• Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Ginikachi Eloka, living a life of selfless service


NFB yard sale

NFB yard sale is a shopping platform that was created to help both people who are looking to declutter their wardrobes and make money from it, as well as those looking to get stylish and quality items at discounted prices. There is also an auction segment of the NFB Yard Sale which was conceptualized as a fundraising strategy for the Iroto School of Catering in Illoti community, Ogun State. The mission of the school is to continuously equip young women from impoverished backgrounds with skills and a better chance of sustaining themselves and their families. We are currently being supported with pieces made by Lisa Folawiyo and CLAN (from the house of Deola Sagoe), which were donated by Bidemi Zakariyau, the CEO of LSF PR.

Rationale behind NFB

I realized that people sometimes buy things they never wear, own things they love that no longer fits, or just simply arrive at a stage in their lives that calls for a change of style; new job, new resolutions, or new tastes. These are few reasons why clothes end up unused or as clutter in most wardrobes. The aim is to help people give their barely-used possessions a lease on life by passing it on to a new owner, while providing buyers with good quality clothing at more affordable prices. The idea first came to me in November 2014, I was in my hostel at university of Lagos where I was studying systems engineering. I had a lot of clothes which I wasn’t wearing anymore either because they didn’t fit or I had bought new ones that I liked better. I was thinking of a way to pass them on, but still get some value back because a lot of them were still in great condition. I called a friend who was studying medicine in LUTH and shared the idea about selling clothes from our wardrobes. Three weeks later, on December 13, 2014, the first ever yard sale was held. We had very little time for publicity and barely any money, but God saw us through and it was successful. Buyers who came we’re excited because they had access to all these good clothes at less than what they would ever find it at a regular boutique. Those who came out to sell made good money from things they had basically neglected beforehand. It was a win win situation.

Individuals and organisations on board at the just concluded 24th of July edition

We had over 20 online media brands supporting us including Pulse Nigeria, The Blogger Point Nigeria, Stylemonument.com, Africanismcosmopoitan.com, to name a few. As well as influential individuals such as Leslie Okoye of Cookie Skin, Bidemi Zakariyau CEO of LSF PR, CEO of a to Publicity and Branding Agency, Style Bloggers such as Derin From Isaleko, Akin Faminu, Grace Alex, Cassie Daves, and the Non-Profit Organization Women’s Board Educational Cooperation Society, supporting our project.

Nigerians and their challenges letting go of their personal belongings

There can be so many reasons, some of which I’m still trying to find out. But most times it’s because of sentimental value. That is, maybe they got it as a gift, it was passed down from a parent, or they bought it at a really high price and can’t imagine just giving it away.

How important is it for us to be charitable?

I think people need to understand that letting go frees you from unnecessary stress. When you let go of things, you have less on your hands and less to worry about. You’ll get more breathing space, be able to focus on maximizing the fewer things you have, and you’ll get the chance to acquire betters thing which will be more useful to you. Like Bryant H McGill said “Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” I also believe that having the opportunity and being able to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return should be seen as a privilege and something that is immensely satisfying.

The auction and intended achievement

We started a small campaign called #helpirotogrow. Iroto is a rural development centre in Illoti community in Ogun state, which has a large population of young women who sometimes have to deal with rape, teenage pregnancy and forced marriages early in their lives. Many of them don’t know better, and are usually in awe when they see other women like them who live well and have the opportunity to be educated. To them it’s an oddity, something they never believed they could experience or achieve … Until the Women’s Board Educational Cooperation Society started a project called Iroto school of catering to accommodate young girls from under-privileged backgrounds within the rural settlement and train them in catering and hospitality. After graduation, many of them have the opportunity to get jobs which enable them to assist their families; thereby improving their standard of living. Now, Iroto needs to expand and open its doors to give more young women a chance to change their lives. Our auction is targeted at raising funds to contribute to that dream. The amount needed for the completion of the project sums up to NGN250,648,000.

How do you think Nigerians view auction sales?

True enough, that process of people bidding openly against one another for a particular item is very uncommon, as opposed to the regular buying and selling. However, since it involves something they can connect to, which is the local expansion project, as well as the items donated by people within the immediate society, it’s easier to getting people to buy into the idea of participating in the Auction.

Other areas of interest

I’m largely involved in the creative industry. Regularly, I work as a content strategist, which basically involves helping digital brands create streamlined, valuable content on the web. That covers editorial strategy, brand and style guidelines, maximizing the impact of content through web/digital information such as web pages, blog posts, social media conversations, email newsletters.

In a nutshell, it’s about getting the right content to the right user at the right time through strategic planning of content creation, delivery, and governance, while ensuring that the content is readable, understandable, and shareable in all of its various forms.

Family means everything

My family is a large one. I have six siblings, 5 brothers and a sister. Growing up, I never really knew what it meant to be alone. The house was always filled with people and we had to learn to share and work together despite our occasional quarrels. It’s that spirit of community that existed during my upbringing which keeps me seeking to work together with people even know. I believe that greater things can be achieved with combined effort. During my early years I learned to love people even with all their faults, I learned honesty, being emphatic, and most of all accountable. There were a number of times my mother had to work, and I was left to take care of my siblings. There was also the fact that we were never spoiled, my father’s Koboko (cane) was a constant reminder that good behaviour, obedience and utter respect were the only acceptable traits we were allowed to possess, I watched my parents build their life from the ground up through hard work and perseverance, and all of that taught me to be independent, to work towards whatever I wanted to achieve in life, and helped shape me in ways I can’t explain.