Titilope Olubisi Ejimagwa: The Selfless Trailblazer
There are about 6 guests in the sitting room when The Guardian Life team walks into Mrs Titilope Olubisi Ejimagwa’s sitting room. “I was supposed to have a meeting, but they said that they will hold on,” she adds apologetically. We would later find that they are there to present her with an award of honour for her immense contribution to the lives alongside a car gift that was sent a while before their arrival.
With a warm smile that puts even a stranger at ease, she attends to everyone, small and big, with the same charisma, in her home at Eko Pearl, which is one of her many real estate projects. Dubbed the “Mother Of Network Marketing In Africa” by networkers on the continent, Mrs Ejimagwa is Longrich’s First Black 5-Star Director and Global Icon of Longrich Bioscience.
Since she started the networking business in the 90s, she has garnered over 10 million Nigerians to invest in several networking businesses, out of which over 1 million are multi-millionaires in Naira.
Interestingly, the marketing genius stutters. “What people think are obstacles is what I am enjoying today. I am a stutterer. I could not even call my name (laughs)… but for me, that is my strength.
“I see obstacles as a stepping stone… Those things that you go through that make others stop, behind the problems are the successes. It is how many problems you are able to solve that result in you being successful in life. Also, women are constantly reminded of stereotypes that limit them and it makes breaking glass ceilings come naturally to them. So if you have the guts to take up challenges you will find ways to create your own incentives for risk for eventual profit and career advancement, especially in a man’s world.”
With the desire to become a journalist and then a lawyer before settling to read Physical and Health Education, she says that she is fortunate to have a hero as a father who told her “that people are actually envious” of her stutter.
Her Saturday visitation to families as a Jehovah’s Witness member would also prepare and sharpen her persuasive ability and help her build her confidence.
It is this persuasive ability that she applied to convince Longrich to establish a $104 Million OEM permanent Smart factory in Lekki Free trade Zone in Nigeria with a goal to export Longrich products to Western Europe and all of Africa from this year.
In a country where there is a lot of scepticism about networking, she opines that unlike betting companies, “expectation management is key. It is simply a form of Direct Sales that is backed by a referral program. However, when one refuses to put in enough hard work and expects to hit the Jackpot, it can be disappointing. I never sugarcoat the grind it takes to make it in Longrich. Many that have followed through have got significant results. So the proof of the good taste of any food is in the eating. When Nigerians know something works, they stay with it.”
Her skill-set is enviably rare. She sits at the Board-committee of Loofca Oil and Gas, helping to reposition and re-invent to make their value-chains greener through the Greener Earth Operating strategy. As the founder of Sparkle Rice, she desires to have healthy driven competition among rice farmers. Her interest in real estate and desire to replicate Dubai where she has acquired properties every year for 11 years, has seen the former chairman of Richway MicroFinance Bank, work towards building the tallest residential building in West Africa, called the TRILLION TOWER- a proposed 36 Floor Mixed-use High-rise building – at Eko Atlantic City.
While we speak, Mrs Titilope excuses herself to receive a quick call. This call is to confirm that the donation to an orphanage she discovered this morning on the internet has been given accordingly.
“I not only want to create wealth, I want to create value. It is also about establishing different streams of income whilst giving opportunities to others to make a living. When food insufficiency is taken out of poverty, the rest is manageable. Africa’s hungry population is a stark reality and any effort to ease the burden should be embraced. We have just started a rice processing mill called Sparkle Rice with a production capacity of between seven to ten tonnes per day because we believe in agro-allied ventures. The ultimate goal is to dominate the agricultural value chain with quality products. To this end, we are already acquiring land and equipment that will allow us to have a competitive advantage initially in the South West and then hopefully, nationally in the medium term. My creed in these types of ventures has always been; ‘go big or go home’.
“On talent development, Africa missed the Industrial Revolution, it cannot afford to miss the talent revolution. Half of our people are under 30. We need to stop them from hurrying their talents. We are partnering with experienced industry hands through our entertainment company Detect Potential to organise talent, reality and other TV shows that will inform, enlighten and enrich people’s lives.”
She notes that the hands-on training she has been able to impact the lives of millions has made them self-reliant, a feat she is proud of. According to her, it is one of her many ways of giving back to the society that made her. One of her life’s mantra is to always think of others before any engagement- to help people develop, to touch lives in the places where it is most needed.
With her busy life, she is still able to maintain the home-front. A full-blown businesswoman, her life is a daily mix of transacting, persuading and finding time to play with her family and posing so that her 8-year-old daughter takes the best camera shots. She beams with pride as she tells us that her husband has been her bedrock. “He allowed me to travel around the world for my business. Even when people were talking, he said, ‘I know and trust my wife will not mess up.’ I would not have amounted to much without his counsel and maturity.”
Creating values for the girl-child
As a woman who has several achievements under her belt, she is heavily invested in the girl-child to see them reach for the stars. One of her first interests in joining Longrich was because of the education she had received about how the use of inferior quality sanitary pads as a teen had affected her ability to give birth on time.
“One of the reasons why the girl-child may have infertility problems is because of the inferior quality menstrual pads because the girl-child is not exposed to… not only that, we are not trained on the proper use of sanitary pads. Women don’t change their pads unless they are stained, and some wear them again after having their baths because they were not stained. The girl child is exposed to things that inhibit them from having children later in life.” As such, she has been distributing sanitary pads in communities across Nigeria for free.
This has spurred her to even do more for the girl-child via women’s empowerment. With the firm belief that women are “naturally nurturers”, she is a vocal advocate against domestic violence or any form of gender-based violence.
“Apart from organising public enlightenment seminars and programs, I am involved in providing counselling and therapy to help women move past this traumatic experience even though they will never forget it. If counselling and advocacy are made available to survivors, more people will have a chance to get their lives back together after that tragic experience.”
Helping comes naturally to Titi. As a woman whose philosophy is “Be All You Can,” she strongly leans towards giving back. “If you look at all that I do, it is about touching lives. What again do I have to give? How can I bring benefit to you? I don’t even think of me, I think of you first.”
“My legacy is in the hands of the Lord, but I know that history will record that I made a difference; that I contributed somehow to the good of my immediate community. That I was able to help others develop a sense of giving and generosity, of industry and perseverance, of advocacy and empathy and thereby setting an example for others to consider for themselves.”