• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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IWD: How I succeeded in real estate, male-dominated sector, by Grace Ofure

IWD: How I succeeded in real estate, male-dominated sector, by Grace Ofure

As Nigerian women join their counterparts all over the world to celebrate the yearly International Women’s Day (IWD), many of them share experiences that are largely intended to encourage and also inspire other women, especially those still on the lower rungs of life’s ladder.

Except for a few of them who were born with silver spoon in their mouth and have been able, by dint of hard work, to transform the silver to gold, the rest have stories of humble but difficult beginning.

For Grace Ofure Ibhakhomu, managing director and chief executive officer of Lifecard International Investment Limited, a real estate investment and development firm, it was a very humble beginning as a graduate selling second-hand clothes in open markets.

Today, besides being the CEO of Lifecard International Investment Limited, Ibhakhomu has also transitioned and become a proprietor and founder of Lifecard University, an online school, and the Grace Ofure Foundation which is a charity organization.

“As I reflect on my incredible journey, from the bustling markets as a petty trader selling second-hand clothes to standing proudly as a real estate mogul, I am compelled to share my story,” she told BusinessDay, adding, “this narrative is not just about my triumphs, it is a testament to the power of daring dreams and the transformative impact that women can have when they pursue their passions.” To pursue this passion and get it realised, Ibhakhomu believes you “Just Do It”.

The humble beginning:

My journey began in the vibrant markets where I tirelessly sold fairly used clothes. The challenges were immense, but so was the fire within me. I dreamt of a life beyond the market stalls, and that dream fuelled my every step.

Daring to dream:

Daring to dream is the first step towards a journey of transformation. As women, we are often confronted with barriers and limitations, but within us resides an innate strength that can shatter any obstacle. I dared to dream beyond the confines of societal expectations, and that audacity changed the trajectory of my life.

Overcoming barriers:

Yes, there were barriers – societal norms, financial constraints, and many doubts. However, each barrier became a challenge, a lesson to learn, and a stepping stone towards success. Women, we have the resilience and fortitude to navigate these barriers; our dreams are worth the pursuit.

The real estate ascent:

From the market stalls, I transitioned into the dynamic world of real estate. The journey was fraught with uncertainties, but my vision remained unwavering. Today, standing as a real estate mogul, I want every woman to know that the seemingly impossible is achievable with persistence, passion, and a belief in oneself.

Encouraging women:

Women, you are powerful beyond measure. Your dreams are valid, and your aspirations deserve to be realised. The journey may be challenging, but remember that every obstacle is an opportunity for growth. Embrace your uniqueness, dare to dream boldly, and pursue your passions with unwavering determination.

Men as allies:

To my male counterparts, your support is pivotal. Inclusion is not just a women’s issue; it’s a societal imperative. Encourage the women in your lives to dream big, support their endeavours, and champion their successes. When men become allies in the journey towards gender equality, we forge a path towards a more inclusive and vibrant future.

Urging for inclusion:

The call for inclusion extends beyond gender. It’s about embracing diverse perspectives, talents, and voices. Inclusion strengthens our communities, fosters innovation, and propels societies forward. Let us collectively strive for a world where everyone, irrespective of gender, can pursue their dreams without hindrance.

Concluding, she said, “my journey is a testament to the fact that dreams do come true, even when they seem audacious. Women, dare to dream, overcome barriers, and march boldly towards your aspirations. Men, be allies in this journey towards a more inclusive world. Together, we can build a society where dreams know no bounds.”