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February 1, 2021

We paid for our apartment through sale of snacks— We Rise Foundation

We paid for our apartment through sale of snacks— We Rise Founder

By Elizabeth Osayande

It is time to reach out to the less-privileged and start something positive. But why do we have this burning desire at We Rise Foundation? Read my story.

Why do you people always do empowerment programmes?

The answer is not farfetched. My siblings and I grew up in a ghetto, Orile Sari-Iganmu area (If you know, you know). Through hard work, hawking and selling, we weathered the storm to become who we are to: a doctorate degree student, a journalist, two economists, an educationist cum caterer, and an up-and-coming lawyer.

The gist now is how were we able to pay N150,000 for a room self-contained flat at Mushin during our (Chioma and I) Masters degree programme at the University of Lagos, UNILAG.

By chance, Chioma Uwandu now Mrs. Chioma Mordi during one of the ASUU strikes in our undergraduate days went for free catering classes at Ikotun to keep herself busy.

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We Rise Foundation: By her learning the skill, she taught us, her siblings the preliminary of catering. So fast forward to 2017 during my Masters and her Ph.D. programmes in UNILAG, the issue of accommodation came up.

Before then, my sister was forcefully evicted from her house in Iwaya due to illegal demolition of that place.

So the question of where to stay arose? Not wanting to stay at the hostel, and considering the distance from my place of work, the search for accommodation began.

We searched a great deal, however, luck smiled on us when we saw a nice renovated house at Idi-Oro, Mushin area of Lagos. There a room self-con was N150,000.

The argument of staying and sustaining payment of the flat became a herculean task. God bless Alhaji Tajudeen Oladigbolu who assured his brother that these two decent young girls who were studying for their Masters and PhD should be given the benefit of doubt.

The younger Alhaji was skeptical of our paying let alone retaining the flat. And God bless our Daddy Pastor Emeka Uwandu who paid part of the rent.

After the first year in Mushin, how did we continue to pay for the flat we now refer to as a blessed home? For it was there three of us met our spouses!

The selling of snacks was the answer! My sister, Mrs. Mordi spearheaded the making of snacks. I became Iya-Loja, taking the snacks to the office.

My younger sister, Ruth, now Mrs. Eso came back from NYSC and also joined the club of snacks makers. Ruth usually took her share to her office.

To prepare for the day, by 5a.m. we usually will wake up to make snacks—eggrolls and donuts, and before 7a.m. our house was shining sparkling clean.

Proceeds from our making of snacks ensured that we paid for our flat and also retained it till date.

The experience above is one of the driving forces why we want people, especially women and girls to learn and perfect a skill. Aside from meeting one’s needs, one is also able to assist others. So We Rise Foundation began to germinate.

So, join us tomorrow,  February 2, as we begin “Project learn and Perfect a Skill”, at Tedi, Ojo Lagos. You can also support us by contacting our coordinator: Mrs. Chioma Mordi—09080652044.

Osayande is a seasoned reporter with Vanguard.

Vanguard News Nigeria