Supportifly celebrate valentine with its “School is not scam” exercise book donation project. The initiative which kicked off last year is aimed at fighting miseducation, and helping to reverse the trend that education isn’t profitable.

Students holding the excercise book

For the special valentine exercise book donation, the Supportifly team visited Ijokodo High School and Cheshire High School, and sensitized the students on the importance of staying in school, getting good grades and making their parents proud.

Founded by Philanthropist, Bolarinwa Kashif, who believes in the power of education and committed to using his platform and resources to create change in the education sector in Nigeria.

Bolarinwa Kashif-Mr. Fly
Bolarinwa Kashif, CEO- Fly Multi Company

Asides the school project, Bolarinwa who is also known as Mr. Fly, create jobs, and  gives back to the society by supporting vulnerable persons, empowering youths and  children of low-income homes.

Speaking on the reason why his team decided to give back, the astute business man had this to say;

I am committed to restoring hope, educational value and create a better Nigeria. I want these children to know that education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

The philanthropist has been recognized by several organizations across Nigeria for his contribution to the society.

His Fly Fitness gym, which is another arm of his business has become a safe heaven for pregnant women, where they are assisted with free stressless delivery through healthy exercise, the gym boasts of world-class equipment, and it is one of the most visited in the ancient city of Ibadan.

Supportifly Book donation
Supportifly Team member with the students

The Supportifly team will be visiting more schools through out the year, and using it’s social media platforms to financially support the downtrodden, vulnerable and helpless who are in dire need.

The Supportifly team led by Bolarinwa Kashif O and Bolarinwa Haishah O, supported by their amazing team,; Olasunkanmi Olayinka Habeeb, Yusuf Balkis Oluwakemi; Samuel Lance Momodu, Olokede Oluwatobi Samuel, Jimoh Awawu Folake, Aluko Shahudah Folashade and Rufai Ojo Ibrahim.

See more photos from the outreach below;

Fly Multi Company by Bolarinwa Kashif


Uzezi Ernest is an Sustainable Development Goals  advocate and Fashion Designer with more than five years of social work experience that includes working as a program coordinator, team lead, sponsorship coordinator with NGOs, volunteering in youth advocacy, child welfare, event planning and management for organizations and non-profits.

Currently working as the program coordinator for Street to School Initiative, an NGO with over seven years of experience supporting the educational programs of underprivileged children in Nigeria. She is the CEO of Glorious Apparel Fashion, a bespoke clothing line for women and girls.

Uzezi Earnest

Apart from being a fashion designer, Uzezi is committed to educating young people—including young girls—about gender issues, building their capacity, personal development and helping them understand their purpose. She does this by leading sensitization programs in schools and mentoring the young people within her sphere of influence. So far, she has reached out to over 1,000 young people. Uzezi is determined to build uncommon competencies and constantly seeks opportunities to collaborate with great minds.

She shares her Ruby Girl story with the team

Did your childhood prepare you in any way for what you do now? Tell us more about your growing up

My childhood was quite an interesting one. Growing up, I have always been concerned about people   and  also been volunteering for several positions.  As the Assembly Prefect in Primary and Secondary school before I became the Senior Prefect in SSS 3. I have also been fashion conscious since I was a child. When I was about seven years of age, I took one of the window curtains in the house, and redesigned it in my own way to wrap my body, that was fashion to me. More, so I was a very shy person when growing up, I found it difficult to fully express myself in public,  however, I overcame that when I began to intentionally face crowds to preach the gospel, deliver seminars to undergraduate and secondary school students.

 What inspired you to join advocacy

My advocacy journey officially began as an undergraduate in 100 level. My elder brother has an NGO that advocates for children and vulnerable population so I assisted in outreaches, attended seminars, conferences all about advocacy. My interest began to stir up as I participated in   all through my undergraduate days. Going forward, after graduating from the university, I designed a personal development project that advocate for the needs of 466 vulnerable children.

How has the journey been since you started working as a program coordinator for Street to School Initiative?

The journey has been an interesting one, learning, unlearning and relearning.

You’ve been at the forefront of helping NGOs on their program, what are the things you learnt and would you say you have grown?

So far, I have more understanding in advocacy, delegation and team work. And yes, I have grown.

What are some challenges you experience as a social worker?

Some of the challenges I experienced as a social worker is the naive nature of some of the families we work with and also most of the times, there are limited or no funds to implement well-meaning community development projects.

As a youth advocate, what would you want the government to put in place in ensuring our youths are towing the right path?

The government needs to invest into youths that desire to go into entrepreneurship but are limited by guidance and funding. They should organize trainings on entrepreneurship and life coping skills, as well as make available internship opportunities.

 If there is one thing you could do to make the world a better place for the next generation of youths and children, what would that be?

I would do all I can to be the best by showing love and offering help ways I can, to all the people and in all the places I can. I would make sure there are employment opportunities for the masses and would also engage young people to venture into creating businesses.

Any final word for young women who aspire to be where you are right now but lacks the opportunity and support?

Search carefully and mingle with such people you aspire to be like. Learn from them, ask questions for clarity. In no time, you’ll begin to attract the support and opportunities you desire.

 Mention three women that inspire you and why

My mum, Mrs. Onome Ernest– she is so supportive of my dreams, kind hearted and very humble.
Mrs Oluwatosin Olowoyeye-Taiwo (Founder, Street to School Initiative) – She has a large heart and is full of so much love to impact humanity for good. Kari Jobe – Gospel Musician – She sings with so much authority and power, her songs bless my soul deeply.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years, I see myself doing more in empowering young people, bringing them into a place of purpose by God’s grace.

Street2school Nigeria

If you were given the opportunity to address a group of young girls just setting out in their career, what will be your advice to them?

My advice to them would be to remain focused, keep learning by serving and standing on the shoulders of giants. More so, never to worry about anything but keep doing the right things!


It Is Difficult To Access Funding If You Are Not A Big Name In The NGO Sector’- Aiyekusehin Monisola



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. When did you decide to become a chef?

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

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

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

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

12. How do you describe your overall cooking philosophy?

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

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

A gas burner, pan and knife.

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

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

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

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

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

Adelaja Oluwademilade is a graduate of English from the prestigious Covenant University. She’s a Teacher, A certified Early Childhood Educator and an SDG Youth Advocate for SDG 4 (Quality Education).

Oluwademilade is a Volunteer at Street2School Initiative, an NGO aimed at providing Quality Education to out-of-school children in Lagos Nigeria. She has a strong passion for kids in marginalized communities. She believes every child should have access to education irrespective of their socio-economic background.

Overtime, Oluwademilade has also developed interest in advocacy to end period poverty in Nigeria by working with an NGO named Royal Gem Initiative. The initiative provides sexual health education and sanitary pads to girls in low-income communities so they can menstruate in a more healthy way.

Currently, Oluwademilade is a Lagos State SDG Youth Ambassador. And a member of the UNESCO SDG4 Youth Network. She loves children and youths and her greatest desire is to train up young people to become transformative leaders in the society.

She shares her Ruby Girl story with the team.

1. Tell us about your childhood, Demilade. What was growing up like for you?

Growing up was pretty interesting to me. I’m the second child of three children; so being the middle child, I didn’t have much going on with me. Growing up for me was basically; going to school, attending Sunday School, going to church and having extra lessons at home because I wasn’t so good for Maths lol.

2. As a certified Early Childhood Educator Advocate, what informed your passion to teach? And what do you think should be put in place to make early learning fun and impacting?

I would say my passion to teach is a God-given passion. I never imagined doing anything relating to education talk more of teaching, it was in my final semester in school I got the calling. Also, my mum is an educator so I think I got a part of it from her.

To make learning fun and impactful, teachers themselves must love their job because when a teacher doesn’t like teaching it will affect the students’ performance. Also, teachers should make use of learning aids like flashcards, videos, pictures etc because children learn by seeing and doing not just talking in the classroom. This will also help students remember what they were taught in class.

3. What motivated you to become a Sustainable Development Goal Advocate?

We live in a world where there is so much gap between the elites and the marginalized, and the only way to bridge this gap is to provide sustainable means of livelihood. This requires a collective effort and not just the responsibility of the government, So, I decided to take the lead and contribute my quota towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

4. ‎As a Youth Advocate for quality education, what’s your take on “School na Scam”?

Hmmmm…. I don’t think school is a scam and I’m not saying this because I’m an advocate for quality education. Everyone has different passions and goals, and sometimes these passions are not related to what is being taught in school and that is okay. However, we must understand that the fact that one does not practice what they were taught in school in their workplace or make money with it, doesn’t make education less important. Truth is, education is what makes the difference in a person so, whether you learn in school or not, you still need the education to become better at whatever you decide to do. Education has and is still opening doors of opportunity for people who desire it. School is NOT a scam.

5. ‎What are the challenges you have encountered as a youth advocate?

– Funding: So many things to be done yet few resources are available.

– Getting more young people to participate in Youth advocacy.

– Socio-economic Inequality: There is a huge gap between you the rich and the marginalized in Nigeria. Trying to bridge this gap is challenging due to the economy of Nigeria.

– Overpopulation: A lot of people, especially in rural areas keep having children they cannot cater for. The children are increasing in their numbers however there are no resources to take care of them.

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


7. What’s your take on volunteering, most youths would rather stay idle than take up an unpaid job?

Volunteering gives you an avenue to be the change you desire to see in your community and the world at large. So if you have the opportunity to volunteer, please I beg you; do it wholeheartedly because, at the end of the day, it’s not about the money and assets one would acquire, but the impact one would have made and the lives one have touched.

8. ‎An unpopular random fact about you.

I cannot multi-task. I can do only one thing at a time.

9. ‎ If you were to contest Nigeria’s presidency, what is the major change you will present in your manifesto?

While I acknowledge that there are other areas to look into, I believe that quality education is one of the biggest challenges in Nigeria. I will strive for free basic education for all children and introduce educational reforms that will target reducing the number of out of school children in Nigeria. Also, I would look into the issue of overpopulation in the country by introducing a two-child policy. I know some people may not be in support of this but that’s the only effective way to reduce overpopulation and ensure equal allocation of resources in the country.

10. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

I) My mum (Mrs Abosede Adelaja): Her Strength, Her Resilience and Work Ethic.

ii) Jumoke Adenowo – I love her passion for raising godly women and her style.

iii) Jackie Aina – I love how she talks about setting boundaries and how she teaches young girls to be self-confident.

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

In 5 years, I will have completed my Master’s degree in Education and I hope to be doing work that contributes to transformational change in the Nigerian educational system.

12. If you were allowed to address a group of young girls just setting out in their career, what will be your advice to them?

Be open to learning. Be kind to yourself if you make mistakes. Don’t be in a hurry to “blow”. Settle down and learn the skills you need to thrive. You can do great things from a small place.

Lydia Eseoghene Okojie is an Entrepreneur who holds a BSC. Ed in Accounting education. Being raised as a Christian and a lover of God, She is a worker in the church serving God in the Choir department as a Praise leader and the media unit.

As a Youth in the Church, She supports the ministry of Jesus Christ in her best way. Having gathered experience in Events planning , red carpet hosting and Experiential marketing as a HAWKER, she now coordinate Event Staffs She founded her own company.
Lydia Okojie Tv, this is a company that trains and provides professional individuals on skills regarding to hosting, Red carpet and becoming masters of ceremonies.  Lydia okojie cakes and event and she holds certificate of training in Catering services.

As a beauty queen, Current MISS ECOWAS NIGERIA 2021. she began her modelling career in 2016 after winning Miss Photogenic, then Edo state Next Top Model, then Miss Motivational in 2018, she made her way into Entertainment industry, where she’s now into content creation( skit making).

She believes in giving and impacting lives and this has made her to be known as a humanitarian, this gives her so much joy.

 She shares her Ruby Girl story with the team.

1. Tell us about your childhood, Lydia. What was growing up like for you?

The part I enjoyed more in my childhood is falling in love with God at a young age. I spent most of my time being in God’s presence, attending choir rehearsal and my parents were very supportive. I think it is what they wanted because they would prefer that I go to church rather than visiting anyone both in good and worse times.

One thing I learnt from my parents while growing up was the attitude of “giving and caring for others.” I can recall how my mum would cook and give to our neighbors each time there’s harvest in the church and plenty rice was shared my mum would share it among the neighbours.

This happened during my childhood and I adapted, I could recall sharing my foodstuff with friends in school that didn’t have and sometimes giving out cash in my little way.

2. ‎Have you always had a flair for catering and modelling from a young age?

I love good food, I love to cook and being the eldest child I’ve learnt the skill of making nice meals for my younger ones. I learnt baking and catering after graduating from school.

There are no specific requirements though, the question is, is modeling your passion? If yes that means you have these qualities: intelligent, smart,bold, beautiful, self confident and lastly you need to trust God for the process and put him first.

3. What motivated the launch of Lydia Okojie Tv?

Well, I got passion to always be in front of camera, interviewing notable people and guest, I love hosting shows.
The feelings were true that I couldn’t resist it. As a reigning beauty queen, I knew I can do a lot using LYDIA OKOJIE TV platform.

4. ‎How was your decision to pursue modelling and aspiration as a Beauty Queen received by your close contacts?

It was quite interesting but only few persons associated themselves with me because of my family financial status most of my classmate saw me hawking in the market and sometimes won’t want to talk to me. I began hawking while I was in primary school.

(Smiles) Yes, my family is my biggest fan, and few friends, my dad & mum have always supported me as long as I don’t make them regret it, at the earliest had no contacts, I had no sponsor but I had God.

5. ‎What are the challenges young entrepreneurs in the fashion, modeling & entertainment world face and is there any specific one you encountered?

There are so many challenges that if you aren’t strong enough and determined in your career you could give up easily so, I’ll advise that whatever the challenge may encounter stay strong, focused, seek and accept positive counsel, believe in yourself and pray.

Some of the challenges I’m facing as an entrepreneur are:
Mental stress: Being a young entrepreneur and managing a growing business is hardwork. It is not really easy coping financially and employing people to relieve you stress of managing social media, attending to people calling for enquiries, graphic designing, etc so do all these myself…Yes, I do everything myself for now and it’s really stressful you know.

Office space: This is a major challenge that I really need to sort as soon as possible because it’s affecting my business growth. Most people appreciate you more and feel safer to do business with you when they are able to meet you at a physical place that is comfortable and not just online meeting.

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

(Smiles) My wrist watch.

7. ‎What are the services Lydia Okojie Tv provides?

Rendering of hosting events, providing of well trained professional models for brands, video shoot and adverts.
Providing of well trained Event Staff i.e Ushers, Bouncers, cartoon characters, interview session with kids on the street sharing their experiences interview session with mentors and coaches.

Handling of experiential marketing for brands for creating awareness and increase in sales making.

8. ‎An unpopular random fact about you.

I love having a pretty hair do and makeup on but I seldomly have them because I would prefer to look my simple way.

9. ‎ If you were to contest for Nigeria’s presidency, what is the major change you will present in your manifesto?

Ensure that those who hawk for their parents
are given scholarships from primary to university.

Those street kids who can’t read nor write will be taught a skill and empowered.

Women will take lead role in government position and make decisions. I could make women become governors in each state of Nigeria.

10. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

Mrs Florence Okojie, that’s my mom.
She is a virtuous woman, if you meet my mom you can’t help but call her mother because she will treat you like her own child. She is a mother that every child would want to have, shes so strong, shes independent, she’s beautiful in every aspect. I love you mum.

Second woman that inspires me is Mrs Oprah Winfrey, her story tells alot about me and my background. She is kind. She makes ugly memories beautiful, you will appreciate Oprah Winfrey in your life, I admire her so much she’s my mentor, she manages her roles excellently, I hope to meet her soon.

The third woman that inspires me is a famous Mitchelle Obama. I love her for her simplicity and support she gave her husband right from the time they met.

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

(Laughs) In the next five years, I see myself fulfilled.

12. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of young girls just setting out in their modelling career, what will be your advice to them?

My advise to them is they should not be desperate, be patient with yourself, always tell yourself you’re beautiful and you will succeed, learn a skill if you’re not schooled even if you’re, they should ask to learn more (seek counsel) don’t cut corners take one step at a time, seek God first in everything, be a good woman for yourself, your society and your generation unborn.


Winifred Njoaguani, host of The Word of Wini Podcast.  She is an experienced customer relations officer, a communication media creative, an audio, visual and text content creator. She is passionate about equity and females all over the world, creating content for female-based platforms like The Girl Power media and has attended several global leadership trainings.

She shares her Ruby Girl story with the team.

1. Tell us about your childhood, Winifred. What was growing up like for you?

I had an amazing childhood, I must say. I’m the first child of four kids so I have always had the responsibility of looking out for and taking care of my younger ones. I grew up in a Christian home that upholds values and morals, my mother is a disciplinarian and she would never allow anything go wrong under her watch or give room for any of her kids misbehave.

However, as strict as my mother was, she taught me to always talk to her about everything, even though I was going to get in trouble for it. I shared a close-knitted bond with my family, including my cousins, and we have maintained that till date

At school, my sibings and I have always excelled and made our parents proud. I was always the one selected to handle several leadership positions; class prefect, head girl, social prefect even being leader of cultural dance groups, school choir, etc

Growing up was a mixture of discipline, education, family love and leadership for me.

2. Have you or people around you always known that you would be this passionate about equity and females?

In my family, we always represent fairness in every situation and regardless of things like gender, age, tribe, etc
I’ve always been passionate about females, people who know me well know that you cannot come near my sisters or my female friends, I will bite you (laughs). I remember one time in Secondary School when I was made class prefect by my class teacher and then someone made a side comment that it should have been a boy. I didn’t understand why and it didn’t make sense to me.

One time a male classmate hit me, I hit him back and we broke into a fight, my class teacher gave reasons I shouldn’t be fighting in school; It was morally wrong, I agreed to that, I was a Prefect, I agreed to that, I was a girl, now this confused me. He said a guy can hit back because he’s supposed to man up but a girl should run crying to the staff room. It didn’t make sense.

One other time, during sports activities, we were playing tug of war, girls vs boys and girls won, a teacher said to the boys, “you’re not ashamed, you let girls win you” that didn’t make sense as well!
So, yes, I had always known.

3. One accessory you can’t leave home without?

I barely wear jewelleries so I’d say my glasses. I could have said my phone but it could be an emergency and at that time I just want to see where I’m running to properly.

4. Judging by your years of practice in the Customer relation office, what have you noticed most organizations and institutions are lacking in regards to customer relations? Any suggestions on how they can improve?

I think that would be the speed at which they attend to even the smallest of issues and some unnecessary protocols I see in some places. It’s easy, as much as you can, reduce the difference in time between when a customer laid an issue to when that issue is being resolved and make the entire experience less stressful and more simplified for customers. Also, there are times when customer service personnels are helpless, maybe it’s a management policy that they really cannot do anything about asides from trying to pacify the customer. As much as feedback from external customers matter, institutions should take feedback from their internal customers (staff, etc) seriously as well, listen to them and try to make their own service experience better.

5. You specialise in creating female-based contents, how do you source for your content ideas? And any major lessons or tips?

My ideas spring from personal experiences, experiences from people around me, societal norms that I’m uncomfortable with and some relatable social media trends. However, one must be very careful not to spill too much personal information or mention names especially in stories that are sensitive and always seek permission before sharing a person’s experience.

6. What inspired the birth of your podcast, “The Word of Wini Podcast”?

My Podcast was birthed out of my love for radio and I think the media generally. When I was in Secondary School, I started a magazine project, I can’t remember what I wanted to name the magazine but it was female and child based, it wasn’t published because I couldn’t get anyone to sponsor it financially. I also tried out a YouTube channel in 2017, *La Déesse TV* La Déesse is French for *The Goddess* and it was really promising. In fact, I recently ran into a proposal I put together for my first guest on the channel and I was so impressed, I wish I had gone ahead with that project. In my University days, I waltzed into the radio life and I enjoyed talking on air, I always looked forward to going into the studio for my radio shows, coming out and hearing people talk about how good I was.

I couldn’t continue with radio because of my 9-5 job but a lot of people kept encouraging me to go back to being creative and sharing my views, so in 2020, I created The Word of Wini Podcast and it is slowly becoming my identity.

7. To many Feminism means not being submissive, proud, rude and wanting to be in control, what’s your take on feminism?

I don’t like it when people refer to me as a feminist because of the controversies surrounding that term and how people have been defining it recently. Regardless of your gender, you should be humble and take cognisance of the next person’s feelings at all times, I really don’t like the way they use that word submission *na so so submission, shey we get assignment?*

Feminism for me is, what is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose. Feminism is absolute respect for the rights of a female; fairness and equity and not placing her below the radar.

So, if you’re telling a woman to be submissive to her husband, be sure to tell a man to be submissive to his wife. Now if you have a problem with that school of thought then it means you think that being submissive is a sign of weakness and it’s for women alone.

Feminism is acknowledging that if a woman wants she can remain unmarried till she attains a certain age, she can aspire to build a house before getting married if that’s what she desires, her favorite colour can be black and she doesn’t have to learn to cook just because she is female, she should learn to cook because it’s a survival skill. Thankfully, this conversation has been had and embraced almost everywhere.

8. A random fact about you that is oblivious to many.

Somehow, I always manage to have a slightly different opinion on things so people may think I’m controversial and like to argue. On the contrary, I love peace and I detest when I’m just trying to air my view on something and hear out the other person so that we can both learn and people turn it into an argument. I would walk away and almost never talk about anything to that person, I love peace.

9. ‎ If you were to be the President of the Nigeria, which changes would you implement?

This is hard honestly because positive change is relatable. But I think some of the things I would most definitely try to put in place would be affordable quality education and a country where basic amenities are accessible and available to all… I mean not everyone should live a life of luxury, there must always be a margin between the rich and the not-so-rich and I get it but you see basic amenities like water, food, electricity, health care and good roads, every human living in the country should have a lifetime access to them.

10. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

There’s an entire list, in no particular order, there’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for very obvious reasons, that woman is so intelligent, she speaks and writes admirably, she’s well known and yet managed to maintain a life of privacy. I admire the creative power of the likes of Kemi Adetiba and Mo Abudu, I see myself in every female character that they have put on screen who exude so much power and class. My mother also inspires me, like I said earlier, she’s a core disciplinarian yet very amiable. Only my mother would tell you to go to hell in such a way that you’d be looking forward to that trip (laughs).

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

It is always hard to answer this whenever I’m asked, I’m really not in charge of my life, I do hope God takes me to really high places in career, wealth and pursuing my dreams.

12. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?

Five years younger than I am meaning they should be about 19/20 in age, that’s a really sensitive time of their lives… Your life starts now, not when you are done with school, now! and you need to start putting things in place, the way you speak, the things you do and the choices you make now play a huge role in shaping the next stage of your life. Oh and also, a health worker told me something about the rate at which 19/20 year olds get pregnant so, no matter what you do, if you are not ready to train a child, do not have unprotected sex. Acquire as many skills as you can, tech skills, financial skills, etc, it’s not too early to be the best version of yourself.

Ameera Abraham is the CEO & Spa Director of The Nail Bar, a luxury nail spa and wellness centre and the founder of Nigeria’s premier professional nail care brand Amali Cosmetics. She is the author of “The Full Set” and also serves as the Director of Communications at the Spa and Wellness Association of Africa.

She is a qualified beauty therapist, holds a BA in Politics and International Relations and a CIBTAC Diploma in Spa Management.

Outside of her professional life, Ameera enjoys reading, yoga, volunteering and bonding with her children. She is an advocate of women and children’s rights & enlightening and empowering women in their various fields.

On what inspired her to start the nail spa 

The Nail Bar was first born out of passion but also a gap in the market, there was no nail spa at the time and I was eager to start a spa that would bring a professional and unique nail spa experience to Abuja. Amali Cosmetics, on the other hand, was born as a tool for education – particularly for fellow nail technicians – but also a non-toxic line of nail care for women of colour.

The market was littered with counterfeit brands of nail polish that were not only cheap but extremely harmful due to the toxic and unverifiable list of ingredients in them. I felt it was imperative to create a professional and high-quality local brand to counter those.

Have you ever pictured a seven-year-old girl having her period? We need to drop the shame and start talking more openly and honestly about menstruation. We are gradually getting to a point where this age, will be the starting age for menstruation as opposed to starting as a teenager. There is a need to further sensitize future mothers and fathers about this. It is not something to shy away from. It is a normal biological process every woman must go through. Bisola Adeyemi is a Chartered Accountant, Entrepreneur, Affiliate Marketer, and Girl Child Advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, and an associate certificate from the prestigious Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

She also recently got certified as a Programme Presenter under the Global Goodwill Ambassadors Foundation for their “My Body is My Body” campaign.Bisola started her NGO in her final year at the University, in 2016. Despite all odds and restrictions she experienced in school, she was able to reach out to communities around Ilishan Remo and Iperu Remo Ogun State, with information about menstruation, menstrual hygiene, including its truths, and myths. This was made possible with the help of volunteers and friends. She later registered her NGO, Bevy of the Elites Foundation with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2018. Since its inception, the organization has reached out to over 4500 girls with information and sanitary pads.

She shares her “Ruby Girl” story with the team.


1. Let’s meet you, Bisola. How can you describe your childhood?

My full name is Adeyemi Bisola Elizabeth. I am a believer in Jesus Christ and his finished works. I am the 3rd of 6 children- 5 girls and a boy. I am from Osun State. I love to travel and have meaningful conversations. I had the most memorable childhood, from attending school to outdoor games, church activities, school and church competitions, amongst others that have helped shape me into who I am today.

2. When did you conceive Bevy of the Elites Foundation? Any major event that led to it?

It was in 2016. I went for a group mentorship session, and I heard God clearly instruct that I start a foundation to teach girls about menstruation, menstrual hygiene, chastity, body awareness, and family involvement in children’s development. It was formerly “The Girl Child Foundation” but due to the popularity of the name, we were not able to register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission. This prompted my siblings and I to come up with the name “Bevy of the Elites Foundation” which clearly explains our vision and mission, that is: Group of the learned where people, particularly the female gender can learn about their body and development.

3. What are the greatest myths that have affected menstruation and menstrual hygiene over the years?

The very common myth- If any guy touches you as a lady, you’ll get pregnant. This myth has been around for as long as I can remember, and I think it is one that has come to stay. Of course, as we grow older, we get to know that not physical touch, but sexual intercourse gets a lady pregnant. This has caused a lot of girls their self-esteem. This has also led to a lot of issues ranging from lesbianism, rage amongst others because teenagers are not told the clear truth from their childhood.

Another myth is that purchasing sanitary materials like pads should be kept private and hidden in non-transparent nylons. Whereas sanitary pad is like buying toothpaste, bathing soap, and the rest. They are all personal hygiene products.

I also hear a lot that a girl should not talk about her period in public as it is a shameful thing and makes one vulnerable when in fact it is not something to be ashamed of.

4. Your favorite quote/mantra?

My favorite quote/mantra is “Menstruation matters.”

5. Was there ever the need to sacrifice school for the execution of a project at Bevy of Elites Foundation?

I attended a school where we were only allowed to leave the school environment once a week. I had to plan my calendar to accommodate the NGO programs, in schools around Ilishan Remo and Iperu Remo Ogun State. Most of the time, I usually convey with my friends after the day’s lectures which must have been well planned out.

So, have I ever sacrificed school for any of the Foundation’s execution of a project? Yes! Many times! Shout out to my friends and volunteers that always come through.

6. Despite having a tight schedule as an undergraduate in a private institution, how were you able to scale through making your dream a reality?

I am a go-getter. Once I set my mind to do something, I do! So as an undergraduate, who has heard God speak about this vision. I immediately ran with it. There were times that I also had issues with the hall administrator due to the time of arrival in the hostel, but I had to explain all these over and again and God always show up for us; me and my friends. I must confess, it was not easy, but it only lasted for 1 year in University, after I graduated, I had all the time to do several projects.

7. As a Girl Child advocate, what is your stake on the ever-rising issue of rape in the country?

A common assumption is that rapes are mostly committed by strangers which is wrong. The majority of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. Also, no type of clothing is an invitation for sex or implies consent. What a woman was wearing when she was raped is simply not relevant. Rape is never the victim’s fault.

That established, the issue of rape in Nigeria is increasing by the day and all children and teenagers should be educated about this. Parents have a role to play as well. Most children communicate assault to their parent/guardian, but they do not take the kids seriously which is why rape gets through most of the time.

In many of our programs at Bevy of the Elites Foundation, we have now incorporated the ‘My Body is My Body Campaign’ because we get several girls speaking out about their rape incidence and how they are not safe around particular set of people and we are also trying our best to ensure that the information about rape is well communicated and handled appropriately.

8. Has Accounting always been your dream profession? Any childhood ambitions?
Well, I will say growing up, it was either you choose to be a Lawyer, Accountant, Medical Doctor, or Engineer. I went with the trend at the time and settled to be an Accountant since I chose the commercial line back in secondary school. I would otherwise have become a teacher. I love to teach and that’s one of the things I enjoy doing at Bevy of the Elites Foundation and some other places like the church I attend, Celebration Church International.

9. If you were to be the president of Nigeria for a day, which policies would you implement, or changes would you effect?
Changes as regards menstruation and availability of sanitary pads. I will make sure every school has a sanitary pad bank where girls can walk in freely to pick up pads on or before their period.
I will also sign a bill for all girls to attend school up to the University level. No girl should be left behind because of some cultural beliefs that girls are meant to be in the kitchen.
I will also make sure that the educational curriculum in primary and secondary schools is revamped to reflect the reality of the world we live in.

10. Any memorable event since the inception of Bevy of the Elites Foundation or most tasking outreach?
All our events/outreaches are memorable as we get to meet different girls. I will say the most memorable event was when we reached out to girls in Babs Fafunwa (Senior and Grammar Schools) Ojodu, Berger in 2019. The girls came out in their numbers. Everyone got a sanitary pad and was happy. You could literally see the glow in their eyes. I also remembered a community outreach we had in Ikenne Palace, Ogun State where myself and a partner had to publicize the programme on HOPE FM. Many young girls were enlightened and I also learnt a lot from that community with regard to their way of life and hygiene practices.

11. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?
My mum- she is a go-getter. Ever heard of anyone who always knocks out her goals, she does every single time.
Ola Sulaimon- She inspires me because she runs an NGO and is a Chartered Accountant. We have a lot of things in common from the university we attended to how we have patterned our life to be.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala- The first woman appointed to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO). I mean, she is a woman changing the status quo for the rest of us.

12. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself exactly where God will have me be. Reaching the world for God and contributing my quota to humanity.

13. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?
Put societal pressure out of the way. Societal pressure reduces the level of self-esteem and self-confidence. Some examples are, the ways in which ladies are pressured to get married and have children, and even after having a child, the pressure continues as to when the next child will come, pressures like judgment solely on appearance, pressure to have sex, and abuse substance amongst others. I will let them know that they should not pattern their lives after societal pressure, or they will burn out.

Thank you for your time, ma.

GRACE INIOBONG EKA is an Entrepreneur who holds a BSC in Marketing and OND in Accounting.

Being raised as a Christian and a lover of God, She is a worker in the church serving God in the Choir department as a Praise leader and Treasurer, In the drama department she displays her acting skill by ministering through drama and also the department Treasurer. As a Youth in the Church, She handles the welfare as an Executive.

Having gathered experience in Events and Experiential marketing as a coordinator, coordinating Event Staffs and training brand representatives.; She founded her own company named *QG* _*AGENCY* . QG Agency is a company that trains and provides professional marketers/brand representatives, Event Staffs and Models., Also into Real Estate and Telecommunication services.

She holds certificate of training in Fashion design crafts , Catering services, Intensive training in Business from BSC Brand Consult.

As an *Entrepreneur* , She is a member of Neca’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW).

*GRACE INIOBONG EKA* is an ex beauty queen of Miss Akwa Ibom Lagos through which she made her way into modelling and Entertainment industry and she joined the Association of Beauty Queens and Kings and Currently the Deputy Coordinator of Lagos State branch

She believes in giving and impacting lives and this has made her known as an humanitarian and given her the joy to launch THE GRACE HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION.

She Shared her Ruby Girl story with the team.

1. Tell us about your childhood. What was growing up like for you?

Firstly, I would like to appreciate this platform for having me.

My childhood was an exciting one as both of my parents were disciplinarians. I wasn’t allowed to keep friends and being the first child I had to learn how to consider my siblings first before myself. It was quite interesting! The very first female friend I tried to keep after my secondary school education my Dad instructed me never to bring her home again. The only friends I had then were my colleagues at work and people in church and they mustn’t visit and I don’t visit too. Yea! My secondary education was quite fast and I started working at age 14 the day after having my last paper for WAEC.

The part I enjoyed more in my childhood is falling in love with God at a young age. I spent most of my time being in God’s presence and my parents were very supportive. I think it is what they wanted because they would prefer that I go to church rather than visiting anyone.

One thing I learnt from my parents while growing up was the attribute of “giving and caring for others”. I can recall how my dad would pay rents for people and help people with money to start up businesses then. Each time my mom buys foodstuffs she will call some women and share amongst them. This happened during my childhood and I adapted, I could recall sharing my food allowance with friends in school that didn’t have. This happened when I was 8 years old and at age 15 when I started working I had started sharing my salary with some people in church.

My childhood taught me the principle of sharing.
I’ll say I really enjoyed my childhood.

2. ‎Any childhood ambition or aspiration nursed by you?

I have always wanted to be an independent woman and a great leader. I believe so much in giving and I’ve always prayed to be a giver and the grace to touch the lives of everyone that deserves to be happy.

3. What motivated the launch of THE GRACE HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION?

The feelings was just too strong that I couldn’t resist it. Even while I was a reigning beauty queen and I knew I could have used the platform but fear of Funds and supports didn’t allow me.
But God allowed the launch of THE GRACE HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION happen because it was just the right time!.

4. ‎Was your decision to pursue modelling and being a Beauty Queen supported by your close contacts?

(Smiles) Not at all. I had no contacts and supports. My dad didn’t even support my decision to venture into the industry because he was scared I would lose focus. Only God can tell how I became the winner of MISS AKWA IBOM LAGOS 2015/16 because I only know I got the form for #5000 then and the rest I can’t explain. All outfits I used during the competition were given. Though I was working but I couldn’t have sponsored myself if not by His grace.

5. ‎What are the challenges young entrepreneurs in the real estate, fashion and modelling world face and is there any specific one you encountered?

There are so many challenges that if you aren’t strong enough and determined in your career you could give up easily so, I’ll advise that whatever the challenge may be just stay put, believe you can and pray.

Some of the challenges I’m facing as an entrepreneur are:

Mental stress: Being a young entrepreneur and managing a growing business is hardwork. It is not really easy coping financially and employing people to relieve you stress of managing social media, attending to people calling for enquiries, graphic designing, etc so do all these myself…Yes, I do everything myself for now and it’s really stressful you know.

Office space: This is a major challenge that I really need to sort as soon as possible because it’s affecting my business growth. Most people appreciate you more and feel safer to do business with you when they are able to meet you at a physical place that is comfortable and not just online meeting.

6. What are the requirements or qualifications of a beauty queen?

For you to qualify as beauty queen you need to be bold, beautiful, intelligent, smart and self confident.

7. ‎What are the services QC Agency provides?

QG_Agency is CAC Certified and we offer the following services:

Providing of well trained professional models for brands, video shoot and adverts.

Providing of well trained Event Staff i.e Ushers, Escorts, Bottle girls, party starters.

Handling of Experiential marketing for brands for creating awareness and increase in sales making.

Real Estates and property management.

8. ‎Business principles life has taught you?

We are in the time where business has really changed compare to the 1990’s. It takes a passionate and determined person to do business now because of the number of competitors in all businesses and so I’ve learnt to carve my business on quality service which is “Professionalism,” take advantage of every opportunity in promoting my business and build a great team.

9. ‎ If you were to be the President of Nigeria, what are the changes you would effect?

Economic change.

10. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

Mrs Hannah Iniobong, that’s my mom. She is a virtuous woman, if you meet my mom you can’t help but call her mother because she will treat you like her own child. She is a mother that every child would want to have.

Second woman that inspires me is Mrs Funmilayo Awoogun. She is a kind of Leader you will appreciate to have. I admire her so much as she is the President of NNEW, a Pastor, a wife, a mother and a mentor and yet so humble and she manages these roles excellently.

The third woman that inspires me is a famous popular Actor, Aunty Kate Henshaw. I love her from the first time I saw her movie when I was about 10 years old. She is the realest Actor I have known and I learnt to be a Humanitarian through her. So many things to talk about Aunty Kate but I can’t say it all now.

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

(Laughs) In the next five years, I see myself fulfilled.

12. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?

Ladies, don’t be desperate, take one step at a time, seek God first in everything and work hard to be an independent woman.

Rafiat Atanda is a Communications Officer at a leading financial institution, and with a heart in the social impact space. She is a 2021 Carrington Youth Fellow, 2021 Margaret Ekpo Youth Fellow, 2020 ONE Champion, Advocate, quintessential Public Speaker, Host, and Freelance Presenter with over five years of experience.

In her capacity as a 2020 ONE Champion in Nigeria, she was privileged to join the high-level Tortoise G7bn Summit and shared her thoughts on the kind of leadership the world should be aiming for.

Also, she has hosted a number of top-level events, judged several debate competitions, moderated a number of panel sessions and trained individuals in the art of excellent public speaking. A one-time presenter on LASU Radio 95.7FM and “Insight on Politics” on LTV, she continues to trailblaze and inspire action whenever she talks. She is the host of “TalkWithRaffy” on Instagram, a platform where she teaches people how to speak and communicate effectively.
Rafiat Atanda is passionate about women, girls and youth.

She shared her Ruby Girl story with the team.

1. Tell us about your childhood, Rafiat. What was growing up like for you?

Growing up was a blend of fun, fear, faith and hope. Like many kids in semi-urban areas, I grew up playing table tennis with boys, seasonally going to Mr Biggs, defending other girls from male oppression, living with caution because my parents were principled and entrenched in spirituality. It was a tough environment characterised by juvenile delinquency, little or no regard for education and other social vices but thankfully, I had parents who checkmated my steps and served as great anchors; instilled a profound moral compass in me; taught me the way of the Lord; charged me to believe in myself and not be defined by my immediate environment; and taught me that being female, even in a male-dominated world is a rare blessing. I didn’t have access to luxury but I had access to parental guidance, and the understanding of what genuine love for humanity is.

2. ‎Have you or people around you always known you would be interested in public speaking?

Yes. I have always had an undiluted love for public speaking. As a student of Sari Iganmu Secondary School and undergraduate at the Lagos State University, I represented my schools in different debate competitions and won trophies. This interest spurred from childhood; I loved talking. I remember how I used to rush to put on the generator, whenever it was time for “The Debaters (a debate competition for adults organised by Mo Abudu) “and there was no power supply. After English tutorial classes taken by my teacher Ganiu Bamgbose who is now “Dr Ganiu Bamgbose”, I would consciously practice speaking right with my good friend Grace Uzoh.

Communicating with poise and the right diction became a crucial component of my being. People always told (they still do) me that they like the way I speak and at some point, my coursemates at the university labelled me “Diction mistress”.

It’s been quite a ride, so they’re not surprised I’m interested in public speaking and communication.

3. ‎Can you enlighten those who are currently nursing the desire to be a Margaret Ekpo Youth Fellow or Carrington Youth Fellow someday how they can achieve this ambition? Also what do you intend to do as a fellow?

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to learn, engage and impact through the Margaret Ekpo Fellowship and Carrington Youth Fellowship. As a corporate communication officer, it’s delightful to know that the little work I do in the social impact space advancing the lives of youth, women and girls isn’t so little after all. For anyone willing to be part of these incredible initiatives, I implore you to put in the work and tell your stories the right way. Endeavour to increase your digital footprints with inspiring and humanised stories. Organisers are looking for passionate and empathetic changemakers; you need to demonstrate that you are the one they’re looking for. Also, seek guidance from alumni; it will help strengthen your application and increase your chances of being selected.

As a Carrington Youth Fellow, I currently work with the civil liberty team and we are looking to work on a project based on juvenile justice. This project is dear to my heart because upon my visit to a correctional center, I noticed that these juveniles are not adequately prepared to be well reintegrated back to the society. It was a devastating experience and I have never stopped thinking about them. I will be engaging individuals to teach these kids monetisable digital skills, as well as work with other members of my team to better ease the entry and exit process of these juveniles.

On the other hand, I have realized that there’s the feminisation of poverty, the erasure of women in history and the underrepresentation of women in governance. So, as a Margaret Ekpo Fellow, I intend to document the stories of women- past and present- as well as champion or support empowering initiatives that will help more women take up leadership spaces, be economically buoyant and live wholly as humans.

4. Judging by your years of practice in the Communications sector, what have you noticed most organizations and institutions are lacking and need to improve on?

Lots of organisations are upping their communications game. It’s interesting seeing how they strategically jump on trends, engage influencers, put some marketing budget on traditional and new media advertising, and try not to hard-sell their products or services.

However, I believe that many organisations still need to learn how to humanise their stories, especially by standing with the people on issues affecting their collective existence. No sitting on the fence; they should join them or back out! No more robotic response to customers, too. In addition, organisations need to ensure they’re domesticating their communication assets.

5. ‎Any particular or general challenges you encounter in the course of practicing and teaching public speaking? Any tips on how you have been able to overcome them?

The challenges I encountered as an early stage public speaker were:

– Overcoming stage fright
– Speaking with confidence, clarity and the right diction
– Getting the right response/emotions from the audience

Here are tips that have worked for me…

Every time I get to talk about public speaking, I particularly share the power of the “3Rs”; Research, Rehearsals and Reflection.
I have come to realise that the challenges I stated above stem from a lack of mastery of the 3Rs. Before you speak to an audience, endeavour to have researched about them and the topic of discussion. This will influence your 5Ws and H. Remember people have come, so you can educate, entertain and inform them.

In addition, you must rehearse your presentation. That is, practice! Do this with friends, family members or even the mirror (the mirror is my best part). Treat it like the serious business that it is. You can not master what doesn’t matter to you.

When you reflect on your speech beforehand, it gives you an idea of what the tone of your voice should be, your choice of words, your looks, etc. You’re ultimately doing this to elicit some kind of emotions/feedback from the audience.

For the challenges stated above, the 3Rs have helped me address them. When you have sufficient knowledge of the topic and people, practice in whatever way you can and reflect, against all odds, you will most likely deliver a memorable presentation.

6. ‎A random fact about your talk show, “TalkWithRaffy.”

The ideas of many of the content I have worked on in the past came while I was in the restroom.

7. To many, feminism means not being submissive, proud, rude and wanting to be in control, what’s your take on feminism?

There are lots of misconceptions about what feminism is in this part of the world, and I believe they largely stem from a place of patriarchal privilege, power domination and unhealthy social constructs. At the heart of feminism is the advancement of women’s issues- ones that everyone should be deeply concerned about. But no, when a woman takes the bull by the horns and decides to deconstruct unprogressive practices, she is labelled “proud, rude, etc.”.

For far too long, the trajectories of women have been laced with underrepresentation and dehumanisation across human endeavours. Women make the numbers but sadly, these numbers are mere statistics that do not translate to shared opportunities. I have met many ladies who have shrunk to fit because the audacity in their voices is a threat that could cost them marriage to a man in the nearest future. They continue to wallow in the pit of social constructs and living wholly as humans does not seem like an option to them.

Regardless of the labels, I understand that a person’s experience can be learned from but not be universalised. Equal opportunity is not a luxury and should not be gender specific. I believe in the social, economic and cultural inclusion of everyone. I believe in the freedom of women and girls to be simply humans who nurture their individualities. This is what feminism means to me.

8. ‎Your major takeaways from advocacy over the years?

– Advocacy isn’t cheap; you need resources (money, time, manpower, etc.) and an undying passion to do great advocacy.
– Emotions alone doesn’t push advocacy, you need facts, a strong network, diplomacy and good lobbying skills.
– When you do advocacy, tell your story in a compelling way. It will not only advance your cause and improve the lives of the people, but aid your personal development.
– You can pursue a career in a different sector and still do great advocacy. I am a Corporate Communications Practitioner who has leveraged my learnings and skills over the year in driving sustainable development. For instance, I ran on online campaign during the rise of the 2nd wave of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria. The hashtag used “#MoreThanAMask” garnered about 2.5million organic impressions.
– As much as possible, advocate without being provocative. A smart advocate doesn’t shut the door; they leave it ajar.

9. ‎ If you were to be the President of the Nigeria, which changes would you implement?

It’s very appalling that politics in this part of the world isn’t largely based on ideas and ideals; but on the size of your pocket and your loyalty to “constituted authorities”. Politics is perceived as a business that people venture into for profit, and not an avenue to genuinely serve God and humanity.

If I were President, I would reduce the cost of governance, so more parts of the budget can be allocated to sectors such as education, health, justice, etc; and passionate individuals are attracted to politics. I would elevate and regard “The Office of the Citizen”, lead by example, entrench the rule of law and democracy, provide an enabling environment for young people to innovate and thrive, and increase women representation in government.

I would improve communications in a way that citizens are addressed with empathy and compassion.
I would strengthen the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, so we produce most of what we consume and eradicate poverty. I would put a strong monitoring and evaluation mechanism in place, so resources are better utilised. My people will enjoy the dividends of democracy and everyone will have equal opportunities to live a life of dignity.

10. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

Mo Abudu: What else to say about her cross-sectoral experience, grit, poise, intelligence, persistence and determination. One of my inspirations for being a public speaker- especially, a hijabi public speaker- was watching “The Debater”, an initiative of Mo Abudu. She is an amazon who is constantly changing the African narratives. She wears so many hats, and does so excellently.

The Squad (Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri): I like that these audacious women represent different “Firsts” and together, they have built a resilient and forward-thinking sisterhood. They will rather be honest and feel the heat, than be neutral. For them, the interest of the populace supersedes the party’s interest. They are smart, knowledgeable, graceful and radical. What a breath of fresh air they are!

Christiane Amanpour:

A stellar outlier and outstanding storyteller. Despite being so long in the game, Amanpour continues to grace our screens with incredible stories of people, places and possibilities. She has shown that hard work and passion are major ingredients to attaining success and significance.

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

I like the intersection of media and communication, politics, policy and development. In the next 5 years, I see myself occupying an international role that brings everything together and allows me do great, impactful work.

12. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?

You’re bigger than your current environment; don’t let it define you. Own your truths, take up spaces and do not be enveloped by social constructs. Live wholly as humans, breathe! Do not let the fear of failing stop you from trying. Tell your story because no one understands what it feels to be you like you. Seek guidance, you do not have to thread the rocky path of life cluelessly. Embrace humanity and spirituality, it will help you live a more fulfilled life.

_Thank you for your time, ma. We’re most grateful._