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“Nobody sees the background work that goes into a successful venture”

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Onigbanjo

Onigbanjo

Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo is a journalist, teacher, food artist, and baby food blogger, the founder of August secrets, a baby/kid friendly Nigerian food blog, aimed at making kids’ meals fun, simple, and healthy. Toyin Onigbanjo was also the 2nd runner up at Samsung Food art Competition in May. Read her inspiring interview with Women of Rubies.

Childhood
I think my childhood prepared me for this I am doing today because I have always loved to draw cartoons and tell stories. Everyone in Federal Government Staff School Sokoto knew my sister and I for drawing cartoons, writing stories and also leading at cooking sessions. I have always loved the art of cooking.

Meet me
My name is Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo, a wife, a mother, a journalist, a recipe developer and a children food blogger. I have a B.A in English and Literature, and Masters in Public and International Affairs, but my passion and purpose in life is anything that has to do with the welfare of children and the family. As a single lady, I used to run a club, Treasures Kiddies Club just for children in my neighbourhood.

Inspiration behind Augustsecrets
As a new mother, I bought 3 full bags of jar purees for my son, but he refused to eat them until I made local foods like Ground Rice with carrots. I realise there are so many mothers going through the same problems of feeding their children the appropriate complementary foods. This is my inspiration for Augustsecrets.

Motivation
Like I said earlier, I have always loved to draw and do art with food. I just had to incorporate art into my child’s food to make it more attractive for him, and it has been working. I also do food-art with other adult-related foods

Projects and activities
I am working on having my mini food manufacturing company/outlet in future. My greatest short term dream for now is to be able to advocate and raise funds to take food to children in the IDP camps and other war-prone zones.

On giving up
Yes, because it is not easy at all. I have cried many times to sleep. The only thing that keeps me is the joy I derive from moms who use my recipes and their child eats better.

Greatest reward
The greatest reward I have received is the prayers of mothers who consult me for recipes and foods. I get heartfelt prayers on my mail everyday! After the doctor/nutritionist have prescribed foods for their babies, the next issue is how to cook the foods, and that is where I come in.

Samsung Food art Competition experience
It was a great experience because I dined with great people in the food and art industry. I thank God for those who encouraged me to put in my entry for the competition.

Challenges
The greatest challenge has been getting people to assist you with information and the next step to take, I had to source for everything myself. Nobody sees the background work that goes into a successful venture. Another challenge also is combining my day’s job with my passion to help mothers. It is really a tough one.

To aspiring bloggers
Find what you love. Work hard. Follow the process, don’t look for shortcuts or try to out rightly copy someone who has been toiling long before you. Seek counsel. Always be open to learning. Let your success be a journey to make impact, and not a journey to perfection. Be yourself. Put God first.

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Words of advice to women
I ask for help. Everyone around me now, know this is what I want with my life, and they joyfully support me in my various responsibilities. I enjoy a great support from my husband, in laws and extended family. I also delegate my duties, and plan ahead for my day. Women need a lot of support.

I Am a Woman Of Rubies
A woman of rubies is someone who knows that God has deposited something great inside her, and it can be unleashed with prayers, hardwork and continuous learning. I think I am a woman of rubies because this describes me.

Final word
There is a reason God made you a woman, enjoy your womanhood. Find your purpose in life and seek to fulfil it. Let love be your guide. Do all these quickly when you can, for life is short. Thank you very much.


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