My Pivot Journal is a Ventures Africa weekly series documenting people’s career transitions from one industry to another, especially to tech.

Most people build careers on at least one of four pillars: what they love, what they are good at, what the world needs, and what they can be paid for. But a few others, like Ibi Fiberesima (Fibi), find their ikigai — the intersection of all four. Today, she’s a Community Manager, but that’s just one side of her persona. And her transition story required her to not just learn the ropes, but carefully intertwine each strand into one. Here is Ibi Fiberesima’s pivot journal.

How it started

I grew up wanting to be a teacher. I’ve always loved teaching, especially children. As a child, I used to sit my dolls down and teach them. But at the same time, we have a family business — baking. My dad is a superb baker, and so is my grandma. So, it’s no surprise that I inherited the ability. I started baking as a child.

Then in my first year at the university, I put the skill to use. I started a baking business in my “self-contain” apartment and named it “Fibi Bakes”. From there, I grew the brand until I opened my own office space. But I still wanted to teach, so I started ‘Smart Baker Academy’ as a subsidiary of my bakery. I also started a community called ‘Fibi Bakes’, where I shared tips and resources about baking every Monday.


I knew baking was not the only thing I wanted to do, although it was easy for me. And because I’m a curious person, I started asking questions. The thing is, trying new things helps keep your mind fluid. So it became a sort of craving for me to delve into a new field.

Fortunately, I had friends who were into tech, so I got answers. They showed me that I could get into no-code tech roles. As a result, I started my tech journey last year as a product designer. It was fun when I started: putting shapes together, writing case studies and researching seemed like cool things to do. I even started gaining traction on social media for it. But I soon realized it was not for me because it did not feel as natural as teaching and baking.

So, I started looking for other no-code options, and my search led me to community management. When I read about it, I immediately knew it was for me because it looked very much like what I had been doing all along. I was managing a community of bakers already. The only difference now would be the industry. It was too good to pass up.

Ibi Fiberesima, a community manager, wearing a pink sleeveless dress and smiling to the camera
Ibi Fiberesima


The first hurdle I had to overcome was my fear of the public’s opinion. The thing about building in public is that everyone knows what you’re into. I had been sharing my journey and putting out a lot of content about product design, so, many people already attached my name to that role. So it felt odd that I no longer wanted to pursue it, and I had to make that U-turn publicly as well. I also battled with the fear that I might be wrong about community management being the best path for me. But I started anyway. When in doubt, we all have to trust that voice nudging us from within. Besides, the worst that could happen was that I’d be wrong. And in that case, I’ll just start another path. No worries.

The next challenge was finding resources. Quality information about this field is relatively scarce, and finding your footing in community management can be tough for this singular reason. Most of the resources you’ll find are expensive, so if you’re a newbie without a source of income, it won’t be easy.

However, I came across some very great guys that shared information for free. For example, the first YouTube video I watched while transitioning was by Chris Dew, who was interviewing Tom Rose about building an online engaging community. Then I started reading Tom Rose’s newsletter (I think people underestimate newsletters, by the way). Tom Rose shared his Community Management manual as a gift in one of his newsletters, and that was where I got it. When I read it, I was shocked it was free. It felt like Tom was speaking to every question I had. That was my first community management resource.

But again, I was building in public. The more I learnt, the more I shared, and the more friends I made. This system eventually paid off, because I got my first CM job through a friend. I saw Gruve Tickets‘ job ad, and my friend told me he knew one of the founders. So he recommended me for an interview with them to see if I would be a good fit. And I left no room for doubt: I over-delivered on the tasks they gave, spotted aspects they were lacking and presented solutions in a pitch deck alongside the tasks when I submitted. The rest is history.

How it’s going

Life as a community manager has taught me a lot in a short while. First of all, it has made me appreciate every bit of knowledge I have gathered over time. My stint in product design was not a waste. It was even the skills I picked from there that eased my transition to community management. I’ve also had to pick up and implement auxiliary skills like content creation and data analysis. I’ve had to grow in empathy and patience when dealing with people. These are skillsets people don’t know they need to function in this field. I’m currently learning data analysis because our progress requires community-driven data for strategy.

Secondly, I’ve learnt the importance of putting mastery ahead of self-marketing. Selling yourself is great, but being good at the job matters more. I made that mistake once, but it can’t happen again.

Meanwhile, my baking business hasn’t stopped. I still bake, but now I don’t always have to do the work. Baking is one of those things I’m sure I will do long-term. My dream is to own a baking factory and go mainstream. Also, I’m still a teacher. I’m building a community for people trying to find their footing in the community management space. The ultimate goal is for everything I want and can do to meet at the centre.

Career hack

I always seek out my uniqueness. Knowledge is important, and I seek it tirelessly. But nothing gives me more confidence than knowing that nobody does the job like Fibi.

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