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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Ireland based businesswoman Bukky Ashaolu weeps for dear countryNigeria

The prevailing gloomy Nigerian economic atmosphere got more knocks from the Diaspora over the weekend, when Ireland based glamorous, intellectual, businesswoman and consultant Olubukola Ashaolu (formerly Shopeju), poured torrents of venom, on Nigerian leaders who have looted the countrys treasury dry as claimed.

Ashaolu took to the social media, where she expressed in emotional words and got support from many who equally share her view.

“I weep for my dear country Nigeria,” began Ashaolu, yes, something has to be done beyond the prevailing measures applied presently.

The businesswoman said she is particularly provoked by the unfair suffering that the citizens are going through due to the ‘gluttonicofficials and leaders of the nation known as the giant of Africa.

The businesswoman made her outburst based on the scandalous sharing of $2.1b arms procurement money, and other such public funds, among government officials and their political friends.

Im sure most fair and justice oriented citizens are glad that this issue has been spearheaded and taken to ICC by Femi Falana. How can a right thinking or sane minded person dip into the allocation meant for security, development and growth of the nation. Not to talk of steal, so much as to last his lifetime without working or raising a stone anymore for life and even stole as much as to satisfy his two generations yet unborn, without toiling at all? She asked and continued, Its unforgiveable! The love of their people, the fear of God, aim of governance and objective of leadership with which they were entrusted with and given the mandate to protect their people are gone with the winds: and replaced by cold utter selfishness!. Without a thought of its affecting or killing the future and hope of several generations.

Ashaolu even went poetic in anger, when she declared,Where is the caring heart of a man for his fellow man? When the same being like you are dying of hunger on the street, under equipped soldiers falling like flies at the battlefield unprotected! And the economy of the country plummeting downward and nose-diving under the so called watchful eyes of our leaders. And they are busy sharing the money that should have been plunged into the economy to revive it. Its unbelievable and unforgivable. I feel and share our collective pain

Olubukola Ashaolu is an ex-Director of Sandyford Continental Energy, Ireland, and ex- Buyer and Demand Planner of Tech Group Europe, Ireland (a division of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Exton. Pennysylvania. USA, among others.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016



Okey Ogunjiofor loses sister in law

Okey Ogunjiofor
 One of Nollywood’s greats, Okey Ogunjiofor, lost a dear sister in law to the cruel hand of death recently. Sarah as she was called was laid to rest Monday morning amidst tears by well-wishers and family members. She was the direct sister of Okey Ogunjiofor’s wife. Friends from Nollywood were around to pay their condolence to the Ogunjiofor family.

Okey Ogunjiofor it was, that laid the foundation for the present day Nigeria movie industry, Nollywood, when he shot the movie ‘Living in Bondage’in 1992. He opened the floodgate to what is now known as Nollywood movies.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Success is seeing our local herbs now in the global market - Quincy Ayodele (Trado medicine practitioner)

Right from youth, Quincy Olasumbo Ayodele has had a natural attachment to nature. But she took her time, went through formal education and even worked in a bank. Not long, she stepped out and established Quincy Herbal Slimmers, a leading herbal care centre in Nigeria. But that was 20 years ago. Today, easy-going ‘Quincy’, as she is fondly called, is a successful international businesswoman, a top socialite, grandmother and a consultant to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on herbal medicine. Despite it all, Quincy humbly says she’s just ‘a village girl.’ She spoke to PAUL UKPABIO on life as a young grandmother, junketing around the world promoting herbal medicine, among other issues.

What has been happening to you in recent times?
A lot of positive things have been happening. God has taken me to where He promised me. We’ve started climbing the steps to the Promised Land. We have seen the Promised Land but we have not entered into it.

You mean all these years; you were just moving towards the Promised Land?

Yes, it was a journey but now we have seen it.

How long has it taken you to get to where you are today?
It has taken us 20 years.

So what does the promise land look like from the point that you are seeing it today?

It is promising, so bright; it is going to create generational wealth in my lifetime and for the generation to come. That is why it is a promised land. It took me several years to get here.

Okay, you seem to have been talking in proverbs, can you break it down?
(Laughs) Yes, right now, we have most of our medicinal plants in place, we have been able to make them into products that are now marketable both in Nigeria and all round the world. Presently, we are in the market in the United States of America; we are registered and our products are on sale; we are also on the popular local online markets, while still being in our regular offices around the world.

Another aspect of growth is that my daughters, who were going through the business journey with me, have finally finished their training and now running the business better than I was doing with modern technology. So you can see that I have seen the Promised Land, what is remaining, is to enter into it. We are now a big brand in Nigeria and all over the world. It is indeed a great feat for us to register our products in the American online market: it doesn’t come cheap. You have to be tested, trusted, licensed and approved by FDA. Our products have gone through those processes. We have skin products, health and slimming products and we have our line.
Quincy and daughter, Tobi

What is your organisation hierarchy like now?

The Almighty God is our Chairman and the rest of us are employees. I, as an employee of Quincy Herbal Slimmers, run the operations of the place, while Mrs Tobi Ayodele Keeney and Mrs Marita Abdul join me in directing the affairs along with our Matron, Mrs Comfort Awoseyi, and then the other passionate staff. For products, we have the Slimming Garri. We have been able to do a garri that slims for the Nigerian market. You mix it as if you are drinking garri. But it cannot be made into eba and it is not even made from cassava. The name garri has been adopted because you soak and drink it like garri in cold water. Also, you cannot drink it with fish or chicken like you drink your normal garri. This one, you have to drink it on its own for clinical effect. It contains traditional medicinal plants that reduce weight. There’s Tummy Blaster, which takes care of people with potbelly. We also have our damaged skin repairer.

Some years back, your products were in their natural form, but looking at them now, they are in re-packaged cans, can you explain this?
My daughter told me that we have to move according to the trend and technology that is going on in the world, it took me about two years to accept that from her. But when she showed me the advantages that will accrue from that, we had to start to implement the new ideas. Initially, though I didn’t listen to her, I told her to leave me alone and let me be carrying my agbo (herbs) around the way it was (laughs). She told me that the way it was, a customer in Ghana or Europe will not be able to buy my agbo, the way I was carrying it around. And in traditional medicine, we have been continuously taught how we should package our traditional medicine. That is one of the requirements that the World Health Organisation puts before us. They told us that it is what they want. So eventually, I had no choice but to listen. But at the same time, I still carry my agbo for the local market and for those who want to see them in their natural form.

But there used to be the problem of how to access dosage in traditional medicine, have you been able to solve that issue?
Yes, there is now dosage in traditional medicine. From the packaging that we export, you can see the dosage written on each product. There is actually dosage for our products.

How were you able to get a consistent dosage for herbal medicine?
Like I said earlier, my daughter, Mrs Keeney, came into the business with me. She is a scientist who studied in America. We therefore had no choice but to go to the international market to see how they can develop us. And we got developed without losing the originality of the medicinal plants that we use. I insisted that the content of our products should remain original, no additives, no preservatives. We were able to find mentors in the international industry to develop us and re-package our products. Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t do all these in my earlier years. But then again, I think God’s time is the best.

Over the years, your friends in the society complain that you are always too busy. Now that you have support from your daughters, are you still busy?
(Laughs) I am still busy. With a mission and vision like this, I cannot sleep until I achieve the mission and goal. I am busy in the sense that it takes a lot to package these products and the process from the farm to the end product is cumbersome. Usually, I love to be there personally to supervise what they are packaging. I usually also test the new products myself before I release it into the market. All these keep me busy.

What is your idea of success?
It is the ability to start a project and end it well. My work keeps me busy because I am seeing the result.

How do you cope as a career woman, a mother, a wife and a grandmother?
I enjoy what I do; that keeps me going. If I was not enjoying it, there is no way I would have been able to cope. I do not see challenges in my work though there are. I sleep when there is no immediate pressure with work. But if there is pressure, I just keep on working. During the day, I work from different locations. I move from one place to another after work at each point. I also delegate a lot to my staff.

How about the home front? How does your husband react to your being busy all the time?
I am still in charge at the home front. After the Almighty God, it is my husband. He has been very supportive; he is also into the business with me. We do everything together. When I am not able to go to meet a particular situation, he stands in for me. That is how supportive he is.

What is the future like?
There is future wealth waiting for us, and all those who join us. We are looking at a brand that should turn up like the great world brands. Those who started the world’s great brands have died and gone, but generations after are still on it. That is what I’m looking at for the future.

Where do you find the time to go to the farm?
That is part of my busy schedule. I still go to the farm because that is where we source all our traditional medicines. Though for the sourcing, I also use the services of our Herbs and Ingredients Sellers Association of Nigeria, the Elewe Omo. For the medicinal plant that I cannot have the time to go and source, I call them and they source them for me. I know they cannot source fake ones for me. They are still there strong and active.

But there was a time that you were strong and active in the association too.
I am still a member and a matron.

What role do you play as a matron?
I give them lectures, teach them on medicinal plants, we just had a workshop where we looked at preservation of products, and my daughter normally teaches them hygiene, how they can keep their premises clean so that contamination and diseases can be avoided. My daughter is not only making impact on Quincy Herbal Slimmers, but she is also affecting the association and organising them. The average member in the association is rendering better services to the public now than before.

But are more people coming into the herbal trade?
It ought to be increasing; herbal medicine takes time before it yields results. It also requires knowledge. Once there was a rush, people thought I was busy making money, so they decided to come in. But when they came into the business and they gave patients medicine but it didn’t work, they were identified as fake. After some time, the fake ones had to leave.
We hear that you are still travelling a lot.
Yes, the activities of the World Health Organisation take me out a lot. I have been to Namibia, Angola, Mali, Senegal, and several African countries. I have been to the African Union to deliver papers on traditional medicine. I am also an expert committee member of WHO on the development of African Traditional medicine and practices. I have delivered papers on systems and delivery of health care in the African continent. I have also delivered papers on how traditional medicine can be integrated into the existing healthcare system.

Are people embracing the African traditional medicine in other African countries the way it is being embraced in Nigeria?
In most African countries, people embrace the traditional medicine even more than it is being embraced in Nigeria. And it seems like other African countries patronise it more than Nigeria, even though Nigeria remains the biggest market for traditional medicine. The reason is that though WHO has asked African member-states to pass Traditional Medicine Bill-a lot of these other African countries have already passed the bill in their countries-but Nigeria is yet to do so.
Why do you think the Nigerian government is yet to do so?
I do not know. It is left for the Nigerian government to answer such question. We have put it in, but the bill is yet to be passed. The association has put it in, I do not know all the processes that bill is supposed to pass through, but I know that the Ministry of Health has also done something about it, but the bill is yet to be out. While I was the pioneer Secretary of the National Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, the umbrella body, we tried to push the passing of the bill, but nothing came out of it. Perhaps the current executive of the association is presently pushing for it.

What role have you played in reforming the sector?
As the secretary then, we were able to register about 5,000 practitioners. We also did a lot to make sure that NAFDAC does not register products without approval from the association and I also ensured that products do not carry spurious claims to efficacy in their advertisement. These were ways of sanitizing the practice. We are still waiting for that bill, which will enable us to move faster in our practice in Nigeria.

How about the education of practitioners?
I read somewhere that Nigeria is planning to include the teaching of traditional medicine in university curriculum. I think the West African Health Association started that call for the inclusion of traditional medicine in schools across Nigeria, which was also my recommendation at the World Health Organisation level when I did a paper on collaboration. University of Ibadan was mentioned then, and I think if they have started it, then it means we are gradually getting there. But what will expedite action will be the Traditional Medicine Bill.

Still on education, do you believe that some people could be trained to become traditional medical practitioners?
In my own case it is in-born but yes people can be trained, but then it has to be people with passion to be in the field. Moreso when we are dealing with nature. Traditional medicine is different from orthodox medicine. In the former, in treating headache, you have to address the root cause. I believe that God also calls people to particular vocations.  In my case, God called me and I love plants, I love nature. I love greenery. I love flowers because of their aroma. It is from flowers that we get aroma. Flowers are also medicinal plants. No plant is useless. Nothing God created is useless; even those ones that are called weeds are useful. When I go to the farm, before I weed anything away, I look at the weed and try to find a message in them. I ask, ‘weed, why are you growing here?’ And I get the message.

You mean you talk to the weeds? You talk to plants?
Yes, I do (laughs).

How’s life as a grandmother?
My grandchildren are close to me; I look forward to seeing them regularly. They look up to me to inform them about life in the past. So I tell them moonlight stories, yes, a lot of stories about the Tortoise and they enjoy listening to it. I teach them about the Bible and they ask questions about ‘Daddy Jesus.’ That is how they call Jesus. They are growing and filled with the Spirit of God.

As a socialite, do you feel compelled to attend parties?
I do not attend all parties. I have kept a regular list of friends who I have known over the years in the course of my work. I still maintain these friends. You know, it is said that when you are going up the ladder, do not forget the people you meet on your way up. So when any of these friends has an event, I have to be there. And when I am at events I forget totally that I am Quincy, I just enjoy myself.
Has your style changed over the years?
I am the same Quincy, the same village girl that pioneered herbal medicine practice many years ago in the country. I have not changed that much. I love bright colours. I have also read a lot about the Chinese traditional medicine that incorporates bright colours, especially in the traditional healing practice, bright colours are symbolic. Such colours have meaning in traditional healing.

Tell us, how has your background contributed to who you are today?
My background helped me a lot. God helped me throughout. My father taught me that ‘humility costs you nothing, but gets you everything!’ So right from my humble background, I grew up to see and know that in life, I have to be humble and simple. I naturally take life as it comes. My father taught me that I should enjoy everything I do. I know that I am always in the limelight. Knowing that and also knowing that I am working hard to be there, makes me happy. And I enjoy it. Nothing has changed as far as I am concerned. I like what I am doing; that has helped me to cope with the various responsibilities that come my way. I thank God for giving me the strength to cope.

What were your childhood dreams?
Oh that, I had a childhood dream. When I was growing up, my dream was to be in a position where I care for as many as I can. I wanted to be able to cater to people. I wanted to take charge of my life and the lives of people around me and be able to care for them. Then I didn’t know that such dreams will eventually put me in the healing profession, but here I have found myself. So at the beginning, it was all just about caring for people. But now I have found out that caring for people is also about giving people healing and good health.

What fashion accessories do you not do without?
I am not very attached. As a matter of fact, sometimes I can go out without using necklace. I have no specific attachment to fashion accessories but I cannot do without perfumes. That has become a habit for me. I find it hard to take my eyes off good perfumes. I love perfumes. I am not a jewelry person. I don’t even buy them.

Recently you received yet another award in respect of your work.
There are so many of them. I thank God for those who keep noticing and appreciating our work. It also shows that we are having good impact on people out there. It means that we are having good impact on humanity; that is why the awards keep coming. I pray that I continue to be humble, in the sight of God and in the sight of fellow human beings.

You travel for international programmes, how do you think that Nigeria is rated in terms of traditional medicine practice?
In the international industry, Nigeria is seen as a leader in the practice and production of the traditional medicine products.

And what do you feel about the political state of the country as it is now?
I am proud of the present leadership of General Mohammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osibajo. I like their message of change, and the way they want to change our environment to meet up with the global level. I hope that this present government will not neglect the traditional medicine practice because this industry can be substantiated and enlarged. The medicinal aspect of the practice should be looked into, and not necessarily the fetish aspect. That is because there is money in it, especially now that it has been accepted globally.
Nigeria can make extra income from exports to add to the GDP of the country. We should not just rely on oil money alone. We used to have the Presidential Industrialisation Committee on Traditional Medicine. I used to be a member of that committee inaugurated by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. He asked us to look into ways of commercialising traditional medicine. If the present administration can set up such, that will be nice. If we can commercialise traditional medicine, we will be able to make a lot of money in the country and more people will be employed.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Senator Dr. Isiaka Adeleke celebrate 61st birthday at country home

Sen Adeleke and wife Nike
 When Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke turned 61 last Friday 15th January 2016, the ex Governor and two term senator, thought, he will quietly mark the special day, with a few members of his family and friends.  But contrary to that simple thought, the party that later rolled in that day, turned out to be a big celebration.

Family and friends trooped into the Adeleke extensive compound at his country home at Ede in Osun state, quite early in the morning. But many did not meet the celebrant at home. With a train-like convoy,  the amiable Senator had gone out to  town, to hand over his birthday gift to the people of Osun state.

That morning, the commissioning of six new blocks of classrooms at Young Tajudeen Elementary School, took place at Iragberi. Present at the event, was the Chief Imam, the traditional ruler, the  Aragberi of Iragberi community, and a host of others.

Senator Isiaka Adeleke later returned to his country home, to receive family and friends who had trooped there. When he looked around and saw the large number of people, he told his lovely wife Nike Adeleke, an Abuja based businesswoman, that the crowd has to be hosted.

And as if his friend the governor of the state was in tune with what was going on at the Adeleke's home, he sent a healthy cow, a birthday gift, to the ex governor. The Adeleke's increased the number of the cows with another purchase and party went far into the night!

While there were choice drinks on the table for whoever cared, Moet Chandon was most desired. All through the day into the night, big society names stopped by to celebrate with the Adeleke's and they had fun-filled memorable moment.

The people spoke well of him. They called him the man of the people, he related freely with his aides, the same way he related to his upper class folks.  as he moved around the expanse of his home.

See photos below.

With wife Nike and daughter in yellow dress cutting the birthday cake at midnight

With wife Nike cutting the birthday cake

Sen Adeleke with wife Nike, Sister Dupe (first right) his brother Demola Adeleke and daughter Brenda (2nd left)

Sen Adeleke with daughter and son in law who both flew in from Atlanta, USA.

Sen Adeleke's friend Dipo and brother

Tessy Yembra

Drink of the day

Sen Adeleke with friend and colleague Sen Babajide Omoworare


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