To cap up its “Mum in Business Pitch Competition”, Mouka Limited, Nigeria’s foremost foam and mattress manufacturing company, has rewarded one mother in commemoration of Mother’s Day.
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The company, through its Chief Executive Officer, Raymond Murphy, on Monday, May 13, 2019 presented the cheque of US$1,000 to the winner of this edition, Maryam Adebola-Salami, at the company’s corporate head office in Ikeja, Lagos.
Salami, founder of Mobaby Care Nigeria, an all-natural skin and hair care solutions company for children, was selected for the consistency and uniqueness of her narrative.
The online pitch competition, which was initiated and sponsored by Mouka and organised in partnership with AGS Tribe, a firm that provides opportunities for entrepreneurs across Africa, is the first of its kind for mothers in business that contribute to sustainable development goals.
According to Mouka’s Senior Marketing Manager, Tolu Olanipekun, the gesture is in line with Mouka’s mission of adding comfort to life. “…To us at Mouka, mums are the pillars that support the homes and they need to be celebrated especially during Mother’s Day. And we thought to ourselves; ‘how can we add comfort to one special mum?’ This is why we decided to partner with AGS to select a mum that was truly deserving of being comforted this Mother’s Day,” she explained.
On her part, Ife Durosinmi-Etti, founder of AGS Tribe, said the process was geared towards discovering women who have exhibited strength of character in managing their homes, careers or businesses well enough to strike a balance.
“The process started when we asked people to upload pictures of themselves and their families and tell us how they’ve been able to balance having a family and also running their businesses or managing their careers,” Durosinmi-Etti said.
On the selection process, she explained: “They had to follow some instructions, put in some hashtags, so that we were able to track all entries. We got a panel of judges who didn’t know each other. This independent panel sent in their top five nominees and we were looking for a common denominator to show that this person was consistent. This is how Adebola-Salami was picked.’’
Expressing her gratitude to Mouka for the prize money, an overjoyed Adebola-Salami said her emergence as winner of the competition was overwhelmingly surprising to her.
“I entered the competition not basically to win but to share my experience because I’m a storyteller and a writer. I share my experience daily because I believe that sharing experiences can affect and impact other people’s lives. After I had shared the story, I didn’t even remember to hashtag it appropriately. But a lot of people commented telling me how strong I was and how they hoped that I would win,” Adebola-Salami recalled.
“So, I decided to do the proper thing by including the appropriate hashtags. So last night (Sunday) when I got the message that I was among the top five I was excited but afraid that my story was not that unique or exceptional. But coming here today, and seeing that I won, it just makes me realise that I have done something right. Telling story is important, narrating it to the world is more important because you don’t know who you’re impacting.”
Other competitors on the top five list from which Adebola-Salami was picked were Ama Akpata, who was the first runner up and Oyedele Olayemi who emerged the second runner up, Ebube Akah and Ayiba Afy-Douglas who came fourth and fifth respectively.
The “Mums in Business Pitch Competition,” which ran for eight days from May 1, was also aimed at promoting the birth of more businesses towards eradicating poverty. It was also meant to encourage mums who are in business and still shoulder responsibilities of running such businesses and managing the home front simultaneously.