AW Women Series : Omowumi ThankGod Emmanuel – A Woman Creating A Path For Women And Girls

By Onozasi

Above Whispers Women Series is aimed at showcasing women who are crusading for vulnerable men and women in the society. This is a platform for these women to share their journey with other women around the world and inspire them. On this platform, we love to share stories of inspiring women because we know that women are doing a whole lot in the society.  The purpose of this series is to keep you abreast of the amazing strides that women and young women are doing in Nigeria, Africa and across the World.

On this week’s episode of AW Women Series, we are privileged to have an amazing woman who has created a platform for women and girls to be empowered both financially and mentally. Omowumi ThankGod Emmanuel shares her journey with us on her goals for women via TED Initiative. She’s a woman whose personal journey has created a source of livelihood, inspiration and motivation for women and girls across the country. 

 

We know that this will inspire you. Do enjoy this exclusive interview.

 

 

AW : What is your life’s mantra?

You may be the only person left who believes in you, but that’s enough. It takes the glimmer of just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up on yourself, the only person who can stop you from being your greatest self is you.

 

AW : Introduce yourself to us 

My name is Omowumi ThankGod Emmanuel, I’m a native of Taraba State, the fifth child of my parent, I grew up in a family where situation forces you to take full ownership of your life at a very tender age. I went to Victory Model College Ore, Ondo State and got my first and second degree in Theatre Arts at the prestigious University of Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria.

 

ted official (1)Omowumi ThankGod Emmanuel (Initiator, Treasures Empowerment Development Initiative)

 

AW : Why did you decide to create TED Initiative?

I founded Treasures Empowerment Development (TED) Initiative because I saw a need in the society and I was driven by passion to create the needed solution to the prevalent problems facing women and the girl child in our underdeveloped communities. Majority of the women in our poor rural and underdeveloped communities struggle with a number of challenges ranging from lack of financial and economic capacity to domestic violence to gender discrimination and more. These realities are there and I founded this non-governmental organization to reach out to these categories of underprivileged women and girls to empower them, train them, give them a sense of purpose and worth and also make them financially free. Also, my upbringing and the gory ordeals I have had to navigate as a function of the situational dynamics and present reality of the Nigeria state have given me a great clue of the social construct and also reinforces my belief that if people have access to the correct structures, conditions and enabling environments, thriving as a people would be by default.

 

 

 

AW : Skill acquisition might sound cliché to a lot of people, what makes TED different from other skill acquisition platforms in the country.

Skills acquisition is fantastic but you see empowerment goes beyond just acquiring a skill, it involves training the mind to take full responsibility for total transformation. Part of what we do at TED Initiative is to empower women and girls to take ownership, develop a sense of purpose, acquire relevant skills and still position them to attract the needed funding to fulfil their dreams. We don’t stop at giving them skills, we offer mentorship until our women and girls become independent and financially progressive.

 

 

AW : How do you get these women to come on TED? Is there a process, if yes, please share with us

The process is simple, our scouting team identifies an underdeveloped community or urban cities in need of women empowerment and we go there and organize a number of free women empowerment trainings including our skill acquisition programs. When we do these trainings, it is only natural for the women to register with us, these continuities then afford us the opportunity to go beyond skill acquisition into full empowerment including instant loans amongst others.

 

 

 

AW : Statistics shows that lots of women in Nigeria are still far from being financially empowered, what do you think is the reason or the reasons behind this?

A lot of women are not financially empowered because of a number of reasons, I will talk on a few. Women in most rural and local communities are marginalized, discriminated against and not really given equal privileges like their male counterparts, therefore women are not privileged to equal opportunities. This gender discrimination has limited the chances of women across the country. Aside from that, there is very little advocacy going on concerning women empowerment, if we have more organizations, government ministries and civil societies get on board, this will be an issue of the past in no time. I will also use this medium to encourage well-meaning Nigerians to do something about women empowerment in their local communities, this will go a long way to address the issue.

 

 

AW : What’s your definition of a modern woman?

A modern woman is an enlightened woman, a woman that has an understanding of her realities and her world. A modern woman is a 21st-century woman who understands her rights, privileges and roles in today’s world. She is educated, not necessarily formal education, she is skilled, she is relevant to society, she is independent, industrious and ambitious. She is smart, bold and beautiful.

 

 

AW : Is it compulsory for every woman to learn a skill?

First I will like to say that whether or not every woman must learn a skill is a matter of choice and personal decision. However, those who chose to upgrade their lives by acquiring a skill in line with their passion and life goals become happier, better, stronger and live a more fulfilling life thereby achieving a level of self- sufficiency and independence. Also, considering the realities in today’s world, it is important for everyone to be skilled. This is not just a female gender thing, everyone in this present world ought to be skilled to survive and thrive. In this present-day Nigeria where some state government workers do not receive their salaries for several months, it is very important that both men and women earn money using their skills and talents and not just depend on salaries. This is why we exist at TED Initiative to empower the women and girls to become problem solvers and not liabilities to society.

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AW : What’s been the challenges so far?

Sincerely it has not been a smooth sail, we have had our ups and downs, and highs and lows but we are indeed grateful to God for the thousands of lives we have been able to reach and impact positively, our passion and resolution to empower the Nigerian woman and make her financially independent has driven us into huge sacrifices.

Getting funds to finance our projects, paying our facilitators, getting sponsorship and also the processing of loans for our beneficiaries have been the major hurdles we face from time to time. We are grateful to those who have in the past contributed towards our cause, however for us to move on to touch more lives nationally we would need more funds and support every now and then.  We use this medium to reach out to well-meaning people in our society to join us in taking this project to a whole new level.

 

 

AW : Is there a post platform for these women/girls after being trained?

We have an online group for post empowerment mentoring. It’s a platform where we further enlighten and educate our women and girls, answer their questions and provide access to funding opportunities and resources. We also have a physical group based on the location where they can network and get the necessary support for their business growth.

 

 

 

AW : Women are known to be very hardworking from ages past even up until now, we have lots of women who run their homes via the work they do. Do you think that in as much as we want our women to be self-independent we are creating room for some of these men to be lackadaisical?

A woman is an individual, she has rights over her body, she has rights to earn her own money, she has the right to succeed. That a man chooses to be lackadaisical about his own responsibilities is a different ball game entirely. Every woman should strive towards being successful, we have powerful women in the world today, the likes of  Ngozi Okonjo, Mo Abudu, Erelu Bisi Fayemi,   Hillary Clinton, Mitchell Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Ibukun Awosika, Nike Adeyemi amongst others. These people are women who discovered themselves and worked towards actualizing their potentials. If a man desires to be lackadaisical fine, but that should not in any way stop a woman from basking in her own glory. That a woman is driven by ambition is not a reason for a man to abandon his responsibilities. A responsible man is a responsible man any day.

 

 

 

AW : Do you think that a policy framework is important for the financial empowerment of women in Nigeria?

Policies are one of the benefits of good governance. Government policies will go a long way in redefining empowerment for women in our society. If the government decides to look into creating relevant policies towards the empowerment of the girl child and also to really empower the women I believe a lot will be achieved in a short time.

 

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AW : Share some of your success stories with us?

TED Initiative was founded to promote women economic empowerment and so far we have trained over 5,000 women in three states, we have taught 20 courses successfully over 3,000 of our participants are on the waiting list to be funded by an international NGO/Donor.

 

 

AW : What inspires you?

I’m inspired to know that I can make a difference in people’s attitudes towards themselves and in their lives. I am inspired to be a part of something great, support something targeted towards creating positive change in the world. I’m also inspired by listening to people doing great things, reading people’s biography. I am most inspired by things I face and work through in my daily life, the lessons learnt and the zeal to use those lessons learnt for a better future.

 

 

 

AW : Who are your role models?

My Mum is one of my role models. She inspired me to love and accommodate people irrespective of their race or colour; she made me know that every human being is first an express image of God before anything else and as such should be treated with honour, dignity and respect. She inspires me to always see the brighter side of every situation and that I could do anything I set my mind to do and be the best I can be.

Two other people that inspire me a lot are Folorunsho Alakija and Ibukun Awosika. These are women who have excelled in their chosen field and have left a big shoe to fill, they love God, love people and are sold out to preserving the next generation of women. They have risen through the shackles and limitations placed on Africa women to redefine the status of women making it clear that anything is possible if we set our mind to do it.

 

 

AW : Is there a platform for mentorship in TED?

We have an online and physical group for those interested in mentorship, those who want to learn more and get better at what they are doing. For those we set up, we also monitor their progress by keeping in touch with them regularly.

 

AW : Please share some of your social media platforms with us.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED.Initiate/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ted.initiative

 

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AW : What’s your advice to women who are willing to take a step to become financially independent?

My advice is simple, take that step. Do what you have to do to change your financial status, this is the 21st century, the world has changed, and the world has moved, this is not the era where ladies and women are to be trampled upon, this is the time to take your chances, make the move you need to make to elevate your status. Believe you can rise and you will. This is the time to rise in confidence and give your dream a shot. No one is truly free until they are financially free, so embrace your freedom, take the right steps towards financial independence, it is your season, it is only a matter of time, dedication and hard work. Try to save up small funds, start a small business, learn a skill and see your whole life get better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Above Whispers

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3 Responses to AW Women Series : Omowumi ThankGod Emmanuel – A Woman Creating A Path For Women And Girls

  1. Femi Awomodu September 3, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Well done ma. This is totally inspiring.

    Reply
  2. Nifemi Ogunrinde September 3, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    NIFEMI House of Cakes (NHC )was birthed by her , I can’t forget the skills acquisition class she organised at RCF UI that was the first time last learnt the skill of cake baking. … thank you ma for all you do

    Reply
  3. Seun Abidemi September 4, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Well done! this is inspiring.

    Reply

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