What You require to start & grow your business -Interview With Mrs. Temilola Adepetun, Chief Executive Officer, School Kits Limited.

Mrs. Temilola Adepetun

At School Kits Limited head office in Gbagada, Lagos, I waited patiently to meet the CEO in one of the offices to extend my appreciation for the generous donation of school items for visually impaired young Samuel, a beneficiary of the Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative school support project, I and my team initiated.

A door opens and in came a beautiful woman. She had a simple demeanor to her personality and as we were introduced, she welcomed me warmly. I couldn’t have guessed that she was the Chief executive officer of the company. Mrs. Temilola Adepetun chatted away with me like we had known each other for ages. Now that is the kind of CEO I would like to be. As I thanked her on behalf on my team and me for supporting our efforts in giving this vulnerable child access to quality education and an empowered future; I felt Mrs. Adepetun passion as she responded and talked about the need to give back to our society as privileged citizens.

I became curious about how she started her company, School Kits Limited which had now grown to have 3 outlets in Lagos and one in Abuja. My nose for news picked up the smell for a great and inspiring story and so I asked her to share her story.

Me: I would love to know what inspired the idea that birthed, School Kits Limited

Temilola Adepetun: Many years ago my first son got admission into secondary school and I had to shop for the things he needed. Back then I worked in the Oil and Gas industry and had a very busy schedule. I had to visit about five different markets to get everything my son needed. It was stressful and so I thought to myself, “isn’t there a shop that has everything one needed for school”? I mean for parents like me who had such a busy schedule, it will be a great relief.

Me: After that thought crossed your mind, what did you do with the idea?

Temilola Adepetun: I remembered a few shops that I shopped in while doing my A-levels in England between 1977 and 1979; this made me think that it was possible to replicate such a shop here in Nigeria. I put down my thought on paper and spoke to a few friends who were enthusiastic about it and said that it was doable. Soon afterward in the year 2000, as another school session was about to begin, I collected my son’s school list and got a few friends to also share their children’s list with me. Then I traveled to Dubai to get the items and a few more. On getting back I decided to hold an exhibition to test the market. I sent out notices to parents of different PTA directorates and friends; it turned out to be a huge success. And in September, that same year, the company was Incorporated and opened her first outlet to the public at Onikan, Lagos.

Me: Surely the ride hasn’t been a smooth one, how have you managed the challenges that come with running a business and company?

Temilola Adepetun: Passion for what I do and the service I provide which is to offer a one-stop shop for parents and students keeps me going. It feels rewarding that I am able to meet the needs, my customers. The company has also evolved and grown over time. A time came when the company became much bigger than what I could handle alone and so I engaged a business strategy consultant to help restructure the business. That step created room for hiring a Chief Operating Officer for the company. It is a move that has produced great results and we have expanded to having different arms at School Kits. Apart from providing wholesales; we now operate our own cloth production line and we are still expanding.

A few  take away points about what is required to step out and start your own thing/business that stood out for me as I had this conversation with Mrs. Adepetun:

  1. Ideas can pop up from your own life experience and needs.
  2. Write down your thoughts, brainstorm about your idea and share with trusted friends.
  3. Try to think about where you have seen a prototype of your idea that worked.
  4. Be creative with your idea and step out; test your idea.
  5. Once you achieve success in operating your idea on a small scale, start your business.
  6. Get registered and be visible to the public so clients can find you.
  7. As you grow and expand don’t try to do it all alone, hire experts and professionals who will compliment and provided the required skills for your growing company.

School Kits prides herself in providing quality Uniforms and school items to cater for needs of the parents and students population

Company Goal: Be a Household name and “The Go to Company”

School Kits: Everything you need to kit for schoolTemilola Adepetun

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Every Child Has a Right to Education & Quality Life

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As a parent or guardian you have a duty to provide for and protect your child. Do not burden your son/daughter with your responsibility. Plan to have only the number of children you can cater for.

Every child has a right to be cared for and provided for.
Every child deserves to live in a safe environment in order to achieve his or her potential.
Every child has a right to provision of basic needs
Every child has a right to protection
Every child has a right to quality life & education. 

Say No to Child Labor

Say No to Child Abuse 

Now that Schools are in session, ensure that your child is enrolled and regularly attends school. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Rape Survivor – “You can Heal”.

At the TeensHubs seminar for adolescents which held recently in Ibadan, while waiting for my turn to speak to participants about the harmful effects and need to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM ), I listened to this heartbreaking yet happy ending story of a young lady who had volunteered for the event. Oluwafunmbi Adeoti was born in Kwara state.

Funmbi – Rape Survivor & Me after sharing her story with Adolescents at the seminar

While growing up she wanted to be loved and therefore sort for acceptance wherever she could find it. Unfortunately she fell into the wrong hands and got pregnant at age 16 after been raped. Not wanting her parents to find out Funmbi ran away from home and soon met her former physics teacher who was then lecturing at a University.

Desperately looking for answers and a way out of her predicament she shared her dilemma with this physics teacher. Instead of helping, he added salt to her injury by encouraging her to opt for abortion. Things took a worse turn as this man lied to her that abortion was a very painful procedure and in order to minimize her pain he had to sleep with her. Poor Funmbi, was taken advantage of by another adult who should have protected her. Eventually she did have the abortion but kept the pain to herself for eight years.

Somewhere down the road while still hurting Funmbi met people who drew her out and the first time she spoke about what she had gone through, she wept profusely. However it was the beginning of her healing journey.

Funmbi had to learn that it was not her fault that these rape incidences happened and had to learn forgiveness. It was tough but at some point Funmbi came to a decision; that “the remaining part of her life was going to become the best”. Now she boldly speaks about her experience and has this to say to other survivors –

Whatever you have gone through, you can heal”.

There are many rape survivors out there like Funmbi, who need to get a chance to heal. Reach out to someone today, you never can tell what that innocent looking face might be going through.

If you are a survivor please reach out; do not continue to suffer on in silence battling the monsters of the trauma of your experience.

Break the Culture of Silence; Speak Up! 

And parents please pay attention to your children. Initiate conversations about their sexuality and reproductive health early on in life. Befriend them and educate them about situations and people who could take advantage of them.

Statistics

42.2% females were raped before age 18 (C DC – Center for Disease Control).

29% of Male were raped before age 10.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

 

Summer Holiday Art – Our Living Room is Looking Good! 🙌🌹 #Humour

Tick… Tock... ⏰Schools Resume this September in Nigeria… I know that feeling of sorting out school fees as a parent… Don’t worry it will all be sorted out.

What fun thing did your kids do this summer holiday? Mine had a mix blend of subject coaching : a little bit of traveling and an art workshop to wrap it all up.

Sitting in our living room are these two beautiful art products… 👏👏 OK giving it up to the two artists… David and Ololade my two angels. 

Now they are busy checking out their new school text books… The excitement I don’t get… Last night they almost slept with these books on their bed… Maybe it’s a “book hug” thing… Lol😀😀

Praying that the Lord’s blessings and protection will rest on all our children as they resume a new school year.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

 

The Unique Role of Women in Youth Development/Nation Building

Sonya Carson was a single mum who stopped attending school at grade three before she could read and write. She struggled with depression and worked so hard to raise her two sons Benjamin and Curtis. Even though Sonya was an illiterate, she devised a plan to get her sons to pay attention to reading and studying hard. Sonya refused to be a victim of her circumstances and pushed her sons to succeed in life. By this singular act she gave the world the renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who successfully operated on and separated conjoined twins joined at the back of the head. Ben Carson is currently serving his country as the United states Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Mothers are life molders and nation builders.

The word, “busy” is synonymous to modern day life. Efforts to make ends meet and the rat race of achieving an acceptable social status standard has eroded family happy times and relationships. Modern technology although with its numerous benefits to human life and businesses comes with its own disadvantages and distractions. The younger generation is fascinated by the new technological gadgets and social media; many spend precious hours engaging in unprofitable conversations with no one to guide and mentor them appropriately. Fathers and mothers are busy trying to keep their families afloat in the midst of new economic challenges of the 21st century.

Gone are the days when our mothers were at home or worked at jobs that enabled them to be at home when children close from school. Mothers were able to monitor the activities of their children and guide or discipline as appropriate. No wonder then that many of us formed a close relationship with our moms; no wonder that so many poems and songs have been written to eulogize the many sacrifices of mothers as they played a vital role in molding children who become responsible adults to society. Times have changed and we, mothers are so busy that we can barely catch our breath in the numerous challenges that life throws at us. How do we even begin to turn the tide of things around?

A group of women decided to create time to come away from their busy schedule to learn, inspire and remind one another about what was most important– empowering each other and yet able to raise young people who become responsible and dependable adults to their families and society. The National Biennial Conference of Pastors wives a yearly gathering organized by Foursquare Gospel church in her 2018 edition brought together women from different works of life and circle in society. This year’s theme is tagged, “Women Of Wisdom”. In attendance were the wife of Ogun State governor represented by Mrs Omolola Osota and Mrs. Folakemi Edun; the State Director National Orientation Agency, Oyo Directorate, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu; Wife of the General overseer, Foursquare gospel church, Rev. Mrs Olubisi Meduoye and other ministers and women. 

Representatives of wife of Ogun state governor – Mrs Folakemi Edun & Mrs Omolola Osita; State Director NOA – Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu

As the team who accompanied the keynote speaker, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, State Director, National Orientation Agency, Oyo Directorate drove through the camp ground of the Foursquare Gospel Church situated along Lagos-Ibadan express way, there was something serene about the environment.

Team of the Oyo State Director, NOA sets out for the Women of Wisdom Conference.

A cluster of housing units lined up the road blending with nature as trees and lush green grass surrounded the environment. It is the kind of place you would want to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city; somewhere to clear your head, rest and regain your energy to face life again. Indeed it was an air of excitement in the hall as women relaxed and were charged by various speakers.

Women at the conference

Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu in her presentation talked about the uniqueness of women’s role in Youth Development and nation building. Her introduction paints an apt picture of this:

“Women play significant roles in our society from birth till the end of their lives. The main responsibility of a woman is to preserve the human race. As a mother, her position is unique. She brings up the children with extreme care. The first school of a child is the lap of his/her mother. It is in recognition of the vital role of a mother in the upbringing of a child that Napoleon said, “Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation”. Similarly, Brigham young said, “If you educate a man, you educate one person; if you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. No doubt, the progress of a nation depends largely upon the way mothers raise their children”.

Sharing from her experience working with youths, she talked about young people who couldn’t be bordered to show up to take up empowerment opportunities government offered to unemployed youths. Mrs Dosunmu and her team in efforts to enroll these young persons in the N-Power program, placed several calls to many young people who had been selected but refused to fulfill the requirement of concluding the registration with her agency. It seemed like we are grooming youths with “entitlement mentality” and give no serious thought and time to one of the rules of succeeding in life which is simply  to, “show up and be on time”! Mrs Dosunmu passionately appealed to women present at the meeting to monitor and pay attention to ensuring that their wards become young men and women who are willing to learn and take a chance with opportunities that life brings their way.

Rev. Mrs Olubisi Meduoye & ministers appreciates Guest speaker – Mrs Dosunmu after delivering her presentation.

Key Points to note from her address:

  • Build a mother-child friendly relationship with your child.
  • Be a role model – watch how you live and behave as children naturally pick up on their parent’s character traits and this eventually shapes their entire lifestyle.
  • Teach your kids to do the right thing regardless of what other people may be doing.
  • Do not indulge or pamper your children; discipline when necessary.
  • Find time for your children regardless of your tight schedule.
  • Do your best to provide basic needs of your children even if your husband is incapacitated, not economically viable or even a deviant who dodges his responsibilities. In due season you will reap the reward.
  • The youth face a myriad of challenges which can best be overcome when adults create time to exchange of opinions. Youths have a lot of issues they want to discuss with adults and when they get a listening ear, they open up and learn from the adult’s wealth of experience.

In spite of the challenge of the 21st century as mothers we must go back to creating time for our kids and raise them to become the kind of adults we can be proud of in future.

Remember that after acquiring all the money and fame, you eventually get the future you invested in or did not invest in. Build relationships and not just career successes.

Ben Carson had this to say about his mum, Sonya Carson when she passed away in 2017:

“She was one of God’s greatest blessings to me, and it was her foresight and discernment that pushed me to reach my dreams”.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Step Out of Your Title ; Surprise yourself and Others

Me & Dolapo Dosunmu

Meeting this dear woman, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu at a development work review meeting left me feeling good and humble. She made us feel relaxed and generated so much laughter with her sense of humor. You wouldn’t guess her title, I mean her role in the office.

She was so down to earth as the moderator of the 2-Day Review Meeting with UNICEF and 10 States Media Partners that produced the Radio Drama Serial, “Pim pim pim”. It was an enter – educate format to generate social behavior change in attitudes of people and communities towards female genital mutilation FGM also known as female circumcision.

I and a participant were saddled with the responsibility of reporting all activities and discussion of the first day of the meeting. While crossing our “Ts’ and doting our “l’, we asked her to give us her designation in order to properly capture the correct information needed to conclude the report. Here was this woman telling me that she is the,”State Director of National Orientation Agency, Oyo”! I stood there thinking, “wow, so a state director has been the moderator”. Dosunmu was the errand girl if you like, because she was there to ensure that the meeting ran smoothly. She mingled easily and was humble about how she addressed everyone.

My take away and lesson:
*Step out of your title and make a simple difference.
*Wear your badge and title with humility.
* Mingle and keep people guessing about who you truly are😀. No need to blow your own trumpet, let others do it.

Women, we need to support each other more. Appreciate your sister, no need for the competition and unhealthy rivalry – paraphrasing a point from Dolapo Dosunmu

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com