Our entrepreneur of this week is, Linda Ifeyinwa Kenubia, CEO, Kelinda Events, a passionate decorator, make-up artist, baker and rental of bridal gowns. In this interview with Judith Atorough, she revealed her motivations, experience, aspirations and challenges as a decorator and make-up artist. She also spoke on causes of illegal migration.
Can we meet you Ma?
My name is Mrs. Linda Ifeyinwa Kenubia, the CEO of Kelinda Events. I hail from Ekuku-Agbor in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta Nigeria. I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bio-Chemistry from Delta state University, Abraka. I graduated in 2009.
What does your business,CEO, Kelinda Events entails?
We are into decoration of events, make ups, baked cakes, canopy renter of bridal gowns, and also into training of young entrepreneurs who wish to venture into these lines of business.
You studied Bio-chemistry, so why did you venture into this line of business?
I went into this line of business because of the desire I have for decorations and again I went into it while I was awaiting my National Youth Services call.
What motivated you to venture in this business?
I got motivated for this job because of its beauty. when I saw what the person who handled my wedding decoration did, I was so impressed and told myself that I wanted to learn this Job. So after I graduated and was awaiting service I went into it.
So how long have you been in this business?
I have been in the business for eleven year now. I started it when I graduated in 2009 and was awaiting my call for National Youth Service. But back then it was a small scale business. I was trained by Good Luck Rentals.
Why did you choose to do this business in Agbor?
I chose here because I am married, my husband works here and he and his entire family reside here. So it won’t be wise for a married woman to leave her family, that is, my husband and children to go for business elsewhere.
Does Kelinda Events have particular clients?
Yea, I work for Igumbor family, Dr. (Mrs) Efedi and the family of Dugbere. These families sometimes recommend me to other families. I work for the entire members of St. Joseph Catholic Church because I worship there. I also work for some members of staff of College of Education Agbor through my husband Mr. Kenubia Emmanuel who works in the Department pf Educational Technology. So, through him I handle any occasion that has to do with decoration or cake baking.
What has kept Kelinda Events going?
The patronage of my clients has actually kept me going and also my passion for what I do has really contributed to it. SEE ALSO:I BUILT MY HOUSE WITH VULCANISING BUSINESS – Isede
Are your services satisfactory to your Clients?
Yea, very satisfactory, I said satisfactory because almost every client I work for always ends up recommending me to somebody else for my services.
So do you think you stand out among others in town?
Yea, I stand out but, there are few other persons who are also into this line of business. I can say we are of same rank because the way they do their job is how I do mine too.
You said you are also into training? How many persons have you trained?
So far I have trained twenty-four persons
Have they started operating on their own?
Just very few have started. The thing there is that majority of my students were secondary school graduates who were awaiting admission into the tertiary institutions. Some were awaiting result from JAMB, while some were still Secondary school Students who were on vacation. So, after resumption of schools they couldn’t continue hence they could not graduate.
What were your initial challenges in this business.
Initially the business was on a small scale because I had no materials for decoration. One thing was that my boss was always helping me out with material to go and work after which I would pay for the materials and other charges. Then from what I was getting gradually, I started buying my own materials. One other challenge I faced during that period was that I became pregnant. Coping with the situation, work and family was very challenging .
What are your current challenges?
Compared to that period, I can say that challenges are not much. But the more you advance the more you desire to do more. What I would say is a challenge is that the desire for expansion.
Now can you say you are equal to any kind of decoration?
Right now I am equal to any kind of decoration, in decoration the most difficult is roofing of halls and decorations of walls. Fortunate, that is my field of specialization in decoration.
How are your wedding gowns delivered?
It all depends on what a client wants. Some request the dress and make them up. In this case we go in the morning on the day of the wedding, some just the gown so, we give it to them on Thursdays or Fridays. Again some brides come and size their gowns to get fitted ones, while some send in their sizes. But we prefer them coming to make choice of what they want.
Who are your role models?
My boss, The M/D Good Luck rentals is one person I so much admire and wish to become like one day. Also Courtesy Cakes, directly opposite Crunches; she taught me how to bake. She is also one of my role models. She travels abroad from time to time to get up graded, so when she returns she organizes classes for some of us to acquire more knowledge on baking.
How many employees does Kelinda Events has?
Currently I have five
Is the business lucrative?
The business is very lucrative, especially when you know your job very well. Personally, I take my time to do this job and do it with passion, I can even say that is why I get recommendations.
Where do you see your business in the next five year?
In the next five years, I see my business expanding in a grand style where I will own a hall where visitors walk in with their hand bags and issue cheques for Kelinda Events to take charge of their events.
How do you combine family and Kelinda Events?
Family, I don’t make any mistake about it in my life, God comes first, family second and business comes last. And I also don’t forget that business must go on.
What do you do at leisure?
I am a very religious person, a Catholic and also a Choir mistress. So at leisure, I pray and learn new songs to teach my choir.
What advice do you have for unemployed persons?
I have been advising the unemployed from time to time most especially through the church medium to desist from this idea of white collar jobs. Some of them actually feel that with their qualifications they just can’t take any job. So drop this idea of qualification and start something meaningful for a better future.
What advice do you have for the general public?
Everybody should strive hard to achieve, it must not be what pays immediately. Just know that there is more to it in future.
What have you been able to achieve through Kelinda Events ?
A lot, I say a lot because I said earlier that I started on a small scale but as time went by I started progressing gradually. I started as a decorator, then the need for cakes came. I learnt how to bake cakes, wedding gowns came in and then I bought make up kits. All of these were achieved with the monies realized from decoration.
Recently, the country has been facing a lot of vices such as kidnapping, herdsmen menace, ritual killings human trafficking, illegal migration, etc.
So what can you say about illegal migration?
Most of our youth do not know what they should venture into and majority of them are graduates. The idea of being graduates has beclouded their sense of reasoning and they feel the jobs are out there than here in Nigeria. I want them to bear in mind that our Nigeria of today does not depend on qualification but on what one can do.
The white man who brought education did not make it known that after education, it is employment. But rather it serves as an eye opener and exposes us to the world so that we understand the different dimensions the world will turn into.
The idea of illegal migration must stop as it has caused many Nigerian homes pains as most of this youths die at sea, deserts and on the way before arriving at their destinations. Yet other mothers are still instigating their children to embark on such suicide missions. You can learn any skills here in Nigeria and can make it irrespective of your educational qualification.
What advice do you have for mothers instigating their children to embark on such mission?
They should stop instigating their children to go and die for the sake of seeking greener pastures. If these youths are not doing very well today it does not mean they will remain where they are forever.
Mothers should pray for their children to make it. St. Monica in the Bible prayed for her son Augustine for twenty years. Eventually, God answered her, and her son turned a new leaf and became a saint.
So, mothers should not be tired of praying for their children. There is no impossibility that God cannot make possible.
Kelinda Events is at located at No 10 Odeh Street, Agbor and can be contacted 08063363799.