Nigerian women receive unique gift of success stories from 30 influential leaders on International Women’s Day
In honor of International Women’s Day, TheMrsOnline, led by Dr. Olufunke, has teamed up with 30 other women leaders to gift one million Nigerian women a communal e-book of success stories, strategies and secrets to help them crack the code of inequality. The book titled “Success Scoops for Nigerian Women,” features personal stories and success strategies from influential Nigerian women, providing guidance and encouragement for women in a time of economic and marital hardships. Dr. Olufunke hopes this initiative will celebrate the identity and person of women while providing support to help them achieve their dreams. Ediale Kingsley interviews Dr Olufunke Samuels, the convener.
Hello Dr. Olufunke, thanks for the work your Brand TheMrsOnline is doing for women in Nigeria, we learnt you are leading a project in conjunction with 30 other women leaders to gift 1million women a common gift to appreciate them on the International Women’s Day, can you tell us more about this project?
The project is designed as an idea to GIFT Nigerian women a communal gift to celebrate each Nigerian lady who is still keeping her spirit alive. Sincerely, being a woman in these times is hard. Since we cannot buy everyone a regular gift or even a physical book,” The best option was to do something electronic. The book compounds the success stories, strategies and secrets of 30 influential Nigerian women. Each of these women personally wrote and contributed their stories, secrets and strategies and TheMrsOnline compiled these as a compendium. We will be sharing it on March 8 to every woman we can reach online in Nigeria.
What inspired the initiative to gift over one million Nigerian women with a special item on this year’s International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day celebration is a day to celebrate the achievements of women all over the world. I found out that much thought does not go into celebrating this day in reality as it does on paper, either by the women themselves or by the world around them, apart from some events and the general greetings. This is pathetic because this is about the woman herself, her identity, her person and her purview.
Mother’s Day celebrates the woman’s motherhood role and not her person. WOMEN’S DAY IS A SPECIALLY DEDICATED DAY TO HER PERSON. I have always been an advocate of celebrating the identity and person of the woman as she is first a woman, before been a mother or a wife.
Who is this woman herself? Without her husband or her children, does she have an identity or is her identity tied to her role as a mother and wife?
The truth is that society, culture. religion and other gender related biases have a huge tendency to hinder the achievement, desires and dreams of the woman such that her happiness and identity becomes irrelevant in the scheme of things.
Additionally, this period is very critical for Nigerian women due to the current economic and marital realities
So beyond mouthing Happy International Women’s’ day, it’s a good day to purposely gift her “Lordship” communal, useful and unique. Our aim is to show every Nigerian woman that they are appreciated in their different diversities and can crack any code of life they wish to if they do not give up.
What inspired the selection of the women contributors?
Success Scoops for Nigerian Women is the personally written stories and success strategies of 30 amazing women compiled into one E-reader. We are releasing volume 1 for free and given it out as a gift to every Nigerian woman out there on March 8.
I already wrote a short book 2years ago on ”Success secrets every woman must know and I got a very good feedback and enquiries”. This told me that women are hungry for change and cracking the codes. I thought to myself how I can make it better for them. It hit me that to make it better, I can do a version that features other top women leaders strategies and secrets, since I am still a growing brand, My story alone cannot do the job and that was how it hit me that if I have more people share their stories and strategies, it will make the book more valueable and highly impactful. I can also reach more women by collaborating with more women to do the work.
When the idea came, I reached out to 70 women leaders in Nigeria to let us do it together. Many of them responded with great joy and excitement and few did not, some that initially responded too later pulled out as they had other challenges of meeting up with their knowledge contribution submission date and here we are today.
There is a popular notion that women don’t support women and we are known for gossip and majorly. We want to change the narrative this time around. Women who have been through the ranks would be showcased and tell their story to encourage other women.
I also reached out specially to a dear friend and sister Omobabinrin Adeola who had more experience and leverage in these stuffs, she helped me in fashioning this out together with my dear husband and the rest is history
How do you think this initiative will make an impact on the Nigerian women populace, and what do you hope to achieve with it?
It is no longer a secret that the current economy of our dear country is grossing harder by the day, families find it harder to survive, businesses bottom line is decreasing, and the bread winners are finding it hard to win bread on a daily basis. In all of these, women are the worst hit, as it directly or indirectly affects them emotionally, financially and physically. Statistics have it that domestic violence is increasing, inflation is on the rise, education is taking a downward turn.
Women find it harder to carry out their God given roles together with pursuing their personal fulfilment. More women are committing suicide as a result of domestic abuse, higher responsibilities and extremely harsh conditions.
Many influencers, groups, governments and NGOs are trying their best to help women crack the code of inequality etc, hence, this E- book is envisioned to support, guide and encourage the average mature Nigerian woman on how other women cracked the code and how they can too.
With the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day being ” DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality, how will this project help ?
Success Scoops is the story of women who innovated with their situation and condition to crack the inequality code. You will agree with me that many women want to rise above the limitations but don’t know how or lack the motivation as a result of their daily responsiblities, by the time they are done with those; many are already down and out with no fuel to fire any personal agenda. Success Scoops is the answer to how they can crack the code and become more innovative for a better life. Many brilliant, techy, beautiful and blessed women are wasting away for fear of societal encumbrances. There is a desire and yearning to soar but many don’t know if it’s possible. These stories and strategies will make them see how they can get to the peak without jeopardizing their family or career.
How has the response been so far from the women contributors and volunteers for this initiative, and what challenges have you faced while organizing it?
It’s been amazing! The turn out from both gender is a good thing and encourages us that this is coming at a time the nation is entering a new political dispensation. Both male and females have volunteered for this cause. We have raised almost 300 volunteers who are on standby to help us distribute this book to the women in their network. We hope more people will get onboard to help us get the gift into the hands of more women.
My project team members have been amazing and working round the clock, they are also our moderators in our virtual community. I truly appreciate Amina, Funmi, Joy, Tosin, Jane and Runsewe and Fatima
Challenges faced so far include funding and platform to reach more people. However, we are doing all we can, with all we have.
Could you tell us more about TheMrsOnline community and its mission and vision for Nigerian women?
TheMrsOnline is a virtual community of over 8,000 women whose mission is to undergird women to proritise their fulfillment as a person by pursuing worthy achievements, exploring their dreams and prioritising their wellbeing, regardless of their current status, responsibilities or challenges. We support, enhance, equip and enlighten women to see there is more to themselves aside marriage and childbearing. Many women in Nigeria only have husbands and child to their name and nothing else. This should not be so. With or without those tags and labels we have a cause, passion, purpose and life and we should do more with the much that God has given us.
In the long run, how do you plan to sustain the impact of the initiative and continue empowering Nigerian women beyond the International Women’s Day celebration?
TheMrsOnline community is a brand that has been in existence for over 4 years. We are a sustainable brand with over 8,000 community members.
Success Scoops is not a one- off project and we are making it a series to capture more successful stories and success secrets/strategies to serve as a compass and companion for other women.
As a woman leader and convener of this initiative, what message do you have for young Nigerian women who look up to you and aspire to achieve success in their respective fields?
You can be more than you are right now! Whatever your current situation, status or strata, you have something to give the world, pay attention to all your life experiences and encounters they are there to shape you and direct you to the place of purpose. You are not your job, you are not your home neither are you just a mother, you have a life, live that life to the maximum.
Lastly, what other future projects can we expect from TheMrsOnline community, and how can people support your mission to empower Nigerian women?
For one, success scoops is just at the volume 1 stage and we will be doing more volumes for the girlchild in October to celebrate the girl child. We have done a lot in the past for women in our community and even extended it to their children. We have done programs that helped women on personal development, business development and emotional development. So we are always doing different projects in house to undergird the womans’ personal life.
During covid, we trained teachers on how to use their class room skills to earn online by introducing them to editing and proofreading. We have empowered more women emotionaly and financially than we can talk about. In the future, my desire is to build an online university for women where they can develop their mindset, purpose, business and other areas of their lives. People can support our mission by collaborations and sponsorships.