Ijeoma Scholarstica Ugochukwu stands as a guiding force of empowerment and leadership within her community. As the Founder of Immaculate Trios Cleaning Services & Ijeoma Motivates Inc. Canada, she has spearheaded a profit-making organization that transcends conventional business models. Instead, her focus lies on fostering synergy, promoting survivorship, and instilling positive motivations in everyday life.
A Trailblazer in Leadership and Service
Ijeoma’s journey towards transformative leadership began with a foundation in Economics from the University of Ado Ekiti, complemented by a diploma in Human Resources. Currently pursuing her Masters Degree at York University, her dedication to education mirrors her commitment to personal and professional growth.
Community Engagement and Volunteerism
Ijeoma’s passion for community service shines through her volunteer work with esteemed organizations such as the Salvation Army, New Circles Community, and Neighbourhood Link. Serving as a community service assistant in various capacities, she has demonstrated a profound dedication to supporting and uplifting those in need.
Excellence in Healthcare and Senior Care
In addition to her community endeavors, Ijeoma has made significant strides in the healthcare sector as a Personal Support Worker and caregiver at VHA Home Health Care Organization. Her compassionate approach and unwavering commitment to the well-being of Canadian seniors during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic earned her the esteemed title of Best Staff of the Year in 2021. Ijeoma’s dedication, support, and care serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration to all those she serves.
Motivating Change and Empowering Futures
Through Ijeoma Motivates Inc Canada, Ijeoma harnesses her passion for positive change, survivorship, and motivation to uplift individuals and communities. By fostering synergy and developing positive motivations in day-to-day life, she empowers others to navigate life’s challenges with resilience, optimism, and determination.
Ijeoma’s Inspirations: Celebrating the Impact of Mercy Itohan Osayi, Maryam Muritala, and Her Beloved Mother
Within the tapestry of Ijeoma’s life, three remarkable women stand as pillars of inspiration, guidance, and unwavering support. From mentors to family, each has left an indelible mark on her journey, shaping her into the woman she is today.
Mercy Itohan Osayi: As an extraordinary mentor, support system, and cherished big sister, Mercy embodies the essence of encouragement and empowerment. Her wisdom, guidance, and unwavering belief in Ijeoma’s potential have been instrumental in her personal and professional growth, instilling confidence and resilience every step of the way.
Maryam Muritala: A beacon of inspiration and a guiding light within the Nigerian-Canadian community and diaspora, Maryam’s impact transcends boundaries. Her dedication to community upliftment, advocacy, and leadership serves as a source of inspiration for Ijeoma and countless others, igniting a passion for positive change and social impact.
My Mom: Above all, Ijeoma’s beloved mother holds a special place in her heart as her biggest supporter and steadfast companion. Through every triumph and challenge, her mother’s unwavering love, guidance, and strength have been a source of solace and encouragement, providing the foundation for Ijeoma’s resilience and determination.
Together, these three extraordinary women represent the embodiment of love, resilience, and empowerment in Ijeoma’s life. Their influence and support have been instrumental in shaping her journey, inspiring her to reach greater heights and make a positive impact in the world.
Black Women Initiators of Canada
In their shared pursuit of fostering empowerment and uplifting marginalized communities, Ijeoma Scholarstica Ugochukwu and Esther Ijewere have joined forces to establish the Black Women Initiators of Canada. This dynamic partnership brings together their passion for social impact and their commitment to driving positive change.
Together, they are building a platform that amplifies the voices of Black women and creates opportunities for growth, empowerment, and community support. Join us as we explore their collaborative vision and the transformative impact of their work on communities across Canada.
As Ijeoma continues to make a profound impact in both business and community spheres, her legacy of empowerment and inspiration will undoubtedly endure for generations to come.
Connect with Ijeoma via her Instagram page @Ij_motivates
Mercy Itohan Osayi is a remarkable individual dedicated to empowering women and youth across Canada. As the President and Founder of Women of Dignity International (WODI), a respected nonprofit organization based in Canada, she tirelessly advocates for initiatives aimed at nurturing individuals, fostering personal growth, and building stronger communities.
Educational Journey and Professional Expertise
Mercy’s educational path began at Auchi Polytechnic, where she earned a diploma in Mass Communication. She continued her studies at Delta State University for her Bachelor’s degree and later pursued a master’s degree at the University of Lagos. With a solid educational background, she entered the professional world with public relations, customer protection, and counseling expertise.
Her career has seen her in various roles, from her early days as a trainee Executive at The Quadrant Public Relations to her position as the Client Protection and Support Manager at LAPO Microfinance Bank. Mercy has consistently shown dedication to making a difference throughout her journey, earning certifications in Canadian Retail and Customer Service, Workplace Essentials, and Customer Service Excellence, among others.
Community Engagement and Leadership
Beyond her professional endeavours, Mercy actively engages in her community, serving on the boards of esteemed organizations and foundations in Canada. Her leadership and commitment to social impact have been crucial in driving positive change and fostering collaboration among community stakeholders.
Empowering Through Women of Dignity International (WODI)
Under Mercy’s guidance, Women of Dignity International (WODI) has spearheaded numerous initiatives to empower women and youth. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, WODI provides training and support to countless individuals, equipping them with the tools and resources necessary to thrive personally and professionally.
The Outstanding Dignified Personalities Award
The Outstanding Dignified Personalities Award is a heartfelt endeavor aimed at acknowledging and celebrating exceptional individuals who embody dignity, resilience, and compassion. This award serves as a platform to spotlight individuals whose remarkable achievements and contributions often go unnoticed, inspiring others and cultivating a culture of excellence and empowerment within communities. The event is curated with the aim of encouraging individuals to pursue greatness and make a meaningful difference in the world.
Passion for Black History and the Community
Mercy’s passion for celebrating Black history and preserving the community shines through in her work. She recognizes the importance of honoring and preserving the rich heritage and contributions of Black individuals and communities. Through her advocacy and initiatives at WODI, Mercy actively promotes awareness and appreciation for Black history and culture.
Cultural Love for Edo Culture
Mercy’s cultural love for Edo culture is evident in her dedication to preserving and promoting ts traditions and values. As a proud representative of the Edo community, she strives to celebrate its rich heritage and share its unique identity with others. Through her involvement in cultural events and initiatives, Mercy seeks to inspire pride and appreciation for Edo culture among Canadians.
Personal Life and Commitment to Empowerment
Beyond her professional and community roles, Mercy is a devoted wife and mother. Her unwavering dedication to empowering women and youth is a testament to the transformative power of compassion and commitment. Through her leadership at WODI and active involvement in her community, she continues to shape a brighter future for future generations.
Learn more about Mercy and her work via:
Her website: www.wodiwomenimpact.ca
Chekwube Uchea epitomizes versatility and resilience in the professional arena. With over a decade of experience across Finance, Media, Tech, and Sustainability, she has forged a distinctive path in HR, Tech, and Sustainability, making a lasting impact at every turn.
Currently serving as the Founder and Lead Career and Transition Coach at CLUDIVE, a tech-enabled company facilitating professionals’ transition into the Tech industry, Chekwube also holds the role of Founder and Product Manager at GEMMA CLEANS. This sustainable development company operates in Nigeria and the UK, providing innovative cleaning solutions.
On January 1, 2024, Chekwube initiated The Career Path Mentor (TCPM) community, dedicated to inspiring and assisting career professionals facing challenges in their current paths, fostering growth for those feeling stuck or unfulfilled.
Her professional journey includes a stint as the former Senior HR Manager at VerifyMe Nigeria, a tech company offering digital identity and verification services. Academically, she holds a second-class upper degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in industrial Sociology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Additionally, she earned a master’s in human resource management from the University of Liverpool, UK.
A thought leader in Human Resource Management, Chekwube shares insights and expertise through LinkedIn, boasting a substantial following (28K+ on her profile and 78K+ on her business page). She advocates for Mental Health, Vulnerability, Empathy, and Sustainable Development Goals while championing Diversity and Inclusion.
Beyond her professional achievements lies a compelling personal story. In 2020, Chekwube faced a setback with her Canadian visa application. Despite the initial disappointment, she redirected her focus to relocating to the UK. The journey was challenging, involving survival jobs ranging from cleaning to caregiving in various roles. Yet, this adversity shaped her perspective and fueled her determination.
Chekwube’s relocation story serves as a beacon for those planning similar journeys, highlighting the importance of preparation, resilience, and the understanding that each path is unique. Her experiences underscore the challenges of finding employment in a new country and offer valuable tips for those navigating similar landscapes.
Through networking, building confidence, and embracing rejection as redirection, Chekwube emerged stronger. Her story, a testament to the transformative power of determination, serves as an inspiration for those seeking to navigate career transitions, overcome obstacles, and achieve personal and professional growth.
As Chekwube Uchea continues to empower careers and enrich lives, her journey stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of resilience and the pursuit of excellence.
In commemoration of Black History Month, we celebrate the inspiring life and achievements of Michaëlle Jean, a trailblazing diplomat who made history as Canada’s first Black Governor-General. From her tenure from 2005 to 2010, Michaëlle Jean left an indelible mark on Canadian history, advocating tirelessly for social inclusion, diversity, and reconciliation.
Michaëlle Jean: A Journey of Resilience and Leadership
Born in Haiti in 1957, Michaëlle Jean’s early life was marked by adversity and upheaval. Fleeing political turmoil, she arrived in Canada as a refugee in the 1960s, where she overcame challenges and pursued her education with determination. Michaëlle Jean’s passion for social justice and advocacy led her to a career in journalism and broadcasting, where she became a voice for marginalized communities.
Academic Excellence and Linguistic Versatility
At the Université de Montréal, Michaëlle Jean’s academic prowess shone brightly as she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in modern literature and languages, specializing in Italian and Spanish. Fluent in five languages – French, Haitian Creole, English, Italian, and Spanish – she demonstrated remarkable linguistic versatility and intellectual acumen. Her pursuit of knowledge took her to esteemed institutions across Europe, where she further honed her academic skills and cultural understanding.
Making History as Governor General
In 2005, Michaëlle Jean made history when she was appointed as Canada’s 27th Governor General, becoming the first Black person and only the third woman to hold the prestigious position. During her tenure, she used her platform to promote dialogue and reconciliation among Canada’s diverse communities, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and understanding.
Championing Women’s Rights and Social Justice
In her 20s, Michaëlle Jean became deeply involved in the Quebec women’s movement, dedicating over a decade to advocating for the rights of marginalized women. Her efforts culminated in the establishment of a network of emergency shelters for battered women and their children, providing vital support and empowerment to those in need. Michaëlle Jean’s grassroots activism laid the foundation for a nationwide movement, transforming the landscape of women’s rights in Canada.
A Trailblazer in Journalism and Media
From 1988 to 2005, Michaëlle Jean embarked on a new chapter in her career, entering the world of journalism. As a journalist, presenter, and news anchor on Canadian public television, she brought a unique perspective and unwavering commitment to social justice to the forefront of media discourse. Her contributions to journalism earned her numerous accolades and awards, cementing her status as a respected voice in Canadian media.
A Legacy of Empowerment and Civic Engagement
In addition to her journalistic endeavors, Michaëlle Jean collaborated with her husband, filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, on several documentary films exploring themes of identity, culture, and social justice. Together, they co-founded the Michaëlle Jean Foundation in 2010, a beacon of hope for marginalized youth across Canada. Through art and culture, the foundation empowers young people to become agents of change in their communities, embodying Michaëlle Jean’s vision of social inclusion and civic engagement.
Global Leadership and Advocacy
Beyond Canada’s borders, Michaëlle Jean represented the nation on the global stage, advocating for issues such as poverty, gender equality, and human rights. Her leadership and diplomacy earned her respect and admiration from leaders around the world, solidifying her reputation as a champion of social justice and inclusion.
Continued Impact and Legacy
After completing her term as Governor General, Michaëlle Jean continued her work as a dedicated advocate for social justice and inclusion. She served as the Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), where she continued to champion the rights of marginalized communities and promote dialogue among French-speaking nations.
Conclusion: Honoring Michaëlle Jean’s Legacy
As we celebrate Black History Month, we pay tribute to Michaëlle Jean’s remarkable leadership, resilience, and advocacy legacy. Her journey from refugee to Governor General serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of perseverance, courage, and dedication in effecting positive change. Michaëlle Jean’s contributions inspire us to strive for a more just, inclusive, and equitable society for all.
We are thrilled to announce that Weyinmi Eribo has stepped into the prestigious role of Director General at Nigeria’s Women Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture. With her wealth of experience and unwavering dedication to women’s economic empowerment, Weyinmi is set to lead the chamber into a new era of growth and innovation.
Having amassed nearly 15 years of diverse expertise across various sectors, including oil and gas, impact investing, and entrepreneurship, Weyinmi brings a unique blend of skills and insights to her new role. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to fostering gender equality and driving meaningful change in the business landscape.
As Director General, Weyinmi will play a pivotal role in championing the interests of women entrepreneurs and advancing their economic participation across key industries. Her visionary leadership and strategic acumen will undoubtedly propel the chamber to new heights, opening up exciting opportunities for women-led businesses to thrive and succeed.
In addition to her role at the Women Chamber, Weyinmi is also the founder of the Wevvo Foundation, a community-based platform supporting female breadwinners, and co-founder of SEEDS Services, an impact fund empowering women in agribusiness. Her tireless advocacy and groundbreaking initiatives have earned her recognition as a trailblazer in the field of women’s empowerment.
We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Weyinmi Eribo to her new position as Director General. Her appointment marks a significant milestone in the journey towards gender equality and economic inclusion in Nigeria’s business landscape. We do not doubt that under her leadership, the Women’s Chamber will continue to serve as a beacon of inspiration and opportunity for women entrepreneurs across the country.
Join us in congratulating Weyinmi Eribo on this well-deserved achievement, and let us look forward to a future filled with progress and prosperity for women in business.
As Black History Month unfolds, it’s imperative to honor and celebrate the monumental contributions of Black women who have reshaped our world. From civil rights pioneers to trailblazing scientists, their legacies continue to inspire generations. Here are 10 remarkable Black women who have left an indelible mark on history:
Often hailed as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked a wave of protests and catalyzed the Civil Rights Movement.
Known as the “Moses of her people,” Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and dedicated her life to leading others to freedom through the Underground Railroad, risking her life countless times to liberate enslaved individuals.
Renowned poet, author, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou‘s literary works, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” shed light on the African American experience and continue to resonate with readers worldwide.
A pioneering mathematician at NASA, Katherine Johnson’s calculations were instrumental in launching the first American astronaut into space and played a crucial role in the success of the Apollo moon landing missions.
Madam C.J. Walker
As the first female self-made millionaire in America, Madam C.J. Walker revolutionized the haircare industry for Black women with her line of beauty products and empowered countless individuals through entrepreneurship.
A trailblazing politician, Shirley Chisholm shattered barriers as the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress and the first Black candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States.
A prolific writer, poet, and feminist, Audre Lorde’s works explored themes of race, gender, and sexuality, challenging societal norms and advocating for social justice and equality.
From her groundbreaking talk show to her philanthropic endeavors, Oprah Winfrey has become one of the most influential figures in media and entertainment, using her platform to amplify marginalized voices and inspire millions worldwide.
Dr. Mae Jemison
As the first African American woman to travel in space, Dr. Mae Jemison broke barriers in the field of space exploration and continues to advocate for STEM education and diversity in the sciences.
As the first African American First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama championed numerous initiatives to promote health, education, and empowerment, leaving a lasting impact on communities both domestically and globally.
These remarkable Black women have left an indelible legacy, inspiring future generations to dream big, persevere in the face of adversity, and work towards a more just and equitable world. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us honor their contributions and continue to uplift their stories for generations to come.
It is with heavy hearts that we reflect on the remarkable life of Debbie Osarere Idiagbonya, who has passed away. Her story, though marked by the trials of battling breast cancer, also serves as a testament to resilience and unwavering determination. Initially thrust into the public eye during her cancer diagnosis, Debbie’s journey was one of courage and fortitude.
Despite overcoming breast cancer in 2013, the disease’s relentless spread to her liver and bones posed new challenges. Yet, amidst personal loss and health struggles, Debbie’s optimism and fighting spirit remained undiminished.
This interview, conducted in December 2015 in Esther Ijewere’s column in the Sun Newspaper, was her last major interview before she died in April 2016, capturing a glimpse of Debbie’s indomitable spirit and unwavering resolve in the face of adversity.
Reaction to liver and bone cancer diagnosis
At first, I thought I was free from one deadly attack and now the cancer has spread. Well, like the doctors would say, I had metastatic breast stage IV cancer.I told myself my battle with cancer had just begun. I just focused on being positive believing God is going to make everything work out for my good. Always smile and dance when you hear bad news. My medical team (doctors) were trying to console me by saying: “First, we have good news and bad news, which one do you want to hear first”?All I said was I’m used to good news, but I will listen to the bad news first. My oncologist said, “I’m happy your chemotherapy is working for your liver but sorry the cancer came back to your bones”. I have been fighting since December 12, 2011. God will never leave me. I have survived breast cancer stage IV, I’m surviving liver cancer so how many bones? I’ve survived it before and I will survive it again. I will never lose my fighting spirit.
Tempted to give up on life
Through all these health challenges I have never been tempted to give up on life. I just keep staying focused and optimistic believing in the healing power of God. God has been my sustainer.
What keeps her going?
God keeps me going and the stories of survivors I have met.I have had the opportunity of listening to the challenging stories of survivors and positive-minded people around me. This has been my glimmer of hope
The health challenges have enhanced my faith in God. I used to think I wasn’t ready for something super challenging. I never thought I would be diagnosed with life threatening diseases especially when it’s not in my family. I find myself becoming stronger in my hope of defeating cancer.
Advise for Individuals Battling Health Challenges
I will advise individuals battling health challenges to keep their hopes alive. You may have been challenged, hurt, or delayed but remember you’re still alive. You have cancer, it doesn’t need to affect your spirit. You should live like a victor of cancer and not like a victim. Always remember that those who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy.
The ‘New’ Debby
My outlook on life has changed and has my spiritual life, through it all, these challenges have strengthened my resolve to live life and live it to the fully
Being a woman of rubies
My definition of a woman of rubies is a damsel who doesn’t fit into stereotypes. I am pleased being myself. I have great self-esteem and confidence which makes me willing to seek out and accept challenges. I want to inspire people with my story. This is what being a woman of rubies should be about. It should be about you overcoming adversity and using your story to inspire others.
Shonae Jones, a successful dropshipper and the young CEO of The Fempreneur Agency, is empowering a new generation of women entrepreneurs with her inspiring story of how she turned a $100 investment into 200K in less than a year.
Like many individuals, 34-year-old Shonae felt trapped in a job that she didn’t like and actively sought a way out. She started her first ecommerce business several years ago designing themes for Blackberry phones. When Blackberry stopped manufacturing devices, Shonae turned to designing cases for iPhones. This worked for a while but was short-lived because she didn’t have the resources or manpower to grow the business. So, when she learned that dropshipping allowed her to skip inventory, she didn’t hesitate.
Dropshipping is a business model of fulfilling eCommerce purchases without stocking products or owning a physical location. The seller purchases only what is needed from a wholesaler. When an order is received, the wholesaler ships the order to the customer.
An entrepreneur at heart and blessed, Shonae was excited about the prospect of dropshipping. She comments: “I was only making 30K a year as a legal assistant, so my budget to begin marketing was only $100. I needed to drive traffic to the store to make sales, so I used the same marketing strategies from when I was selling the phone cases. It worked! I utilized the strategy consistently and re-invested in the business with my 9 to 5 money as I went along.”
She adds, “Within 2 months, I was making 3K per month and within the next 4 months, I was making 10K-15K per month. By the end of the year, I had made 200K and was able to quit the toxic legal job I hated.”
Realizing the depth of her success with dropshipping, Shonae’s friends began asking her for help to start their stores, which birthed the idea for The Fempreneur Agency.
Touted as The Beyonce of Dropshipping, The Fempreneur Agency is a web design agency that creates expert Prebuilt Shopify Stores coupled with marketing strategies for women that want to fast-track their way to e-commerce success. The websites are completely customizable, and owners can choose from a range of products to sell- from luxury hair and handbags to sleepwear and baby clothes. Moreover, each website comes preloaded with 20 bestselling products that are ready to sell and fulfilled by USA-based suppliers.
Since launching The Fempreneur Agency, which is based in Richmond, Virginia, Shona has helped over 3,000 women start and grow thriving e-commerce businesses. One customer, Shameria J. said: “I’ve been trying for 5 years to start a drop shipping business on my own and wasn’t able due to not having the time to research. I was skeptical at first but decided to take the chance and invest the money to have to set up a store for my little girl’s 9th birthday. They did not disappoint at all. She made $297 in less than 48 hours with her store. I’m ready to purchase your services to add more stores.”