One sunny day in Relief market, Owerri, Mrs Ifeoma Uzoma was hawking her famous Ogiri with the same zeal and excitement she always has. It was just like any other day and as usual, her peers in the market were looking forward to another entertaining day. A customer came to buy Ogiri, and she went on to sell the Ogiri in her entertaining fashion, this is the encounter that was documented in the viral video we all saw.
Everyone began to look for her but Branded.ng (a branding agency that brands and creates thought leaders) and Mumpreneur.ng (a platform that helps Mumpreneur’s build a successful business while keeping the home front) brought her to Lagos and began the branding process.
Upon her arrival, the announcement was made to our fellow Lagosians via the Mumpreneur Instagram platform. The excitement was unexpectedly overwhelming. An interview was set up for the ‘Seriously speaking’ show with Mrs. Adesuwa Onyenokwe. After which, we proceeded to the Wellness Patron Kitchen to prepare Ora (Oha) Soup and African Salad (Abacha). Behind the scenes, the Ogiri Woman’s social media and contact was set up. And the team began to personally notify everyone who had been interested in the Ogiri woman story that she is here to stay.
Mrs Ifeoma Uzoma is a passionate Mumpreneur full of dreams and a vision. We are currently repackaging and labelling her Ogiri to meet export standards. She also has a passion for cooking which will also be explored in a cooking show by Chef Oma herself.
Read her exclusive interview with Mofolusade Sonaike of Mumprenuer.ng
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Ifeoma Uzoma, I answer “Oma Oma” which simply means “Good Good”.
Tell us how you got into the business of Ogiri?
Ogiri is not just an afterthought. I had run a lot of businesses, but Ogiri came as an inspiration from God. I had tried selling pepper, pap, nylon and all of them were moving slowly but I needed something I could relax while doing. I ran into an elderly woman who was selling Ogiri in the market. I was amazed by the fact that she would come and sell out in a few hours every day while we stayed for hours and hours before selling out.
So I approached her to ask her to teach me. She was sceptical at first because where I come from Ogiri is a skill mostly reserved for really elderly women. She felt I was too young but gave me a test to prove my passion. She asked me to prepare a simple one based on a recipe and I did it perfectly.
Do you have a flair for cooking or a background in cooking?
I love cooking even though in school I didn’t read food in nutrition as people might think, my love and passion for cooking and natural things made me delve into it.
Where did your love for natural things come from?
I love natural things. My parents raised us with natural things as well. I research a lot, sometimes I walk around the garden and ask God, ‘What does this leaf do? What is this one for and he tells me?’
How did that Viral Video happen?
One day, I was just around my normal character of going around the market hawking. I always come up to the market with a song and with energy to make people feel that they have to get something.
So, this lady came as a customer to buy. She bought some and we laughed a bit, then she said to me, I love what you are doing; I will put you on Facebook. In my mind, I thought it was just a joke. I playfully did my usual thing as she recorded and forgot about it.
How long before you started getting reactions from the video?
The video was done around May and it was in June that I started getting calls and people stopping me and saying ‘I saw you here, I saw you there.’ So far I have received calls to supply Ogiri from people in Lagos, the US and even Australia.
How does this make you feel?
I really feel good.
Questions from fans online
How do you manage to maintain that happy glow?
There is one thing I have in my head whenever I am doing something. Just do your best and let it go. Rome was not built in a day, I know this is my little beginning and it will become big.
What keeps you going?
I believe there is a reward. People’s lives are changed by my product and this keeps them coming back. The thought of that is enough for me.
How is it that you have such a good diction?
I stayed outside the country for a while, but I won’t go into details about that now. What matters is that even if I was there, I am here now. The diction is inborn and has come from practice as well.
Watch the video here:
This is an empowerment project for this Nigerian Mumpreneur, she represents a dream that has come to life. To inquire about this project and how you can participate, please send an email to email@example.com
To find out how you can start a similar project in your local community, please send an email to Mofolusade@mumpreneur.ng