#IWD: Celebrating Amina J. Mohammed

Economic and Social Council: Operational Activities for Development Segment
Opening Session
Credits: Foreignpolicy.com DSG

Amina J . Mohammed is representing Nigeria on the international front and we are really proud of her. She is the current deputy secretary general of the United Nations. A former minister of environment between 2015 and 2016. She once coordinated the tax force on gender and education for the UN Millenium project.

Amina J. Mohammed also served as the special adviser of post-2015 development planning to the United Nation secretary general Ban Ki-moon. She was the CEO & Founder of the think tank for development policy solution. These and more achievement earn her the award of 2017 Diplomat of the year by foreign policy magazine, she is also amongst Fortune magazine’s annual list of the2016 world’s greatest leaders. Amina was also profiled by Vogue magazine as one of the 13 female warriors on the frontline.

In 2006, Amina J Mohammed bagged the National Honours Award of the order of the federal republic of Nigeria and was inducted into the Nigerian women’s hall of fame in 2007. Despite being married with six children she has continued to make a difference for all women and her world.

Credits: Damilola Agbaje on Savvy Woman: XX FILES radio program.

Adebisi Adetunji(C) Project director Beehyve Empowerment & Development Initiative


#IWD – Celebrating a Woman – A Young Doctor shares her dreams

In commemoration of the International Women’s Day celebration which is marked every year on the 8th of March, femininmaterz will bring you short stories of women young and old who are doing great things

Below is the story of a young doctor I interviewed who intends to also be a big-time farmer:

My name is Dr. Obadigie Josephine an Optometrist who also want to go into farming big time. Apart from farming I also have other businesses I want to do. I discovered that if you want to make an impact you need to earn more than a salary. You need to have multiple streams that will earn you income because if you really want to impact lives, you need money. And once you get this money it is not just to Can all you can but give back to the society.

One of the ways I want to impact lives is by giving scholarships to young ladies and young men especially those from an indigent background so that they can also achieve their dreams. I believe that once one person is able to achieve his or her dreams then he/she can go on to empower others.

They say if you a train a man you have simply trained a man but when you train a woman you have trained a nation.

I believe that when women are empowered that puts them on a platform to also help their children and others like her husband and even extended family members.

Adebisi Adetunji(C) Project Director Beehyve Empowernment & Development Initiative

An Opportunity on a Notice Board- What She did with It.

A notice board on a national highway. Credits: Alamy.com

There are people that you meet and see every day and simply don’t know their story. They lift their heads each new day ready to make the best of the day. Opportunity comes once in a while and a window into someone’s life opens and then you are blown away by what you see and hear. I got such a rare opportunity with Nifesi (Not Real Name). She is one of our cleaners in my office (Why do I keep meddling?) and I heard something recently about her that lifted my spirits.

Nifesi’s Story – She dares to dream and pursue

I had a conversation with  Nifesi, who dared to pursue an opportunity she saw while sweeping on a notice board.

A week ago I heard that Nifesi now features on the station’s Language (Yoruba) news commentary and had even read a major news bulletin on one occasion. So when I had an opportunity to chat with her to find out more about what inspired her. The road to appearing in the news commentary report started with an announcement placed on the general notice board. Members of staff of the organization were asked to see the management and put their names down if they had skills in presenting Yoruba programs. Nifesi while sweeping the corridor saw the notice and something lite up in her head. “I can do this”, she said to herself.

Opportunities jump out in places least expected sometimes…pay attention and take your chance.

As soon as she was done cleaning, she went in search of everyone that matters and she was advised to start translating news bulletin in English to Yoruba. Nifesi started to practice translating this bulletin every day after her cleaning job. He would then show her translation to those experienced on the job. When she was ready to showcase what she could to, Nifesi approached the news director and programs director to beg them to allow her to read what she had translated. They listened at first politely not wanting to embarrass her. They told her to go and register her interest at the top management level. Nifesi kept going back and forth and would not stop until an audition was sanctioned. After this, others could now listen to what she could do and approved and fell in love with her voice.

You never know what you can do until you try, make that effort, go that extra mile

Even after this nod of approval that Nifesi had what it takes to translate and read news items in the Yoruba language nobody gave her a chance to come to the microphone. Nifesi kept on in hope doing her cleaning job while also still practicing translation of old news bulletin. A day came when those rostered for the news where unavoidably absent. Nifesi strolled in to pick a bulletin as usual to practice her translation and she was given the bulletin to be read for that day. She was trembling and very nervous, carrying out this task that she had dreamed of for months felt like been taken to the court to receive a life sentence. Nifesi in spite her nervousness took the challenge by the bull’s horns and faced it headlong. After featuring as the newsreader for that day, Nifesi received a lot of commendation and that is how she became a newsreader while still carrying out her duty as a cleaner who sweeps our offices and washes the toilet.

Keep pushing until you get a YES!!

I looked at Nifesi in admiration as she shared her story. I was curious and wanted to know more about her. My inquiry revealed that Nifesi while still working on her job as a cleaner had struggled to get a National Diploma(OND) at a Polytechnic as a part-time student. It was tough paying for her school fees. Nifesi would go cap in hand begging the school authority to allow her to pay in installments. Finally, she finished a course in Business Management. When I asked if she had collected her certificate Nifesi said she is yet to because she still owed the school a balance of her school fees. I hope she is able to raise the money because I sense that she may soon be ending her time as a cleaner.

You have what it takes to make that dream happen.

I raise my hands to salute a woman like Nifesi; a woman whom her husband abandoned because they had trouble with bearing children. A strong woman determined to move on with her life and pursue her dreams and goals in spite of her many trials and challenges.


Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Fade’s Touch – Reignite Your Beauty: How to Harness Your Child’s potential

Meet Federera Okunubi at work:

Fade doing makeover for a client
Finishing touches to the makeover

She is the daughter of my 16years hair stylist….really I am amazed that I have stayed with her for this long. The secret of course is good service and a good customer relationship. We are like family now I believe. It is difficult to get me into the salon of another hair stylist to make my hair.

Fade and mum braiding my hair

I first met Iya Fade as we all call her in 2001, then Fade the all grown lady wasn’t even in secondary school yet. This post is set to promote the need to pass down your skills to your children. You will be simply equipping them with tools for a better future. She has grown to become a very beautiful lady and I imagine the suitor’s queue is really long. This is her story as I chatted with her while she and her mum braided my hair.

At first, Fade was not interested in learning how to make other people’s hair. She was young and did not understand why she had to get her hand all dirt in wet waters. However an unce and aunty of hers convinced her that it was good to acquire this skill alongside getting an education. At least she did not have to pay to learn. Slowly and grudgingly at first she began to pay more attention while in her mother’s salon. Soon she picked up interest and became passionate about making hairstyles for customers.

What I admire  Iya Fade for is that she is got taste and is classy; she is creative, hardworking very good at her craft. She seems to thrive on all handy craft as often she makes hair creams, soaps, body cream to cater for the hair needs and treatments of her customers. And she uses natural products to make the blend. If you’ve got issues with your hair Iya Fade is a hair stylist you need to see.

So you can begin to understand the rich skills Fade stand to gain from her mother by paying attention. Thankfully she did pay attention. Right now Fade is competing well with her mum and even doing more.

Fade got admission into the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife to study the course: English Language. In school she was learning and making some change making fellow students hair. So that means she is never broke.

Right now Fade is done with her University education and waiting to go for her National Youth Service Corp(NYSC) but she got busy going to a makeover school and also started to attend a business management school in order to be able to manage her own business.

Fade is now the CEO of Fade’s Touch. Her business provides these services for clients:
1) Hair-do – All kinds of hair styles ranging from braids, dread, weaves, natural style, natural hair care, fixing of weavon.

Looking cool in my newly braided hair by Fade & mum
Fade styling the weavon of her customer

2) Makeover – Bridal makeover, home services, Owanbe-party make up, dinner makeover, casual makeover
3) Pedicure/Manicure
4) Sale of Make-up products
5) Sale of shoes & Bags
I told Fade that she will probably soon start employing her colleagues😀😀👍

I am so pleased to see that this young woman has carved a niche for herself. She will not be under pressure in the labour market looking for a job. She has become an employer herself.

Allow your children get more than a school education. Harness that gifting and talents. Let them acquire skills that will put more value on them in the labour/business market.

You can reach Fade’s Touch for your beauty services on:
Phone No: 08164423645
Instagram : Fade_rera
Twitter: @fade_rera

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Celebrating a Woman: Yinka Bode – Are (A photo Journalist)

Photojournalism is an art which takes time to build. They tell stories of real people, real life situations. A picture always tells the story better than words and you never forget it. Your mind’s eye captures the message. A photo-journalist can stir up action more quickly than many words of appeal will do.

I met this fantastic woman wearing a plain wine shirt on a simple trouser at a journalist training workshop(Writing Feature Stories on Family Planning) facilitated by DEVCOMS/NURHI. She looked all ready for work and moved smartly while walking alongside her. When we introduced ourselves I got to know that she is a photojournalist. I was fascinated and very soon she showed her skills clicking away with her camera taking different angles in an attempt to capture our own workshop story.

I simply could not pass up the opportunity to know a little more about this fellow woman journalist. So here are a few things I came away with from my chat with her.

Meet Yinka Bode-Are a photojournalist with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Yinka has been practicing for over 25 years now. 

What she finds interesting about her job: Working in what is considered a men’s terrain as a photo-journalist

Challenges on the job: Yinka sees no challenge too big to surmount. In her words, “I love what I do”.

Do male photo- journalist have any issues with you : The people I meet really appreciate me for what I do. Sometimes I hear people say that I do a better job with my photos than my male counterpart.

Married? Yes I am happily married

How do you manage your family life & work: My family understands what my job entails. In this profession, I don’t have public holidays and I work sometimes 12hrs a day.

Kudos to this hard working woman.

You can live your dream; You can be anything…The world is waiting for you!! At least I am *wink*😀😀

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Meet Temi Olajide – Business Consultant, Productivity Strategist & Coach for Women

Temi, Studied chemistry at the university of Ilorin and performed brilliantly so much that she was encouraged to become a lecturer.  Temi instead went further to get certification in project management ; Introduction to media and journalism in London school of media and journalism; and Diploma in graphic design. Temi has also taken many short courses in business management.

Now she runs her own businesses and their family business in partnership with the love of her life(Husband).

A peep into her businesses

Temi: I run an initiative called Dreamwithtemi – The Chicmumpreneurs Academy, where I teach and empower busy mums who want to start or grow a business along the home-front to achieve business and life success .

I also run an Online makeup school as a side business to also teach and empower women to learn how to “do it yourself”. This helps women to save money while looking glam all the time on their own terms.

How did you get here

Temi: I started doing business while in school and had plans to work for myself after graduation. When I got married our families adviced that I get a job while my husband runs his business so I got a job with a bank. Working in the corporate world enabled me gather some experience and I later resigned to join my husband in running our busines. This enables me to manage my time and my home well.

How long have you been running your business with your husband
Temi: I’m married to my best friend of 17yrs,  Olawale Olajide , a lawyer and entrepreneur . We are blessed with two beautiful children. We’ve being running our family business officially for about 12years now, though we’ve been doing small businesses alongside for about 16years after we started dating in school.We try as much as possible not to allow our emotions and relationship as a couple get in the way of our business.

Has is it been easy running a business as a couple

Temi: It was very challenging at the beginning but we’ve been able to put all that aside and work with each other’s strength and it gets better now each day.
What else do you do

Temi: I  blog on http://www.urbanfixmakeupacademy.com/blog under dreamwithtemi umbrella on women related topics, but haven’t done so in a while since I began to do videos.

Lifes Motto – You can only experience true happiness and fulfillment when you discover and run with your purpose.

What is your best meal

Temi: My best meal is Eba and vegetable soup, but I can actually eat it with any soup even ordinary stew, Lol.

Social media handles
Instagram- http://www.instagram.com/dreamwithtemi

I met Temi at a training and she is an interesting personality with so much to offer women about how to succeed even as mums

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

Guest Interview : Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan (WhatsupIbadan) / CEO Geomeridien

At an on-going training for Social Media Bloggers on Effective Family Planning Projection organized by DEVCOMS NETWORK, I met this fantastic Lady doing great things.

Her story is real, funny and inspiring for every woman out there and even men.

I will sum up her story with these words:

Where you think there is nothing, therein lies your future

Toyin Odedele-Odugbesan is the co-founder of a blog platform named: WhatsupIbadan where she works alongside her husband as Marketing manager. Toyin is also the CEO Geomeridien travel and tours business intertwined with community service.

How did she get here?
Toyin was offered a Diploma admission into the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State Nigeria to study Transport and Management. It was not what her heart was set on doing but you know how parents will want their child to start any available course instead of waiting at home to write JAMB again. This will mean another year of wait.

Toyin’s words: My first thought when I was offered this course (Transport & Management) was the “Agberos”(Bus conductors) or at best a Taxi Cab driver. For like three months I didn’t attend classes.

It was like she had been sentenced to the worst kind of course which had no future prospect little did she know that therein laid her dream career ticket.

Bisi: So what changed things for you?
Toyin: My first-semester result was bad. I barely passed, this woke me up. I, therefore, determined to study hard. As time passed by and I came to a realization that transportation covered is a wide field and offers me an array of career opportunities. I found out that there were different categories of transport such as Land, Air, Water, Cargo to Ship. I discovered that I could work in Customs service, VIO, Ministry of works and transport, tourism and much more. Soon I fell in love with my course.

Initially, she thought of studying Economics at the BSc level after finishing her diploma instead she went further with a degree in Transport and Management.

Bisi: What happened after your first degree?
Toyin: The Tourism aspect of my course struck me most and it became my passion this led me to do a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management in India.

Bisi: What did it feel like studying in a foreign country?
Toyin: At first it was difficult adjusting to the new culture. I found my way gradually and began to mingle. Where I come from we greet everyone but I noticed people kept to themselves. I started to take the initiative to say hello to people I meet every day from the security man to the gadner and my schoolmates too. People began to warm up to me. Over there in India far away from home, I engaged in community service visiting Orphanage homes and even organized a summer event that brought rich and poor children’s children together. This I did in collaboration with my colleagues in school, lecturers who bought into our idea. It was a rich rewarding and fulfilling time.

Bisi: When did you start your business?
Toyin: All these community service activities inspired me to start my Travels and Tours business back in India even as a student. Now we are also here in Nigeria. Our business name is Geomeridien Travels & Tours.

Bisi: So what is next for you?
Toyin: I continue to look for ways I can reach out more to my communities and make a difference.

Bisi: Your Life’s Motto/Inspiration

Toyin: What you give to life is what life gives back to you.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)