Ja’Nese Jean, a known international opera singer, is more than just a beautiful, fascinating voice. Jean, also a tech entrepreneur, recently launched the newest ride-sharing app specifically made for people with health problems and disabilities.

Ja’Nese was hailed the “Next Big Opera Star” in Aretha Franklin’s singing competition. She was offered a recording contract with Aretha Records and was even compared to the best in the industry. But her career is actually more focused on simplicity and love for people. Her humanitarian efforts already helped thousands of people in need of housing, food, and other necessities — and it’s still counting.

Jean’s passion to connect the world positively is very much evident in her philanthropic acts and technology developments. Her tech products include mobile applications, proxy servers, mass email software, and patented heat and motion activated car sensors. The most recent development she and her company launched is the SAFETRIP app.

The two major platforms of the app aim to help both drivers and users. It will give more job opportunities to drivers, especially those certified in defensive driving training, sensitivity training, and CPR. The app is also a breakthrough for millions of people with disabilities and healthcare-related appointments. It tracks patients in real-time allowing them to ride on demand, schedule in advance, in-app calling features, driver/user rating systems and more.

“SAFETRIP is dedicated to moving healthcare transportation forward, faster, and more affordably,” says Ja’Nese. The lifesaving app is available for download on and Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

For more information about the SAFETRIP app, visit www.safetrip.co or follow Ja’Nese Jean on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JaNeseJean

Source: Blackbusiness.org


A graduate of Mass Communication from the Nigeria Institute for Journalism, Yetunde has worked in various sectors including Construction, Manufacturing and recently resigned from a bank to focus on her passion to care for girls and women with special needs.

After several meetings with Founders, Executive Director Foundations, NGOs, and government agencies, Miss Tanimomo and her team are convinced that a change in peoples’  perception of what they term ‘disability’ will help in pushing for policies that will create an environment that would foster proper care for people with special needs.

Early Preparation

Initially you feel nothing did but I have come to realise that our past prepares us for what lies ahead. Because we do not see the future we tend to feel the present is just passing by. However, I have come to understand that we are shaped by experiences for what is to come. Losing my dad showed me what it means to be needy, having children around me brought out the love and care. Both attributes are necessary for what I am doing.

Meet Me!

I am Yetunde Tanimomo, a graduate of Mass Communication from the Nigeria Intitute for Journalism Ogba. I have worked in various sectors including Construction, Manufacturing and banking. I am also deep into Interior Decorations.I have a passion for Children and women with special needs. A passion specifically targetted at care for girls and women with special need

Inspiration behind Miss Ability Pageant

I saw a very beautiful young lady. She was strikingly beautiful and though she had special needs I noticed what I saw first wasn’t how she was? For several years that face never left me and I kept thinking about how to showcase such beauty to the world starting from home of course. That is what gave birth to Miss Ability Pageant.

Future Plans

I intend to work with other NGOs, Foundations to advocate for a better living condition for people with special needs. This will involve a lot of public sensitization on Mass Media, Social Media and the likes. We intend to hold seminars for parents with children or loved ones with special needs.

Leaving banking for social work

I wanted to stop talking about my passion and start to do something about it. I needed time away from ‘work’ to be able to face the project. So at that point it was the right move. I will get back to working. I need the time to lay a process in place for the foundation. To put structures in place. I believe I will need to work to also fund the project. I don’t want to rely on Government, organisations and other individuals alone.

Giving Up

Giving up for me is never an option.  Whatever I take up I give all I can to see it through.  I won’t deny the fact that there haven’t been times when I felt overwhelmed when I look at how huge the task is. For this I have been able to assemble people who share the passion so it’s easier to share ideas and strategize for upcoming programmes and the next move.

Another challenge is that you have to manage people who already have a set mind concerning people with special needs . Many of them are dumped in trash heaps. Some are probably terminated before birth because of the stigma associated with having a child with such needs.  It will take some time but pretty soon we will get people appreciating them.


Many folks are ashamed of their children or ward with special needs and as such they keep them locked up away from society. It’s hard to reach such children or persons.

People feel a sense of pity. They go ‘eeyah’ whenever they see anyone with special needs. They do not need pity but encouragement and love.

Getting Government and corporate organisations to support the move is proving a bit difficult. So many promises. Do you know what can be achieved if corporate organisations start to get people with special needs as brand ambassadors? Let them start with the Paralympians who have done the Nation Proud at the Olympics.  That single feat will encourage others can and start to change people’s perception of ability in what they term disability.

Nigerians compassionate enough to kids with special needs?

Compassionate? yes, enough? No. What they need is not pity. They get a lot of that. But encouragement, empowerment and a chance like they give to everybody else. I want to see people with special needs having equal opportunities at getting jobs like the other folks. I want to see government enacting laws that will give enabling environment for people with special needs to move freely and have access to facilities like others. Look at virtually all public and commercial buildings, only few have parking spaces or entrances for people on wheel chairs and the blind.

Advice to women in same field

It’s all about passion driven by love and care. So do not look at how huge the task is. Just start one step at a time. Keep the passion fire burning. Get people who can help you. If a dream requires only you to carry it out then the dream is small.


I am a Woman of Rubies

I refuse to be limited by situations and circumstances. I have chosen to devote time to loving people with special needs especially girls and women.  I want them to know their life shouldn’t necessarily be determined by what society thinks about them. They are worth much more. I intend to empower them so that society will view them differently and help out.


Crystal Chigbu was devastated when the doctor told her, amputation will be the available option for her daughter. It felt like her life had come to an end, she was distraught and discouraged. She and her husband decided to reframe the situation and make the best of it.This birthed The Irede Foundation, is an NGO focused on lending a hand of love, joy and hope to children living with limb loss knowing there are no limits to their potential.

The Beginning

My name is Crystal Chigbu, Founder and Executive director of The Irede Foundation. I am married to a gentle man fondly called Zubby. We are blessed with two children Beulah (girl) and Eden (boy). I am a “crazy “passionate person, believing there is nothing you set your mind to do that you cannot achieve I like to stand out from the crowd. I know disability is a mind game so I see more abilities in disabilities. I worked for a leading multi-national Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company for over 12years and just recently resigned to work in the social space.I have interests in sustainable development with strong emphasis on economic and social empowerment of persons (specifically Children) with limb disabilities in Africa .My interests have led me to become actively involved in a number of NGOs as well as CSR initiatives focused on children and women.

The birth of Irede Foundation

My personal experience, birthing and raising a daughter with a missing tibia and knee cap inspired the creation of The IREDE Foundation. In addition to this was a desire to pour out my heart by writing out my daily frustrations and concerns as I managed my daughter. I wanted to share the comfort I had with other parents and the abilities in disabilities. The need to reach out with a message of hope to child amputees and families continually spurs me to action. We are out to educate and create awareness on amputation and limb loss reducing stigmatization to the barest minimum. We also have a support group to reach out to the families and the amputees. Thirdly, we empower amputees via provision of prostheses and mentoring.

My reaction

When the doctor told me my daughter’s leg would be amputated I was devastated. After a few minutes, I thought he must be out of his mind and then I became confused.I started asking questions. To say the least, it was indeed very devastating

Deciding to amputate her legs

The decision took about 2 years and 3 months to make. We (My husband and I) just could not come to terms with making the decision. We has to research and hoped that it didn’t have to come to amputation. I will leave you to imagine how difficult it was.

My daughter is amazing!

Beulah, my daughter is one of the strongest and determined human beings I know in my life. She is bold, daring competitive, loving and just so amazing. Let me tell you a little about our charming beauty, she gets to do everything she has determined to do. She is very active with sports and academics, within six months she learnt to swim excellently. She was once told by an older amputee that she wouldn’t look good without her prosthesis. Her response to her is with or without my prosthesis I am beautiful. Her energy is contagious, should you come in contact with her, you will literally love her.

Beulah and Irede Foundation

In trying to get a solution for Beulah, we realized that there was not much information around in Nigeria on this form of disability. We sought for support and it was literally unavailable. As we saw her transform daily into a child that does all things it became apparent that someone else can learn from us.

This contributed to the establishment of The Irede Foundation. This formed the basis of our day to day process which is to educate, to encourage and to empower. We wanted to create awareness on amputation for the society at large. A self-sufficient child despite the disability, is what I see daily in Beulah .This vision was translated into empowering others. We focus on mentoring the children and providing them with mobility aid. I want to see other children swim, dance, climb without any limitations of limb loss. These are the things I see daily in my daughter. At the Foundation, we offer the same hop

Challenges of running Irede Foundation

A number of challenges show up from time to time and by God’s grace we resolve and come to a place of learning as we fix them .One of the challenges we face is sourcing for the prostheses at an affordable price. Depending on the type of amputation, we do spend about one million naira (and with current exchange rate it’s even gone higher) on a prosthesis. We are working at sourcing locally for the materials used in fabrication of the prostheses as this will help us reach more children.

In order to reach more children and families with this message of hope, we need more sponsorships and collaborations.

Giving it all up?

Couple of times I felt like giving up. Sometimes it gets quite hectic and overwhelming that I do feel like packing it all up and doing something else. One example of when I’ve felt this way, was when I saw many children on queue to get prosthesis and we were not able to reach out to them immediately. In situations like this though, I remind myself of the 28 limbs and over 60 families that we have touched and the community. This encourages me and reminds me that I can’t give up now as we have gone too far from where we started from and we can and will make it.

Creating a balance between career and family

I am still learning balance every day and hope to continually get better at it as my children get older. My balance scheme is prioritization and support systems. I have learnt to prioritize my life, for me it’s my God, family, career and so on. When I am faced with any decisions or daily life’s challenges, I go in that order. Then I also take advantage of my support groups. My support group is my family, friends and the assistance I get from people. Each time I get overwhelmed, I re- evaluate my priorities and reach out to my support group again. That has worked for me from time to time.

Greatest reward

Hope renewed in the lives of our children is our greatest reward. When I hear the good news of how the children (Champions) are doing in school, see their smiles, families call in and just pray for me, it encourages me to do more. This is like receiving an award. Knowing that daily these children and their families’ lives are touched and improved daily makes me refreshed. I met a 16 year old amputee in January 2016, she had never walked all her life and she was quite a sad, depressed and unhappy teen. As I talked to her and got her to smile for the first time I felt good. The next time she came into the Irede office, she was all smiling as she fitted her first prosthesis ever. When I came in saw her, all I could do was give praise to God for the opportunity to touch lives.

My counsel to mothers

For mothers going through a similar ordeal, this is my advice, its okay to cry but after crying move on. Today, I want you to know there is hope for your child and for you. A distinguishing factor for children is the motherly support they get and also recognizing that fathers do play a major role too. I am encouraging you to be strong, get information about your child’s ordeal then get help. Often times you do not need to come up with fresh solutions. Someone somewhere has been through a similar ordeal and you can learn from them.

Final words

Being a woman is not a reason to be mediocre and dependent. Let’s stand up and join all the other women doing amazing things. Improve yourself, add value to your family, business, community and the nation at large. Women are blessed with multiple abilities. Do not accept the weaker vessel mentality. Get up and impact your immediate environment. See you at the top