Rachael Onyemairo believes that if a child is not trained to be a problem solver, they’ll grow up to become the problem themselves. In 2021, she founded The IDEA Moment with Rachael, highly transforming Academy for kids and teenagers
At TIM, Rachael works with a team of very passionate individuals and together, they directly involve children from various African countries in the discovery of their own potentials, equipping them with diverse skills, knowledge and matchless exposures they need to solve problems innovatively and in so doing thrive anywhere they find themselves in today’s dynamic world. In the last 18months, she and her team have trained about 50 kids and teens from 5 Geopolitical Zones in Nigeria out of 6, including African countries like Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon, etc.
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Rachael is the Director of the fast emerging business empire known as INNOVATORS iSPACE. She’s an internationally published Author who authored the bestseller, “WHY THE YOU?” with three books in works.
Rachael is passionate about curbing the high rate of Africa’s unemployment. Consequently, she has helped thousands of young people discover their purposes, develop through relevant trainings like STEM and others, what they have discovered and deploy them to solving high paying problems outstandingly. She sees all these as a way of promoting SDGs 1, 8 and 9.
In her burning passion to effect socioeconomic change among the Africans, she founded INNOVATIVE MINDS VISION AFRICA, an online community committed to training the minds and empowering the hands of enthusiastic Africans both young and old, across the continent, to enable them create jobs for themselves and others through problem solving approaches and skills that meet global standards.
To arm these Africans with the 21st century problem solving skills, in March and May, 2020, Rachael led her organization to collaborate with a tech-based company known as Pintle Solutions to train over 800 people from 23 countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, etc. on Mobile Apps Development.
In her bid to curb immigration and emigration crimes among Africans, on May 20, 2020, Rachael organized a Travel Abroad Clarity Session, where a UK based immigration and emigration expert, Mr. Robert E. Robert spoke to people from 23 countries 17 of which are Africa. This Clarity Session was held in her online community, “INNOVATIVE MINDS VISION AFRICA.” She ensured that the members learned the legitimate, safer and easier ways to travel abroad.
In July 2019, she also led her organization to partner with a STEM certified, multiply patented inventor, who is also a Harvard trained Research Director, Science Medicine Research Institute, Dallas Texas, USA, Prof. Alphonsus N. Ekwerike, to train young people from various African countries on STEMIE. She also trained 50 corps members In Imo state.
She has helped over 3,000 young people start and run edupreneurship, fashionpreneurship, infomerce, book authorship and sales and lots more.
In November 2020, Girlotherapy & Nspired4Life Women’s Empowerment Network, USA recognized and profiled her in its “Lessons in Groundbreaking,” a book project celebrating 16 amazing women globally who forged their way to success, despite challenges.
Rachel Onyemairo has touched lives and impacted many through her initiatives. She shares her story with Women of Rubies
Yes; my childhood prepared me for what I’m doing now. I came from a broken home. After my parents divorced, I lived with many families as a House Help/Nanny. Consequently, I went through various kinds of domestic and emotional abuses. However, after living with these families, I returned home. Unfortunately, I entered into a new kind of hardship and vulnerability.
Seeing how hard life was, I vowed that I would lead a life that folks would see and be encouraged and that my existence would provide encouragement and hope for other suffering children in the society. I didn’t quite understand how all of that was going to happen, but from the day I took that decision, I tagged myself an “Embodiment of Encouragement.”
Meanwhile, even before my parents divorced, my siblings and I performed very well in school. Unfortunately, no other aspects of our lives were developed nor equipped, yet my parents believed that they raised champions. They didn’t know that we followed other kids to indulge in all kinds of mischief. In fact, this was the case with many families in our community then. Consequently, some children became addicted to porn, alcoholism, drugs and other forms of waywardness, to the extent that some parents lost complete control over their kids. So, all these experiences growing up piled up as a burden in my heart towards African children.
Inspiration Behind The IDEA Moment With Rachael Academy And INNOVATORS iSPACE
In addition to my childhood experiences, coordinating children in some churches since 2013 till date and having served as a classroom teacher at some point in my life, I observed that neither the family, church nor the traditional school system is intentionally developing and equipping children with adequate skills they need to thrive in today’s dynamic society. I also observed that the reason many children fall for drug addiction, porn, alcoholism and other forms of waywardness is because a lot of attention is paid to their brain, leaving their mind unattended to.
I also saw that many of these children are merely enrolled in school to obtain certificates and get jobs in the future, not necessarily to learn how to solve problems in the society. It was obvious that nobody really understood that if a child is not trained to be a problem solver, they’ll grow up to become the problem themselves.
Therefore, in my bid to change this ugly narrative, I founded The IDEA Moment with Rachael Academy and through it, my team and I have been reaching out to children and training them through their parents. Interestingly, between January 2021 and September 2022, we’ve been able to train as well as rehabilitate over 43 children (kids and teenagers), equipping them with diverse skills, knowledge and matchless exposures that they need to thrive in today’s dynamic world.
Today, some of them have become Authors, Repairers of different electrical appliances, Spoken Word Artists, Monogrammers in training, Amazon Self Publishers and lots more.
What inspired me to found INNOVATOR iSPACE was that I have intelligent and multitalented siblings, yet my family wallowed in abject poverty, to the point that I dropped out of high school at some point, because of hardship. It was that excruciating. I would say that each of us was born with enviable talents, yet we suffered in poverty. Even after we had graduated from college, things never changed. Meanwhile, each of my siblings was not only hardworking but very passionate, when it comes to making impacts.
However, because none of us had discovered themselves as well as their specific life’s purpose at the time, nor knew how to innovate buyable solutions that could tackle people’s problems satisfactorily nor knew how to monetize numerous impacts that we were making here and there, our multi talents rather turned into confusion and frustration.
Simply put, we did not know how to identify the particular area where our peculiar potentials were suitable to solve problems innovatively. Over time, I began to do everything possible to discover my purpose in life. I furthered to develop all I have discovered about myself; then, I began to deploy them to solving high paying problems.
Eventually, I became the one helping my siblings to do same. So, INNOVATORS iSPACE was birthed as a platform through which other industry experts and I help talented folks as well as entrepreneurs to discover themselves, get clarity about their purposes, build businesses around such purposes, reposition their mindsets to achieve global relevance and innovate their way above the tides of market competitions.
What Motivated Me To Train And Help Over 3000 Youths To Chase Their Dreams And Goals
What motivates me is the rate of poverty in Africa. Like Ebenezer Osuji once said, an idle youth is a devil’s tool. It’s therefore obvious that the incapacitation and idleness orchestrated by poverty is the major reason African youths are cheaply used by politicians as a destructive tool. I believe that to end poverty in Africa, jobs need to be created for Africans and no one will create these jobs better than Africans themselves. Since Africa as a continent is rich in problems, we need to approach this job creation as an opportunity to solve problems. But, I quite understand that problem solving can only be effective if the problem solvers themselves are trained to do so expertly. Seeing that a lot of African youths are talented but still need some level of training so that their talents can be honed and turned to skills, equally motivates me to rise and fill the gap.
These are what motivates my team and I to train the minds and empower the hands of Africans, so they can gainfully employ themselves and others through solving problems with skills and approaches that meet global standards.
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The Journey So Far
It has been full of high and low, unlearning, learning and relearning moments.
The high moments are filled with the testimonies of transformations which we get from the children we train as well as their parents almost on daily basis. These testimonies uplift our spirits and are truly heartwarming, to say the least. In fact, they keep spurring us to do more. Low moments come because some parents still think that whatever that comes through the internet is fake.
Therefore, at times, we expend a lot of resources before they give us access to their wards. At other times, it’s inadequate resources with which to continue reaching and training more kids and teenagers. These resources include funds, training devices like laptops, training software, etc. Unlearning, learning and relearning moments come because as we encounter children from both familiar and unfamiliar geographical areas and ideologies, we quickly learn and relearn what truly works in each area that we’re to train children from.
The biggest challenge we face is insufficient resources, especially funds. Truth is, a lot of human, intellectual and technological resources are required to really get some of the kids and teenagers adequately rehabilitated and others just equipped. Unfortunately, the families of the children who truly need these services are usually not buoyant enough to sponsor these trainings. To overcome this particular challenge, we’ve begun to create some self sustaining systems within the Academy. This is to ensure that lack of funds doesn’t prevent us from providing these most needed transformations to African children.
Impact Of My Work Across Africa
I’ve been immensely impacted training children from different countries across the African continent. First, every child comes from a family. So, access to one child in any state or country means access to one family in that state or country. Therefore, imparting these kids and teenagers has given me the opportunity to learn how the family system works across various states of Nigeria as well as other countries of Africa.
This work has trained me to become that leader who constantly defies ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and other social boundaries, all to reach and train African children. Honesty, I now appreciate the concept of diversity, equity and inclusion much more than ever. I’ve also learnt more ethical approaches to handling privacy information and confidentialities, especially as regards families and their children.
Other Projects And Activities
Apart from “The IDEA Moment with Rachael Academy,” I’m the Founder of “Innovative Minds Vision Africa”- a highly innovative online community, where I head a team of very passionate individuals who train the minds and empower the hands of young people to be able to achieve similar goal of being able to gainfully employ themselves and others through solving problems with skills and approaches that meet global standards.
Here, I initiate and supervise collaborations with industry experts as well as other entities to help the community members discover their potentials and develop what they’ve discovered through STEM, Digital Marketing, Programming and acquisition of various Entrepreneurial skills, what they’ve discovered about themselves.
I’m also an internationally published Author, a wife as well as a mum. Other activities you could catch me passionately engage in include: public speaking, reading, creative writing, book editing and several volunteer roles. As hobbies, I enjoy strolling, listening to God’s word, cool music as well as hanging out with my family.
What I Enjoy most About My Job
What I enjoy most about my job is the testimonies of our transformational impacts, which regularly pour in. Another interesting part of my work is the opportunity it gives me to be part of these children’s transformational stories. Seeing how the ones we rescued from suicide, addictions, etc. are now growing in sanity and soundness and becoming who God made them to be, always leaves me fulfilled. Yet another part that makes my day is watching how these kids and teenagers seize every moment to warmly show their parents and siblings love. And, family members reuniting in this manner gladdens my heart so deeply, because this is part of the people-skills that we teach them in the Academy.
3 Women Who Inspire You And Why
Grace Ihejiamaizu greatly inspires me. She’s a Nigerian Social Entrepreneur, Educator and Mandela Washington Fellow working to promote quality education and empower the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. Grace is the Founder of iKapture Networks, a center for youth development that provides afterschool education and services to students and out-of-school youths in Nigeria, using creative learning methods and ICT and has trained over 3000 young people.
She’s the woman that founded OpportunityDesk.org, which is the largest online platform that shares relevant opportunities for youth across the world. In 2015, she coached a team of young girls to develop a mobile app to solve a problem in their community. The group, Team Charis, represented Africa at the Technovation World Pitch in San Francisco where they emerged global winners. Her passion and dedication to the development of youths inspires me in no small measure. Leader Grace, as I fondly call her, has been named one of Google’s 12 Brightest Young Minds in 2011 and a Global Changemaker in 2012. She was one of the Honorees for the prestigious Future Awards Africa Young Person of the Year Prize in 2013 and in 2016, became a Mandela Washington Fellow of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Seeing this power woman inspires me to always roll up my sleeves and get to work.
Another woman that deeply inspires me is Rabi Egunjobi, Founder & CEO of iCore Naturals Company, Texas USA. iCore Naturals is a hair products company which combine science, sophistication and elements of the Earth to give the hair what it needs most: strength, moisture and growth. Rabi is a Health Care Provider registered in the U. S. She’s the brain behind Rcore Home Health Care, a health provider established in Sugar Land, Texas specializing in Home Health. Rabi combines godliness, successful marriage and earthly relevance in a manner I admire so much. Looking at her inspires me to keep following God uncompromisingly while living out my dreams fully.
Next is Esther Ijewere. Esther is a Nigerian Advocate, Author, women and girl child’s rights Activist and a Columnist for The Guardian. She is a key member of Walk Against Rape, an advocacy initiative created to assist rape victims and seek justice. She’s the brain behind Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children. I’m inspired by the amount of resources she expends on philanthropy, especially building women’s lives and careers.
In her usual use of social media to promote social good, she hosts Get Talking with Esther, an online talk-show (Tweetchat) aimed at helping people find their voice and communicate their thoughts through words and in so doing, promote positivity on social media. I particularly admire how she educates, informs, inspires and motivates Nigerian and African women in general to be the best they can be and contribute positively towards nation building. Above all, I love the way she professionally beams light on women’s works, giving them global visibility through her weekly column in the The GUARDIAN newspaper and www.womenofrubies.com.
Looking at Esther, I deeply understand what Amy Leigh Mercree meant when he said that kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light, because that is exactly what her kindness does for African women. Esther’s life really inspires me to truly live for others.
Being a Writer, Public Speaker, Advocate and Coach and Managing It All
Well, let me say here that I’m a multipotentialite. This means that I’ve multiple talents and skills. Good enough, God doesn’t give one an assignment without giving one the equivalent grace to fulfill it. So, God’s grace aids me a lot in carrying out these assignments. Another of my secret is captured in Confucius’s words: “Choose a job you love and you will not have to work any day in your life.” Truth is, all these that I do are my hobbies. Therefore, I passionately enjoy doing them. Besides, I’ve the most supportive family in the whole wide world. My husband’s support towards my dreams and career is second to none.
Another thing is, I’m that leader who goes out of her way to ensure that everyone working with her realizes their dream doing so. Good enough, my team members go to any length to reciprocate that. From Nigeria, Togo and Poland where they’re, these team members heartily work so hard to support our work in so many incredible ways. Believe me; these are the reasons I’m able to wear those many caps successfully.
What We Can Do Better As a Society To Educate The Youths On The Importance Of Learning Income Generating Skills, Especially Those Currently At Home Due To The ASUU Strike
Families should start reorienting their youths that the main essence of schooling is not job security but knowledge acquisition. Therefore, almost the amount of resources expanded in making these young people persevere in Nigeria’s hectic educational system, should equally be expanded right now in making them to persevere in first, discovering themselves and then, acquisition of skills that align with what they’ve discovered about themselves.
We as a society should also give due attention to these youths’ behaviours and character building not just on money generating skills, because character is the only currency that can sustain them where skills are going to take them to.
One Thing I Wish To Change In The Advocacy and Development Sector
It’s the way our society recognizes and rewards riches over resourcefulness. I will reoriente young people to build themselves into persons of value and then begin to offer value in exchange for money.
Looking at the way a lot of young people entangle themselves in “Yahoo quick money” and other internet frauds and how their lives and future are cut short in these menaces, you’ll agree with me that this particular awareness is timely. Until young people accept the “no value, no money” philosophy, they’ll keep mortgaging their future for today’s vanity.
Similarly, I’ll raise advocacy against “result over diligence.” I’ll advocate that from the family, we need to start recognizing and rewarding children for the amount of efforts they put in while trying to achieve any kind of success and not just for achieving the said success.
Being a Woman Of Rubies
Women of Rubies are a women of substance, women of value. They’re exceptional women inspiring hope and transformation in the world. Interestingly, I drip both value and substance. By rescuing some children who were in the verge of committing suicide, reconciling those who were trying to run away from home, rehabilitating some who already caught up in addictions and more, I’ve inspired hope and transformation in African children as well as their families. So, I’m a woman of Rubies.
As nurturers by nature, women of Rubies profitably nurture their God-given potentials and in so doing, make the world a better place. This is exactly what I do in TIM with Rachael Academy. I nurture the potentials of African children, transforming them into sane, sound and innovative problem solvers.
Like Esther Ijewere and other women of Rubies do, I spread kindness everywhere I go and I hope to do more. As a woman of Rubies, I’m here to do the unthinkable and to change narratives in my generation and for the generations to come.
To A Young Person Who Is On The Verge Of Giving up
Well, I don’t know if any young person can be at the verge of giving up as much as I’ve been. For instance, I’ve considered suicide at some point in my life, because of too many frustrations I’ve faced. One reason I never did was, I remembered that committing suicide is committing murder and I already know that no murderer can make it to God’s kingdom. One time like that, I seriously considered giving up all these big dreams and quietly settle for a life of ordinariness, like many of my mates.
But then, I thought of what would happen to millions of young people who’re coming behind, who would have drawn hope and reassurance from the story of how I pulled through myself.
So, what I began doing was take my eyes off the frustrations while I keep thinking, writing and talking about the kind of future I desire to have. And, this has been super hope sustaining for me. Therefore, I would tell such a young person to close their eyes to other forces of limitation all around them and create the very future they want to have, in their minds. Then, fix their gaze on that future they’ve created for themselves. Like the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 that seeing the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross, they should allow themselves to be obsessed by what the future holds for them and then persevere.
Ever remember that failure is a meritorious feedback obtainable only by those who dare to make attempts. Interestingly, just a single open door can erase all the many failures of the past. Next time life wants you to give up, realize that you really should pull out your last drop of strength and push up.