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Ibadan

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Bower Memorial Tower

This amazing and extremely fascinating edifice was built in the honor of Captain Robert Lister Bower who was appointed as the minister for Ibadan city between 1893 and 1897 by the British Government. The tower building itself is 60 feet high and 11 feet square. Two entrances leads into it and in the inside is a spiral staircase that leads to the top of the tower. It is strategically located on the summit of Oke-Are, the highest hill in Ibadan, and from this tower, you can get a great view of Ibadan City.

The University of Ibadan Zoological Gardens

Established in 1948 initially with the purpose of serving as a menagerie supporting teaching and research, The University of Ibadan Zoological Gardens became a full fledged zoo in 1974. Home to a wide array of animals comprising mammmals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, the zoological garden is open seven days a week, all year round from 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Many guided tours take place in the zoo, mostly by schools for educational purposes.

Agodi Gardens

You can choose to call it Agodi Botanical Gardens, it still does justice to this beautiful scenery. Agodi Gardens is an exquisite flora enclave in the center of Ibadan. The serene and calm garden has a mini zoo, lush gardens with different types of vegetation, and water parks and a lake. It also provides facilities such as swimming pool and play areas for children and spaces for picnics. The garden is open to visitors throughout the week. You can decide to chill at one of the several ‘huts’ where you get served ’emu’- a local wine tapped from the palm tree- and ‘asun’

If you’re a lover of nature, serenity and solitude, you’ll fall in love with this garden as quickly as you can’t imagine.

Mapo Hall

Built beside one of the prolific palaces of the old Olubadans, in between Oja Oba (the King’s Market) and Beere, the Mapo Hall is located on the Mapo Hill and it was built to serve as the main town hall for Ibadan. It was commissioned during the colonial era in 1929, The hall is renowned for its seven columns, probably depicting the seven hills upon which the ancient city was built on (who knows?). The hall was the venue of the coronation of some Ibadan kings, and it is also quite famous for being the site of political campaigns of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Mapo Hall has a mini-museum where visitors can see chains which were used on tax evaders.

The Ventura

Located at Old Aerodrome Road, Along Sango-UI Road, Samonda, GRA, Ventura mall is one of the shopping malls in Ibadan, the others being Jericho Mall (along Jericho GRA), Palms Mall (Ring Road), Heritage Mall and Cocoa Mall (both located in Dugbe).

The Ventura is a place to enjoy many fun filled activities, if you’re one that loves bubbly activities. It has a children’s game arcade, cinema, food courts and shopping malls. Recreational activities including watching movies, games such as bowling, and shopping can be enjoyed at the mall too. Standing regally and strategically at the main entrance to the mall is an artificial fountain that you’ll not but fall in love with.

Enjoy amala

Your visit to Ibadan is not complete if you leave this beautiful town without eating amala, a popular Yoruba food and the main dish of Ibadan people. You can have amala in places such as Iya Adijat at Adeoyo State Hospital Road (Popular Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste Davido visited this place on his tour of Ibadan and he attested to the savoury taste of the local delicacy) Ose Olohun on Bodija Road, Inastraight on Cultural Centre Road in Mokola, the legendary Àmàlà Skye at Agodi and Iya Dunni Food Canteen at Challenge Roundabout Oluyole, Ibadan.

Enjoy the nightlife

Whether you love noisy and bubbly atmosphere or a cool and serene environment, Ibadan conveniently combines these so that you can have all the fun you choose. Apart from sights to see and places to visit, there are several night clubs in Ibadan to enjoy the nightlife. You can have a relaxing evening with friends and enjoy drinks and music in places like Kokodome, close to Cocoa House, Apollo’s at Palms Mall, Switch on Ring Road, GQ Lounge, Option 24/7 at Ikolaba, Platinum nightclub at Awolowo junction, Bodija amongst several others.

‘Seunfunmi Toluwalase

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A wonderful poet once said ; You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated.” I bet she had Odedina Abimbola in mind.

Bimbo was singlehandedly raised by her hardworking mother who sells foodstuff and charcoal at Ipodo market, Ikeja. She lost her Father at a tender age in 2009, for her  growing up was a very challenging experience, she , her mom and younger sister Adepeju had to take refuge in a room and parlour apartment in the ancestral home of her maternal grandfather in Ipodo, Ikeja where she hustled through life to make a living; selling charcoal and taking up different jobs to save towards her education and  also support her family. ​Her story went viral a month ago when she posted her laundry Business on Twitter, a tweet that has now been shared over ten thousand times​ and reposted on other social media platforms​, Giving Bimbo leverage for her business, showing the ripple effect of determination and doggedness and also​ reminding us ​of ​the power of social media. ​The young budding entrepreneur ​shares her Inspiring story with me in this interview.

Growing Up

Despite my humble background, I was determined to do what it takes to change my family’s fortune. Immediately after Secondary school, I started taking up several jobs to assist my mother to fend for the family and saving towards sponsoring myself to the university.  In 2012, I gained admission into Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba, Akoko to study Business Administration, while in school I made several trips to Lagos to do promotional ushering jobs during weekends and I took up part time jobs during every semester break working with Wrangler as a sales representative at Ikeja Mall, while still studying hard in school, eventually graduating with. ( CGPA) second class degree.

In 2017 after graduation, while waiting to be posted to serve my Fatherland (NYSC). I  took up several jobs part time jobs, saved some money to start dealing in charcoal business having learnt the trade from my mother, I started selling in small and large units to food vendors, restaurants around Ikeja axis. But eventually had to quit the trade due to constant pressure to join Charcoal dealers pressure group.

In November 2017, I was posted to Adamawa state for the mandatory NYSC scheme, spent 3weeks in camp for the orientation exercise and eventually redeployed to Ibadan, Oyo state due to insecurity in the North.  As a Corps member in Ibadan I was posted to a secondary school where I was to resume 8am and close by 2pm, I decided to look for another part-time job to raise extra money for my upkeep and increase my savings.  Lucked smiled on me and I got a sales activation job with British American Tobacco, Ibadan sales unit. There I was required to work between 5pm to 10pm on Tuesday’s to Thursday, 5pm till 2am during the weekends. Though stressful, the pay was good and I was able to save the BAT salary towards starting a business. Eventually, the 3month contract with BAT ended and I had to make a decision on what business to do. As a member of WINNER’s Chapel I’ve always heard Bishop Oyedepo emphasize on the importance of seeking divine direction, so I prayed to God to show me the business to do and miraculously I got divine direction to start a laundry business in a dream.

Thereafter, I had to seek wise counsel from friends and I was directed to see a young man (Mr. Falade Ayomipo Oluwaseun) who also owned a laundry service here in Ibadan. I was told he also started as a Corps member and he was willing to teach me how to start and manage a laundry and dry cleaning shop at an affordable fee. I was able to learn within 3weeks while my PPA was on break. Few days later with the assistance of my Boss, I used all my savings to buy a washing machine, generator, industrial iron and other materials, equipment and items needed to start a Laundry and Dry Cleaning service.

On 10th May 2018, I started business washing 15shirts, 7 trousers and some under wears.  Today I’m a proud owner of a booming Laundry business (CRYTALZ EXCLUSIVE CLEANING SERVICES) that is registered with the CAC, I have 4 employees; 2pressers, a washerwoman and a delivery man. On the long run I intend to engage in large scale laundry and dry cleaning service and also perform Janitorial services.

Abimbola doing her thing

Inspiration behind Crystalz Laundry

Crystalz Laundry was God inspired. During the service year, I did a contract job with Benson and Hedges Ibadan sales unit. I was required to work between 5pm to 10pm on Tuesday’s to Thursday, 5pm till 2am during the weekends. Though stressful, the pay was good and I was able to save my salary towards starting a business. When the contract job ended.  I had to make a decision on what business to do. I prayed to God to show me the business to do and miraculously I got divine direction to start a laundry business in a dream.

What inspired me to advertise my business on Twitter

A friend of mine  (Juba Adeola) told me about how Twitter has helped many entrepreneurs (e.g Dolapo shawarma) increase sales at no cost. He suggested we take professional pictures of me at work, summarize my story while tagging Influencer’s and praying to God to help make the post go viral. And it did go viral by God’s grace.

Reception since I started Crystalz Laundry

My entry into a male dominated laundry business met with cold reception from family members, friends and many others. Some people even advised I do something more “Womanly” though my strong resolve and determination made many change their mind. My choice of business still baffles a lot of people till today

My vision

Crytalz Exclusive Cleaning Services is registered with the CAC.  On the long run I intend to engage in large scale laundry and dry cleaning service and also perform Janitorial services. So far, I have trained and assisted 2 people to set up their laundry business. I have a vision to periodically organise skills acquisition training and empowerment programs for people with a major focus on women. I may also diversify my business based on the ever changing business environment.

Challenges

Unstable power supply, I spend a large amount of money on petrol monthly. I use a motorcycle rider to do my delivery and we have survived 2 terrible accidents. The unstable cost of buying materials is also an issue. Getting new customers usually require extra effort.

Abimbola Odedina at work

On giving up

I had a rethink after I survived  2 terrible accidents in the course of doing pick up and delivery.  The scars are  still visible on my body but I eventually overcame my worry and resolved not to give up

Being a Woman of Rubies

My strong determination to succeed. I sponsored myself to the university. As an undergraduate in Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba, I made several trips to Lagos to do promotional ushering jobs during weekends. I took up part time jobs during every semester break/strike working with Wrangler as a sales representative at Ikeja Mall. Before going for NYSC, I did charcoal business but had to quit due to pressure and debt. Despite all odds, I’m self-employed, an employee of labour and my story has inspired many.

Advice for women who want to go into the laundry business

The business world is not the exclusive domain of men, women have what it takes to own, run and manage businesses. What is required is a determination backed by a strong resolve to succeed in your chosen field; despite the odds and the heavy burden society has placed on women.