Real Mum Interview : Nigerian Social Entrepreneur, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
- Which 3 things would you like the MumsVillage audience to know about you?
I am a Christian, and I strive on a daily basis to fulfill God’s purposes and plans for me. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a Godmother, and a friend. I am proudly African, and proudly Nigerian and recently released a book titled “Social Innovation in Africa: A practical guide for scaling impact.” – to help social innovators on the Continent to scale their work.
2. What is your occupation?
I am a social entrepreneur. This means that I basically wear a range of hats, including my roles as the director of the African Philanthropy Forum , the founder of LEAP Africa, the co-founder of AACE Foods, and Director of Sahel Capital.
We like Numbers 🙂
1. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two children. My son is 12 and my daughter is 9.
2. How many diapers do you think you’ve changed?
I stopped changing diapers almost 8 years ago, so I frankly cannot remember, but probably thousands in my lifetime.
3. How many selfies do you take in a week?
None. I probably take selfies once a month, when the kids initiate it.
4. How many videos of your kids do you take in a week?
My kids make their own videos of themselves. I only take videos when they have major performances.
Now on to Other Fun Questions
1. How did becoming a Mum change your personality?
It taught me patience, and made me a kinder and more forgiving person! Toilet training is probably one of the most trying and humbling experiences that any human can have…and this experience definitely transformed me!
2. How do you play with your kids?
My kids like to play board and card games. We play Uno, Lagos Monopoly, I Declare War etc. My kids also like Just Dance, and I occasionally engage them in a dance battle.
3. What is the most memorable thing about being a new Mother in your home town?
I am no longer a new mom. But I would say that the first time a kid referred to me as my son’s mom, this brought a huge smile to my face. In many settings in my community, I am better known as a mom to either one of my children and this is a wonderful identity to have. I consider it a great privilege to be a mom.
4. What do you think is the most inaccurate thing about how movies portray childbirth?
Movies portray childbirth as a sudden process, with people rushing to the delivery room and a baby popping out in five minutes. In reality, labor is a long process. It can take days.
6. Share something your child has recently done or said to make you laugh?
My kids make me laugh all the time. They bring joy and laughter to our home!
7. How did you choose your kids names and what do they mean?
My kids names are all rooted in the Igbo language and in our faith and naming them was a joint decision between my husband and I. Udenna means the Glory of the father (God) and Amarachi means the Grace of God.
Share your tips with others
1. Which activities do you regularly engage in for recreation with your family?
Lagos has some lovely beaches and fun spots. We try to make time to engage in these activities.
Your Nostalgia of the Past and Hopes for the Future
1. In what way do you hope the workplace will be different for your kids?
I hope that we would have achieved gender parity and that people of color would be treated the same as any other race on the global stage.
2. Do you think your job will exist when your kids are your age?
Definitely. I just hope that social entrepreneurs will be solving new problems, because those that we have attempted to address would have been solved.
3. What is the one thing or experience you never had that you want for your kids?
I would love for them to learn more languages earlier in life.
4. And on the flipside, what is the one thing or experience you wish your child could have from your childhood that they can’t?
The joy of walking around or riding around their neighborhood and playing with their neighbors, which is often difficult in a city as densely populated as Lagos.
5. What is one thing you miss about your life before your kids?
Nothing. Our kids have brought so much joy and purpose to our lives. We cannot imagine life without them.
6. What is the most annoying interview question you’ve been asked that you’re glad we didn’t?
Who is your favorite designer?
7. Your job probably keeps you quite busy. How did you make sure it did not take away too much of your attention from the rest of your family?
I work smart and ask for help. It takes a village to raise a child, and I am fortunate to have a very supportive family and amazing sisters and a few close friends who step in to help me whenever the need arises.
8. In what ways is your parenting style similar to your Mother? In what ways is it different?
My mom was such an amazing parent. I wish that I could be half as effective and devoted as she was and still is! My kids are lucky to have her as their grandmother!