The only gift to humans is Education – Her Majesty Edna Ngozi Ubebe. A woman of many sides. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Simpli Mi Homes, a Real Estate Investment, Consultancy and Development Company in fore front of real estate business in Nigeria. In spite of her position in the society, she believes every human created by God deserves help and assistance. Through her foundation, she has breathed life into the hopeless and given future to the less privileged.
In this interview with Lekki Times she explains why she ventured into helping people.
Your foundation has touched many especially with the selfless humanitarian services you have done. Most people at your level do not seem to bother about the downtrodden. Why is your case different?
I have never really given it a thought as to why I started because I have always been like this. I was brought up like this because my mum was like this too. We used to laugh at her telling her she could feed the whole nation. If my mother see you suffering, she would want to help. We had so many people she was paying fees for. I love to see people happy and for me it is like a plus because seeing that smile on their faces gets me satisfied knowing I have been able to impact positively into someone’s life.
Why are you comfortable rendering this uncommon service in a society where people do not appreciate such gesture?
Like I said the smile is what gives me satisfaction. I had this particular case where I found a little girl peeping into a school while I was taking a walk around my office. I never had plans for little kids or maybe widows and all of that but seeing her peeping through the fence, I could tell she wanted to be there so I called her, took her into the school and registered her and she was happy. After that I called her mum and the mum came over and we asked questions around about the mum and to the glory of God she is really happy. So for me it could be that you are an orphan or somebody not from a rich home,I just want to see you happy because the smile is priceless. We all deserve to be happy, It doesn’t matter what the situation is; sickness, hungry or it could be a widow. Seeing everyone happy gives me joy.
In a difficult society like ours today, where do you get fundings to finance some of these projects?
Nigeria is the best country you can think of and I always love being a Nigerian. It doesn’t matter if we are in Nigeria or out of Nigeria, giving support is a mindset. It is not everyone that wants to give. People have plans for their money, but if you have the passion to help, you will not see it as a problem. I always have this belief that whatever I plan to do, God will always make a way for it. I work and I have a particular percentage that I put in straight to charity. I have friends of like minds who support me. Like I said, it is not everybody that has the heart to give. Some people want to make investment with their money. You do not need to depend on people in order to have support, otherwise you will have heart break.
Have you been faced with situations where you are discouraged in pushing to assist people?
I have never really questioned why I help people becaus I was also helped. For some reasons, you have to go through situations to be broken enough to feel people’s pain. I have been through many situations in life and I never gave up because I have the strength not to give up. There are people that do not have the type of strength I have, the kind of will I have, neither do they have the kind of grace I have.I know many people who have lost their husbands, and everything. I know of kids that struggle to feed. The only thing you can give to humans is education. It is not all about cars, money, that is not the point because what you give to a child is education and this I have decided to do. I have some couple of kids in private schools and adults in the University they are doing well. The last time we supported some widows we empowered them with the sum of two hundred thousand naira each. We planned for forty seven but we had hundred of them. Sometimes ago we went round searching for most of those widows it was funny that a lot of them were running because when they took the money, they did not do the things they promised to do and I remember saying to them I will come myself and check up on them. I told them that if they do well with the little given to them, we will add more. Out of hundred ,so far we have gotten twenty that did well and by December 26th,they will be happy they did well because we will empower them faces.
You don’t seem to help based on tribe or region and we are known to be ethnic conscious in this country, why?
I don’t do that. I am not tribalistic neither gender biased. I see all of us as one. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, Igbo, Yoruba or a northerner. We do not look at faces.
How many widowers have you helped so far through this foundation?
I have not helped widowers yet, not because they are men or because they lost their wives but because they are the men of the house. They are supposed to be the head and losing a wife should not displace them. The young ones are the people that should be assisted to live well.
Sometimes ago you posted something on your status asking anybody that is ill to reach out to you because you had a partnership with an hospital. Can anybody just be a part of this?
I have an arrangement with St Kizito Clinic, consultant and I have people working with us as in the government agency. We have lost so many people this year through COVID and we just want to help the little way we can. I do these things because I want to help in little way I can and not because am being forced to do
In which area can government and corporate bodies support your foundation?
If anyone wants to support, it is up for the person because charity is a thing of the mind. Our website, Instagram and Facebook accounts are all over and can be verified.
What pieces of advice do you have for people with difficult challenges and mental health not hearing about you and how to meet up with you ?
Challenges only bring out the best in you and if you are going through a lot, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It means there is something God is trying to show you. He wouldn’t mind if you open your heart to Him.
Did you read Children in boarding schools are safer than their contemporaries at home-Olowokere?