Chekwube Uchea epitomizes versatility and resilience in the professional arena. With over a decade of experience across  Media and Tech where she has forged a distinctive path and made a lasting impact at every turn.

Professional Ventures

Currently serving as the Founder and Lead Career and Transition Coach at CLUDIVE, a tech-enabled company facilitating professionals’ transition into the Tech industry, Chekwube also holds the role of Founder and Product Manager at GEMMA CLEANS. This sustainable development company operates in Nigeria and the UK, providing innovative cleaning solutions.

On January 1, 2024, Chekwube initiated The Career Path Mentor (TCPM) community, dedicated to inspiring and assisting career professionals facing challenges in their current paths, fostering growth for those feeling stuck or unfulfilled.

Professional Journey

Her professional journey includes a stint as the former Senior HR Manager at VerifyMe Nigeria, a tech company offering digital identity and verification services. Academically, she holds a second-class upper degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in industrial Sociology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Additionally, she earned a master’s in human resource management from the University of Liverpool, UK.

Chekwube Uchea

Thought Leadership

A thought leader in Human Resource Management, Chekwube shares insights and expertise through LinkedIn, boasting a substantial following (28K+ on her profile and 78K+ on her business page). She advocates for Mental Health, Vulnerability, Empathy, and Sustainable Development Goals while championing Diversity and Inclusion.

Personal Triumphs

Beyond her professional achievements lies a compelling personal story. In 2020, Chekwube faced a setback with her Canadian visa application. Despite the initial disappointment, she redirected her focus to relocating to the UK. The journey was challenging, involving survival jobs ranging from cleaning to caregiving in various roles. Yet, this adversity shaped her perspective and fueled her determination.

Lessons Learned

Chekwube’s relocation story serves as a beacon for those planning similar journeys, highlighting the importance of preparation, resilience, and the understanding that each path is unique. Her experiences underscore the challenges of finding employment in a new country and offer valuable tips for those navigating similar landscapes.

Through networking, building confidence, and embracing rejection as redirection, Chekwube emerged stronger. Her story, a testament to the transformative power of determination, serves as an inspiration for those seeking to navigate career transitions, overcome obstacles, and achieve personal and professional growth.

Chekwube Uchea

As Chekwube Uchea continues to empower careers and enrich lives, her journey stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of resilience and the pursuit of excellence.

Building wealth and getting clarity around your finances doesn’t have to be daunting or stressful. In fact, with the right practices instilled, it can be liberating.

If you want to be one of them, then read on to educate yourself about debt, value-based spending, the best saving habits, financial freedom, and the key components that lead to financial success. It won’t be easy to implement these new habits, but you certainly won’t regret it.

ONE- Pay Off Your Debts.

Not all debts are bad. Debt with a plan can actually be really good for acquiring assets. These are ‘good debts’ as they are spent on investments and assets that are valuable and can be liquidated in the long run.
‘Bad debts’ are those debts you use on consumption.

Read Also: I’m Passionate About Helping Women Gain Financial Freedom – Vanessa Ideh Shares Her Story

When you have a million naira personal income and you have a debt of 500 thousand naira that is due or will be due, it is advisable you pay off your debts first before you calculate how much you really own.

If you have more than one debt, pay off the one with the highest interest rates or the one with the highest balance first.

TWO – Determine Your Priorities.

When you prioritize debt, think about high interest versus low interest. You can build emergency funds simultaneously while paying off your debts because if you do not have an emergency fund, you may slip back into that debt if real emergency happens.

Being in debt is stressful so you will feel more compelled to rid yourself of that burden. High-interest debt steals from your wealth; values-based spending helps you get in alignment with building wealth, and an emergency fund protects your wealth so that you don’t slide back into high-interest debt.

THREE- Practice Value-Based Spending.

The first step is awareness – know what you’re spending.
Look back at the last three to six months of your spending and analyze how much you’re spending on your lifestyle.

It is easy to often assume that you are just paying for rent and food but our brains want to rationalize that we’re on our best behavior, so it doesn’t allow us to think about all of the subscription boxes.

Value-based spending is a lot easier than budgeting. Setting a budget can feel restrictive, like being on a diet.

You spend within your budget for a week and then you see that dress on Instagram and you click.

But if you have values, you will see that that instant gratification won’t be gratifying for long because it’s not aligned with our values. Once you determine three values that really matter to you, you’ll find that they can function as a filter. An example would be equity, family, and leverage (when you’re willing to spend money on things that help make life easier). Buying the shoes doesn’t align with any of those pillars, so it needs to be a preplanned choice.

FOUR – Open a High-Yield Savings Account.

Saving is the inverse of spending. Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Basically, any one thing can shrink or contract to the size of its container. In relation to money in a bank account, the reason you end up spending what you should be saving is that it’s right there, visible, in your checking account.
Open a high-yield savings account and automate transfers on a monthly basis. That recurring act will give you accessibility to only what you should be spending.

Consider investments as well, but make your research so you are investing in what you are knowledgeable about.

FIVE – Understand the Definition of Financial Freedom.

Financial freedom is an equation: enough passive income to outpace your expenses. When you have financial freedom in your life, work becomes an option instead of an obligation.
Financial freedom allows you to enjoy your wealth because time is no longer a finite resource.
When you go to work, even as an entrepreneur, you are trading time for money. But, if you can buy assets to create additional income, then you are trading money for assets that bring you more money.

If you get on this train and educate yourself, you will find that you don’t always have to rely on yourself and your body to make money. It takes a lot of time, effort, and sacrifice to get up every morning and go to work.

SIX – Instill the Key Components That Lead to Financial Independence

Six qualities that every wealthy woman should try to encompass:

  1. Planning: Determine your financial goals, write them down, and find an accountability partner. You can’t get what you want if you don’t plan for it. When it comes to money, you have to be goal-oriented.
  2. Frugality or Intentionality: Commit to saving more, spending less, and sticking to a plan. This formula leads to an ability to have a passive income because if you spend all of your money then there will be nothing left to invest it.
  3. Confidence: In order to gain financial confidence in managing your money and investing, you need financial education. We didn’t learn this in school. You have to go and find it, otherwise, you will stay in a state of stress. Inaction is terrible for your finances.
  4. Responsibility: Accept your role in financial outcomes and take action to make financial changes in your life.
  5. Focus: See your process through to completion one step at a time. Accountability is crucial.
  6. Social indifference: Don’t succumb to buying the latest thing as a means of feeling good. If you practice this, it will change your life. Women are the targets of consumerism. But, if you appreciate how you look and how you are inherent, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and energy.


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The Federal Government on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, declared that it was working hard to come out with a policy that would limit the number of children that a mother could have in Nigeria.

It stated that traditional rulers and other leaders across the country were being engaged as regards this, adding that the move was aimed at addressing one of the “great challenges” in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this while responding to questions during a session at the 24th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, noted that the country’s population had been identified as one of the great challenges confronting the successful implementation of the ERGP.

Ahmed said,

“We have been engaging traditional rulers and other leaders. Specifically, we have found out that to be able to address one of the great challenges that we identified in the ERGP, which is the growth in our population, we need to engage these institutions.

“And we hope that with their support, we will get to a point where we can come out with the policy that limits the number of children that a mother can have because that is important for sustaining our growth.”

When asked about the sustainability of the ERGP by successive governments, Ahmed argued that the plan would be sustained as it was purely a document that focused on the development of the Nigerian economy.

Culled from punch.ng

Photo credit: Google

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission said on Monday that it had stopped investigations into the use of a forged exemption certificate of the National Youth Service Corps by the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.

The ICPC stated this just as the NYSC said it had concluded its investigative report on the matter and submitted it to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, its supervising ministry.

The former minister, who resigned on Friday, admitted that the NYSC exemption certificate was not genuine.

The ICPC’s spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a response to The PUNCH’s enquiry on the matter on Saturday, promised to contact the ICPC authorities and get back on Monday for an official position.

On Monday, Okoduwa in a text message, said, “We stepped down the investigation into the matter so as not to duplicate the efforts of another agency which had taken it up.”

The ICPC did not specify the agency in follow-up enquiries.

Recall that the NYSC authorities in July said it “had begun its own investigations to unravel the source of the purported Exemption Certificate” obtained by the ex-finance minister.

The NYSC after over two months did not make the results of its investigations public.

The NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, on Monday, said the scheme had submitted its investigation to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for any further action.

“The report has been submitted to the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development and you can direct all your questions to them,” she said.

There had been reports in July 2018 that Mrs Kemi Adeosun did not participate in the one-year national youth service, but allegedly forged an Exemption Certificate several years after her graduation.

It had also been reported that the certificate, which is dated September 2009, was reportedly signed by an NYSC Director-General, Yusuf Bomoi, who already left the scheme in January 2009.

The minister had thereafter come under fire with several Nigerians, particularly on the social media, demanding investigations from the Federal Government into the allegations and calling for Adeosun’s resignation.

Continue reading on punchng.com


Credit: The Punch

On Friday, September 14, 2018, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed was appointed as the acting Minister of Finance by the President Muhammadu Buhari, following the resignation of Kemi Adeosun as the Minister of Finance over a certificate forgery scandal.

Before her new appointment, Ahmed was the state minister, Budget and national planning of the federal republic of Nigeria.

Here are six facts to know about Zainab Ahmed, the new minister of finance

1. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed was born 55 years ago in Kaduna state.

2. She obtained a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1981 and an MBA from the Ogun state University, Ago Iwoye.

3. She started work in 1982 as an Accountant in Kaduna state ministry of finance in Kaduna state and moved to Nigerian Telecommunication Ltd (NITEL)

4. In 1995, where she worked in various departments and rose to the rank of the Deputy General Manager (DGM).

5. In 2010, she was appointed to serve as the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

6. Before her appointment to oversee finance ministry, she was minister of state Budget and national planning.

7. She is a fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), a member of the Nigerian Institute of Taxation and the Nigerian Institute of Management.

8. In March 2009, she was appointed Managing Director of Kaduna Investment Company. She was then appointed a member of the National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG).

Sola Adesakin is the Lead Coach and CEO of Smart Stewards. She is an experienced and versatile Chartered Accountant with about 17 years hands-on experience on Personal and SMEs finance. She is a Personal Finance Coach, Trainer and Conference/Seminar Speaker. Through her blog and The Smart Stewards Academy, (www.smartstewards.com), She has helped many men and women bounce back from stress to rest and from debt to wealth. Sola is the managing Partner of BookSmart financial Solutions; an SME friendly Accounting firm, She is the Convener of Smart Stewards Initiative; a Platform for teaching sound principles on personal finance management especially for women. Sola has authored 5 books; her latest being the “40 Frugal Rules For Your Journey To Financial Freedom”; A Practical and Pragmatic Guide For Wealth Management and the “Smart Financial Organizer”; A One year Money Diary to help people gain control of every area of their personal and Family Finances.

She holds a BSC in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and also a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of The United Kingdom (ACCA). She is a Member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA) and she also holds an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School (Heriot-Watt University) Scotland.

Sola is also a recipient of the Women X Scholarship; An Initiative of the World Bank and Pan Atlantic University for Female Entrepreneurs. The “Save money” expert shares her inspiring story in this interview.

Childhood Preparation
I had always loved figures and dared to tell anyone I would become a Chartered Accountant. When I was in Secondary school, JSS3 to be precise, I did so well in the Junior WAEC; amongst the best results in my set that I was instantly posted to a science class. My Dad thought I was brilliant enough to be a Medical Doctor; perhaps the first in our family, but Physics, Chemistry and the likes weren’t sinking in at all, so I asked to be allowed where I wanted to be; Commercial class where I would study courses like Commerce, etc. I am glad I stood my ground. Nothing brings more fulfillment for me than helping people solve money issues.

Meet Me!
I am in my late 30s, the first daughter of my Mum, but the 5th of my dad. Born in Lagos Nigeria, I grew up in a polygamous home; howbeit amongst siblings who have strong ties and love for one another. I started my educational exploits with an HND from the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro in the year 2000 and got a BSc degree from Oxford Brookes University (United Kingdom) in the year 2006. I am a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Accountants of the United Kingdom (ACCA). I hold an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School in Scotland and I am also an Associate Member of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. (CGA CPA). Happily married and a mother of 3 amazing boys. I am a born again Christian. I have a passion for people, for their finances, their businesses; small and large businesses alike: building structures for them, developing leadership and enabling a business to maximize the essence of its existence. I have built structures for businesses, trained people; see such businesses grow by leaps and bounds. I have taught people at different levels and cadres the importance of appropriate structures in their businesses and endeavors. All these have further instilled a passion in me to harness my desires and taking it to higher dimensions

Inspiration behind “Smart Stewards”

I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the year 2002; about 16 years ago and started out working in managerial roles. After a while I got a relatively good job and started to earn well. Unfortunately, all the things I learnt in school as an Accounting student and in my professional certifications did not impact the way I spent money. Being a Chartered Accountant didn’t amount to good personal finance management for me as I probably fared worse than people who had little or no theoretical knowledge of Finances. My Finances were scattered.

My Finances were always out of shape; I was regularly in debt, My salary would not last beyond 3 days after receiving it, I was a spendthrift , I would draw down on my savings less than a week of keeping the money aside and I felt totally helpless! When it dawned on me I couldn’t continue that way, I made a commitment to making a change and things turned around for me. Coupled with the necessary knowledge and appropriate certifications, I embarked on that rewarding journey of helping and teaching people about managing their personal finances! The testimonials have been overwhelming!

Being a Chartered accountant, Author, personal finance coach and motivational speaker

First and foremost, I would say “ A man can receive nothing , except it be given him from above” Grateful for the opportunity to be multi-gifted and multi-dimensional as I have come to realize not everyone can juggle a lot of things as I do. Smart Stewards was borne out of years of study of the biblical story of the Biblical Parable of the 3 stewards that got 5,2 and1 talents respectively. I believe everyone has been gifted with different capacities and abilities to fulfill purpose( everyone has at least 1 gift) and for me, I think it’s an innate wiring for me to be able to juggle a lot of things. Being a Chartered Accountant is a profession, being an Author is an expression of my love for writing (yes I love to write and I can tell stories from any and everything I see around me). Coaching on Personal Finance is a Passion borne out of my personal experiences and speaking is a platform of expression for all of these sides of m

Decision to publish “40 frugal rules for your journey to financial freedom”
Like I earlier mentioned, I was clueless on managing money as I struggled year in, year out trying to make sense of my finances. Yes I was knowledgeable on money issues, but I couldn’t practise those things for unexplainable reasons. I really hit bad times as I made very wrong money decisions with grave consequences. I lost money by investing in get-rich-schemes, I couldn’t meet up with the important needs in life because I focused on the nice-to-have; neglecting the need-t-have. I was a miserable and incurable spender.

A few years ago, part of my New Year resolution was to get things right; particularly because I knew I had so much to offer and teach from my experiences. I committed to changing and becoming a Smarter Steward of my resources; which included my time and of course finances and the rest is history. I developed short term courses and there is this particular one which is known as the 6-Month Accountability Program; an accountability program for those who are really ready to take their journey to financial freedom a notch higher; those who would like to work towards and experience a positive change in their finances . The course entails a 26-week curriculum delivered by emails and telephone calls( and physical meetings when necessary) where I “walk” the financial freedom journey with enrollees, teaching them everything they need to know about Making, Managing and Multiplying Money. The 40 Frugal Rules was borne out of that curriculum.

On a daily basis, I get calls and messages from women and men who would love to maximize their finances, break loose from the hold of debt and live a financially fulfilling life. So far, I have consulted for loads of people on their personal and by extension their business finance and this book summarizes what everyone needs to know about their personal finance.

Work challenges

A great man once said, “The best way to hide something from Black people is to put it in a book. A lot of people are too lazy to read, learn, make proper inquiries on what to do with their money, where to put it and what to expect. It’s sometimes difficult getting people to learn and understand the power of consistency in practicing the right money principles. People hardly follow through with reading, acquiring and applying relevant knowledge. Those who do have great stories to tell however.

Secondly, Consumerism, lack of proper planning and inability to prioritize are issues contending with the wealth building abilities of people and sometimes, it is difficult getting people to realize the need to plan for the future; Retirement and all. People naturally want to make more money; with little or no thoughts about saving or investing, People would rather buy the next ceremonial attire with no plans for paying their children’s school fees. Keeping up with the Jones’ is a menace that needs to be eradicated. A lot of awareness of the importance of financial planning needs to be created.

Other projects

I teach financial planning and the benefits not just in corporate settings, but also in churches, schools and NGOs.Through the Smart Stewards Platform, we organize programs that aim to sensitize and teach women on wealth building and management.

Through the FRUIT (Female relationship Unveiling inspired Truth) Foundation, we mentor young girls; especially in secondary school in order to prepare them for the world of entrepreneurship ahead. We also sponsor women to learn vocational skills in order to empower them financially.

Being a recipient of the Women X scholarship

I was in New York two years ago; 2016 precisely when a friend shared on a facebook group the details about the Womenx scholarship. The World Bank was sponsoring 500 women to obtain a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from the prestigious Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University. I applied for it and it was a very transparent process. I probably was among the last set of people admitted into the program.

We were taught the basics of entrepreneurship and what it takes to build a successful business. Strategy, Leadership, Accounting, branding, Human resources Management and other important subject matters were considered. It was a worthwhile experience and through the alumni programs, the knowledge keeps flowing to us. We have been equipped to build world class businesses.

Balancing my home and work effectively

I am extremely grateful for a supportive spouse who allows me to thrive and for my amazing children. I work from home many times, I find time to be with the children and sometimes, I do not go out at all. I make sure to do school runs once a day; either in the morning or in the evening and that is to encourage more bonding moments. Some weekends are for staying at home and I look forward to having at least 2 of such in a month.

That’s a very ambiguous question if I must say( laughing), but I cherish the everyday feedback from people on how what I teach them makes a lot of difference in their finances and families. Finance-related family stress is doused; some marriages on the verge of divorce are restored, people experience paradigm shift regarding their finances; chronic spenders are healed; they are able to save, invest and build wealth. These and more are pleasantly rewarding.

The Nigerian woman being informed on budgeting and money management

Gratefully, a lot of Finance experts are putting out the information out there and the sensitization on personal finance is on the increase. Radio programs, TV shows, Social Media, Women groups have made it a lot easier for people to learn on a daily basis. Learning is on one part, applying what they learn is equally and perhaps more important. Prior to now, maybe the Nigerian woman was not adequately informed; but there are channels and platforms to learn from; free and paid-for. Every woman owes themselves that responsibility to learn and implement what they learn.

Who and what inspire me to be better

The Holy Spirit is my greatest source of Inspiration. He paints pictures in my heart and many of those have become my reality. He helps me dream big and achieve things my ordinary mind couldn’t have comprehended.

Grateful for my husband Gboyega Adesakin also. He is my number one cheerleader. When I share my ideas( and fears), he patiently listens and helps to strategize on how to implement. He allays my fears and helps me soar.

My Smart Stewards community looks up to me to provide solid leadership and show them the way to go. They keep me on my toes; helping me to learn more and more. It’s one thing to know, it’s another to practice and it’s another thing entirely to teach and practice what you preach. They make me Accountable

I am surrounded by a strong network of friends who inspire me to do better and mentors who show the way to go always.

Being a woman of Rubies
I actually love that word “Rubies” and I have a book titled “Rubies Of Wisdom” which is a 40 day Journey For Women regarding their finances; drawing from biblical stories of about 40 women mentioned in the bible and how they handled money issues.
I am thankful for the gifts and talents God has given me and the ability to express them in various ways. My price is definitely far above rubies and I am glad to be entrusted with this assignment.

Advice for women on managing their finances and savings culture
If you save money, money will save you. What you earn isn’t what makes you wealthy; it is how you manage what you earn. Think money, think long term, thing about the future.

Imagine this scenario;
Your grandchildren and children actually love to come see Grandma, because Grandma is such a delight to visit; you can’t leave her without getting a fat cheque or gift. She even gives out cars and landed properties as gifts. She needs not depend on anyone for her sustenance because she has prepared adequately for her future post retirement.
Do you like to be that person? You have to work towards it by planning your finances and living deliberately. Planning for the future starts now!