Olatunji Oluwadamilola Ifetayo is the founder of Lynas for the Needy, a registered charity. She is an author and the CEO of Shantilove Nigeria Enterprise which deals in made in Nigeria home and office essential products.
Her love for humanity compelled her to organize free skill empowerment training every month to reach out to 1000 people per annum. A wife and a mom of two, 32-year-old Ifetayo on this interview with Women of Rubies, shares how she balances it all.
I can say my childhood prepared me in a way for what I do now because childhood for me wasn’t rosy . I came from a background where I met my two parents hustling to cater for myself and my siblings.
I was born in one of the ghetto’s in Lagos. Our house was a face me I face you apartment as it is fondly called. A house full of commotion and hawking was the order of the day. Virtually all the neighbour’s children in my house would hawk after school.
We used to have a small kiosk outside the house where we sold provision and drugs too. One day I had to join the neighbour’s children to hawk too. The scorching sun spelled my name boldly on capital letter. I did it for 2 days and paused the third day because my parent must not hear about it.
The ghetto life is not a good place for growth especially when there is no positive influence in the environment. I could remember a lot of my friends were wayward ,some dropped out of school, some got pregnant at an early age and regretted it. I did my nursery school and part of primary school in this ghetto.
The only saving grace was, my parent later relocated to a better environment, maybe I would have joined my friends in the neighbourhood and peer group and that thereby making me make some regrettable decision that would have affected my future too. I thank God for the parents I have, they might have had little, but were bent on giving us good upbringing.
Ghetto is a place where the number of bad children surpasses the good one. I can go and on. I thank God I came out unscathed.
Inspiration behind Lynas
Lynas for the needy foundation was birthed by my passion for humanity and the compassionate heart I have as an individual. The Holy spirit inspired Lynas for the needy foundation when i was alone asking for my God given purpose on earth and how I can be of value to humanity.
We cut across different state in Nigeria, donating to the needy, raising giants of tomorrow and helping them unleash their potential and letting go of their fears.
We go to orphanage home and destitute home to empower them with skills and also celebrate every birthday celebrant anytime we hold our outreach. We make sure they have a memorable birthday. We also rescue children from the street and put them in orphanage homes or children care centres for proper intensive care. We have registered nurses and doctor among our team that helps us with medical outreach while others team members also join for a successful outreach.
We sponsor education of children in rural communities and help with education material to enhance their good education. Our food donation on the street is also another way we touch lives every time.
Lynas for the needy foundation is a registered NGO that been touching lives since it inception since 5 years ago and we are still on the path to put smile on people’s face.
About Lynas Free skill training
Yes I organize free skill training and empowerment to reach out to 1000 people yearly because i know how it feels to be jobless. I am a living witness as i couldn’t get a job immediately after my NYSC. Many graduates of today are also looking for a white collar job whereas the industries available can not serve everyone a job and it is sometimes based on man knows man factor. I believe these unemployed ones can keep themselves busy by acquiring a skill to forge ahead and be responsible and accountable. Through this more job can also be created resulting to industrialization in the society.
Lynas Impacts so far
My skill acquisition scheme has impacted many lives which includes graduates ,undergraduates ,single mothers ,drop out etc.
Over 4000 has been impacted since I started…I do both online and also train the less privileged in rural communities.
That when people mention my name they will be glad they made a start and were confident to stand up for themselves.
On Managing my company Shantilove Nigeria
Shantilove Nig Enterprise started small like every other company, I am vast on skills and that was what birthed the company. I started in Ilorin and with consistency and hard work, was able to pull through. We are into manufacturing of essential cleaning products and other craft to solve problems of poor sanitation, create job opportunities for youths and alleviate poverty in the society. It is a registered company under Cooperate affairs commission and been managed by me as the CEO and few staff for maximum production.
On finding a balance
Well I will say it has not been easy managing my responsibility as an author, CEO, striving humanitarian, mother and wife however time management has been the balancing factor and I thank God for an understanding husband who supports my career and gives me all the encouragement I need to keep pushing for my personal growth and development.
The challenges has been funds especially during lockdown period, money doesn’t come in like before,and travelling to other States to facilitate skills where I get paid has been on hold.
The 3 women who inspires me is
Mrs Folusho Alakija, Mrs idowu Awosika and Mrs Ngozi okonjo Iweala
These women have few things in common ,humanitarian, integrity and they are advocates for gender equality.
Advice to Women
My advice to women is that we should not be a hindrance to our greatness by making fear to mar our dreams of becoming, or give in to fear by not pursuing our purpose on earth.
Every woman is unique in her own way lets come together to make the world a palatable place for ourselves through genuine love, support, and collaboration because together we create magic with our magic wands.
Let all woman always stand for the truth and justice and be a pillar of trust, confidence and integrity. Let’s also be advocates for gender equality to enable us break the ceiling glass in various sectors.
Lastly do not let your poor background or challenges of life stop you from being MORE, because you are made for more to change narrative.
You can be whatever you want to be only if you believe in the power of your dream, believe in yourself, shun fear of known and the unknown, keep your head in the game and keep focusing on your focus because no one is a nonentity.
God deposited a seed of greatness in every human. Nurture your seed and be a good tree for others to plug and get nourishments.
The world needs woman of great values to survive.
Every woman has in them greatness !!! Believe in yourself and unleash your potential!!
As a Woman of Rubies
What makes me a woman of rubies is that I am committed and passionate to giving back to the society, and my positive impact is felt in people’s lives. A lot of people talk about my authenticity, servant leadership, ingenuity, humanitarian service, and I count all this as a privilege to serve my generation.
Social media handle
Instagram- www.instagram .on/ olatunji.ifetayo