WODDI NGO DEBUTS TALK-THAT-TALK AS PART OF ITS WODDI YOUTH SUMMIT PROGRAM
As part of WODDI NGO’s efforts to foster youth empowerment, the talk show Talk-that-Talk (WODDITTT) debuted on Friday the 30th of April, 2021. The theme of the episode was “Young and killing it – Daring to Dream despite hurdles”. It centered on young entrepreneurs and professionals making an impact in Abuja, with the aim to inspire and encourage emulation by other young people.
The show, which was moderated by WODDI NGO Programmes Manager- Mr. Jeremiah Oseni had four outstanding young individuals as panelists, they are: Adedoyin Betiku- Head of Corporate Communications, Neem Foundation; Hauwa Abdulraheem- Lawyer/ Fashion Designer & CEO Kulu Abuja; Chidera Nneoma Okoli- Lawyer/Writer/ CEO Space Station Abuja and Mr. Amamchi Rochas, Founder/Managing Director of Wingist Network & Group of Companies.
The conversation revolved around each of the panelists’ inspirations, challenges faced, solutions and their experiences as young entrepreneurs in Nigeria
MEET THE PANELISTS
Mr. Amamchi Rochas is the Founder/ MD Wingist Network & Group of Companies- A leading brand in luxury, hospitality and lifestyle, with three outlets across Abuja. He stated the main objective of the Wingist network as providing an avenue for young Nigerian individuals from different walks of life to unite- deliberate on issues plaguing the country, proffer solutions and implement those solutions as a way to move the nation forward
When asked what inspired him to take up this venture, Amamchi pointed out his interest in entertainment as a driving force, he added that choosing Abuja as a base was because he believed in the FCT’s potential to be as big an entertainment hub, as Lagos.
Formerly Head of Corporate Communications at NOI Polls, Mr. Betiku is the current Head of Corporate Communications at the Neem Foundation- an organization birthed in response to insurgency in the Northern part of Nigeria- the organisation provides psycho social support to victims of insurgency up North.
Betiku’s inspiration came from his father’s productivity accountability checks- he explained that his father would come back from work every day, requesting that he state his achievements for the day; It was how his passion for improving life through effective communication, advocacy and branding came to be.
CHIDERA NNEOMA OKOLI
Miss Chidera is a motivated and constantly driven young lady; she is a Lawyer, a published writer with two books under her belt- When Silence becomes too Loud and Not Forgiven. She is also the Managing Director of Space Station, Abuja.
Space Station is an organization that provides already furnished offices, co-working spaces, conference/training spaces, thereby saving entrepreneurs and working professionals the stress of finding and setting up their own work space.
Hauwa Abdulraheem is a Lawyer, a Wife, Mother, Fashion Influencer/Designer and CEO of the leading fashion brand, Kulu Abuja. Kulu Abuja, she said, was born out of her love for fashion, dressing up and the need to make comfortable and wearable African clothes that give international brands a run for their money
CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
There is no true success without challenges, so we had our panelists share the challenges they have encountered as young entrepreneurs and professionals in Nigeria and how they overcame them.
AMAMCHI talked about the never-ending inspections and unnecessary levies meted out by various regulatory bodies.
CHIDERA mentioned increase in power tariffs with no value, exorbitant business taxes and levies by government agencies, and loss of clients and revenue as negative effects of the COVID- 19 pandemic, “COVID-19 WAS a huge challenge, we lost 50% of our clients and even more in revenue, because we made expenditures that were expected to be recouped during year which was deterred when covid hit” said Chidera.
She explained how the Work from Home phenomenon affected Space Station negatively, and how they had find innovative ways to stay relevant. The result being Virtual Office– this allows the client to enjoy all the benefits of a physical office space while working from home. Also, they had to diversify by delving into trainings and consulting as a cushioning effect.
BETIKU buttressed on the difficulty in convincing people that they were making uninformed decisions and needed help. He also touched on the difficulty in gaining and maintaining client-confidence as a major setback “Having to advice people on creative direction- and getting people to trust your direction is hard. There is always a struggle to continually prove yourself to clients.” said Betiku.
HAUWA highlighted exploitation by agencies like Abuja Electricity Distribution Company and AMAC as a major challenge- She told a story on how her store was without power for three months, but still got a billed over a hundred thousand when the issue was fixed.
Furthermore, she mentioned Unreliable tailors as a challenge she faced in the past. “Most Tailors are illiterates” she said “you cannot enforce certain measures to tailors as you would in a normal work setting. To resolve this, she sought advice and had a talk with her workers; after the conversations she discovered that tailors prefer “pay as you work” and “ I owe yous” as opposed to the normal salary structure. After rectifying this, she’s had tailors that have worked with her for over three years, which has helped her business grow to the point where she has expanded.
The show rounded up with the panelists leaving prospective and already existing entrepreneurs with parting words of advice and encouragement as stated below:
- If you have an opinion, air it out and stand by your truth.
- Understand the terrain, carve a niche for yourself, but know other people in other niches.
- Welcome your ups and downs, love what u do and invest your money, time and value as much as you can.
- Knowledge is power and application of that knowledge is your superpower.
- When you have a dream, your why has to be bigger than the dream itself especially when challenges come so your why fuels you .
- Remember your motivations, they will keep you going when challenges come knocking.
The show reinforced WODDI NGO’s dedication to transformational impact of young Nigerians and the organisation’s contributions to the discourse on the advancement of Nigerian youths using this program as a platform.
More pictures from the event below:
The Talk that Talk series will continue to be held every last Friday of the month, and it will focus on an array of topics, while being Youth centered.