Imiesor Ojo is a fifth year pharmacy student at the university of Benin. She’s a peer educator and a SRH(Sexual and Reproductive Health) advocate.
She volunteers at The Medvocacy Initiative (TMI), where she’s the programs director. She is also a volunteer with the Girls’ In Charge foundation(GIC).
She shares her story with the Ruby Girls team.
1. Let’s meet you. Who is Imiesor Ojo?
Imiesor Ojo is a young female entrepreneur with a passion for gender eqality and SRH advocacy. She is also a Pharmacy student at the prestigious University of Benin. In a bid to gain further knowledge and competency in sexual and reproductive health advocacy, she has participated in several certification programs. One of which is the prevention of campus sexual violence program courtesy the EU-UN spotlight initiative and WARIF (Women At Risk Foundation). She also volunteers with The Medvocacy Initiative and Girls In Charge Foundation, which serves as outlets to effecting positive changes around her immediate environment and beyond.
2. What inspired you to choose a career in pharmacy?
My love for chemistry at the time (back in secondary school) made me choose Pharmacy as my course of study despite the fact that my siblings wanted me to opt for Medicine.
*3. What is the greatest challenge for young entrepreneurs in Nigeria?*
The inability to properly manage finances. As much as people credit a lack of substantial capital as a major challenge, the fundamental problem lies with the management of funds. Poor financial management will most certainly lead to the ruin of any business.
4. Did your field of study motivate you to become a sexual reproductive health advocate?
Yes it did, although not entirely. I was also partly motivated by the negative impact that misinformation regarding sexual and reproductive health had on young people. Especially when a host of these consequences, which stems from uninformed choices, can be avoided by being privy to the right information.
5. Most people are still ignorant of the fundamentals of sexual and reproductive health, how can you address this?
The cure for ignorance is knowledge (education). Educating the masses, especially young adult, is my duty as a peer educator and a Sexual and Reproductive Health advocate. By using every platform available, I’ll be able to reach out to as many persons as possible and educate them on the subject matter.
6. Your greatest fear?
Not being able to harness all of my potentials.
7. What are some challenges you face as an advocate of sexual and reproductive health?
Lack of policy formation, review and implementation on the part of the government.
8. What was growing up in a Nigerian home like for you? Did it in anyway contribute to everything you do now?
Growing up in a family like mine hasn’t been the sweetest experience. Amidst all the disciplinary actions and strict upbringing I can gladly say it has contributed to who I am and what I do now.
9. If you were to be the President of Nigeria for a day, what would you change?
Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if I were the president of Nigeria I would love to make changes to the educational sector of the country. The implications of poor/lack of education is devasting for self and the nation and it’s economy.
10. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?
Mrs Florunsho Alakija inspires me a great deal. Albeit her status as a wealthy and prominent woman, she’s a symbol of sheer doggedness and hard work, and most importantly, she’s a woman of God. She’s a breathing evidence that women can achieve whatever they set their minds to, despite the odds.
Prof. Dora Akinyuli stands tall in that regard. she’s a symbol of intergrity, courage and passion in the Pharmacy profession.
Miss Chioma Uzoma, even though she’s a colleague of mine, has been a huge part of my success story so far. She’s purpose-driven, likes to carry everyone along and also she’s fearless (whatever she sets out to do, nothing stops her) and that motivates me.
11. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
As a well-established pharmacist, SRH and gender equality advocate. A woman that has come to the complete knowledge of herself, a woman of influence and power.
12. How do you juggle being a student, reproductive health advocate and running a hair business?
Time management cannot be over emphasized. Knowing how to share/manage my time has made my life a lot easier because quite honestly, school can be quite demanding.
13. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of young females five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?
Whatever it is in life you want to do never relegate your education and the ministry of you to the background. Also, do not let people’s opinion of you validate/define who you are. And whatever it is you are called to do, do it, whether you’re scared, unsure, or inexperienced, do it anyway because there is no better time to do it than now.