Says, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Cap”
Mayumi Izumi (she/her) // Contributor
CapU Alum Farhan Mohamed (he/him) found an opportunity to collaborate on a passion project while he was still attending university. The now graduate of the School of Business met the Vancity Buzz team and started working with them in the fall of 2012. He became Editor-in-Chief, helped grow the online publication to 6.5 million monthly subscribers, and later rebranded it as Daily Hive.
As a teenager, Mohamed started his own online newsletter and distributed it to about 100 to 200 people of his age and within his ethnic community. He remembers reading local papers like the North Shore News and enjoying his time reading it page by page, and wanted to revitalize local coverage and the love for our neighbours. He’s always had an interest and passion about connecting others together.
Mohamed believes that his passion for community is just something he was born with, “it goes back to my parents, my grandparents, and great grandparents and the way they came to Canada from East Africa—from India before that—and always thinking how to make your community better off than you found it,” he says, “everything in my life has been with that notion, giving back to the community, serving, volunteering, never really expecting anything in return but always just giving.”
Upon leaving Daily Hive, Mohamed started his own company, Overstory Media Group (OMG). “I took some time off to just reflect on life and think about what it is I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it and who I wanted to do it with,” he said. “I was having a real challenge and I was seeing coverage across a number of publications where the same thing, nobody was given the time to be thoughtful and really spend time thinking.”
Journalists of daily publications were writing several stories a day and not having enough time to give each one the focus and purposeful intention necessary. Mohamed set out to change this at OMG by giving journalists, writers and content creators what he calls a “ceiling”—usually dictated by the population of the community they are writing about and giving information to.
He hires writers that are from the cities and live in the communities that are covered by the following publications: Tasting Victoria, Capital Daily (Victoria), Vancouver Tech Journal, Burnaby Beacon, Fraser Valley Current, Oak Bay Local, The Westshore, and Calgary Citizen.
“The past year has shown us that people are so disconnected from their communities, where they live, where they work, where they play and we don’t know enough about each other, our neighbours, or the politicians who are representing us and making decisions,” states Mohamed . “So, if we can do a better job of bringing the community together and the community thanks us, that is all I need to keep going.”
Mohamed is grateful to his alma mater, “I always say ‘I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Cap’—everything in my life has been learning from the things I’ve been doing and learning about the people around me.”