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.”
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, 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.
A popular author once said that your personal brand follows you wherever you go and sometimes even lingers behind when you leave a room. That’s exactly what Omobabinrin Adeola Osideko is advocating for in the society, training people to prioritise their personal brand and discover their potential.
Trained Accountant, chartered in Nigeria, the UK and Canada, Adeola works full time with the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire, as finance professional.
MINTA (Mummy In the Abroad) as she’s fondly called by her fans, she is a First-class graduate of Accounting and holds an MSc in Accounting from the prestigious University of London. Senior Director of Crystal Edge professional Services (a training and branding consulting company), she is a personal development coach, branding expert and social media influencer. An international and TEDx speaker, she has spoken in different countries (online and offline) and has published six books and 14 e-books. She has successfully coached over 10,000 people in personal development and branding. Over the last three years, Adeola has helped individuals and business owners build strong and reputable brands online and offline. She is also the founder of the Coached By Omobabirin, a Facebook community of over 20,000 members. The Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire -based coach shares her inspiring story with ESTHER IJEWERE in this Interview.
My childhood wasn’t that rosy. I grew up with my two siblings and my mother who was widowed at age 27. Growing up was a bit tough; because she had to solely fend for herself and us from her meager salary as a teacher.
But there are so many things my childhood taught me that I am grateful for today. They are; independence, living within your means, good planning and never being entitled to other people’s things. All these I picked up from my mum who was so determined to educate us no matter what. I picked up these life skills unconsciously, but later, they became very useful to me as I navigate life as an adult.
I grew up as a very outspoken child, audacious and very confident. I am daring about life and would do all I can to get what I want; I believe in the saying that when there is a will, there’s a way. My childhood wasn’t without some cracks too, which affected me negatively as an adult, but self-awareness and personal development have been helpful in smoothing these areas.
In all, my childhood has shaped and prepared me to be the responsible, self-driven, and audacious adult I have grown up to be.
Inspiration Behind Coached By OMOBABIRIN
Coached By Omobabinrin is a Facebook group where people of like minds gather to share values about purpose, business, various entrepreneurship skills, digital skills and so many other personal development skills. The group was founded as a community where people can share ideas and grow together.
Personal development is a necessity for everyone and should be made available as much as possible; that is one of the reasons why the group was founded so that members can learn from one another by posting meaningful content.
Accounting for me was borne out of the passion and love I had for mathematics then. In my early secondary school, I wasn’t doing so well in my Mathematics though, which was a big concern for my mum; she later got a Mathematics teacher for me, which changed the whole narrative. I fell in love with calculation and that made me opt-in for Accounting. And yes, Accounting has been interesting for me; it’s been close to 14 years of practicing and no regret whatsoever.
The Journey So Far
It hasn’t been rosy, but we keep going. The fact that I am only available to manage it part-time makes it more challenging. Based on my choleric nature, I love to be in charge and do my stuff my way (because I feel nobody can do it like me), but I had to learn to delegate and communicate what I want to achieve to my team members, while I watch them do it. This has also helped me raise awesome people with whom I can confidently leave the job, because I trust their abilities. Delegation is one of the major area’s leaders must learn and I am glad I adjusted fast to this reality.
Impact Of Coaching Over 10,000 People On Personal Development
Sasha Azevedo said, ‘when you love people and have the desire to make a profound positive impact upon the world, you have accomplished the meaning to live.’ One of the things that bring so much joy to me is transferring knowledge and impacting lives; it comes so easily. I do it with so much excitement and a sense of fulfillment follows.
Personal Development is a journey that makes us better as humans and I am glad I can impact people to become a better version of themselves on a daily basis; either directly or indirectly.
Being The Publisher Of Six Books And 14 e-books
Almost every day, I get one or two pieces of feedback from people about my books and how helpful it has been to them. My favorite is my first book, Building Great Relationships, because it’s a book that preserves humanity and our social values and humans.
The six books I have published are Building great relationships, Building a personal brand that makes money, The chronicles of MINTA series 1, My dreams are valid, The business of coaching, and The chronicles of MINTA series 2. The other 16 unpublished books and some of the e-books; I use them for my training and coaching programmes.
Working In a Francophone Country As An Accountant, And Managing Other Commitments
My passion for what I do drives me ‘Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you -Oprah Winfrey.’
When you are passionate about what you do, it will be easy to make room for it, no matter how tight your work schedule is. Yes, passion is the fuel that drives my energy and I have also learned to ask for help when I need it. ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help – Cesar Chavez.’ Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign that you value yourself, as well as other people.
Abidjan as a Francophone country has been a great place to live, although there is a little struggle with learning the French language. To be honest, it has not been easy living in a French country as an Anglophone person, but change is the only constant thing and I just had to adapt. I have a bit of struggle, but my children have been helping me. For children, it is quite easy to pick up the language fast than an adult, but generally, Cote d’Ivoire is a good country; they are hospitable and friendly. Even though there are some of their culture and norms that are strange to me as an Anglophone, we’ve got no choice than to adapt. That is part of what personal development is all about.
There are so many of them, but I will mention a few. Gender bias is still prevalent; some male clients and audiences tend to be disrespectful sometimes and I can attribute that to me being a woman. This may not be true though, but that’s how I see it.
Another thing is having to do so much, managing time and balancing life, family, work, business, faith, and social life. But I have come to realise that at the end of the day, we cannot achieve a balance. Oftentimes, one aspect of our lives demands a lot more from us than the rest. What is important is to prioritise, ask for help and take good care of yourself. Rest, eat well and take a break when the need arises.
Another one is unhealthy competition in the coaching industry. This one is really deep, but then we have got to learn how to manage it. I believe it’s everywhere and as humans, we feel somehow insecure, especially when we have low self-esteem.
Other Projects And Activities
My major project, for now, is The Iconic Brand Award coming up in November 2022. This is the 4th edition, and it has always been within Nigeria, but this time around, we are planning to have it in Lagos Nigeria, and the London United Kingdom.
Entreprenur.com recently released an infographic all about why employees quit their jobs. 82 per cent of employees report they don’t receive enough recognition. The Iconic Brand Awards is an annual event organised by my business, Crystal Edge Professional Services, and it’s all about recognising brands (personal brands and business brands) doing well in their various fields. Asides from that, it’s a networking and dinner event where people can meet, greet, connect, wine and dine and have some really good ‘year-end’ time.
Three Women Who Inspire Me And Why
I admire all women out there doing exploits, but since I am to mention just three, I will go with these three. Dupe Olusola: I met her not quite long on Instagram and I am totally in love with her personality; I love her dress sense and her smartness as a woman. We literally share a few things in common and this made her relatable on all levels. I love how she balances work and her social life; I do not like boring people, so she is a spec of a bubbling career woman.
The second person is Ibukun Awosika: I love her love for God and the things of God. Being a person of deep faith myself, I love people who are dedicated to serving God even in the marketplace place. She is a good example of a proverbs 31 woman; I love her bluntness, entrepreneurship spirit and her commitment to youth and women empowerment.
The third person is my former boss, Morenike Ogunnowo; she is a woman I love and respect. We worked together some years back and since then, we have grown a bond of sisterhood. She is hardworking, kind and very industrious; she inspires me a lot to know a healthy work-life balance is achievable.
My Role As The Editor Of Crystal Magazine
My organisation published a magazine in 2020 called The Crystals. It’s a magazine that showcases various brands and their work; it also has some educational content and industry news. That was the first edition, and we plan to have another edition very soon.
Educating The Society On Personal Branding
Creating awareness online via content creation on social media platforms is one of the best ways to educate people on personal branding. Branding is no longer what it used to be when it is just for business. An individual is a brand and must nurture that brand to blossom.
Personal branding is now important at all levels, unfortunately, most business owners do not realise the importance of personal branding, because they think branding is all about their business only. However, the truth is that if you want to create a successful business, you must create a successful personal brand. Personal branding helps people know you, like you, and trust you. And people who know you will trust you more and do business with you.
Achievements Recorded As A personal Development Coach And Influencer
I started the journey in 2015, took a break in 2017, and came back with full force towards the end of 2018. Since then, it’s been an amazing journey, not without its ups and down though. Some of my achievements are that I have coached, trained, and groomed thousands of people who are also doing well in their respective niches. I am a role model to so many people and I have inspired them positively, which I see as a big achievement. Other achievements are that I have been able to build a lot of brands with my name in terms of businesses and events such as The Iconic Brand Award event, The Global Brand Summit, the Personal branding Affirmation Challenge, Crystal Edge professional services and I have spoken on so many platforms, both globally and locally. I have been able to organise a TEDx event and become a TEDx organizer. I have also received multiple awards from different quarters recognising my works, impact, and influence.
What I Wish To Change In The Branding Sector
It will be to ensure people who portray themselves as coaches and experts, get enough training and certifications. The coaching industry is not well regulated, and anyone can wake up one morning to say ‘I am now a coach.’ As much as we can say this is okay to allow people to become whatever they want to be, it may also mean we will be having some bad eggs with poor quality of services, which may affect the goodwill and reputation of the industry. A well-regulated industry will help to checkmate individual activities and protect the image of the profession. Your brand is your personality; polish it.
Being A Woman Of Rubies
My price is far above rubies. I am a woman of impact who is making a significant change in society. I am a positive influence on young people, professionals, and business owners and I have successfully helped a lot of people build profitable, sustainable, and reputable personal and business brands.
I am a woman who supports other women and is always looking out for how to add value and make significant changes in society. I am a woman who is not afraid to see other people soar; I am a woman of rubies.
In Five years…
I see myself as an industry leader who has built capacity, who has grown, and someone who’s work is now recognised globally. I want to see myself on international platforms more, sharing my message to inspire, educate and empower people. I want to be able to confidently say I have coached, trained, and mentored thousands of people all over the globe.
Advice For Young People Setting Out To Build An Influential Brand
Be focused, avoid distractions, know what you want and go for it, regardless of what people think about it. Be kind, confident, and bold, the world is yours. Growth is not a day work; growth is a gradual process. Don’t compare your journey with someone else’s; your fight is different. Believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams.
The amount of time spent by the world population on social media continues to grow with many spending their time on their mobile phones.
In Nigeria, social media is a major news dissemination vehicle. It plays a critical role in how people consume news. One of the individuals championing the transformation is Kemi Adebayo, the publisher of Kemi Filani News.
On how the news platform was created, she said:”Kemi Filani’s blog started as a personal community blog in 2012 and was birthed out of the passion for being heard after being inspired by Channel’s TV during my compulsory national service youth corps at the media house as an online writer. The blog focused and thrived on entertainment stories and content focused on love and wedding stories” .
Asked how the news platform’s reinvention, she said: “In 2018, after six years of being solely run, Kemi Filani Blog metamorphosed into Kemi Filani News, a full-fledged online Nigerian Newspaper with well-trained writers, reporters, and editors with all hands on deck to serve millions of seeking readers daily”.
Shedding light on the highpoints of the KFN brand so far, she said:”In 2016, Kemi was named one of the top 100 below 30 influential Nigerian writers, and nominated as the best female blogger for 2019.
Today, Kemi Filani News is being recognized as a credible News Platform, thus becoming one of the leading voices redefining online information consumption”.
Also Adebayo noted that what makes the news platform unique is their insightful way of presenting news.
“What makes Kemi Filani News unique, is our insightful way of presenting news, everyday issues, features, and analysis in a professional manner that respects the rules of journalism”.
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
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 Multinational Brands And Moving To The 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.
Other 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.
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.
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.
Life they say has different faces and only the tough people can stand the challenges involved. It is better to fail in novelty than to succeed in imitation, a belief that makes Amb. (Dr.) Joy I. Ezeike is unique in life; she believes in her own concept of creating a different world in business and personal life.
A woman of many parts, Ezeike is an entrepreneur and business professional par excellence, a renowned certified media expert with global training experience, and an astute personality with proven managerial and administrative competencies. She retired to a private personal business after several years in the banking sector.
Her love for photography, cinematography, movie production and event management spurred her to establish a media company, Omas World of Glamour Ltd. As the Founder/CEO of the organization, she made sure that the required energy that engenders business growth was invested and the company grew to become the number media company in the city of Port Harcourt, with strong presence in Lagos and Abuja.
Her contribution to the social-economic development through the media industry earned her different awards from different reputable bodies, including religious organisations, in recognition of her role in society and capacity building. The most recent is the Garden City Advancement Award where she received a platinum honors as enterprising personality of the year in 2021. Also, the Rotary Club of Ogudu GRA honoured with an award in recognition of her service to humanity.
A honorary doctorate degree holder (Hon. Causa) in media and art from Omini Bible University Oklahoma USA, She shares her inspiring story with Esther Ijewere in this interview.
GROWING up and family life in a humble background got me ready for life. I grew up in a very peaceful, fun and loving family with parents who taught me almost all I know. Of course, I didn’t know I would be here right now doing this, but somewhere along the line, it came to me and ever since, to the glory of God, it has been a success story.
Inspiration Behind Omas Group Of Companies And Omas Mega 4 Projects
Love and Passion for humanity; the passion to create unending employment for the young ones in our society. The Holy Spirit has been the guide and anchor: He directs, and I simply follow.
The foundation for hope is an NGO set up to cater for the elderly, helpless and needy of our society. My Story is a movie about my life to give hope and belief to others who are either upcoming or think they have lost it in life. Face of Omas is a pageant brand geared towards uplifting the girl child, while Omas studios TV is an online platform.
The Journey So Far
It Wasn’t smooth at first, but the Holy Spirit kept me going, so, I Thank God for the success we enjoy today. It’s been a tough yet fun ride; I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.
What Informed My Decision To Leave Banking Sector For Entrepreneurship
I left the bank because it was pre-planned; I left to be a mother to my children and a wife to my husband. My regional manager refused me leaving thinking there was a problem at the home front, but there wasn’t any. I didn’t just believe in people taking care of my kids, so I took a sabbatical leave from the bank. But business came calling and I answered; I can return to banking at any time.
Society And Its Support For Women In My Kind Of Business
Societal support doesn’t really count for me, because society is not the vision bearer; they won’t really understand your drive. My pulling force in life/business has been heavenly support and that is what really counts for me. But then, generally, it will be better if society will support women, especially in the media industry.
Three Women Who Inspire Me And Why
I have drawn inspiration from many Nigerian women, the likes of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Rev Nches Iredu. Then on the international scene, you have the likes of Michelle Obama etc. These are women, who have been on various ladders of leadership, and some are leading big organisations and institutions. So, they inspire me a great deal; it makes me believe that there is no limit to what a woman can achieve.
Achieving Work-Life Balance
It has been God; He makes all things possible. He keeps giving me top-notch dedicated workers who always key into the vision. How I do it, I don’t know; God just keeps making it happen. I must tell you that it is not always very easy balancing marriage and work, as both are demanding, especially when you have children to take care of. However, marriage should not deter women from working and even giving sufficient time to work.
These days, the emphasis is no longer on the housewife; this is because to catch up with the demands of the family requires all hands to be on deck. As a matter of fact, I have provided strong support for my husband as long as the day-to-day running of our home is concerned. Over time, I have understood the home front and also my career; it takes dedication, absolute dedication, and self-sacrifice to balance the demand from the home front and career.
Truthfully speaking, I work hard and I give time to my work. I even work at night, yet I still find sufficient time for my husband and children. One thing that has helped me is my time management skill and I think people should learn the principles of time management; it will help them to balance the time they give at home and at work.
Challenges Of My Work
Lack of Government support and lack of collaboration with established firms in putting Nigerian media at the top sector. Dealing with young minds and eradicating poverty by creating unending employment requires a lot of investment. We need well to do individuals, firms, and the Government at both state and federal levels to come in and support training and equipping these young minds so we keep them off the street.
Other Projects And Activities
The Face of Omas will be coming soon with the view of uplifting the girl child. The Foundation for Hope is already catering for children in orphanage homes amidst plans to do some big charitable works and medical outreach in villages. Omas Studios TV has already started filming programmes and TV content for the general public. My story has been shot with the 1st episode already out on YouTube.
To Young Women Who Want To Go Into Business
First of all, clearly understand your vision and follow it up. Have a passion for your business. Passion is what drives you in any business, not minding how much you earn. Be a person of integrity; never be a two-sided person in business. Make the Holy spirit your everyday companion. ‘Women should be goal-oriented, women should focus on their goals and be intentional about them, the opportunities to excel in life are equal for men and women’ -alluring_jloo
Do not worry about success at startup, stay dedicated and work towards being significant. With determination, success will come naturally.
Why I Am Extending My Business To Lagos
We have touched young lives in Port Harcourt and we are doing the same in Abuja, why not Lagos? We are excited to see Omas World of Glamour enter the Lagos market. We have been able to provide our clients with media production services that produce measurable results, as well as insights for future expansion and now we are here in Lagos. This will be an advantage for customers in the Southwestern part of Nigeria, as we are here to provide them with the best delivery and pricing.
The most exciting facet that we look forward to is continuous development, allowing us to achieve our vision of being the foremost media production company with a global outlook.