Get support for your kids’ education through the 2020 WEMA Educational Award

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As a parent or guardian, paying for your kids’ education can be a big deal especially with everything going on right now. We need all the help we can get. There’s nothing like a bank that has your back, and that’s why Wema Bank is here to help!

Wema Bank, Nigeria’s leading innovative bank, is set to award 20 school children with a N50,000 School Support Fund in the 2020 Wema Educational Award.

The annual award is available to holders of the Bank’s Royal Kiddies Account and holds in September, 2020.

 


How can your kids qualify?

Parents and guardians are to open a Royal Kiddies Account in any Wema Bank branch close to them with a minimum of N100,000 before September 12, 2020.

If you’re a parent or guardian who already has a Royal Kiddies Account, you can top up your balance to N100,000 before the deadline to also qualify.

The winning accounts will be notified of their reward after the final selection on September 18, 2020.

 


The best way to save for your kids education!

The Royal Kiddies account is a savings account opened by parents and guardians to help you save up for your children’s education. As a Royal Kiddies account holder, your child gets to enjoy a competitive interest rate of 4.75% on savings, an E-Purse for electronic transactions and many other incentives including an opportunity to win the annual Wema Educational Award!

Dotun Ifebogun, the Divisional Head, Retail Business, Wema Bank says, “It is our way of supporting parents in educating their children and we are happy with the impact we have made in the past years.

“This year, education has been greatly hampered by the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic and we hope this will go a long way to support this year’s winners as they settle into the new normal. We also hope to use this gesture to help inculcate a savings culture into children and prepare them for financial freedom early.”

You heard it here first. This is your chance to get the support you need for your kids’ education so don’t wait up!

2020 World Economic Forum Davos: 4 things you need to know

Global leaders from the public sector, private sector, civil society and academia met this week in Davos, Switzerland for the 50th Anniversary of the World Economic Forum. The theme this year was “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”.

Africa.com has curated hundreds of keynote speeches, panel discussions, focused spotlight talks, exhibits, and sideline events to give Motherland Moguls the scoop on what happened.


1. A Zambian teen is changing the women’s health game

Natasha Mwansa, a Zambian teen got the world’s attention when she talked about her work in Africa. The 18-year old runs her own foundation and is the most compelling advocate and activist for girls and women’s reproductive rights.

She has used her voice to address the underfunding of maternal health and forced marriages of young girls. Mwansa explained that young people want more than to simply speak at conferences or become spokespersons for meaningful causes: they want to become partners in political change.

Intergenerational partnerships are necessary to help translate youth mobilization into political change.

“The older generation has a lot of experience, but we have ideas. We have energy” – Natasha Mwansa at WEF Davos Click To Tweet

2. Climate change is #REALAF in Africa

For the world’s most vulnerable, climate change is not a distant existential threat: it is killing people right now. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad, gave a powerful reality check.

‘In my region, people are dying because of climate change’

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim at WEF Davos

In the video below, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim explains what it’s like to live in a place where the effects of climate change are #realaf.

3. The Motsepe Foundation is supporting Social Entrepreneurship

Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, the newly elected Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, hosted several events showcasing the success of her work through the Motsepe Foundation.

Through a partnership with the Schwab Foundation, the Motsepe Foundation sponsors an Executive Education program for African students at Harvard Kennedy School.

4. This woman is leading education reform with Ethiopia’s Sesame Street

Originally a primary school teacher in Addis Ababa, Bruktawit Tigabu Tadesse developed the Whiz Kids Workshop, a multimedia enterprise that makes shows like Tsehai Loves Learning, the first educational pre-school TV show in Ethiopia.

Bruktawit founded the company in 2015 with her husband while looking to make high-quality education accessible to children on a mass scale. Working from their living room, they used sock puppets, computer graphics, and their own voices to produce Tsehai Loves Learning.


The most important take away from WEF Davos is that we all need to play our part to create a peaceful and sustainable world – no matter how small.

How are you changing your communities?


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Webinar with Chevening: How To Get Into The 2019 Chevening Scholarship Program (OCT 23)

Imagine yourself receiving a fully funded scholarship at your fave UK university that offers you a chance to achieve your academic goals and gives you the chance to develop yourself professionally or network extensively?

Guess what? Chevening is bringing you a chance to realise that dream and more with their global scholarship award program!

Want to know more?

We are inviting you for a Webinar with Jibike Faborode, Program Officer at Chevening Awards, who will be dishing out tips on how to apply for a scholarship with Chevening on Tuesday, 23rd October.

This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss ’cause you sure won’t find any of Jibike’s tips on Google! Yes, we went there…

Join SLA & @UKinNigeria for a webinar on October 23rd at 4 pm to learn how to get into the Chevening Scholarship Program @cheveningfco! Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • What you need to know about the application process
  • Do’s and dont’s for writing a quality application
  • Preparing yourself for a successful interview process
  • Scholarship troubleshooting

Register below to access this opportunity and submit questions that you would like Jibike to answer.

Webinar Details:

Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Time: 4pm Lagos // 5pm Joburg // 6pm Nairobi

Location: We’ll send you the link to watch once you register

Watch the webinar here:

About Jibike

Jibike is a project management and strategic engagement professional, with over 4 years of experience working in the public diplomacy and international development space. She currently serves as the country programme officer for Chevening in Nigeria and also as Co-Chair of Her Majesty’s Government Women’s Network in Abuja.


Chevening Awards is the UK government’s flagship global leadership programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations.

Young leaders are awarded merit-based scholarships and fellowships to study at any UK University of their choice, after which they are required to return to Nigeria to assist in the further development of their home country.

The alumni network is structured to maintain lasting positive relationships with the UK and help to advance foreign policy objectives.

Approximately 38 – 53 Nigerians and about 300 Africans are awarded are awarded annually. The Prime Minister recently announced an additional 100 awards for African leaders, starting in the 2019/20 cycle. Chevening in Nigeria aims to grow the representation of women on the programme from 39% to 50%, hence women leaders are strongly encouraged to apply.

Before you quit your 9-5 for full time study – Read this

Are you thinking about resigning from your job to pursue a postgraduate degree?  

The decision to leave the security of full time employment is a huge one. So, you should not make it without thinking it through thoroughly.

Here are some things that you will have to consider before you hand in that resignation letter.   

First of all think about why you want to leave your job, are you leaving because you are unhappy with the job that you are doing or you want to change careers.

If you are simply unhappy at your current job, would your decision change if you were offered work somewhere else? Now, If this is the case then why not simply find another job where you will be happier?

Also, if feel that you need to study towards a certain degree to secure a promotion at your current job then discuss this with your manager and find out for sure that you need the degree for the promotion. If there is another way to get the promotion other than leaving to study further may not be the solution that you are looking for.

Before you quit your 9-5 for school, think about why you want to resign from your job and study full time rather than studying part time Click To Tweet

But if you are looking to pursue a different career or a career in research or academia, then you definitely need a post graduate degree. Find out exactly what you need to secure that job, I mean if you are going to risk this much, then you may as well be super prepared.

Also think about why you want to resign from your job and study full time rather than studying part time. Is this really necessary? Some ladies have been able to work 9-5 and work on a side hustle at the same time.  

Resigning means that you do not have an income, so think about this:

  • How will you pay for your studies?
  • How long is your degree? Reality is that studying can be expensive.
  • What happens if you do not get a job straight after you finish studies?
  • If you have been saving for it then GREAT but if you are thinking of getting a loan, then how will you pay it back?

You really need to plan for it. There is also the issue of maintaining your current lifestyle, truth be told sister… shopping for you may be a thing of the past without an income. And yes….it could also be goodbye to ladies night drinks with the girls.

So be ready to cut down on some of your favorite past time activities. Be REALISTIC with yourself about what this means for you.

If you plan on job hunting after you graduate, it will not hurt to volunteer where you would like to work on a part time bases while you study, this will increase your chances of getting a job there when you graduate.

Quitting a 9-5 job to study will not work for everyone. But this being said, you should not be discouraged if you are sure that this is what you want to do.

Just be prepared for what this will mean for you. Now go out there and get it done, hun!


 If you’d like to get featured on our Facebook page, click here to share your startup story with us.

Rukky Esharegharan: I am redefining education in Nigeria

Rukky Esharegharan is an early childhood education expert and founder of The Teachers Hub and South Pacific Teachers Academy. This is an initiative she founded to help deal with the lack of skilled teachers in the Nigerian education sector.

In less than two years since founding The Teachers hub, Rukky has grown its membership from 1 to 7500 members. She talks to us about her journey building the Nigerian education sector. 


How did your journey as an educator begin?

I first began my journey 16 years ago as a nursery teaching assistant while I awaited my university admission. Initially, I wanted to be a doctor and later a writer. For my degree, I studied English and later published a series of short stories, wrote a novel and started a blog.

Teaching was just something I did during the holidays to pass time. Our society does not promote teaching as a lucrative profession for high achievers, so even though I was great at teaching, I never thought of it as a prospective career.

Two things changed me.

Firstly, my quest to play an active role in my children’s lives led me to study more about early childhood care and education. Secondly, my teaching experience in a government secondary school in Warri, Delta State, opened my eyes to the decay in our education sector.

When I met the children, something stirred up within me. Each day I would go home upset and worried about how unmotivated the senior secondary students were.

I wanted to help these children but a 40-minute English lesson three times a week was not enough. Therefore, I decided to fully immerse myself in education.

I am redefining education in Nigeria, one teacher, one school owner, one parent at a time - Rukky Esharegharan Click To Tweet

Tell us about The Teachers Hub and the impact it is making

I started ‘The Teachers’ Hub in December 2016 with a singular vision ”to equip parents and educators with 21st-century teaching skills.” Though we have schools for education, we lack skilled teachers.

The Teacher’s Hub community was founded with the aim to network with, and helping other educators. In the past 8 months, I have trained over 350 educators (teachers, parents, school owners and consultants).

The many testimonials have inspired me to keep going. A parent from one of my courses called me to say she had decided to become a full-time teacher after the training with me and I cried with joy. I am redefining education in Nigeria: one teacher, one school owner, one parent at a time.

How has social media enabled you to grow The Teachers Hub brand and what makes it stand out?

The Teachers’ Hub started as a Facebook group a while back, and we’ll be hosting our first of many Early Childhood Education Conference in April and May across 4 states (Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Delta).

Without social media, I won’t have come this far. I have people contact me from different parts of the world and that’s because of the power of social media.

What makes The Teachers’ Hub stand out is that I give of myself so freely. When I first started, I had a dear friend call me to say ” Why are you sharing so much for free in your group?” She could not understand when I tried to tell her that I just wanted to help other educators find their way.

Without social media, I won't have come this far - Rukky Esharegharan Click To Tweet

What advice can you give aspiring teacher being held back by the poor remuneration in Nigeria’s education sector?

I like to say that ”teaching is a work of the heart.” Do it, not for the money, but for the love of our children, the love and future of our country. Only quality education can liberate us from the mess we face in our country. Make that sacrifice today so that our children will get a better future.

Money is important because we all have needs. However, money is often the after effect of hard work, passion, dedication, personal development. Be the best teacher you possibly can be and the money will come.

What difference did working with UNICEF make in your journey as an educationist?

My current work with UNICEF has opened my eyes even more to the realities of the Nigerian education sector. When one is a teacher or even a school owner or consultant, they don’t fully grasp the decay or damage in the system, unless you have someone show you a bigger picture.

UNICEF helped me look beyond the symptoms of our dysfunctional educational system to the root cause. And our team’s solution will address the root cause and not just the symptoms. It’s a very big project that would have a national impact.

What lessons have you garnered from your entrepreneurial journey?

I have learned that to be a successful entrepreneur, one must be passionate, committed, focused, hardworking, highly self-motivated and be a lifelong learner.

Don’t be too quick to say I have arrived, no matter how good you are, because there is always something more to add, to learn, to be.

There is this saying that a teacher’s reward is in heaven, what is your take on that?

Yes, I believe the saying to be partly true because great teachers are like mothers: our love and commitment to the children can never be adequately compensated with material gains.

While I will say yes we have a very big reward waiting for us in heaven, we can and should experience wealth in financial terms, also good health, peace, and satisfaction here on earth. All we need to do is work consistently on being the best versions of ourselves.

Don't be too quick to say I have arrived, no matter how good you are Click To Tweet


If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

5 Innovative Initiatives Transforming Education in Africa

We live in exciting times where our daily lives are dominated by innovation. The education landscape is also gradually changing as new inventions and new ways of teaching become the norm.

It’s worth noting that innovation does not only mean technology, but it encompasses any creative, new way of doing things.

If it improves learning, processes, and systems, or solves a real problem, then it is innovation.

We want to highlight some of the ways in which creativity has been applied to solve some of these plaguing educational issues, across the African continent. They include:

  • High and unaffordable fees.
  • Lack of access to learning material for pupils.

Maths Meets Hip-Hop

One of the biggest flaws in the education system is the assumption that all children learn in the same way. A single, age-old learning method of sitting behind a desk and absorbing facts and numbers is still used across the world.

While this technique works for some learners, it does a disservice to others, who are left feeling academically inadequate.

A maths teacher in Cape Town is turning the traditional teaching method on its head.  He is using rap music to help learners remember their multiplication tables.

Kurt Minnaar, a former hip-hop dancer, and choreographer has creatively come up with a system of turning maths concepts and numbers into hip-hop lyrics – a language that his grade 8 learners understand very well.

“There are four types of learning methodologies – kinaesthetic, visual, audible and the traditional reading and writing.

Kinaesthetic learning is when pupils learn through movement; visual through sight; audible through what they hear and the traditional reading and writing method is when pupils are more independent and able to learn in the traditional sense,” the Cape Town teacher explains.

“When you fuse creativity into lessons, you cater to more pupils, and more will understand because now you’re speaking their language.

Whereas if I just ‘chalk and talk’ and stand there in front of a class, it predominantly only caters to one type of pupil, who is also in the minority.”

Minnaar used to struggle with maths in school. At the time, he thought he was incapable of grasping the complexities of the subject but later realized he needed a different way of learning.

He says his students are incessantly in a cheerful mood as they come to class eager to break it down into his rhymes. The pupils’ marks have also improved, says Minnaar.

 

Mobile Schools

In some parts of Africa, the tradition of nomadic pastoralism is still alive. People move from one location to another in search of grazing lands for their livestock.

For children who grow up in such families, the on-the-go lifestyle proves to be a barrier to education as they struggle to attend school regularly.

Fortunately, for some nomadic school children in Kenya, access to education has become easier as they can now move around with their school!

In 2010, the Kenyan government joined forces with UNICEF to launch mobile schools which brought education to learners whose families had to relocate frequently in order to survive. As part of the initiative, teachers now live and travel with the nomadic groups, setting up tents and temporary schools.

The mobile schools normally plan their calendar around rainfall patterns. Most of the learning takes place during the rainy seasons when children do not have a lot of household chores.

Crowdfunding Fees with Feenix

The #FeesMustFall protests in South Africa shone a glaring spotlight on the issue of the rising costs of education.  Many students are struggling to pay for their tertiary education.

In an effort to help students, who cannot afford high university fees, crowdfunding initiatives have mushroomed.

Feenix.org is an online platform which allows donors to donate money to students registered on the site. 1068 Live student profiles have been uploaded onto the platform which features their biographies and fees statements.

Once a profile has been verified it, and the fees needed, becomes visible to anyone who visits the site. With the minimum donation set at R100 (USD $7.5) anyone is welcome to make a donation.  85 Students have been fully funded since this initiative started.

Up to date, R4.3 million has been raised by 744 funders (of which consists both individual and business funding).  Donors are also required to upload their information and go through a verification process.

E-learning is Growing 

Technology is transforming education in Africa at an unprecedented rate. With the rapid growth of mobile learning, the e-learning market is set to be worth well over US $530 million by 2018.

E-learning is not only helping students learn better, but it is also giving underprivileged learners inexpensive access to educational content.

In Kenya, adoption of e-learning is happening at an impressive rate.  Schools in low-income areas are using technology to boost their learning. In Nairobi’s Kawangware area, students are using eLimu, an app for primary school learners to learn and revise for their exams.

The platform contains educational content in the form of locally produced and culturally relevant videos, animations, songs, music, games, and quizzes to improve learning.

One of the other successful e-learning platforms in Kenya is Kytabu, a textbook subscription platform that provides low-cost digitalized books to millions of students.

Kytabu allows users to rent textbooks, chapters, and pages on a low-cost Android app and pay with M-Pesa, the successful East African mobile money transfer service.

Learning Through Robotics 

Ghanaian company, Metro Institute of Innovation and Technology (MIT), offers school children training in robotics and mobile app development.  Their aim is to promote science and entrepreneurship in this way.

The company applies innovative ways to introduce technology to learners and help enhance their learning.

Offering lessons to children of all ages, MIT established the National Robotics Summer School.  Attending this school, learners can take their science skills to the next level by programming robots and designing games.

“We’re trying to use robotics as a tool to inspire the study of science and maths, to relate classroom theories using robots so that if we’re talking about a scientific principle, they [the learners] shouldn’t just memorize the facts,” explains Ben Nortey, Founder, and CEO of MIT.


Timipre Wolo: My goal is to build a legacy that would transcend my lifetime

Timipre Wolo is that proud Elder Sister who has risen from depths and is paving the way for the ones coming after her.

She is a former Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) management staff, who has now moved on to pursue ‘her calling’ as she puts it – through Centre for Gender Equality, Education, and Empowerment (CGEEE).

Her empowerment initiative for vulnerable girls and women, and her energy company; TFN Energy. She attributes discovering her passion to working at PTDF, where she has created opportunities for about 400 young people.


To start out, and stay relevant in your career, identify your purpose - @timiprewolo Click To Tweet

The Humble Beginnings

Ms Timipre Wolo lost her mother at age 12. She recalls filling the mom gap for her family by taking a night shift job at age 16 while juggling her law diploma, and many other daring opportunities she created for herself.

In her determination to bring the light home to her people in Niger Delta, Nigeria, and make her mum proud, she maximized every open door. Working at PTDF was one of them. Timi recalls initially not being well-placed but she excelled when she changed her focus to delivering.

“When I joined the PTDF Legal Department, it was also the Management Secretariat. In addition to my schedule of duties at the department, I was the assigned the responsibility of attending Management meetings to take minutes.

I was always fascinated by these boardroom meetings and looked forward to it because it was a great opportunity to learn more about the organization. I could only be seen but not heard because I didn’t have a seat on the table. Everyone seemed pleased with my drafting skills and I was subsequently deployed as special assistant to the Executive Secretary with increased responsibilities.

Timipre Wolo and PTDF Management with the former Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria

Despite the stress that came with my new portfolio, I counted it a privilege to be developing so many skills at the same time.

In 2012, the Industry Collaboration Unit was established to formulate strategies for capacity development under the Fund’s Post Amnesty policy and to foster collaborations between the PTDF and relevant stakeholders. An Oil and Gas lawyer was needed to lead the team and by providence, I became the youngest member of management by at least 10years,” she explains.

One tool for a woman to have a seat at the table is education - @timiprewolo Click To Tweet

Her role in Mentorship and Female Education

Timipre’s leadership at the Fund’s Industry Collaboration Unit, led to the actualization of scholarship awards to about 400 young people from across Nigeria, to study at various institutions overseas.

She also led the first-ever Helicopter pilot training for the petroleum industry in Nigeria which discovered Ruqayat Suleiman – the first female helicopter pilot from Katsina state, along with 3 other young women from Ondo, Rivers and Bayelsa States.

For Timipre Wolo, one tool for a woman to have a seat at the table is education.

“I have assisted several young women in facilitating educational scholarships at undergraduate, Masters and PhD levels. I assisted a young lady from eastern Nigeria who walked into my office frustrated from trying to get a scholarship to study in UK.

She was told in confidence by the security at the PTDF gate ‘if only you can meet Aunty Timi, she would do everything within her power to assist you.’ I have made a conscious effort to ensure that women were given priority placement, to bridge the gender gap.”

I have the most amazing relationship with my mentees! I remember when the pilots were still in training school, I would personally take them out for dinner or we would visit a game reserve or amusement park with them. However, for obvious reasons, I created more time for the girls. On one visit, I got a hair stylist to come over to my hotel to get their hair done, then we went to see a movie together.”

“When it came flying with them, I was the only member of staff who dared to even before they obtained their Commercial Pilot Licenses. I knew it would mean a lot to them because if we didn’t show them that we believed in them, then how did we expect them to get hired by others?

That singular act boosted their confidence. I see the success of my mentees as my success too because they are a part of my journey just as much as I am part of theirs. That is the sort of unique relationship I have with the young women and girls I am privileged to mentor.

It makes it very easy for them to relate to some level of trust and mutual respect, knowing that even when I’m tough on them, it is because I want them to succeed. For me, mentorship is truly about laying the groundwork for others to succeed and then standing back and letting them soar and shine.

My goal is to build a legacy that would transcend my lifetime - @timiprewolo Click To Tweet

What does a legacy mean to Timipre Wolo?

The CGEEE is committed to ensuring that internally displaced girls have access to education, whilst also empowering women through skills development and entrepreneurship.

Through Timipre Wolo’s organizations; CGEEE and TFN Energy, 5 girls from an Internally Displaced Camp (IDP) have been awarded scholarships to cover fees, school supplies, feeding and living stipend in 2017.

“At CGEEE we actually go beyond just sponsoring them to school to actually taking care of their welfare and mentoring them so we can get the best out of them. I know this is part of my calling because of the kind of joy and satisfaction I derive from seeing the eyes of these young girls light up with hope! This is not a one-time thing, it is a life-long commitment.

Timipre Wolo and her Girls at the IDP Camp

There is so much to be done, not only in northern Nigeria but also in every other part of the country, including the Niger Delta region where I come from.

I left PTDF to start my own company because most of the scholarship programs I initiated were discontinued in 2016 due to the economic recession. I figured that if I had the courage to pursue my dream of owning an energy company, I would someday be able to fund my passion.

Barely 1 year after, we have awarded 5 full scholarships already. A lot of the teenage girls in the IDP camps are either impregnated, married off as child brides and most recently, taken to work in farms for a fee of 400 Naira per day just so they can survive. That is why giving them scholarships is not enough.

They must be taken care of in terms of providing welfare packages; showing them love and mentoring them because of the traumatic experience they had been exposed to.

My goal is to build a legacy that would transcend my lifetime and that is only achievable through strategic partnerships. We are setting up a trust fund and as TFN Energy grows by God’s special grace, the broader the opportunities we would be able to make available for women and girls in Nigeria and across the sub-Saharan African region.

We are structuring the scholarships in such a way that it will be sustainable, recession or no recession. My dream is for every girl to have access to education and to see more women in leadership in Nigeria and across the sub-Saharan African region.

Three takeaways from Timipre:

  • To start out, and stay relevant in your career, identify your purpose. Then this should be followed by a plan
  • As a woman, define what success means to you and don’t live your life by the standards set by others, then and only then, can you be undefined by societal norms and expectations.
  • From my climbing the ladder experience, I have learnt that no matter what task or responsibility you are assigned, go the extra mile to ensure that you surpass expectations, you never know who is watching you.”

Chidinma Othuke-Okpokoro: Why I got into the education industry

Chidinma Othuke-Okpokoro

I wanted a job that will give me this satisfaction so opening a preschool was it for me Click To Tweet

Chidinma Othuke-Okpokoro is a wife, mother, and a Montessorian. Her love for kids and the family unit moved her to open an early years foundation centre – Olly’s Hive Montessori, located in the heart of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. Her values are geared towards helping kids discover their full potential and abilities through work using the Montessori curriculum.

A graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, she also holds a Diploma in Early Years Foundation stage with Modern Montessori International (MMI) London, UK. A chat with Chidinma about her startup gives us a deeper insight into the world of early years business education.


How did you get into the education industry?

I love children very much and enjoy their company. I have a very good relationship with kids and they are comfortable around me even if I have just met them. Then I had friends who would drop their kids with me and go about their daily routines and they urged me to look into turning it into a business venture.

After I got married and lost my job, I had my son and I really wanted to be close to him and watch him grow. I have very strong family values and I desire a close knit one. I wanted a job that will give me this satisfaction so, opening a preschool was it for me. Finally, I set up one in September 2013.

Did you decide to only focus on preschool? Why?

When I started, I decided to run just the preschool for a while and be grounded in it. The early years period, also known as the sensitive period, is very crucial in the life of a child. We must take advantage of this period to aid them to reach their full potential.

From 0-5 years, the child should be exposed to a prepared environment. The sensitive periods are blocks of time in the life of a child when he or she is absorbed with one characteristic of his environment to the exclusion of others.

Education today is said to be expensive in Nigeria – why do you think that is?

Yes, education is expensive and this is because of the resources (Montessori materials) that need to be put in place to aid the child in his development. These resources are incorporated into the fees. Montessori materials are the very best to use to help a child. A lot of funds must be made available to make this work.

Does it mean schools that aren’t expensive lack basic educational tools for the child?

Well, yes! Montessori schools need a lot of resources in place to help a child develop. Materials are usually sourced abroad. You have to be trained and constantly improve your personal skills to ensure you are up to date in line with the requirements.

Getting teachers who are qualified to teach the Montessori method is a challenge because not everyone is exposed to it. You have to train these teachers to fully assist the child in their care. Not so many people are familiar with the Montessori method of education in Port Harcourt or Nigeria.

A lot of people are used to the traditional method of teaching which is stressful and difficult for children to grasp. Traditional schools lack the tools needed to help the child develop and fit in properly into the environment they live in.

Would you say we have a lot of young women like you in the education sector today?

My answer to this would be yes. I know and have friends who are working so hard and succeeding in this area. These women have inspired me and keep pushing me to work hard. I see how passionate they are, how much time they spend giving of their energy to help kids and ensure they get the education they need to thrive in the society.

Children are the leaders of tomorrow and what better way to be a part if this than impacting the life of child? Click To Tweet

What key things should we know about investing in a child?

We all will reap the rewards of well-behaved children in the society. Raising good children means better societies, free from danger and crime. If we focus our energies on children, understand them, we should be able to provide for an educational system that will help solve problems faced by the world instead of going to wars.

Is there a difference between schooling and educating? Please enlighten us.

Yes, there is a big difference. Schooling is done in school. Education can happen anywhere. Education to me means something of high standard and schooling is whatever quality a school offers.

Schooling is the teaching of students and hoping that they retain the knowledge and later learn to apply it in life. That’s where education comes in.

To have an education is proof that not only have we learned what knowledge was offered to us Click To Tweet

Where there start-up challenges? Please kindly share them.

Oh yes, as with every business, there were challenges. There were days I would come in to work and cry for so many hours praying to God to help me. I didn’t have the number of kids I dreamt of when I started and this was because of the location of the school. I set it up in an area where the market wasn’t favourable. Lesson learnt.

It was difficult to get qualified teachers and pay them the fees that would make them stay. The ones I got didn’t really have my vision and I was constantly frustrated. There was the need for a school bus and I initially used my personal car to do school runs. This really pushed me to continue no matter what.

Would you say that the education business is a profitable venture? Why?

All businesses are profitable, I bet no one would venture into any or continue running one if it isn’t. For you to succeed, you must be passionate about what you do. You must love your job, you must know the business. No one can give you what you want except you.

If an educator, trains herself in these areas and much more, her business will be profitable and she will succeed.

How can a young woman who is interested in starting what you have successfully done, do the same?

She needs to sit and think it through thoroughly. She must have a lot of patience. Taking care of children can take a toll on anyone. She must make a lot of sacrifices to succeed.

She must be a good listener and have a good coach/mentor, someone she can go to. Above all, she needs to develop herself personally and get the right skills needed to run the business effectively and competently.

What impact would you say personal development has in running a successful business?

Personal development is a process of self-education aimed at enhancing professional skills, employability, quality of life, self-discipline, talent, and potential. Personal development has a great impact if you want to run a successful business. For anyone hoping or aspiring to climb the career ladder or increase his or her social capital, personal development is invaluable.

We all seek for ways to improve ourselves each day, a conscientious personal development plan is key to accelerating that growth because personal development allows you to push yourself further and faster. Training courses are very effective to develop personal skills. This is because they provide a wealth of resources and the structure you need to excel and be different from the other man next door.

No matter what sector you work in or what level you have attained in life, cultivating strong personal development skills will propel you to newer heights both personally and professionally.


If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Facebook Live with Deliwe Makata: How to run a startup while completing your studies (Sept 13)

Getting an education should not be a barrier to pursuing your dreams early in life.

Com’on, we’ve gone past that time where we had to wait for graduation to start a business, master a new skill, or even start making trips to the bank…

Deliwe Makata is a living example. Currently an undergraduate, she founded Women Inspire, an empowerment and capacity building network for young women and girls in Malawi.

Deliwe has trained over 250 Malawian girls and conducted over 50 face to face mentoring sessions with girls, about issues relating to personal development.

You can start your career or business while in school. Learn how. Click To Tweet

Join us on Wednesday, 13th September, as we host a Facebook Live Chat with Deliwe, who will be sharing her advice on starting a company and pursuing her passion while completing her studies.

Register below to have access to this opportunity.

Some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Founding a company while in school
  • How early self-development has helped Deliwe to train young girls in Malawi
  • 3 keys to balancing your studies and side hustle

Facebook Live Details:

Date: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Time: Lagos 1pm // Lilongwe 2pm // Nairobi 3pm

Where: facebook.com/sheleadsafrica/

Watch here:

“She Leads Africa Facebook Live with Deliwe makata – Founder of Women Inspire, Malawi. How to run a startup while completing your studies. Join the She Leads Africa community by visiting SheLeadsAfrica.org/join!”

Posted by She Leads Africa on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Watch the first part of this video on our Facebook page.

About Deliwe

Deliwe Makata is a writer, speaker, and highly ambitious leader, with aspirations of getting into international public policy-making. She is the founder and executive director of a women empowerment organization called Women Inspire.

Women Inspire is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, both locally and internationally. Through training & mentoring women and girls in the areas of education, human right advocacy, capacity building, leadership and decision-making positions.

As a speaker, Deliwe has inspired many through her motivational appearances with international organizations, such as AGE Africa.

Deliwe is also an exceptional final year student currently pursuing her undergraduate degree with the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, studying Arts in Humanities.

Twitter Chat with Shade Ladipo: How consistent career development helped me become a better leader (Aug. 9)

In case you missed this Twitter chat, see the oh- so-good moments below!

Have you ever thought of starting a management company and growing it into a profitable business? Or becoming that Motherland Mogul in management with a six digit salary?

If you think it, act on it!

As young African women, you need to equip yourselves, plan for your future, and prepare to scale up that ladder of success, even when you’re starting from the bottom.

Join us on Wednesday, Aug. 9th for a Twitter chat with travel/media entrepreneur & the country director for WEConnect International  – Shade Ladipo, as she enlightens young African women interested in management, on how consistent career development has helped her grow and become a better leader.

Shade who founded a destination management company from nothing at age 25, believes that education and career development is the most important driving force for every aspiring Motherland Mogul.

Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats to ask your questions and participate in the discussion.

Topics that we’ll cover:

  • Why women in management need education and career development
  • Gender bias, feminism and gender roles in today’s society
  • 5 reasons why consistent career development is critical to leadership

Twitter chat details

  • Date:  Wednesday 9th August
  • Time: 12 pm NYC // 5 pm Lagos // 6 pm Joburg
  • Location: Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats

Here are some moments from the chat:

 

About Shade

Shade Ladipo is the Executive Director of WEConnect International  , a travel and media entrepreneur and a social activist.

At the age of 25, Shade founded Avienti Limited – a Destination Management company with three offices in Nigeria. She has also worked with the United Nations Volunteers Nigeria and several advertising agencies where she specialized in event management, account management, and client services and strategy.

Shade has been recognized by several platforms for her work as a change agent and businesswoman. She has been nominated for the Future Awards Africa Awards, chosen as 101 Young Achievers at the African Business Forum in Accra Ghana in 2008, and selected as a Goldman Sachs fellow.

Shade regularly appears on radio programs and at live events to talk about everything she is passionate about, including leading a successful business in Nigeria.