and it just tells us that no, and I'm not happy with the network, so I'm going to be breaking, and things like that. And then obviously, of course, your company operates within an environment, Nigeria and that environment come with its own complexities that affect the business. So that's like in a nutshell, operational risk. There are different categories of it, but I don't want to bore you with that. Things like internal fraud, external fraud in the business, all those things fall under operational risk. because, essentially, as the name implies, it affects the operations of a business, right? And how those operations are run can either lead to profit or losses. With environmental and social risk or what some businesses call sustainability, you are looking at risks that impact a business in terms of how sustainably it's generating its profit without adversely impacting the environment. So, for example, if you take a look at oil companies. And you say, oh, there's gas flaring, and you're trying to say to oil and gas companies to reduce the amount of gas flaring that they do because it reduces greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and that causes global warming and then climate change. By asking them to find sustainable ways to reduce those emissions, that's saying that, okay, guys, can you find a more sustainable way, still generate your profits, but in a way that does not impact the environment? Because remember, like I said, the business itself is going to operate within an environment, right? And if in a hundred years, that environment is no longer available or no longer enabling for that business, then it means that the business itself kills the environment, and in return, there's no environment to run the business. So that's what environmental and social risk is about. But not only the environment, there's also the social side of it as well, which has to do with, for example, empowering people. You may hear things like, some protests against the company because, they're using child labor you know, to work and you're saying that no, that's socially irresponsible. And saying that businesses should also conduct their activities and their operations in a way that is socially responsible, for sustainability. [00:18:55] Oluwanifemi: Thank you very much for explaining that very clearly. So from what you've mentioned, your skill is very important, and I'm wondering if it's not a role you find people occupying in many startups. When do you think would be a good time to ask for the service of a risk manager? [00:19:18] Samira: You are absolutely right. We find that a lot of businesses startup and they've started running, sometimes going to very advanced stages before they bring on board risk or governance, right? Because risk management also goes hand in hand with governance. When you're trying to mitigate certain uncertainties, like I said, you put in place policies, you put in place procedures, you know that guard against that and that's governance. It's best to start at the beginning because that way, you are embedding it and you are incorporating it. And that's what we're also trying to do at Sparkle. You don't want your business to be 10 or 20 years before you realize that there are many things that you could have done better or differently, or before you start to feel the impact of some of those risks that you maybe were not, conscious of from the beginning. So I would definitely say from the beginning. Now it can be challenging though, to have in-house. I do realize that there may be many startups that are not able to hire a risk manager. But I would say that risk is more about a mindset. It's not just, only, of course, there is the technical, expertise around it, especially when you're trying to compute, the amount of risk that you have and you're trying to. But it's really about a mindset. So I'll tell you, in many organizations, the CEO, sometimes, is actually the risk manager, alright? Depending on their kind of mindset. So I think it's more about cultivating that right? Risk-based thinking. First of all, if you are a young startup, second option would be you can have people come in and consult and offer it as an advisory service. If you have generated that mindset around the people themselves who work in the business, you've created the culture, then chances are that implementing it is actually going to be a lot easier. [00:21:16] Oluwanifemi: you started as a risk manager in the financial sector, then you moved to insurance, health and investment. So if you want to say on a scale most-risky to least-risky, which of these spaces are like very risky to deal with? [00:21:32] Samira: Um, I think the question is a lot more complex; it's not that straightforward. And that's also the other interesting thing I think about risk management. There's no hard and fast rule, there's no straight jacket answer to anything because you are just simply trying to come out with the best possible option or the best possible outcome. But I would say that they definitely have different levels or layers of complexities. They are both highly regulated industries, which means that your discipline, that discipline that I talked about, and the responsibility or accountability is even a lot higher. And they are both two industries that really hold up economies. They also impact the social and economic wellbeing of the citizens significantly. Banking obviously provided a platform for people to do their commerce, for people to build wealth. And insurance, fundamentally providing an avenue for people to protect whatever is valuable to them, be it their money, be it their assets or their health and their wellbeing. So I would say that the complexities around them are quite different. I found that risk management in insurance in my own experience, is a lot more complex and technical because you are dealing with, in insurance, you're dealing with a lot of unknown variables. In terms of the probability, let me put it that way, of the risk. [00:23:07] Oluwanifemi: So you've worked longer in the corporate space, now you are trying out startups. Is it that just like exploring or, oh as we call it, "na dem dey rush you?" [00:23:19] Samira: Not so much from my purpose. So, I've always been someone who was driven by why am I doing something? And if I look at my 'why' has remained consistent. Like I said, when I was in the audit firm, because every time you do an audit, it's supposed to improve because the people you're auditing will not like it because you come up with exceptions. But those exceptions are meant to improve the process for the next fiscal year, right? And make people do things differently. In banking, like I said, you're building economies, you're making businesses better. You can see a small business that started as, a father and his son, and based upon, how you are able to support them or finance them, it can grow into a big corporate and in some cases even, a big conglomerate. In insurance, it was the same thing as well. I really found a purpose in helping people protect. I mean, in insurance, we've had instances of a customer who has an accident or there's some health challenge or the other, and in that moment, they do not have the financing or the funding to deep into their personal coffers and pay their bills or fix the car or something like that. And you see how insurance can come in and step in and help to protect that. And for me in the fintech space, and especially with the ambition that we have at Sparkle, it was consistent as well for me, it's an opportunity to help a lot more people. The only difference is this time around the focus is different. Now we're dealing with SMEs, now we're dealing with the underbanked. And no better place to make an impact than, in an area where it's challenging and nobody wants to go into. Yeah and more about, the difference that you can make in people's lives. [00:25:11] Oluwanifemi: As a risk manager, are there some departments in a particular company that you relate with more than the others? Or is it just something that is holistic? You have to work throughout your company? [00:25:24] Samira: I think that's also one of the very beautiful things about risk management. So like I said, if you're somebody who is curious, you like to know what's happening, you'd like to help to improve things, you are analytical, you are curious, it's definitely the place to be. Because it also allows you to touch on different areas without necessarily being in those areas directly. That said, I would say your focus may vary per time. So for example, today there might be some, if CBN changes monetary policy rate, for example. It may mean that as a risk manager you have to work more closely with a certain area than another area tomorrow. If they announce that there's going to be riots or there's going to be something going on in one space, it may mean that you now have to work with some other areas that are more exposed to that risk than with other areas. So obviously, per time, the areas that you focus your attention on will shift, and it's always going to be dynamic. But yes, I think it's definitely a place that allows you that opportunity to work across the organization wherever. Whether it's from a manufacturing company to a tech company, to a bank, or whatever sector you are. The same principles apply. [00:26:41] Oluwanifemi: What are the specific roles that are expected of a risk manager in a company [00:26:47] Samira: As a risk manager, and I think this applies no matter the industry that you're working, a certain level of financial acumen will always be great because, risk at the end of the day, like I said earlier, is about the uncertainties that you are trying to manage, they have an impact. And unfortunately, a lot of times, that impacts you can always still drill down to a financial number. Even if the impact, for example, is business operations are delayed, that delay in business operations is going to have a financial cost, or if, because you mitigated the risk very well, there was an improvement in business operations. That means that there was an opportunity. You took advantage of, the risk. Cause risk is all, is not always about the adverse. There are opportunities in managing your risk as well. So the point I'm trying to make is that financial acumen is important because risk at the end of the day is also about profit and loss, right? If you do not mitigate a risk, it can result in losses. If you mitigate the risk better and improve your processes, it can result in an opportunity for more profit. So a good grasp to be able to tie the numbers to how this affects the bottom line is always very great. And analytical skills are also important. And I like to say paying attention to details because sometimes, It's just one or two little details that could make a difference in how well you are able to improve a process or how well you are able to mitigate a risk or not. If you have the risk that something is going to go wrong in one location and you are supposed to move to another business location so that you don't have any disruption, as little as forgetting to carry an extra printer to the new location can mean that you get to that new location and you are not able to work, right? So the little details, sometimes matter. So you have to have an eye for detail. Obviously, whatever industry you are working in, as a risk manager, it is extremely important for you to be able to have some good foundational knowledge of that. In our own industry where it is highly regulated, obviously it means you've got to be very conversant and thorough with generally what those regulations are. But even being able to interpret them beyond the letter and looking at the spirit behind the regulation might mean that you are able to gain more benefits from just a compliance check and ticking the box. So that's important. But not just from a what regulates your industry. Even understanding the business that you operate within that industry is also very important. If you're in manufacturing, for example, you need to understand the supply chain for your raw materials. If something goes wrong in that supply chain, it can potentially affect the plant, they're not able to produce, and all those things. So having that good grasp is important. I think also having some good interpersonal skills is really important as well. Because like I said, as a risk manager, you will have to work with a lot of different areas of the business, depending on the area of risk management you're in. If you're in financial, for example, and you're working in banking, you have to deal with treasury, you've got to deal with, the guys in finance, you've got to deal with the guys in settlement so that you understand how the money moves around and things like that. But having a good relationship, good interpersonal relationship can also help to smoothen things out a lot because you know, it's not easy to say to someone, yeah, you're doing it okay, but I think you can do it better, right? Sometimes it may be perceived or construed as an indictment on the person. So we share the similar challenges with auditors. And so I think having that very good interpersonal skills, being able to separate when you're talking to people about their work, being able to separate the gaps and things that you're seeing from the person, I think always helps. I think there is also a certain amount of mental resilience that will help. As a risk manager I feel like you're always thinking, you're constantly thinking and constantly challenging yourself and challenging others as well. And I think sometimes that might come with its own toll. So I think a little bit of being able to have that sort of mental resilience would also help. [00:31:24] Oluwanifemi: What is it in risk management that only experience can teach you? [00:31:27] Samira: I think maybe how to do it quicker, how to do things, how to do certain things quicker because when you've experienced it, what you have under your belt is the lessons or the learnings from that experience, either the outcome or what you did and how you did it. And so if you were to come across that again or something similar, it helps you be able to take quicker and faster decisions. Because if you if you don't have the experience you can still manage, whatever it is, the circumstance or the scenario, the incident or whatever the risk issue is. But you probably maybe would go and do a bit of research finding out, and all that. But if you've got some experience around it, under belt. I think it helps you make quicker decisions. Oh, definitely it does. It definitely does. When I talk to younger risk managers, and they are feeling, overwhelmed or how come I didn't see it? I always use that line. I'm like, don't worry, you will. Eventually you will. It's because you're you know, either just starting out or, it's not something you've experienced before, so it's okay. [00:32:40] Oluwanifemi: Talking about starting out. Somebody that wants to get into the career, where do they start from? [00:32:46] Samira: So, the beauty of it is you can start anywhere. You can start anywhere. I didn't start my career in risk management. And I do know as well many risk managers who did not start their careers in risk management. You can start in business operations because like I said, it's important that you understand either the industry or the market or the organization. So you can start anywhere. In fact I have heard many opinions that the best risk managers are those who did not start their career in risk management, because you have gotten an opportunity to get your hands dirty. You understand what's happening at the process level, or you understand the market. So when you then transition into that role of risk management full scale, you come with a better perception of things. There are a couple of certifications that you can do. There are lots of different ones depending on the area of risk management that you are interested in or you'd like to start out in. There are a couple of Institutes, as well, that focus on risk management. There are certain associations as well. In Nigeria, we've got the Risk Management Association of Nigeria, and you don't necessarily have to be a risk manager before you join, and that in itself starts to expose you to those technical areas of knowledge base that you need to have to be a risk manager. So in that regard, yes, there are definitely a couple of institutes certifications and the likes that you can do both local and international. And then I would say it depends then on what area of risk management you have an interest in. If you have been working within your own company, in risk manage. chances are that you would've gained some competence, right? To be able to demonstrate that you understand that area of risk management that you're working in. But as well, you are able to bring to bare the technical requirements for the role. Now if you do not have any certifications yet I would say working with a mentor is one very good way to go. That's something that, that definitely helped me earlier on in my career. I remember times where I literally was going on LinkedIn to look for people who had been in risk management for longer than I had been in. Based on their career path, you could look up to them. And schedule some sessions with them. Let them share some tips with you, let them share some advice with you, and they also become a handy resource, for you. There are sometimes you encounter a problem, like I said, that you have never experienced before, but cause they've been doing this longer than you, perhaps they have. And even if they haven't, maybe they know somebody who has in a different way and they can connect you. [00:35:43] Oluwanifemi: What's the most challenging tasks you've carried out? [00:35:46] Samira: I would say off the top of my head, it might sound like a cliche, but I would say managing COVID-19. And maybe because at the time I wasn't only wearing the cap of a risk manager, I was also the chief security officer. And so business continuity and crisis management also, I was accountable for those areas as well'. Making sure that, we had as minimal impact on business operations. My thinking cap at A-game level, like I'm not sure I've ever worn my thinking cap like that before in my life. Because as the challenges come up you are literally thinking on your feet about, the opportunities in there and the solutions to that challenge, but also how best to execute those challenges, given the whole complexities around, for example, the restrictions, the health risk, for people, their families. It was complex. It was complex to say the least. Yeah, we survived. We survived. It was a great team to work with because we survived. [00:36:52] Oluwanifemi: Would you say surviving that was your greatest success or do you have like another success story that you look back on when you really need to keep going? [00:37:00] Samira: I would say that for me actually, the things that I would consider to be my greatest successes are around people, developing people in this space. Working with with someone who joined your team, with not so much experience, and very little knowledge of risk management, and today seeing them being managers and chief risk officers on their own, and doing great things home and abroad. I think for me, that is what I would say is, my greatest joy. [00:37:39] Oluwanifemi: How do you catch a break? How do you manage this life and your personal life? [00:37:46] Samira: I use the support I have around me. I think I've been really blessed in that regards. And I've talked about, great mentors I've had in the course of my career, and sometimes in some difficult moments just having people who can help you see perspective. Because sometimes when it comes to the challenges that we face, in terms of stress and all that having perspective is really key, I think. I also have a great support system at home. I must say, I've been blessed to have, a husband who's very supportive. So that helps. And also trying as much as possible to create, that sort of structure at home as well, where you have the right kind of support. It's not always the case. Sometimes, it's working, sometimes it's challenging, for various reasons. But I think that has also helped me over the years. I absolutely love to read. I love to research and if I want to get lost, and take my mind off risk thinking I could get lost just researching, and you would not even imagine all sorts of strange topics from history to geography, I read all sorts. I also loved to garden. In fact right now I'm trying to recreate a garden, so that's really refreshing as well. Yeah, I love to cook and bake, even though these days I don't get to do a lot of that anymore. But yeah, that's also something that I think helps me too. It is something about the aroma of food that just calms you down. Good food. [00:39:17] Oluwanifemi: Thank you for listening to Expert and African. Don't forget to share this podcast on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else you get your podcast. I look forward to getting feedback and recommendations from you

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