A Port Harcourt-based food ‘mama put’ seller, Favour Otuomasirichi Ndukwe, has been recently put in the limelight by Nigerian South African-based tech-driven entrepreneur and CEO of Gemsbok Group, Dr. Charles Awuzie, through his viral Facebook post that encouraged his followers to support the food business of Favour.
Favour − a 22-year-old, third-year student of Food Science and Technology at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State – dropped out of the university a year ago due to financial challenges to set up a food business to cater for herself and her family.
According to Favour, she got Awuzie’s attention through a social media post that gospel singer and minister, Judikay, made about her and her business.
She added that, prior to the post of Awuzie, Judikay had supported her with money to rent a shop for her business.
The Facebook post-Awuzie made about Favour went thus: “She dropped out of the university due to financial problems. She started hawking food on the streets of Port Harcourt to take care of herself. She gets beaten by rain and sun.
“I have watched her get sick and recover. She is beautiful, but she refused to sell her body. She chose to work hard and inspire others. If we lift her, other young girls would know that there is a reward in righteous living.
“Nigerian musician Judikay has paid for a shop for her. Now she wants a freezer, a fan, and other appliances to open a restaurant to enable her to take care of herself and her family. If you can give a freezer, a fan, or whatever you can to her, you will be doing so for me.”
Awuzie then dropped Favour’s phone number in the post for his followers to contact her for support.
Reacting to the post, Favour said she was happy, excited and fulfilled. She added that she was so surprised because she did not see it coming, that she did not see herself getting this kind of attention and visibility so soon.
As a result of the viral post, she said, “A lot of people reached out to me. Someone gave me a fan. I got a bag of rice. I received good financial support and many other things. It actually helped me a lot.”
She thanked Awuzie and Judikay for bringing her into their platforms and for giving her wings to soar. She also thanked everyone who made contributions, promising not to disappoint them.
On the other hand, some of Awuzie’s followers criticised him for paying attention to Favour because she is a woman.
But Dr. Awuzie, who is also a writer and an international speaker, stressed that his intention of helping Favour − and many other people he has helped through his platform − is contrary to what his critics were saying or insinuating.
He admonished his followers to learn how to discern when someone is trying to break the limitation of people and be part of it without sounding negative or entitled.
“If Favour had an entitlement mentality, I wouldn’t even pay her attention,” he said. “The biggest thing someone with an influence can do for you is to validate you on his platform. Value it more than money.”
Favour, while advising Nigerians in similar trying situations like her, said that tough times do not last, but tough people do. She also said that the toughest seas make the toughest sailors.
“Your life is like a storybook, make sure it is inspiring. Your life is another person’s survival guide, make sure it is inspiring,” she said. “Let it not come to any chapter of your story and it is said that you gave up.”