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By Kehinde Ajayi

Mrs Olubola Adeleye is an England born entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a youth advocate, a herbal health consultant who use herbs to treat people and cure diseases, an organic skincare consultant, and a network marketing expert. In her interview with Chronicle’s correspondent Kehinde Ajayi, she talked about how she started as an entrepreneur, how she started her foundation, how happy she is to be able to assist the needy, and her major challenges.

Can you please tell us about your background?

I was born in London England. I was brought back to Nigeria and I went back to live in London immediately after my secondary school in 1989. My entrepreneurship life started from when I was living with my mother and my siblings. I’m always doing something to help in making money.

I did my degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of East London in England, finished in 1995, started my MBA and got married after my degree. I just celebrated my 24years wedding anniversary. I’ve always been involved with children especially with orphans; it’s in my DNA. I have a heart for people in need.

All my years since when I was young, i’ve always been giving to orphanages, the less previledge, to beggers on the street; it’s just part of me.

The empowerment came up when all these rape issues started. I realized that the youths are the ones doing it but they don’t understand that they can actually have a job; learn a trade. And with that, they can empower themselves.

And for the girls, we teach them that you don’t need to rely on a man, you need to stand on your own and be able to take care of your needs instead of relying on a man.

I have also been doing herbal health in Nigeria for like 10years and i have treated so many cases like infertility, ulcer, arthritis, diabetes, and many more and I believe in God. So I always tell my customers to involve God in my treatment.

With that, we are going to be having a medical outreach on a monthly basis whereby we will be offering free B.P test, free sugar test, free cholesterol test, and weight check because we realize that a lot of men are dying prematurely and these are some of the causes.

We want to do that but everything I do is from my small business. So, i’m still trying to raise some money to get the equipment that I need for testing people. I also go to the beggers at least once in a month to give them cooked food. Because i think we don’t have to wait for government to do everything for us, we have to play our role too no matter how little. My husband helps me as well.

During this Covid-19, we have palliatives to 100 families in Ilara-mokin with the support of Alara of Ilara-mokin. It was just Rice and Garri that we were able to give, and they were happy.

Through the help of my husband as well, my foundation was able to give 50 big washing hand buckets to 50 public schools in Ifedore local government. We wish to also extend it to private schools, but for financial constrain. Recently, we taught 23 youths Cake baking with the help of a caterer. Another thing we do is after they might have learnt the baking, we slot them with a caterer. But I don’t have access to entrepreneurs yet.

I’m creating a database where every entrepreneur in Ondo State will put their details online so that once we finish teaching this children, we give them certificate, and we just link them up with an expert in their field. But it has to be on a charity basis; they should be able to take some children for free.

Another thing I did was that we taught 67 youths how to do facemask in May; we taught them how to sew. There is a boy called Ridwan. He’s one of my mentes as I hold a monthly mentoring section with boys and girls every last Saturday in Ilara-mokin. So, on our first meeting with the boys, Ridwan said he wanted to learn computing when I asked him what he wishes to learn. So, I told him to go to all the business centers in Ilara the following Monday, and tell them he wants to learn computing which includes Microsoft word and Excel, and tell them that he doesn’t have any money and he will be surprised that they will take him on. So, this boy went very early on Monday morning, and called me to speak with the owner of the business center which I told to please take the boy for free. And to my greatest suprise, the boy is being taught all he needs to know about computing including graphic designs for free.

He has been the photographer for all our events and he’s happy because that’s what he wants to do. Ridwan is only 14years old. Parents and Guidians in Nigeria force their children to learn certain trades without bothering to know what the children want.

So, these are the messages I want to pass across to the parents; don’t force your child to learn any trade. You need to ask them what they want to do and what they have passion for. What I do is help you discover your gift, train you on it and then link you up with entrepreneur that will help you explore for free. So, if we do that, Ondo State will be a better place.

How do you get the funds you use in doing all you’ve been doing?

It’s from my business. With anything that God blesses all of us with, you are better off millions and billions of people. No matter how small your income is, you are still better off many people. Can you believe that I usually take 45 plates of cooked rice to beggers at Old Garage Akure, and it still isn’t enough as it doesn’t go round all of them for you to know how plenty they are? So, all the customers buying from me are getting the benefits of their money by blessing other people which they testify to the effectiveness of the products they buy. I use my profit and my husband also helps me.

What has been your challenges?

Covid-19 has been a big challenge as the parents are not releasing their children to participate because they are afraid. And there was a complaint from the Chiefs in Ilara-mokin that i’m not carrying the youth leaders along. But that has been rectified. The load may be too much for me to carry, soon and by then I will start asking for help from Ondo State people home and abroad.

Is Bola Adeleye fulfilled?

Yes; i’m indeed fulfilled. It makes me very happy that i’m impacting lives. Take Ridwan for example, he calls me everyday… Laughs. It’s really feels good to know that I have many other children apart from my 3children. The children are happy and it makes me happy as well. It shouldn’t be about money all the time. When you give, you will definitely receive because God does things in miraculous way. I feel the good impact of all i’ve been doing; it comes back to me in unexpected ways. It makes it fulfilling.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10years?

I see myself doing exactly what God wants me to do, serving humanity.

What is your advice to the youths out there?

My advice to them is to discover their passion; discover that gift that God gave them.
* Don’t just follow the crowd; don’t copy people.
* Also, in everything you are doing, you must give back. If you are always a taker, you can’t have enough. Parents need to allow their children to be who they want to be.
* Get a mentor; everybody needs a mentor.
* Learn 3 trades and earn from your trade immediately.
* Be in competition with yourself to be the best you can be.
* Read 3 personal development books every month.
* Work hard & be patient for your work to bear good fruits.
* Never leave God

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