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Oluyemisi A. Adedokun-Oladejo is a classroom and virtual teacher of English Language and Literature-in-English. She is also a writer with five book titles, including a comprehensive grammar textbook, to her name. She was the winner of the 2020 African Writers’ Award for Creative Nonfiction, a co-winner of the 2021 Ogun State Academic Laurel and the first African to win the TOEFL English Practitioner’s Prize (2022). A Master’s Degree holder in English who also has ambassadorial affiliations with some education initiatives, Oluyemisi not only enjoys teaching, but is also committed to helping other teachers discover and leverage the opportunities available for educators to make impact beyond the classroom, attain global relevance and have financial freedom. She shares her inspiring story with ESTHER IJEWERE in this interview.

Childhood Influence
My dad and mum were teachers, but my dad resigned shortly after I was born. Teachers’ salary was so poor at the time and teachers occupied the lowest rung on the social ladder. My mum would often tell the tale of her landlady who boasted that as a petty trader, she made in a day what my mum earned in a month.

But I have loved teaching for as long as I can remember. I recall that each time I called myself a teacher, my dad would always register his disapproval of my defective career ambition with a trilateral snap of his fingers. ‘No child of mine will become a teacher,’ he would say. But I continued to deface the walls of our house that I used as the chalkboard each time I gathered other children, teaching them what I knew.

I was enthralled by the possibility of helping others become better by sharing what I knew with them; I was below age 10 at the time. My passion for teaching didn’t wane even as I continued to grow.

Why I Pitched My Tent In The Educational Sector
You know that saying credited to Achebe that when a man says ‘yes’, his Chi says ‘yes’. I am convinced that I am destined to teach, for how else can I explain getting into the university to study education without taking UTME, without making the admission list? How else can I explain getting a permanent teaching appointment with the government the next day after I completed my NYSC, without pressing any button?

After taking my SSCE in 2002, I enrolled for the Grade II Teachers’ Training Programme at the National Teachers Institute (DLS). I was completing the programme when my cousin came to our house one day and told me she was going to TASCE. I never knew there was a school with such a name. She told me of the B.Ed programme of then Tai Solarin College of Education (Now Tai Solarin University of Education), in affiliation with UI. I told her I would go too. We didn’t need to take UTME; we only filled out and submitted our application forms.

When the admission list was out, my cousin found her name, but I didn’t find mine. I went on and paid my acceptance fee regardless. Four years later, I graduated with a B.Ed in English. I was about to complete my NYSC in Kwara State when the Otunba Gbenga Daniel-led administration commenced teachers’ recruitment in 2009. My mum obtained and filled out the application form on my behalf; I made the list. I completed my service on November 19, 2009, and picked up my appointment letter at Ogun TESCOM on November 20, 2009.

Why I published Five Books
Writing is another pastime I have had since I was a child. As a young girl in secondary school, I wrote plays. I wrote some more when I was an undergraduate, except that those were mostly fiction and poems. When I got married in 2010, my husband encouraged me to publish one of my manuscripts. I didn’t feel ready at the time and I was quite naive about book publishing, but he gave me the necessary support and that birthed my debut novel, Omidan, with an eponymous title.

In the process of publishing, we made some mistakes, but we picked the lessons and moved on. I have published fiction and poems thereafter. At one point, I even wrote a children’s storybook at the request of a publisher.

Initially, it didn’t occur to me that I could write nonfiction, not to talk of a textbook, as my muses lingered between fiction and poetry for a long time. But teaching English in public secondary schools to children from low-income backgrounds gave me first-hand experience of inaccessibility of quality grammar textbooks to teachers and learners. Then, I decided to give it a shot.

I wanted a one-stop source for my grammar lessons. So, I set out to write Premium English Grammar, a 531-paged grammar guide. Today, it is available on Amazon and Selar, but more importantly, other teachers and learners of English whose classrooms are similar to mine are using it. That delights me immensely.

The Journey Since I Started Teaching Virtually
I started teaching English on Facebook in 2019. Every day, from Monday to Friday, I would post content around English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. I found that people were learning and gaining value from my posts, so, I kept at it. Some people would drop comments of gratitude; others would reach out via DM to appreciate me. But, overall, teaching English on Facebook opened me up to a lot of opportunities.

My name easily dropped in people’s minds whenever they had gigs or projects that required my expertise. Then, I became a certified IELTS expert. These days, I teach mostly on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is where I get premium clients and high-ticket freelancing gigs resulting from the English lessons and IELTS lessons I consistently share.

Being Recipient Of The 2020 African Writers’ Award For Creative Nonfiction, A Co-Winner Of The 2021 Ogun State Academic Laurel And The First African To Win The TOEFL English Practitioner’s Prize (2022)

My win of the 2020 African Writers’ Prize came as a shock; I didn’t write that piece with a writing contest in mind. It was simply an outburst of emotion about my journey with sickle cell disorder. I learnt about the AWA prize quite late, so I simply tied up that piece and submitted. But winning that prize made me believe more in my ability and I confidently entered other competitions, the result of which has been my win of the Ogun State Academic Laurel and the TOEFL English Practitioners’ Prize.

For someone like I, who endured a lot of stigmatisation as a child, it feels so good to be celebrated. When I declared my win of the TOEFL Prize early this year, many news outlets featured my story and I was indeed overwhelmed by the outpour of love from everyone. I am indeed grateful.

Challenges Of My Work
It’s my 13th year in the classroom teaching children from low income backgrounds across public secondary schools and I can say that teachers in private secondary schools have it easier. Overcrowded classrooms, an unconducive learning environment, inaccessibility of resources and foundational deficiencies in learners are some of the issues we encounter every day. Amidst all of these, we have to ensure productivity and effectiveness. Somehow, I give my best by constantly thinking outside the box and improvising.

Other Projects And Activities
I am currently facilitating a Computer Assisted Language Learning programme in the low-income community secondary school where I teach. I am an IELTS expert and I am a Nigerian representative of University Hub, an organisation that helps international students secure admission into universities in the US, UK and Canada. I am a Sign Language interpreter and a scriptwriter.

What I Enjoy Most About My Job
I am excited about the opportunity to polish raw talents till they glister. Teaching has afforded me the opportunity of grooming children who have become change agents in the world. I have produced students who have participated in global contests and won medals.

Teaching has made it possible for me to be a part of their success stories. I enjoy helping my students discover their potential and nurture the potential to manifest.

Three Women Who Inspire Me And Why
My mum is a retired primary school head teacher, but she is my number 1 inspiration. She is a woman who had every reason to give up but never did. Raising a child with sickle cell is a daunting task; my mum raised two.

I am also inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. I was in 400 level in the university when I first read Purple Hibiscus. I have read other books and essays of hers and she inspires my writing style a lot. I love her daring nature and the boldness with which she approaches issues that people hardly talk about.

Then, I love Professor Ngozi Okonjo Iweala for breaking boundaries, showing us there is no height the female child cannot attain.

Nigerians And Appreciation For Teachers
No, teachers are not appreciated enough. That’s evident in the poor remuneration and the working conditions. An average teacher sees himself as an intern. Teaching is a job while they await a job. He is ashamed of telling his friends that he is a teacher.

What We Can Do Better As A Society To Support Teachers
Overhaul the education sector. Really, our education sector needs a complete overhauling. Review teachers’ salary to commensurate with the task; renovate our dilapidated school buildings, decongest our classrooms. Integrate ICT in our curriculum not only in principle, but also in practice.

One Thing I Wish To Change In The Educational Sector
Elevate the social status of the teacher. Give him/her generous monetary reward for his service. Make him proud of his job. He will do more if he is proud of what he is doing.

Being A Woman Of Rubies
I am a woman of rubies, because I am making an impact in the education sector. I have helped many students discover and harnessed their talents. Presently, the 80 students participating in my project, CALL, have exclusive licences to English Learning Centre (ELC) afforded by Education Testing Service in the U.S. because of me. They have access to resources in the American classroom.

These are students from very poor backgrounds who had never come close to a computer previously. I often run into former students of mine who are now school owners and teachers or teachers in training. They would tell me how much I inspired them and made the teaching profession so endearing.

 

Dr. Adetoun Is an indispensable brand Resource using her multi-potentiality and excellent tools to build and strengthen individual and corporate brands. She is a multi-preneur, the MD of Prontotherapy, an offline/online based service provider where “on the spot” therapy is being rendered to individuals/corporate organizations via talk therapy sessions and suicide rates are minimized/completely erased. Advocacy for mental health. Prontotherapy deals with “The mind’’, ‘’Self-awareness”, “personal development and relationships.

She is also the founder of ‘‘EYINJU FOUNDATION’’, an NGO borne out of passion for mentoring/motivating/sensitizing younger ones who are being referred to as the ‘‘leaders of tomorrow’’ on the importance of being relevant/thriving in the society and generation as well as running a ‘FEED THE DESTITUTE’ bi-monthly program via the foundation. She also runs a successful travels and tourism business called TUSH TRAVELS AND TOURS.

The YALI network and American Psychology Association member has certifications in different courses. She shares her inspiring story with Esther Ijewere in this interview.

Childhood Influence

Not really. I am privileged to be the second of four children and we practically went through a lot from silver spoon to abject poverty before picking up back to average. Growing up for me was just there. I hawked a lot. It was from one problem to the other, one church to the other. Though prayer works! I was literally the “GOAT” in the house and was always in the black book for doing things….lol..aka certified trouble maker. But my troubles were for good.

Inspiration behind Prontotherapy and Eyinju Foundation?

Prontotherapy is a mental health firm with specialization on “THE MIND”, “SELF AWARENESS/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT & “RELATIONSHIPS” and what inspired it was me wanting to help people in the little way I can stay sane regardless. A lot is happening in different homes, people are daily falling into abject poverty, depression, people are tired and contemplating suicide so I decided to contribute my own quota and leave the rest for God. With self awareness comes Self Discovery and when one discovers himself/herself, you would be able to leverage on your strengths whilst you work on your weaknesses. You will be able to put your gifts and abilities to good use instead of doing nothing and whining when you have a gold mine on the inside of you wasting away. God has deposited everything we need to be great in life on the inside of us, we just have to do our part by finding it and making good use of it to his glory. At Eyinju foundation, we sensitize young adults between the ages of 7-19years on Puberty, Talent discovery, Opposite Attraction, Self Love, Abuse of all kinds, Rape Prevention, Thriving in a negative environment, Emotional Intelligence. A lot of parents focus on book -book and book but refuse to understand that every child needs to have IQ ,EQ and SQ {Intelligent Quotient, Emotional Quotient and Social Quotient}. If it’s not at par or balanced then there is already a problem somewhere which will definitely affect the society sooner or later. Also the “FEED THE DESTITUTE” is just a bonus initiative we inculcated into THE EYINJU FOUNDATION.

Being a member of several organisations across the globe

I am really all about service to humanity, I started volunteering when I was 17 so serving humanity naturally became a part of me. It gives me a sense of Self Worth and it’s been an amazing ride all along even with challenges I encounter. I realize that we all can actually make a difference from any sphere of influence if only there’s a will. I don’t have to be the President of a club or organization before I can make a difference if truly I want to make a difference. I can always be a part of a sect that’s willing and then we get things done. It has impacted my life positively because I am someone who manages relationships well, I am very blunt to a fault. I know when to stop, and when to keep going. I have been able to define my “WHAT”, “WHY”, “WHEN”, “HOW” & “WITH WHOM” so I seldom have clashes with people or organizations.

The Journey so far

It’s not been easy, which is expected but it’s been enlightening and rewarding. When I do things for people who cannot reward me and THANK YOU is all they have, I feel like I have birthed a life…lol. God takes all the glory still because I am a sucker for Christ and I talk to him about everything and anything and he’s been the one helping me so far.

Ripple effect of training over 300,000 youths

Training that number of people in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya is a privilege for me and I do not take it for granted. The feedback has been amazing and satisfying as it made me know that my team and I have not been working in futility. We have had people tap into their inner self to say “I am doing this because I can” and stick to it. With Eyinju, my inner caucus which consists of some destiny & purpose supporting friends, have been able to gather funds to sponsor about 36 SMEs, paid for WAEC for 63 Students and COMMON ENTRANCE EXAM of 12 Students. We have also been able to single-handedly pay for 18 people who need training on Sewing, Catering, Make-up respectively.

Challenges

Just like every other work in life, there will always be challenges. Instead of panicking, I simply take it to GOD in prayer and like the awesome GOD that he is, he always makes a way. MONEY is good and it’s a defense. When I newly started EYINJU FOUNDATION in 2017, I would practically take my salary from TUSH TRAVELS AND TOURS and use it to run projects in terms of Logistics, Accommodation, Feeding, Training Materials. I remember sometimes in 2019 when we needed money to pay for some projects we partnered with some organizations on, it was like two weeks to deadline and I began to panic so much that when I remember what’s to come, I have heart palpitations because they actually didn’t beg me to commit, I was the one who was moved by the spirit to. I kept praying and talking to people to solicit for funds. Everyone I spoke to promised to get back but help wasn’t forthcoming so I gave up when it was 48hrs to the deadline and as I was composing an email to send to them, I was shedding tears because at that moment, I felt like a failure…lol. I found myself in the situation of self loathing and went to bed only to wake up to something huge from a friend in the states and my joy could not be quantified, I was hyper all day and people noticed. lol

Another challenge I encounter in this line of work is rejection. Some people decline the help you want to render thinking we are diabolical and we will collect their destiny {the African belief syndrome} once they receive help from us. There was a time my team and I bought food and decided to share it with the community, some people rejected it and said they are not hungry…yinmu….you are not hungry in this slum? Issokay…lol. Some even think we are politicians when we go out for outreaches and we will have to explain ourselves over and over and over again till they understand we are for the people. Sometimes too we encounter language barriers but all in all, GOD has been faithful and we are grateful we are useful vessels.

Other projects and activities

We are still sticking with our: A. WAEC & COMMON ENTRANCE FEES PAYMENT for 20. B. FEED THE DESTITUTE {Bi-monthly}

A new project we recently took on is “PAD UP A GIRL” and the reason why I want to do this is because I realize that in 2022, some students still don’t have money for PAD and make use of tissue or cloth during menstruation which is so dangerous to their health. Some don’t even have an idea of what menstrual hygiene means….SAD!

I believe GOD will show up as usual because it is capital intensive and a few people I spoke to are already interested.

Why I love my job

I enjoy everything about everything I do from planning to execution because when I am on my own reminiscing about everything, I laugh and cry at the same time and I am just grateful that this small girl is doing good things for people.

3 women who inspire me and why

A lot of women inspire me to be honest but the striking ones are:

{i} DR KEMI DASILVA -IBRU -The founder of WOMEN AT RISK INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION. I was very much aware when WARIF started in 2016 and I instantly fell in love with all what they stand for. I have an history of rape hence the reason I could relate with what they do and how they do it and the impact it would make and is making in the society. I was happy that a woman could dedicate her life and service to other people in order to save them and that made me fall in love with her though I haven’t been privilege to meet her on on one but I have been to their facility in Yaba thrice and I have referred countless people to them for help.

{ii} RACQUEL KASHAM DANIEL: Racquel is an amazing personality is all I can say and what she’s doing for people and community is simply commendable. I met her on the day of her engagement and we have kept in touch since then.

{iii} EJIRO OSAKEDE : She was one of the people who trained me on Public speaking in Dec 2014 at Pro-Emcee Academy and I have followed her bumper to bumper…lol. Even when she did an outreach in Ghana and hosted us, she was so supportive, always pushing the narrative “YOU HAVE A VOICE, USE IT” . She is an advocate for hope, she spreads the message like butter on a bread..lol

Volunteering for several organisations and my  passion for community service

I have been volunteering since I was 17yrs so it has become part of me. When I have free time, I make use of it to serve other people. Life is all about give and take. What you give, the universe multiplies it and brings it back to you in multiple folds so people need to be careful and watch what they give. Community service is what people need to commit to because if we don’t take care of what and who is around us, it will still come back to haunt us in ways we won’t envisage.

What can the Government  do to support stakeholders in the GBV sector

If the government wants to be fully involved in this GBV of a thing , they should:

{A} Provide more Shelters and Care Centres for Survivors

{B} Increase the capacity of Police to deal with crimes of Gender Based Violence

{C} Challenge the normalization of violence against women and children

{D} Challenge gender stereotype and roles

{E} Challenge sexist jokes and remarks about women

{F} Support training and employment program for women

 

What we can  do better as a society to educate women on the importance of leaving abusive marriages

A lot of women need a Mindset Paradigm. Many were raised for husband house, meaning they were raised for men and to please men so instead of acknowledging the fact that they are a person who needs to discover her womanhood and strengths and blossom as an entity, they would rather have a man be their Alpha and Omega forgetting it takes two to tangle and each person’s duty in the home can never be substituted. So when they experience DV, they find it hard to leave their abusers because most of them see their abusers as their benefactor, some also don’t leave due to “FEAR OF MISSING OUT”, “FEAR OF OPPOSITION” & “STIGMATIZATION”. When they go through Self Awareness and Personal Development training which is one of my expertise, they become more informed and can make their decision from there.

One thing you could change in the advocacy and development sector

Develop a grassroot strategy with focus on building relationships

Being a Woman of Rubies

I am a Woman of Rubies because all the times the gemstone occurred in the bible, it was associated with attributes of Wisdom and Beauty which I am damn sure I have…looooooooool. I can also boldly call myself a woman of rubies because I have a unique and specific purpose for which I was created which keeps unfolding in bits as I keep growing. It’s so amazing having to be a convener of hope and tranquility to people and I do not take that privilege for granted at all. Ruby is known to increase creativity, spirituality, confidence and wisdom and all these are what I stand for gidigba..lol

 

  Sarah Adeola Odunsi is a Psychologist, a Professional Chef and an entrepreneur, who holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from The Prestigious University of Ibadan, Oyo State.  She got certified as a Chef and Culinary Instructor from The Culinary Place, Lagos.

Adeola, popularly called Chef D is the Head Chef of OnePot Catering Services, located in Ikeja, Lagos, her food business excellently handles both indoor and outdoor catering services, with over four years top-notch experience in the food business, she has mastered the art of using the best recipes to create signature meals, talk about creativity at its peak.

She has well-crafted food menus comprising of both local and continental dishes geared towards not just satisfying cravings but also meeting the nutritional needs of both young and old.
Her skillset has given her the opportunity to work with some top chefs in the Food Industry, and they include Chef Giggles, Chef Navhi, Chef Fregz, amongst others. She was featured on Wake-Up Nigeria (an early morning show) on TVC a couple of times.

Chef D is a great teacher, she has trained over 600 individuals trying to start up food businesses through her classes which holds both online and offline.

Her exemplary culinary skills and uniqueness in the food business earned her a nomination at the 2020 “25 Under 25” Award in the Foods and Drinks Category.

Adeola, strongly believes in charity and as such a bit of her proceeds is extended to charitable causes at different times. She is a proud member of Ace5, an organization that cares for the need of the less privileged in Oyo and Lagos State and she was a two-time Finance Team Lead with the organization.
When she is not in the kitchen cooking, Adeola enjoys shopping for new recipes and new kitchen utensils.
She shares her Ruby Girl Story with the team.
1. Tell us about your childhood, Sarah. What was growing up like for you?
Growing up was fun and exciting. I grew up in a big family with cousins, uncles and aunts around me. And my Grandma to pamper me.
2. Describe what a good delicacy means to you.
A good delicacy to me is appealing from just looking at it, flavorful and palate pleasing when eaten.
3. What fueled your interest in catering and when did you decide to pursue a career in it?
I  always wanted people to eat good and nourishing food.  I’ve always been that child you will find in the kitchen, even when l didn’t understand what people were cooking, l would just stay, watch and try to learn.
I grew up with that energy to always desire more knowledge about food and cooking. I wanted to go to a culinary school right after secondary school but my mum was like hell no. My parents said “you go to the university first and then we talk about culinary school afterwards.” In 2019, l officially started my culinary journey.
4. An ingredient you can’t do without?
Salt
5. What are the challenges young food entrepreneurs face and is there any specific one you encountered?
The food industry is big and it keeps growing, l think the biggest challenge is finding your niche in the food industry and growing your client base.
6. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

Rukayat Momoh (chef Giggles) – She’s my mentor, was my tutor in culinary school. She currently runs the fastest growing culinary school in Nigeria and keeps breaking barriers.

Ife Durosimi-Etti – She’s the founder of Herconomy, passionate about women and youth. She connects women to each other while bringing jobs, grants and fellowship opportunities our way.

Ife Agoro- She’s the brain behind ‘Diary of a Naija Girl’, what drew me to her was her story-telling skills which were always motivating.  Her page to me is a place where women can be heard, seen, understood and valued.

7. Which services does One Pot Catering Services offer?
Our services range from event catering, breakfast catering, food bowls, lunch packs, food boxes, food trays and trainings.

8. You were recently nominated at the 2020 “25 under 25.” How did that feel?
It was surreal. Even though l didn’t win, the feeling of being nominated was amazing. It made me feel and know that l was doing something right.

9. When did you decide to become a chef?

I decided I was going to be a Chef after I finished my secondary education but l couldn’t attend a culinary academy until the completion of my undergraduate studies.

10. What is your signature dish?
  I won’t say l have a signature dish just yet but l alter some dishes by introducing African flavors.

11. What is your favourite rice dish and least favourite to prepare?

My favorite rice dish to prepare has to be Oriental rice (Asian cuisine). I really don’t have a least favorite at the moment. At a time (years ago) it used to be Jollof rice but after many practice and trainings l got a hang of it.

12. How do you describe your overall cooking philosophy?

Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors—it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.”
-Wolfgang Puck

13. Name the three kitchen tools you can’t do without?

A gas burner, pan and knife.

14. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

In 5years, l hope to have expanded my business beyond what it is at the moment, in terms of the services we offer and also reaching new clients.

I hope to be people’s number 1 choice when it comes to delivering not just delicious but also nutritional meals.

15. If you are given the opportunity to address a group of young girls setting out to make a career in culinary arts, what will be your advice to them?

Hurdles and challenges will definitely come but you have to stay focused because you will overcome in no time. Most especially do not fear failure and mistakes because you will fail a lot of times. Failing only means you are getting closer to success because failure is part of success. So when you fail, pull yourself together and try again.

Mariam Adeyemi and Omotoyosi’s   passion and commitment to unlock potential is admirable. With their technology-training platform; TechaVilly, they are breaking stereotypes.

Both Co-founders of TechaVilly, a technology training platform aimed at empowering the black community through skills and knowledge transfer. Mariam founded the company alongside her college friend, Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo who is also a tech enthusiast and currently works at Amazon USA.

Since 2020, Techavilly has trained over10,000 black people from 2020 till date, helping them to fit into today’s dynamic job market. They rolled out the company’s very first training in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. According to Mariam they chose that period to give back by sharing knowledge for free and giving people hope for a better life.

In 2021, , TechaVilly provided scholarships for girls to cover their exam fee, transcripts, visa, Sevis fee and flight ticket to the United States for their masters and PhD respectively.

Omotoyosi had this to say about the feat; “Our scholars are currently in the University of Colorado, Oklahoma and Jefferson university – all studying tech related degrees. Techavilly helped these scholars to achieve their study abroad dreams. We believe there are thousands of people who want to take this bold step to improve their lives and get an international degree but don’t know how or where to get started. We guide people in this category through the process, helping them with the information they need and holding them by the hand through the process to ensure a smooth sail all through.”

Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo – Co-founder, Techavilly

Speaking further on their journey so far, Mariam said ; “It’s been amazing. I never thought people are this hungry for knowledge and are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to acquire new tech skills and knowledge. It’s been rewarding I must say. One thing that makes technology evergreen is INNOVATION. Nigeria needs to embrace technology and its benefits to the generations unborn. We would do our  part to change people’s orientation about tech. Yes, it has its bad side, but there is always a good side to every story.

Mariam Adeyemi, Co-founder, Techavilly

Mariam, who has worked with reputable companies, moved to the United States of America in 2017 to improve her skills, and remain relevant in the job market. She got her master’s degree in Business Analytics from Texas A&M University and was privileged to work with organisations such as Samsung Electronics America and other mid-sized companies in the United States. Mariam is the first female EdTech (Educational Technology) founder to launch an educational communication app in Africa. She is committed to bridging parent-teacher communication while developing and transforming the child in the process.

According to her, the goal is to expand across African schools and integrate technology into the school curriculum. Discorz App, which is gradually expanding, and penetration is improving, is currently available for download on Google Play and App Store.

Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo is a Finance and Data Expert, DeFi enthusiast, passionate about emerging technologies in consumer finance. She currently works at Amazon – Physical Stores Tech and she is the co-founder of TechAvilly, where she leads some projects.  Omotoyosi is a mentor to tens of young women, helping them get into tech and scale their career effectively. She is the Co-Founder of Local.y a blockchain payments platform redefining the future of DeFi and how SMB’s in sub-sahara access funds.

 

Contact:

Phone | +1(713) 779-9853

Email | info@techavilly.com

Instagram | @techavilly.20

Twitter | @Techavilly

Facebook | Techavilly

Corporate Office

1608 Rolling Brook Dr, Allen, Texas 75002

Website | techavilly.com

 

 
To engineer a better society we need people of different genders, races and backgrounds solving our problems. Mariam Adeyemi’s  passion and commitment to unlock potential is admirable. With her technology training platform; TechaVilly, she is breaking stereotypes of who a role model should be. Mariam  is a passionate tech enthusiast  committed to unlocking potentials, transferring knowledge  and transforming lives through digitalization and tech training. She is the founder of TechaVilly, a technology training platform aimed at empowering the black community through skills and knowledge transfer. She founded the company alongside her college friend, Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo who is also a tech enthusiast and currently works at Amazon USA. 

Techavilly was founded in 2020 and has trained over 10,000 black people from 2020 till date, helping them to fit into today’s dynamic job market.

She rolled out the company’s very first training in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. She chose that period to give back by sharing knowledge for free and giving people hope for a better life.Thousands of people were trained during the lockdown and some of them got good jobs after the training.

Mariam has worked in reputable companies . She moved to the United States of America in 2017 to improve her skills to remain relevant in the job market. She got her master’s degree in Business Analytics from Texas A&M University in Texas and was privileged to work in companies like Samsung Electronics America and other mid-sized companies in the United States. 

​She is the first female EdTech (Educational Technology) founder to launch an educational communication app in Africa. She is committed to bridging parent-teacher communication while developing and transforming the child in the process. ​ According to Mariam; ​The goal is to expand across African schools and integrate technology into the school curriculum. Discorz App is gradually expanding, and penetration is improving. It is currently available for download on Google Play and App Store. 

​She shares her inspiring story ​ in this interview with ESTHER IJEWERE

​Childhood Influence

Thank you for this question. This is a story a lot of people have been waiting to hear. My growing up was fun even though I came from a polygamous family. It was a large family because of the extended family members around us back then. And you know what? The competition was obvious. I was one of the most stubborn amongst all the children, but there is one thing everyone knows about me. It’s “bravery”. I wasn’t afraid of taking risks and I am still not. The truth is that I burn my fingers sometimes, but that has never stopped me from trying again. 

As a matter of fact, my childhood story is a whole book. Trust me. But I will crunch it as much as I can. I grew up wanting to be heard even amongst my siblings. I wasn’t the most brilliant though, but I was the most daring and my late mom loved me just like that. 

I attended a boarding school for my secondary school education in Ijebu Ode, Adeola Odutola College to be precise. I was super smart, and I ended up as the Assistant Head Girl for my set. I wasn’t made the Head Girl because I didn’t do sciences and I wasn’t as vocal as expected even though I was a top performer academically. Remember I said I don’t give up. With my Commercial & Arts background, I represented the school for literature and debating competitions and I won several awards for the school even more than other categories of competition the school went for at that time. 

I had my bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at the University of Jos, and graduated with honors. I contested for Student Union positions, but never won. Like I said, I love taking risks and I enjoy learning in the process. 

So, to answer your question, my childhood never imagined what I have become today. Not at all. My childhood wasn’t so fair to me. It projected that I will be a failure and disappointment to my family because I was too brave and outgoing, always willing to explore but God is bigger than my childhood. Here I am today. Smiles. 

​Inspiration behind Techavilly

The skill gap I see amongst the black community is what inspired me to start the company. I started the company with my college friend, Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo who is a tech enthusiast like me. 

You see, the tech industry is so big and trust me, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I believe that Nigerians are intelligent/smart and can have a share of voice in the tech industry if they have the right skills and opportunity. My goal is to help people get the skills required to secure a a six-figure job after training with TechaVilly. I came to America with the belief that I know a lot but realized there is still so much to learn if I must compete globally. So I put in the work and decided to transfer the knowledge to as many people as possible.

The Journey So Far

I will say that it’s been amazing. I never thought people are this hungry for knowledge and are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to acquire new tech skills and knowledge. It’s been rewarding I must say. 

​Why I Pitched My Tent In The  Tech sector

The opportunity in tech is unlimited. I schooled in the US and luckily I had my masters degree in a tech related program. That opened my eyes to what’s happening in the industry and how innovation is changing the world today. I decided to take my share of the national cake. But on a serious note, tech is the future and we must key into this and bring the information, experience and innovation back home. 

​Leaving My Work With ​ ​M​ultinational ​B​rands ​And  ​M​oving ​T​o ​T​he US

That was the most difficult decision I’ve made in my entire life. You know what it means to leave certainty for uncertainty. It was tough but I am glad I made the decision at the time I did. I was doing well in Nigeria as opposed to the belief that people who move abroad were suffering in Nigeria. That’s not true at all. I was living in Lekki, living in my own house and driving a car of my choice. But I wanted more, because I believe I was getting to the peak of my career in Nigeria. I didn’t want to be redundant because age wasn’t on my side either. I knew that the only thing that could make me relevant in my career is learning a new skill and repositioning myself. Then I found Tech. (Smiles) 

The second reason is to give my children a better life and education. I mean, I passed through the American educational system and I can say that the gap is wide compared to what we have back home. My children don’t understand the sacrifice we made for them now but they will thank me and my husband later. We technically sacrificed our career in Nigeria for their future but glory to God, it has paid off. 

​Being the ​ first female Edtech founder to launch an educational communication app in Africa, ​and It’s Impact​

When I moved to America, my little boy struggled to fit into the American Educational system. We moved here when he was seven. He wasn’t happy that he was struggling either. Then the school introduced an app that helped me collaborate and communicate with his teacher to help him overcome the challenges he was having. And boom, it worked like magic. And that’s where the idea came. If something as little as an app can change my son’s story, then it’s worth replicating in Africa. I know that most parents in Nigeria are going through similar situations, it’s also frustrating for teachers to have their pupils lagging behind. It puts a lot of pressure on them. That birthed the Discorz App, to bridge the communication gap between the parents and the school. 

To be honest, TechaVilly and Discorz App have put me out there especially amongst few people that matter here in America. My connection chain changed, and I have more people of like minds in my network. This wasn’t the case before I became a founder. 

​O​ther projects and activities

We have a couple of projects in the pipeline, like TechaVilly non-profit organization for underprivileged Nigerians and a digital Naija in diaspora talk show. Keep your fingers crossed. The goal is to unite Nigerians abroad with the project. 

 What ​I​ enjoy most about your job

I love the collaboration part. The compensation and the entirety of how it makes me feel. 

​The Tech Industry and It’s Support for Women In Tech

Not at the moment. We need more women in tech, this is one of the reasons we are transferring the skills to give more women a share of voice in the room. 

​One Thing I wish To Change In the Tech Sector​

One thing that makes technology evergreen is INNOVATION. Nigeria needs to embrace technology and its benefits to the generations unborn. I will do my part to change people’s orientation about tech. Yes, it has its bad side but there is always a good side to every story. 

​Being  a Woman of Rubies

​My resilience, tenacity, grit, and bravery​ makes me a Woman of Rubies​ and more.

​To the young woman who wants to pitch her tent in the tech industry

I’ll tell her to keep learning and never stop improving. Knowledge is what makes the next person better than you. When you have the right information, you will stand before anyone and speak with confidence. Whatever field you want to major in tech, research the skills, get the knowledge and certifications required to pivot into that field. Trust me, it opens unimaginable doors! 

Iretioluwa is a Cybersecurity career coach and mentor who has a reach of over 40,000 people across her social media platforms (twitter and Linkedin). She is an advisory board member of Cybersafe Foundation. She is the founder of Cybarik limited, United Kingdom. She also founded a Cybersecurity community named Cyblack for African Cybersecurity students in United Kingdom and Ireland. She uses her social media handles to support Cybersecurity beginners and enthusiasts. In the space of one year, she has provided three batches of cybersecurity virtual internships for beginners in the field. Iretioluwa is a cybersecurity specialist who is passionate about bringing topical issues in Cybersecurity to the fore-front. She co-hosts a monthly twitter space where she uses her influence to provide opportunities to people interested in the Cybersecurity field. She won the Young CISO of the year award and End user advocacy for situational awareness in March 2022.

Childhood Influence

As a child, I never imagined myself in tech. I always wanted to be a medical doctor. I used to admire everything about being a doctor. Everything changed when I started senior secondary school. My biology was really poor and I knew I would not be able to cope in the medical field. It ended my doctor career before I even started. When it was time to go to the university, I chose computer engineering but I was given Management Information System. My cybersecurity journey started four years after I graduated from the University.

Inspiration Behind  Cybarik limited, and Cyblack

The inspiration behind both organisations is my passion to see people succeed in the Cybersecurity field. Myself and my team are using both Cybarik and Cyblack to empower cybersecurity beginners and enthusiasts. In years to come, this will not change because both organisations were founded to empower other people that are just starting their career.

Why I  Pitched My  Tent In The Cybersecurity Sector

To be honest, sometimes I feel that I am in this field by chance. I did not think it through at that time. I never knew I would do a Masters in information security. My friend was studying forensics in Nigeria and I wanted to study something similar to her course of study. This made me choose “Information Security and Computer Forensics”. I did not know that would be the turning point in my life. Sometimes, when I remember, we still talk about it. She influenced my decision at that time.

The Journey So Far

I think I started my organisation at a very good time. A lot of people are showing interest in this field. One of the things I am using my organisation for is to provide internship opportunities to beginners. We started a paid Cybersecurity training this year and the feedback has been great so far. I am brainstorming with my team to take the organisation to the next level. For me, it’s a gradual step and I am grateful that I have a good team.

Training People Across Social Media On Cybersecurity

One of the things I love doing is motivation and empowerment. I use my social media handle to encourage beginners, motivate them, provide support, refer them for opportunities. One of the things I learnt this year is that people are noticing my work and they appreciate it. A lot of people have benefitted from my social media posts. This is an encouragement for me to continue to bring Cybersecurity contents to the timeline.

Challenges I  Encounter In My Line Of  Work

I sleep late everyday. Lol. The earliest time I go to bed is 12am (for someone that likes to sleep). A lot of times, I am actually overwhelmed. I struggle to balance the time I spend working with other personal activities. Sometimes, people ask for my help but I am not able to give my best because I am overwhelmed or tired.

Other Projects and Activities

Within the context of Cybersecurity, I mentor and guide people starting their journey. I support with training, internship, volunteering, interview preparation and other things that can help beginners and enthusiasts. Outside of work, I love to spend time with family and friends.  I love word games a lot. I am a football fan (I support one of the best clubs in the world – Chelsea FC).

What I Enjoy Most About My Job

Connecting with great minds. My job and career has exposed me to meeting a lot of people. Some of them are no longer “colleagues/clients”, they are now my friends. Cybersecurity is a field that can help someone to build meaningful relationships.

 3 Women Who Inspire  Me And Why

Confidence Staveley – My leader. She is an influential woman in tech doing big things. She is the founder of Cybersafe Foundation. She has used that initiative to transform the lives of young women in Nigeria and Africa. Only a selfless and visionary person can do that.

Simbiat Sadiq – my boss and friend. She is a resilient woman who has grown in her Cybersecurity journey. I love her efficiency and dedication in making things work. I will be here to see her get all her flowers. She deserves it.

Dr Omotola Olowosule – She inspires me everyday. Her hardwork is second to none. She is very intelligent and kind. I love how she supports the people in her corner. Its admirable.

One common thing about the three women I mentioned is that I have not met anyone of them physically.

Being The Recipient Of  Young CISO Of The Year Award And End User Advocacy For Situational Awareness in March 2022, And It’s Impact

It gave me a better reach. People I did not expect connected with me. More Cybersecurity beginners trusted me to support them in their journey. The award also encouraged me to do more. It made me realise that people are watching. Every impact I make or have made in the past is seen. I was blown away by the support I got during the voting period. That alone was a lesson for me that “no matter what you do, people are watching”.

What We Can Do Better As A Society To Educate People , Especially The Youths on cybersecurity

We have to continue to preach Cybersecurity to everyone. There is a saying that goes “Information security is not complete without you”. I urge influential people and professionals in the Cybersecurity field to use their platform to educate others. There are several cybersecurity risks out there, and lack of awareness is a huge factor that causes people to fall for cybercrimes. One way to educate people is to use social media. A lot of youths understand how to use social media and technology. We can leverage on different social media platforms to reach them and make them aware of cyber threats.

 One Thing You I Wish To Change In The Cybersecurity Sector

Gatekeeping. Some people in the field think that their focus area is better than others. Some people think that they are more skilled than others. There are a lot of amazing talents in this field that are searching for work experience. They are unable to get it because some hiring managers are not willing to train someone without experience. In addition to all the points, Cybersecurity is very broad and everyone has a chance to shine. Gatekeeping needs to stop so that people can be bold enough to share their journey.

What  Government Should Do To Educate People On Cybersecurity

Continuous education. The government should invest in cybersecurity research and use that to educate its citizens.

Being  a Woman of Rubies

I am a passionate about what I do.  I just want to see other people grow and win in this field. I believe there is room for everyone to shine, and I wont stop offering my support in making this a reality for other people.

 

 

Amarachi Okoro, professionally known as Coach Amara is a very  passionate advocate on preventing, fighting and reversing lifestyle diseases through the use of nutrition and lifestyle modification.
An AFPA ( American Fitness Professionals and Associates) Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, she is the Managing Partner of Peri365 Ltd ( A nutrition and wellness company in Lagos) and also the founder of PeriKids Health Initiative .
She has attended several professional courses in and outside the country including Harvard medical school and consults for different establishments and individuals on matters concerning Nutrition, Health and Wellness.
Coach_Amara is also a recipient of the Coach Africa Foundation Coaching Skills Scholarship from the Prestigious Coach Africa Foundation ( Uganda).
She is happily married and lives with her husband and four children in Lagos. She shares her story.
Who are you?
A:My name is Amarachi Okoro professionally known as ‘Coach Amara’
Why did you author this book?
I authored this book to address the prevalence of nutrition related illnesses in children and to guide parents to raising healthy children.
Where can we get the book?
The book is being sold at Roving Heights bookshop Surulere, Med plus stores in Lagos or directly at 08025082007 and the ebook on Okada and bam books.
What process went into writing this book?
Putting down thoughts on paper, then arrangement into chapters, lots of research and editing.
Tell us more about the content of the book and where it was published?
The contents of the book progress. It starts with the infant stage of a child’s life,all the required nutrients at that stage and goes up to the teenage years.It comes in full colour with pictures that make it easy on the eye and engaging.It was published by Worital and they did a great job with the publishing.
Q: Are you a first time author? Otherwise,how did your other books fare?
This is my first time actually publishing a book. However,I have a self-published ebook on Amazon Kindle.
 What next now the book is written?
The next step is to ensure it gets into the hands of every parent, aspiring parent and caregiver . Everyone who has a hand in the feeding of children needs to have and read a copy of this book.
Tell us a strory of your upbringing. One that would wow us and connect with what you do now.
I got first introduced to nutrition by my mother in the kitchen,she was always particular about retaining nutrients in the food we ate and always encouraged us to eat fruits and vegetables often. I carried this into university and stayed away from sugary drinks and junk food while I was away at school. This practice led me to fall in love with healthy eating and teaching it to others too.
 Who’s your mentor or favourite author?
Currently it is Emeka Nobis.
What one national matter would you want to contribute on?
It would have to be on Health.Our health care system needs to be more proactive in its approach to dealing with public health challenges the nation is currently facing.More should be spent on prevention rather than cure.
Q: What trending topic would you want to jump in?
I am not a politician,but I would want to implore everyone to get their PVCs and vote in the upcoming elections.
Sell yourself
I am passionate about supporting individuals live healthier lives.I am that coach that will drive you to become a better version of yourself. I impact the people that I come across,you can’t meet me and remain the same.
Sell your book
My book is a masterpiece. A guide that is written in a story telling manner with relatable stories and tips to ensure the reader is carried along.
What makes you a Woman of Rubies?
Well, a ruby is hard to find and very valuable. Who ever finds one always wants to keep it .
A ruby also represents beauty and wisdom.
Looking at these attributes,I would comfortably say that I am a Woman of Rubies.

Mariam Adeyemi is a passionate tech enthusiast committed to unlocking potentials, transferring knowledge and transforming lives through digitalisation and tech training. She is the founder of TechaVilly, a technology training platform aimed at empowering the black community through skills and knowledge transfer. She founded the company alongside her college friend, Omotoyosi Ogunbanwo who is also a tech enthusiast and currently works at Amazon USA.

Techavilly was founded in 2020. Currently, it has trained over 10,000 black people from 2020 to date, helping them to fit into today’s dynamic job market.

Mariam  rolled out the company’s very first training in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. She chose that period to give back by sharing knowledge for free and giving people hope for a better life. Thousands of people were trained during the lockdown and some of them got good jobs after the training.

She has worked in reputable companies like Nestle and managed globally recognized brands like Nescafe and Indomie Noodles. She moved to the United States of America in 2017 to improve her skills to remain relevant in the job market.

Also, Adeyemi got her master’s degree in Business Analytics from Texas A&M University in Texas and was privileged to work in companies like Samsung Electronics America and other mid-sized companies in the United States.

Mariam is the first female EdTech (Educational Technology) founder to launch an educational communication app in Africa. She is committed to bridging parent-teacher communication while developing and transforming the child in the process.

The goal is to expand across African schools and integrate technology into the school curriculum. Discorz App is gradually expanding, and penetration is improving. It is currently available for download on Google Play and the App Store.

Olufunmilayo Adeleye -Oladejo has a special calling to give people hope. Empathy and generosity are the words that come to mind when you think of Olufunmilayo Adeleye Oladejo. She is an entrepreneur and a humanitarian. The power woman’s heart of generosity made her start Project Hope Nigeria, PHN , a non-profit  focused collaboration, envisioned to cater to the needs of Nigerians in these struggling times amidst unstable policies affecting the populace.

In the same vein, she co-founded Diaspora Relief with Ijeoma Onyekwere in response to the horrific situation with the Ukraine war. Diaspora Relief is a collection of members across the pan-African Diaspora who are deeply concerned about the difficulty experienced by Black people in their attempt to escape the war conditions currently unfolding in Ukraine. The non-profit  currently has operations in Ukraine (Uzhhorod only) Poland, Hungary, Netherlands, Germany, and Nigeria.

The amazon who wears many hats is also the CEO at Fum Bam Agro -investment company, a business venture with the aim of providing quality products in the agricultural sphere.  Funmi is also the Executive Director of CTCAfrica, a tech NGO providing free tech training and certification to secondary students in Nigeria. The NGO also empowers them and connects them to universities for scholarship opportunities, showcasing their talent to tech companies for recruitment and building a silicon valley in Nigeria.

She also doubles as a Senior project manager at Fibo Construction services. The accounting graduate from University of District of Columbia also has certifications in Computer information system, Project Management certification amongst others. Funmi also expresses her passion for humanity through Thechatroomng on Twitter, her online talkshow which runs every Saturday at 5pm. The show puts the spotlight on everything that has to do with having a healthy relationship. When Olufunmilayo is not working, she loves to spend time with her family, whom she describes as her entire world. She shares her story with ESTHER IJEWERE  this exclusive interview.

My Childhood played a vital role in who I am today. My paternal grandparents raised me and my grandfather of blessed memory instilled high values in me. From the moment I could walk, he was there with me at every step of the way. He was an academia, had 2 PhD degrees from Oxford University and UCLA, so you can imagine just how smart the man was.

He taught me everything from academics, to politics (he loved politics way too much and his honesty with it cost him so much and himself and Awolowo suffered bitter betrayal from their very own people) to leadership, and the most important, was leading me to Jesus. He gave his life to Christ after the whole political madness and he showed me how to have a relationship with God, taught me how to pray and how to understand God and this is the bedrock of it all.

God is everything to me and he continues to open mighty doors and I know my Grandpapa is super happy in heaven right now, watching me proudly and cheering me on!

Inspiration behind Fum Bam Agro -investment company

My husband is the main brain behind Fum Bam. He gave me the go-ahead to run it because of his current work engagements. The vision is to open a secured and trustworthy partway for Nigerians in the Diaspora to invest in agriculture. It’s time we all come together to begin to tackle the problems in our nation by ourselves since the government continues to fail us. Agriculture is a very important and vital department, very profitable and so necessary for the economy of any nation. The North knows that but the southern seems to be more interested in the regular 9-5 white collar stressful jobs. At Fumbam we consult with you, help source, and procure farmlands, farm management services and liaison goods with prospective buyers.

My role as the  executive director of a tech company and senior project manager of a construction company

Yes! So, the Tech Ngo, CTCAfrica is my newest engagement, and I am super proud and happy to be on the board. What we do at CTCAfrica to provide free tech training to secondary school students across Nigeria and Africa. We need to invest in our future. We cannot have our children suffer the same fate most of us suffered.

Giving them this training with certifications will equip them to make a living, be industrious, be creative, curb crime, give them a better chance, open doors of greater opportunities and make them noble and notable citizens of the society. CTCAfrica launched in May and to date we have 200 students from 5 secondary schools already enrolled. Denis Ayomide is the Founder of this NGO and I am super honored to be doing this with him.

I love construction. I love to bring an empty spot to life. It’s a man’s world but I love all the challenges it brings. I started working in a construction company at the age of 24, but in the accounting department curiosity got the best of me, and I started following the project manager to the sites and carefully learned it all with his help.

He encouraged me to get my project management certification which I did, and my boss immediately switched my role from accountant to a project manager and the rest is me doing what I truly love. Construction is super fun, easy and just super simple for me. I mean you get to build something that will last for years for people to live in, network while at work and share a drink with the guys after every project completion!

My Flagship Humanitarian Project – Project Hope Nigeria 

Project Hope Nigeria was created in response to provide aid and relief to the June 12 protesters last year. The shock we all experienced as the rights of Nigerians were violated on democracy day and the Twitter ban happened at the same time. We launched into action, we had solidarity groups protesting in Lagos, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Kaduna, Abuja and Ekiti.

We got lawyers that bailed out protesters for free, donated data for online protester and configured free VPN access points to trend the hashtag #keepiton. After everything, I sat down and wept, got up, prayed and told my husband I had to do more, to continue the work, and he gave me his full backing.

Project Hope Nigeria is a Humanitarian focused collaboration envisioned to cater to the needs of Nigerians in these struggling times amidst unstable policies affecting the populace. Our end-goal is to empower people through different grants and assistance programs to those who are in need. Project Hope Nigeria is about compassion, spreading love and giving hope, especially to the helpless. Helping others is not restricted to monetary values, we also channel to build bridges to financial freedom, development of entrepreneurship skills, self-improvement workshops and so on.

Vision of  Diaspora Relief  Initiative 

Diaspora Relief was founded by me and Ijeoma Onyekwere in response to the horrific situation with the Ukraine war. Two Nigerian women came together for the sake of humanity. Diaspora Relief is a collection of members across the pan-African Diaspora who are deeply concerned with the difficulty experienced by Black people in their attempt to escape the war conditions currently unfolding in Ukraine.

We catered for students and families within our reach with evacuation, accommodation, feeding, therapy, academic consultancy amongst other basic amenities. We currently have operations in Ukraine (Uzhhorod only) Poland, Hungary, Netherlands, Germany, and Nigeria. We are working to set up in Finland and Portugal in the coming weeks as we continue to help resettle these students and their families.

Our core vision is to be there wherever black people of African descent need emergency aid anywhere in the world.

The Journey So Far

The journey has been great, I cannot even lie. I have met so many good people in Nigeria that have made this journey somewhat easy. I mean reliable and disciplined people that yearn to do something impactful. I met them all on Twitter. Yes, Twitter is super powerful, and my team have made this journey way easier than expected.

My Twitter initiative TheChatroom Ng

Thechatroomng is my joy and pride! It’s a Twitter space talk show that runs every Saturday at 5pm WAT. The audio show is based on very thin relationships! We talk about everything that has to do with having a healthy relationship, we cruise and vibe the entire time but learning as we go.

My main objective with the show is creating a comfortable, no judgement zone space to talk, network, mingle and just have fun. My friends are the best and support the show by donating data, cash and various prize giveaways for the attendees. We laugh a whole lot, and the feedback is always so positive and encouraging. We call Thechatroomng the Relationship VIBE’s Machine

How I achieve Work-life Balance 

My Husband is my greatest support, he helps me with everything. He is always there to help me out when it gets overwhelming and encourages me to keep going. In the early days of the Ukraine war, during the evacuation stages, I barely slept, kept 23 hours a day shift, just working non-stop to get Nigerians and black people to safety.

My husband held it all down for me and I will be forever grateful to him for that. He acts like my grandpapa, always holding my hands and leading me all the way to victory.

 Three women who inspire me and why

My mother — Olabisi Dayo-Kayode — this woman right here is everything! I learnt so much from her. So, she had me at a young age, but she went back regardless of everything and overcame it. She holds two master’s degrees, a CFO of a microfinance company, runs multiple owned businesses and currently in the States working as a Senior Auditor. Her life and all that she continues to achieve is super amazing.

Olamide Ogidan-Odeseye -Lammy is just a unique human being, her kind is super rare, her energy is premium! Lammy is super intelligent, kind-hearted and her heart is pure. She inspires me to do it all, she wears multiple hats, and she can juggle all roles brilliantly.

Myself. I inspire myself daily as when I see all that God has done in my life, I am completely amazed. From the delivery room in Bauchi, Nigeria, that tiny baby to this wonderful, beautiful, and intelligent woman, having scaled thousands of obstacles and overcame them!  Look at God, look at me!

Ini Abimbola has been appointed as United Nations Women, Technical Expert on Women Political Leadership, Federal House of Representatives.

Ini Abimbola is a business leader with over 22 years’ experience working in the international development space with broad consulting experience & expertise on Corporate Governance, Stakeholder Management, Sustainability, Development Communications, and Strategy.

Ini is the Founder and was the first Lead Consultant/CEO of ThistlePraxis Consulting Limited (TPC), a management consulting, sustainability, strategy, and business advisory firm she founded in 2010, which provides strategy development, Sustainability management, process improvement, organizational transformation, risk governance, performance management, programme management, and advisory services.

Ini also serves as Country & Regional Lead (Sub Saharan Africa) for The CSR Company, a global CSR Network of organizations spanning four continents – South East Asia, Europe, the Middle East & Africa. She is a Lecturer/Member of Faculty, MBA Program on International Corporate Social Responsibility Management at the Ferdinand Porsche FernFH – University of Applied Sciences, Austria.

She guides boards and executives toward social, environmental, and economic innovations that also create shareholders and business value. She facilitates high-level board retreats and trains C-suite executives both within the private and public sectors.

A 2008 Draper Hills Fellow on Democracy, Development & Rule of Law at Stanford University California and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, Ini holds a Diploma & Postgraduate Diploma from the University of Calabar, as well as a Bachelors and an MBA from Nexford University.

 

Source: Leadingladies Africa