Ruth Yemisi Umahi, also known as Kekisco/ yemisibiggs is a passionate/ creative cake baker with a goal to revolutionize the art of cake baking in Nigeria.
Talking about how she started, she says, “After my first degree, I was opportune to be with the right set of people that advised me on my choice of career path. I started off by writing a couple of ISO certification exams relevant to my degree program and went further to obtain a master degree in environment Health and safety at the University of Sunderland, UK.”
“Let’s just say in one word that I was ready for the labour market. So, I came back to Nigeria and after my NYSC program in 2015, I experienced a rude shock, all the career limitation came into play, recession, company downsizing, several companies packed up all owing to the oil price drop. Thinking out of this box of many unpleasant scenes became the only option available.”
“Then came the idea from my husband who noticed I loved cakes and could bake nice cakes (not to a commercial scale though) and felt it won’t be bad if I started off with cake baking; not as a full-time job. At first that was a big No-No for me as I felt too qualified for that sort of job. Also, each time I serve visitors from my home-made cakes, there is this special compliment I get that my cakes are unique compared with those sold around. So, I saw a need for unique cakes but at the time I didn’t have the will to get started.”
“I started praying and researching until with baby steps, I summoned the inner strength and courage to start. And this for me is the biggest challenge I see today for a lot of folks which is the lack of inner strength to start. Then again I found peace doing this because it’s what I love doing, not what I am compelled to do as is the case of a clear majority. So, the question of what people’s perception were or rather would be with regards to my numerous qualification became less important as I focused more on giving back the best to cake lovers which I found were all around me.”
“Again, because I connected completely with this value adding journey, I began seeing lots of connectivity with what I studied in school and cake baking.”
On her challenges, she has this to say, “First, I had a lot of likeminded folks around me who helped reduce the challenges I encountered. As already mentioned, the biggest challenge for me was to change my mindset from trying to fulfil what people’s expectations were for me in terms of living my dream versus living theirs. I realized, after beating myself up, that what people would think or say about your chosen career path won’t put food on your table.”
God’s Word in the Bible gives her the inspiration she needs.
A project that boosted her confidence in herself was speaking to young minds. “There are a whole lot of them. But the one that stands out for me was an invitation I got from my campus church; Deeper Life Campus Fellowship as a guest speaker to speak to young minds on two occasions about my journey into entrepreneurship. I never thought I would be doing that after such a short time into my baking business and that for me gave me the needed boast to believe more in myself and what the future holds.”
Moving forward, “I’m really very open to having a rich network online where I train and or reach out to prospective clients. I’m also open to health and safety consultations and where necessary take up a role within an organization in a HSE capacity.”
She opines that youth empowerment is a basic and essential tool for any nation thinking about their future. “It should be the front burner agenda for any government. Only then can a nation be said to be making progress. So, first, to empower the youth, the government of the day needs to enshrine into the Nigerian constitution the mandate and clear road map for youth empowerment.”
“Next, I would say that there would be the need to disabuse the mindset of the youths who think empowerment is all about money with very rigorous awareness, campaigns, workshops and the likes. Another aspect I think the youth would need empowerment is in the reorientation of their minds into participation in the leadership and political space of Nigeria.”
Reach her on
Facebook: kekisco cakes
Instagram : kekisco_cakes.