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Commuting in Lagos, Nigeria is hard! It is stressful! And sometimes, not safe  Damilola Olokesusi decided to do something about it. She founded Shuttlers Logistics Company, a platform that allows professionals, companies, fun-seekers access comfortable, safe, efficient yet affordable transportation to and from work and around the city through bus-pooling.

Damilola decided to start the company after her sister was robbed by armed men disguised as public bus drivers, on her way to work. She and her cofounders Busola Majekodunmi, and Damilola Quadry put their savings together and launched the company, and as the business grew, they received grants from the World Bank, Airtel and Sahara Energy, and they were able to go from one to 22 routes.

Through the Shuttlers App, professionals book a seat in a route, pay a subscription, and track arrival and departure times of their rides: “comfortable air-conditioned buses and cars providing them with extra time to catch up on sleep, work or personal development time. Sharing with other professionals also give room for networking opportunities.”

Damilola’s Shuttlers has also launched SHE-MOVES, an initiative supported by the Ford Motor Company Fund and Ford Motor Company in partnership with Global Water Challenge (GWC). According to Ford, SHE-MOVES (Strengthen Her: Mobilizing Ventures for Social Innovation) is designed to provide “Whole-Person Leadership” development and promote access to mobility.

With Shuttlers, the initiative gives female professionals the opportunity to use their otherwise long commute time in traffic as a learning and development time .The project gives them access to online courses, mentors and peer-to-peer support for professional courses they might be interested in taking.

Damilola holds a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos. She is a part of the Harambean Team for 2018 cohort; an Alliance for highly educated young African social, business and political entrepreneurs, attending leading universities in Asia, Europe and North America.

She won the Award for Digital and Tech award at the Women in Africa Contest in Morocco, Award for the Best Idea at the Aso Villa Demo Day and is also a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum where she leads the Entrepreneurship and Innovation team and is also the Vice-Curator of the Lagos hub for 2019/2020.

In 2019, she was named in Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 list (Technology category).

We celebrate Damilola for providing a solution that will positively impact millions of people as well as making commuting to and from work a productive part of one’s day. We’re rooting for her and the team!

Source: Bellanaija

oNgozi Erondu, PhD MPH, is a global health and biosecurity advisor who has over a decade experience in epidemiology, public health and biosecurity.

Ngozi, a Google Scholar, holds a bachelors degree in Psychology, Biology from DePaul University and went on to bag a Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine.

After her masters degree Ngozi joined the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as a Public Health Prevention Service Fellow and then she joined a global consulting firm that provides expert services and support in strategic planning field epidemiology and surveillance, designing public health programs and developing monitoring and evaluation strategies and dashboard tools.

During her time at the consulting firm, Ngozi worked as a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine while completing her doctoral training in public health policy and epidemiology. She them moved on to the World Health Organisation as a Consultant Technical Officer. She was also a field epidemiologist in the CDC ebola response in Guinea.

Between 2016 and 2018, she was an assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) where she had completed her doctoral training in public health policy and epidemiology prior.

Ngozi is a fellow of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative. In 2017, she was one of the people selected for The Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship, a year-long media skills, communication and leadership program designed for standout development professionals.

In 2015, Ngozi and Betiel Hadgu Haile co-founded the Global Bridge Group — a global health and development consultancy company which provided services to inform and improve global health initiatives in resource-constrained countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

She’s currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Chatham House Centre for Global Health Security and was a Senior Public Health Advisor at Public Health England.

Ngozi is also the Chief Executive of Project Zambezi, a public-private-partnership improving drug distribution across Africa.

Ngozi is also an independent consultant, providing health systems research/training and monitoring and evaluation services. We celebrate her for being a force in global health and development and we’re rooting for her!

Looking (and successfully applying) for new jobs is always going to be difficult – it does not matter if you are a recent graduate looking to take the first steps in your career, or an experienced professional seeking a change. The job market becomes increasingly more competitive each year, with numerous qualified people applying for the same job. Therefore, it is important that you take on any and all advice offered to you when searching for a job – whether they offer advice on cover letters or what to wear to an interview

Here are some top tips to help you through the process!

1. Alter your resume

Every job will have a different job specification, where they will list the skills and abilities required to undertake the role. It is important that you read this specification carefully and then alter your CV to carefully match their requirements. For example, if you have worked in a shop, be sure to note down you have cash handling experience if it is on the job spec, as opposed to assuming the employer will be aware of this already. This makes the process of looking over your CV much easier for the employer, who will be able to quickly determine whether or not you are suitable for the role.

You don’t have to massively change your CV each time. Set up a base CV that contains your main skills, work experience, and any academic qualifications and simply alter it a little each time.

2. Search smartly

Though you may feel in desperate need of work, you must search for jobs that you are trained for or have a specific interest in. It is important that you enjoy your work – you want it to be something you look forward to and can really invest yourself in order to get the most out of it. Once you know what industry you want to work within, find the best ways to apply for jobs in that industry. For example, if you are looking for business administration work, you may benefit from applying on LinkedIn or Indeed.

However, if you are looking for work within a more niche field, such as audio visual jobs, then you need to use job application portals that are more industry-specific and focused, such as Lasso. When registered with Lasso, you can browse through hundreds of jobs within the audio visual field, selecting those that are a perfect match for your skills. Even better, you don’t have to wait for invoices and can get paid weekly.

3. Do your research

When applying for a new job at a company, it is important that you learn as much as you can about that company. Check out their website and social media pages, research any news articles written about them, browse through their LinkedIn. Try to gain a deep understanding of not only the services they offer but their attitudes to work and their ethos. This will help you decide whether you want to work for them, but can also be used to help you stand out from the crowd in an interview.

Source: Baucemag.com

Rukayat Sadiq, is  a software engineer with over 5 years successful experience leading engineering teams to build and deliver scalable software products in multiple languages and technologies.

The need to solve problems around her led Rukayat to study Electrical & Electronics Engineering. The same zeal also directed her the field of software engineering field where she has focused on working with teams to build software solutions targeted at the health, financial and educational sectors through her career.

Rukayat decided to go into software engineering after she realised what she could potentially build through computer programs having successfully written code to solve her engineering mathematics problems in her undergraduate days.

She currently works as a software engineer with Influitive – a Canadian based marketing technology firm.

She had worked as a Full Stack Software Engineer and Technical Team Lead, Senior Software Engineer at Andela, after completing the Andela Fellowship Program. At Andela, Rukayat also co-foounded and co-led the Andela’s Ladies-in-Tech group. She is also a co-organizer of the Lagos Women in Machine Learning and Data Science Group.

Rukayat holds a bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Ilorin and is completing her masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Rukayat was one of the women celebrated in Tech Cabal‘s Tech Women Lagos series, which profiled 50 women in the Lagos technology ecosystem from different backgrounds and at different stages of their technology careers.

We celebrate Rukayat for pursuing her dreams and inspiring others to do so and we’re rooting for her!

Source: Bellanaija

“Thursday is Thursday”

– Runtown

This was all we needed to reach our boiling point and take to the streets finally. This tweet woke up the youth in every state in Nigeria, and, subsequently, in countries across all habitable continents in the world.

This was the beginning of our journey to freedom, our journey to bring hope to the hundreds of families who had lost members to the Nigerian Police Force’s irrational brutality, especially the SARS unit. It was justice for the Iloanyas of the country.

The protest was the best thing I had experienced as a citizen of Nigeria. For the first time in my life, I was proud to be called a Nigerian, especially a Nigerian youth. We, the Soro Soke, Phone Pressing, Indomie, and Coconut Head Generation, were united. The religious and tribal and political lines that used to divide us were non-existent. The constant bickering on social media about gender was on hold; the Patriarchy FC and Feminist Coven sheath their swords as we all focused on a common goal: #EndSARS.

Young people in different states came out in numbers almost every day, sharing food, playing games, praying, and even practicing yoga while still demanding our rights. In all the days people protested across the country, nobody ever complained that a phone got stolen or a car vandalized; people returned lost phones and other items found. We cleaned up the streets each day, celebrity or not.

Our protest yielded the devil’s gift: the SARS unit got scrapped and was replaced with SWAT. Same people, different names. The protest continued, and we were met with more police brutality for protesting against police brutality. Jimoh Isiaq and many others died. Why would you use live ammunition on unarmed protesters? The aim is clear: sacrifice a few and let the rest cower in fear.

We ignored them and protested even harder. We demanded justice for the numbers added to their long list of atrocities. This was when the government decided to play the oldest hand in their playbook. They unleashed their greatest weapon – poverty.

Institutionalized poverty is the greatest asset of the average Nigerian politician. They use it to win elections, fight their enemies, and, in this case, win protests. The government deployed hoodlums to infiltrate the protest, to cause havoc, and blame it on us. These hoodlums attacked protesters, killing a few and injuring many others (RIP Anthony Unuode). They destroyed cars and other properties belonging to peaceful protesters. This carnage happened in the full glare of police officers and other security operatives.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. According to eyewitness videos, these hoodlums were transported with police vehicles, state-owned official buses and, the most shocking, a government-owned SUV complete with a well-dressed security officer. More videos have surfaced showing them being directed on what to destroy and what not to destroy because they belonged to ‘baba.’

One of the hoodlums graciously granted a peaceful protester an interview (celebrity things). He said they got paid N1500 to disrupt the protest by damaging government and individual properties. He also said he had been a victim of the SARS unit, and he had just been released from prison, but he needed the money.

Inmates in different state prisons were freed to discredit the #EndSARS protest and justify what later became the #LekkiMassacre. Military men attacked the most peaceful and fun protesters in the country who occupied the Lekki toll gate. They sat on the ground holding up the Nigerian flag, singing the national anthem while the military shot at them. The Nigerian flag was stained with the blood of the innocent. A courageous young woman, DJ Switch, got the events of that day on her Instagram Live. Many of us watched in horror as she and a few others tried to remove a bullet from the lap of one of our patriots, before he eventually died. Scores died, and the streets of Twitter are currently littered with pictures of missing persons.

Nigerian youths did not deserve what happened on 20-10-20. We were only asking that we stop getting extorted if we are lucky, or killed if we are not, by the police. Did it have to deteriorate to people dying like flies and people losing their homes and businesses?

When you release a beast to solve a problem, you create even greater problems, because you can’t tell the beast when to stop. These hoodlums have gone on a destruction spree, looting supermarkets and other businesses across the states. They have set fire to countless buildings and places. The country is in a state of chaos, and we don’t even know when it will end. I am sure these hoodlums were there peacefully during the protests, until they decided to use the weapon of poverty to pit them against their mates who were equally fighting for them.

Still, on this poverty thing, these people withheld palliatives meant for the citizens during the pandemic. Several warehouses have been discovered with thousands of food items stashed – I guess they were saving it to distribute during elections. They starve people to the point where they can buy their votes with a few packs of Indomie that were meant for them in the first place. One lawmaker justified keeping the palliatives intended for his constituents because he wanted to share it on his birthday, as per birthday giveaway abi souvenirs. They call us the Indomie generation, whereas they are the ones storing cartons of Indomie. Shame!

This country will not get better until we go to the grassroots and educate our brothers and sisters on the need to stop dancing to the tune of these wicked people in power. If not, they will continue to use them to sabotage our efforts for a better Nigeria.

The #EndSARS protest has played a significant role in unraveling the damage poverty and bad governance can cause in any society. It has shone more light on the fact that we are sitting on a keg of gun powder. The poorer the citizens are, the more dangerous it is for everyone. Some people in government have experienced this as some of their houses got raided and even burnt.

Dear Nigerian youth, we have started a movement that has gained international recognition. We cannot back down now. We must continue to demand justice for our brothers and sisters who have fallen due to police brutality. We must continue to fight for those who died protesting and the many whose lives were cut short on 20-10-20 and the days that followed. We must demand the punishment of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity. Most importantly, we have to take the campaign to the grassroots. We have to sensitize and ensure that our brothers and sisters who were paid  N1500, an amount that cannot buy a bucket of rice, begin to see the light. Let them know these people may have stolen their future but they can get it back, if not for themselves, then for their children unborn.

To all the people still protesting internationally, thank you. To the international press who covered what happened, thank you. To the Feminist Coalition, thank you. To all the celebrities and people across the world who lent their voices to our struggle, we love and appreciate you. Na who support us we go watch their film and stream their music.

To the Nigerian youth, thank you! May we continue to soro soke and demand for what is truly ours.

#EndSARS #EndSWAT #Endpolicebrutality #ENDbadgovernanceinNigeria.

Joshua Onyinyechi who hails from Ebonyi state is a final year student of University of Abuja
in the department of Biological Sciences.

Oyinye is an entrepreneur and CEO of Gift and Souvenir. She also runs a firm that connects prospective interns to their desired organizations. She shares her Ruby girl story with the team

1. Who is Joshua Onyinyechi Esther?

I’m an entrepreneur with extra sauce and grace, a strong and focused lady who believes I can succeed at anything I set my mind to do.

2. ‎ What is the inspiration behind Gift and Souvenir?

My passion for business. I’ve always wanted to have a business that has to do with problem solving.

3. ‎What is your greatest fear?

Not living purposefully.

4. ‎ How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected you as a student and entrepreneur. What have you been able to learn from it?

As a student it affected me because I’m supposed to be a graduate by now but with the whole pandemic graduating this year is not feasible.

As an entrepreneur the pandemic affected sales, But I’m glad everything is coming back to normal.

I learnt to trust God’s plan.

5. ‎What led to the birth of Internship opportunity?

Internship opportunity is a God given idea.
I noticed how graduates and undergraduates struggle to fit into the right place for interns, most graduate or undergraduate just apply for internship anywhere not minding if it’s in line with what they want to do, simply because they just want to get busy.

That was how interns was birthed, to help connect graduate and undergraduate with the right company that will allow them to grow, develop and advance their professional goals/career.

6. ‎ An accessory you can’t leave home without?

My phone please.

7. ‎How has internship opportunity been able to help people with placement?

It has been helpful to people especially in this pandemic, graduate and undergraduate have gotten paid interns opportunity in different states via our platform.

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 Nigerian home is one of the best though it wasn’t all rosy. Because I lost my dad at a very tender age, growing up was just with my mum and siblings..and yes it has contributed alot.

My dad taught me not to be dependent on anyone and it has helped me alot, I started having passion for business at age 9, when I return from school I joyfully hawk pure water and the likes in the market, which made me have a business mindset from early stage.

After secondary school it continued, but this time I applied for a job and I got it which also helped my marketing skills, people management etc today by God’s grace I have a business of my own and all I went through contributed to what I am and do today.

9. ‎What are the challenges you faced when you started the gift shop and internship opportunity? Do you still experience them? And also how were you able to overcome them?

Challenges I faced when I started gift and Souvenirs was sales, before I started the business I had people who were like “oh wow I’ll be the first to patronize you,” but when I started all of them were no where to be found (japa).

I didn’t really make sales when I started, I’ll advertise for one week nobody will even ask me how much by mistake (laughs) but I don’t experience such anymore by God’s grace.

I was able to overcome through consistency, despite not making sales then I kept advertising Because I know people are watching and when they think of gift I’ll come to their mind first because I’m always advertising.

Challenges I faced when I started interns was looking for organizations seeking to engage the services to Interns to register on our website( www.internsopportunity.com) Registration and Job listing is free (Internship Only)

I still experience this, I’ve not been able to get lots of organisations as expected to register on our website, I’m putting more efforts to get them register.

10. ‎If you were to be the President of Nigeria for a day, what would you change?

I’ll change the policy in hospital ( especially government hospitals) that says you have to pay first before doctors attend to you, all fingers aren’t equal and no one makes budget for sickness. Lots of people have been rushed to the hospital on emergency and probably don’t have money at hand to deposit first. Doctors will not touch you until you pay money, they won’t even attend to you to save your life first while your family members run around for money, at the end the person might end up dying.

As president l’ll make provisions too for that.

Secondly about NHIS card which is made available for only government workers will be accessible also to those who can’t fully pay their bills, the less privileged.

Provisions will be made for sickle cell warriors/people living with disabilities.

Good water and electricity will be fixed in some villages where people drink dirty water to survive.

11. ‎Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

My Mum, Mrs Nike Adekunle, Ma Esther Ijewere.

My Mum is a strong woman, she has a large heart, despite what life throws at her, she never gives up. I’ve seen her fight so many battles and still standing tall.

She trained my siblings and I right from childhood when we lost our DAD. Not all mothers can do that, some will just share their kids to different family members. But my Mum stood her ground, held us close we are what we are today because of God and her.
I’m grateful for her.

Mrs Nike Adekunle is a goal getter, she is so humble despite all her achievement. She gives listening ears always, she inspires me alot. She made walking in purpose for me easy. And I see myself in her always.

Ma Esther Ijewere is a strong woman, I admire her alot.

With her story she is still making impacts and touching lives.

I love her passion for humanity.

12. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Next five years, I see myself at the top controlling businesses, and owning a shoe line.

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? Not to let anyone pressure them, not even social media, they can succeed in anything they set their mind to do.

Be grateful for the small and big wins!

It’s okay to make mistakes, mistakes are part of success!
Never allow your background put your back on ground.
No matter what life throws at you please keep moving forward, lastly ever depend
on anyone financially.

Adeola Shasanya, is the co-founder of Afro-Tech Girls, an organisation with the aim of inspiring and encouraging more girls and young women to embrace STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Across the world, women remain underrepresented in STEM fields and this is especially true in Nigeria and so many African countries. In June 2014, Adeola and two of her friends came together with a vision: a world where the number of women in the STEM industries has risen and women feel welcomed and appreciated for their efforts and achievements. They realised that one way to do this was by encouraging more young girls to take up STEM subjects at secondary school and university and stick with it even after education. That was how Afro-Tech Girls was born.

Afro-Tech Girls holds STEM events across the country for secondary school students as well as supply “STEM at home” kits to women and girls.

Growing up, Adeola was always found tinkering with gadgets attempting to fix them. She also loved watching science/tech themed cartoons. In school, she particularly enjoyed science and math and did very well in them. Leaving secondary school, she got mentored by a senior family friend who had just completed her degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. After winning the student prize award in Applied electricity, she had the desire to further my knowledge by studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering which enabled her appreciate technology.

Adeola has gained work experience in project management and consulting in both engineering and technology. She’s currently the Project Manager, Digital Skills for Africa at Google.

Adeola’s engineering degree is from Covenant University, Nigeria, and she also has a masters degree in Renewable Energy and Clean Technology from the University of Manchester.

Adeola is one of the 50 women spotlighted in Tech Cabal’s Tech Women Lagos series profiling 50 women in the Lagos technology ecosystem from different backgrounds and at different stages of their technology careers.

In 2019, Adeola won an ELOY award for her contribution to ICT and Technology. In 2017, Afro-Tech Girls won the SME 100 Nigeria, 25 under 25 Young Entrepreneurs Award in the Technology and Cybersecurity category.

We celebrate Adeola for contributing her quota to making STEM education accessible to women and girls and we’re rooting for her.

There’s nothing more inspiring than a woman with an idea who has the guts to step out on faith and turn her dreams into a reality. That’s the true definition of a BAUCE woman. Nigerian designer Addie Elabor is a woman cut from the self-made cloth. She launched her Philadelphia-based ready-to-wear African fashion brand D’IYANU in 2014 and has grown it into a million-dollar business.

The company, which focuses on creating culturally conscious-pieced with bold prints, features handmade and ethically sourced products from West African and the United States. In this interview with BAUCE, Addie shares the strategic moves she made to launch her idea, build a team, and continue to grow an e-commerce business, even in troubling climates.

When did you start your brand and how did you get the idea for it? What inspired you to turn it into a business?

Addie: I was inspired to start D’IYANU at the beginning of 2013 when I realized that there was a void in the fashion world for ready-to-wear African inspired pieces that were easily accessible to people like me. There wasn’t a leading brand that allowed you to celebrate your culture in a modernized way. I asked myself “why not me?”. I immediately had this vision of developing a brand that would become the African print version of Zara or H&M. I didn’t have a fashion background, but the vision was so compelling that I had to make it happen. At the time I was dissatisfied with my career and relished the opportunity to launch my own business with the goal of building a legacy in mind. D’IYANU was launched in January of 2014 with six women’s styles and has grown exponentially ever since.

diyanu website

What was the first investment you made into D’IYANU to get it off the ground? Why?

Addie: D’IYANU was launched with a $15,000 investment which came from my savings and a credit card loan. The bulk of the initial investment went into producing 50 units each of my first 6 pieces produced in Philadelphia which included the pattern and sample making, fabric, and production of the collection.

Tell us how you were able to scale D’IYANU to a million-dollar business? How long did it take you from the time you started to hit the million-dollar mark?

Addie: The beginning of 2014 was a struggle since I was still working full-time and running the business on the side. I decided to quit my full-time job in May of 2014 to focus full-time on D’IYANU. I knew I needed to invest all my time and attention in order to get the brand off the ground. With the goal of gaining more customers, I would set up at various festivals and even managed to get some products into two boutiques in Philadelphia, but I wasn’t really getting much traction. I knew that the best place to find customers was online. At the end of September of 2014, I took a course on creating Facebook ads. That course was quite an investment, but it transformed my business practically overnight. With the help of Facebook ads and email marketing, we were able to hit $1 million in sales by the middle of 2016 which took 2.5 years from the launch date.

diyanu addie elabor founder

What makes D’IYANU unique from your competitors or other “African clothing” shops online?

Addie: D’IYANU is unique from other African clothing brands because we are the most innovative and offer the widest range of products for Men, Women and Kids. With the goal of being a lifestyle brand, we offer products that can be incorporated into our customers’ everyday life. Our product offerings include everything from active wear to formal, and office attire. Our innovative spirit is one of our core values that pushes us to explore other types of fabrics and materials so that our items are more comfortable and functional for our customers.

For instance, we use our unique African print stretch woven fabric to make dresses, skirts, pants, jumpsuits, and tops for women so that they’re extremely comfortable and accommodate curves and movement. The fabric looks like the traditional Ankara, but it has amazing stretch and softness. No other African inspired brand is using this type of fabric. We also print African print on french terry to make our Men’s polo shirts, jogger and hoodie sets. Recently, we launched an iconic Jean Jacket with Kente inspired print for our pre-fall collection and we will be launching more denim and print products in the near future. We’re also looking forward to our knitwear pieces that will be featured in our Fall and Winter collections.

Were you the only person working on your business when you started? When did you realize you needed to hire or build a team in order to be successful?

Addie: I was the only person working on my business up until April of 2015 when I hired my first full-time assistant. I had been working out of my studio apartment up until March 2015 when I moved my operations into an official office space. I realized that my business was growing quickly and I needed the assistance sooner rather than later.

What has been your biggest challenge with growing your business?

Addie: My biggest challenge has been finding quality employees who are also a good cultural fit to fill various roles at D’IYANU. Two additional challenges have been learning to better manage people to bring out the best in them and finding senior employees they can lean on who are operating at a higher level and can provide guidance into their work.

Has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your business in a positive or negative way? 

Addie: We’ve faced similar challenges to many other retail brands in March when Covid-19 created tremendous uncertainty. The uncertainty led to March being our lowest revenue month in a really long time. Thankfully, since we’re an e-commerce brand that doesn’t have a storefront, we weren’t saddled with crazy overhead costs associated with having a physical store. Our goal was to cut costs in order to survive the financial hit, but we wanted to keep our team intact as well. Instead of laying off our staff, I stopped paying myself and we cut salaries by 30% for our company of 13 employees. As a team we brainstormed on ideas to bring in more sales and we launched a t-shirt collection at the end of March which helped us out a bit.

By April, we started making cloth masks and donating them to organizations that distributed them to essential workers. Since then we’ve been experiencing record sales months due to the masks and the current media emphasis on shopping Black-owned brands. The next challenge we faced was having personnel to manage the influx of orders. Some days I had to help pick and pack orders in the warehouse while working on the weekends in order to make sure that we shipped out each order in a timely manner. As of today, we have a great team in place to help us get our orders out.  I’m truly grateful for how things have turned around for our good.

If you knew now what you knew then, what is one thing you would have done differently to accelerate the growth of your business? 

Addie: I would have hired a marketing team sooner in order to scale faster. I was doing way too much in the beginning and naturally I couldn’t handle all of our marketing needs.

diyanu addie elabor founder

What is your advice for someone who wants to start an e-commerce business? 

Addie: My advice would be to make sure that the product you’re selling has a unique selling point and tells a story that will resonate with a sizable audience. Set aside a marketing budget and make sure to leverage social media marketing early. Lastly, start building your email and SMS list pre-launch so that you already have customers on launch day and continue to grow that list post-launch, since email and SMS marketing offers the biggest return on marketing spend.

Source: Bauce Mag

Pamilerin Eniolorunda is a graduate  of the Mass Communication department, Joseph Ayo Babalola University. She is a Communication Officer, Vlogger, Writer, and Poet.

She has an interest in meeting new people, public speaking, writing and gaining more knowledge.

Pamilerin is deeply passionate and aspires to be a distinctive professional with an impact.

 

She shares her “Ruby Girl” story in this interview.

1. Let’s meet you. Who is Pamilerin Eniolorunda?  

I am Oluwapamilerinayo Eniolorunda, a communications officer, a poet, script writer and a vlogger.

2. What skills prepared you for practice in the Communications field?

The skills that prepared me for the communications field… Hmmm, I think it was my ability to think fast, build and manage relationships, my love for reading, speaking, and writing, and more.

3. Describe your channel in one word?

My  channel in one word, Informative.

4. To what extent did your degree as a graduate of Mass Communication contribute to the startup of your vlog?

My degree played a big role in my vlogging. I learnt how to edit videos, handle cameras, and act on the principles of a communicator. Thanks to my degree, I knew the requirements and had the skills needed of me to start my vlog.

5. How do you research for new contents?

I research for contents by watching and following the trends, conversing with my subscribers to know what they want and also watching lots of youtube videos. I spend most of my time watching videos and thinking of how to do them better.

6. What inspires your writings?

Everything around me inspires me. Stories, people, things, environment, everything! Over the years I have been able to create a bond with my environment and everything around me.

7. What are some challenges you face as a communications officer/vlogger?

One of the challenges I face as a communications officer/vlogger is trying to work out a schedule that is beneficial both my corporate field and vlog. The corporate field is quite demanding but it’s also very important to churn out contents for my viewers. Fortunately, I am doing an excellent job in creating a balance and fitting into both.

8. What was growing up in a Nigerian home like for you? Did it in any way contribute to everything you do now?

Growing up in a Nigerian home is a blessing. Having three sisters helped me to boost my confidence level and self-esteem. My mum as a teacher is a loving disciplinarian, she always corrected with love and is not the cane, broom, belt or wire kind of disciplinarian. My dad as an auditor made me financially conscious of how I spend and what I spend on, he equally corrected me with love when I was wrong or misbehaved. I would say I couldn’t have gotten the training and morals I have outside Nigeria.
Yes, my upbringing has contributed a lot to who I am character-wise and behavioural wise. I see beauty in everything everyone call mistakes, I see love as the way of life too.

9. How do you cope with viewers who dislike your content?

Experience in speaking and writing has made me realise that not everyone will like what I do, everyone has their opinions and that in the words I speak and write, I have the power of persuasion.

For every negative feedback, I acknowledge the receipt of the message and try to make the other party reason with me and also make them understand that there are different phases of life.

10. If you were to be the President of Nigeria for a day, what would you change?

President for a day?
This is a difficult question, but if I was one I’ll make new laws and policies that positively affect the masses, make a few changes in the Constitution, and also make a rule that the laws I made must not be changed till it’s practised for over 4 years. 24 hours seem short, but this is all I’ll work towards achieving.

11. Do you feel there is pressure in getting more subscribers and more views? How do you handle this?

Yes, I feel pressured sometimes. But I understand that its a gradual process and I try to do better as I produce new contents. I know that one day the number of subscribers will skyrocket beyond my expectations. I keep praying its soon too.

12. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

My mother, Mrs Eniolorunda, she inspires me to be a better version of myself. I admire the processes and approaches she uses in all she does. She has taught me to love all, live right, and trust God.

COO, Venture Garden Group – Mrs Eniolorunda and Media Mogul – Mo Abudu appear to me as models, a motivation that there is space for all genders at the top, that women can be who they want to be regardless of the society, and that what really matters is who we are and the position we want to acquire.

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

In the next five years, I want to be a distinctive first-rate communication and leadership professional, respected media personnel, a motivator and an agent of positivity. I plan to be in a position where my counsel is/will be needed to run the country or the most important sectors. I plan to be a leader recognised in the most profitable and beneficial aspect of life (religion and career). I wish to apply extensive knowledge in the service of communities and countries I am privileged to associate with.

14. What are the challenges young Nigerians in your niche face and what do you think can be done to improve this?

Over saturation of the vlogging space is one challenge, in the sense that one has to work extra hard to get viewership for the content published. Also, having an increase in the numbers of subscribers is another challenge. But the goal is to never give up… Tiny drops of water makes an ocean.

15. 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?

My advice to them is to take innovation very seriously. It is important to learn to think outside the box be bandwagon outside educational ins, situations want strategic thinkers. There are tons of problems waiting to be solved so following the bandwagon is not necessary.

Also, my advice to them is to embrace Tech as much as possible. It is important to know the basics of the tech ecosystem and career paths because the future is tech.

Simi Nwogugu, the executive director of Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of JA Africa, effective November 2020.

As a regional CEO, Simi will provide leadership and strategic execution for JA’s youth development agenda in Africa. She will drive JA’s regional initiatives and programs, including the organisation’s expansion into new markets while securing the partnerships and resources needed for JA’s education and digital skills development programs on the continent.

Simi will also join the JA Worldwide Senior Leadership Team and the Board of Governors.

Acknowledging her new appointment, Simi said in JA Worldwide’s official announcement:

This offers an exciting opportunity for me to work with my colleagues across the continent to expand JA’s mission to empower young Africans for a successful future. It is my goal to increase the impact of our work to significantly reduce youth unemployment and poverty across the continent.

I’m grateful to the board of JA Africa and JA Worldwide, for entrusting me with this responsibility and look forward to working with our stakeholders and partners to make it a reality.

“JA operates in Nigeria because of Simi’s vision”, the official announcement states. “Today, JA Nigeria has grown to become one of the strongest JA offices in Africa, reaching 1 million out-of-school youth across 36 states in Nigeria”.

Simi embodies the values of JA, showing the boundless potential of young people. When she founded JA Nigeria in 1999, dictator Sani Abacha had just died, leaving a damaged education system and an economy in recession. Simi believed JA was exactly what the country needed to inspire and educate young people to become change agents for Nigeria’s future. For three years, she set to work building JA operations in Nigeria, while also building a culture of philanthropy among organization partners and a culture of volunteering among individuals.

8 things to know about Simi Nwogugu:

  • She was born and raised in Nigeria.
  • A graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
  • She’s a Goldman Sachs alum.
  • She also holds a professional certificate in Organizational and Executive Coaching from New York University.
  • Simi was first introduced to JA during her time working at Goldman Sachs in New York City.
  • She quit her lucrative private-sector job at age 24 to move home to start-up JA operations in 1999.
  • Simi went back to the U.S. in 2002 to attend Harvard Business School, but she continued to serve as a board member for JA Nigeria, bringing programs from Harvard to JA, including the Venture in Management Program.
  • In 2016, she returned to the role of Executive Director

Read more about Simi’s career and JAN’s impact at jaworldwide.org

Congratulations, Simi. We wish you all the best!