Meet the Boss: Chioma Pamela Nwuruku, Eleanor Des Fleurs

Chioma Pamela Nwuruku studied Electrical & Electronics Engineering in the University of East London for her first degree and attained a second degree in Information and Business Systems Engineering from University of Surrey. In January 2016 she founded a Floral & Gift delivery company, Eleanor Des Fleurs, in Abuja. We chatted about her entrepreneurial journey HERE.

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5 Minutes with Crystal Chigbu, Executive Director, Irede Foundation

The Irede Foundation, which provides prosthetic limbs and other assistance to poor child amputees aged 0 to 18, also hosts Out on a Limb, a walk to raise awareness about limb loss in children. Executive Director Crystal Chigbu talked to me about Irede Foundation’s mission to give hope to child amputees in this interview.

Making a Difference: Free Coding Lessons for Teens at Sparkplug

Sparkplug, a social enterprise designed to fix education with software, is now offering free coding lessons to Nigerian teenagers, which includes free access to laptops. I had a few questions for Olumide Adewumi who is also the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Web Developer at Gidilounge. Read more about this life-changing initiative HERE.

What Do People Mean When They Say Marriage is Work?

It has come to my notice that single people who intend to get married have been hearing “marriage is work” for ages and yet they’re not exactly sure what the “work” is. And they’re sick of it.

I’ve decided to share a few things about what constitutes this “work” based on my experience and the experiences of people I’ve talked with about marriage over the years. Read more…

If You’ve Ever Dreamed of Publishing a Book, Read This

Naija Single Girl, whose novel, 29, Single and Nigerian, I edited in 2015, wrote a detailed blog post about the entire writing process.

Although she mentioned me in it, I just found it today and I’m sharing because I love the way she frankly outlined her journey, from the first day she wrote down a word, to writing 500 words a day, then 1000, and so on. She also talked about her search for an editor who would preserve the Nigerian English that makes the book what it is, getting a good cover design, and finding an affordable publisher.

It’s a good read for anyone who intends to write and publish their book. Click HERE to read it, and remember to share!

Letter to Dee

Dearest Dee,

It’s been a while. We don’t talk as often as we used to, and yet nothing has changed; not my admiration of your femininity, poise, wisdom, grace, eloquence and uncommon kindness, not your inexplicable fondness for and devotion to me, and certainly not our ability to talk about any and everything – when we do get to talk.

I remember the girl that I was when I first arrived Lagos. When I think of her, and then look at the woman I am today, two words flash before my eyes; God…Dee.

In May 2007 I left my little job in Warri after many months of longing for a better life. I remember walking home from work one day and, in a moment of intense awareness of the sheer ordinariness and tedium of my existence, muttering a quiet but heartfelt prayer: “God, please let me be somebody in this life.” So the next time my friend in Lagos raised the issue of relocating, I said yes without knowing how it would come about.

It turned out that saying yes to myself – yes to my potential, yes to my greatness, yes to more – was enough.

On the 4th of September 2007 I showed up ready to begin a career in Public Relations. I was prepared for work, but I was not prepared for you, Dee. When I first set eyes on you that first day at work, I had no way of knowing how much you would come to mean to me. It still amazes me how quickly we took to each other, even now that I can clearly see it was meant to be. What would a senior colleague, 11 years older than I for that matter, stand to benefit from a relationship with me?

I did not understand it at the time, but I do now. It was through your eyes that I truly saw myself for the first time. It was you who made me aware of my personal brand. My ability to look at a document and spot errors – from typos and grammatical blunders, to double spaces between words – was something I took for granted.

“It’s not about knowing English, Joy. I have a good command of the English Language myself; I was a broadcaster for almost a decade, FRCN trained. It’s the combination of language proficiency AND attention to detail. Don’t take it for granted. My husband’s company would benefit greatly from having someone like you.”

You influenced everyone in the office with your opinion of me. It wasn’t long before the MD insisted that no document leave the office without having been checked by me. You praised me publicly and corrected me privately. You gave me books and magazines to read. You gave me clothes, shoes and jewellery. You shared life experiences with me. And if that was all you did, it would have been enough.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about our relationship is the fact that you did not need that job. Oh, everybody who worked there knew that; we all realized from the car you came to work in, the clothes you wore, and the trips to South Africa and Paris for medical checkups, that you were not there for the money; but it was only later in our friendship that I would realize just how much you did not need the money.

You also did not need to keep in touch with me after you resigned to go start a family. You were no longer my boss, and even though I still wanted to be friends with you, it was your call, really. And you chose to be my friend. You chose to drive from the Island to the mainland just to take me out for starch and banga soup. You took my calls and counselled me when the need arose. When it became necessary for me to leave that office, you recommended me for a role in your husband’s company.

The pride you took in me as I grew in my new job meant almost as much as the fat pay check. You made sure to tell me all the wonderful things your husband said about my intelligence, dedication and readiness to learn new things. “He believes you can do more than research. He says he’s discussed with the Consultant to train you as a scriptwriter.” By believing in me you gave me more than a job, Dee; you gave me a sense of worth, a new career, the opportunity to learn new skills and a lifelong mentor who taught me how to write documentary scripts, and more.

You saw my gifts when I couldn’t see them, and you did your best to open my eyes to my own value. I look at my life, count my blessings, and count you 10 times.

There’s no way I could possibly recount all the things you’ve given me and done for me, and all the opportunities I have had because of you. Neither is there any way I could ever pay you back. Still, when I remember the girl I was when I first arrived Lagos, and look at the woman I am now, I purpose in my heart that I will pay. I have made a commitment to be to someone what you have been to me, God willing. I will pay it forward.

 

Love,

Joy.

Meet The Boss: Eghe Osadolor, Platinum Touch Interior

Eghe Osadolor is an entrepreneur whose business is making living and work spaces beautiful. There was nothing in her arts and social sciences background to suggest that she would one day run an interior décor business, but gifts and talents have their way of shining through. I interviewed her about about her journey to entrepreneurship and her interior decoration business. Click HERE to read it.