Chinonso Attansey is into the production and packaging of simple Nkwobi sauce, simple pepper soup Spice and Zobo. “I also cater for events and parties, both delivery and catering. I do individual deliveries of Nkwobi, Isiewu, pepper soup and Zobo to any location. And from 9 – 5, I work as a Sales Representative with Pemjolad Paints company.”
Talking about walking on this career path, she says, “I am not following my career path. I studied microbiology in school but I work as a marketer in a paint company. And I found I love marketing too. Initially, I joined the race in search of a job; some interviews I attended, while some did not call or invite me for one.”
“ Finally, I found out that most companies wanted more marketers, so I decided to be a marketer for the company where I presently work for. I couldn’t continue to wait for when a laboratory job would eventually come.”
“As for being the pioneer of simple Nkwobi sauce and other products along side, I proffered solution to a big problem when I came up with the idea of packaging the sauce for easy use. My parents run a restaurant business where they sell Nkwobi and Isiewu for more than 36years now.”
“I found out a lot of people come to ask my parents to give them some of the sauce used in preparing these dishes. Some go as far as paying for it. I got the idea to package this sauce. Many homes need it for easy use. And since then, I have not looked back.”
She faces different challenges pertaining to her 9 – 5 and her personal job. “As a marketer, I face so many rejections and failed promises. But that doesn’t stop me or deter me. And of course, advances from the male clients. This is the cause of so many failed promises because I did not accept their offer. Also, the product I am marketing is a new product and a lot of people are not open to accepting new products yet.”
“The challenges I face as per simple Nkwobi sauce include finances to buy the appropriate machinery for a better and smooth production. I have challenges with storage. Because I don’t have enough space in my freezer, I do production almost thrice in a week. This is something I can achieve once a week if I have a better storage like cold room.”
“ I manually seal all my products. Although, I am saving up some money to buy stirrer and other important tools that will make production and packaging easy for me. So between production and packaging, there are a whole lot of challenges, but I find a way around it and get it done and seal using gas cooker.”
Chinonso draws inspiration from her parents. “I want to take their business a step higher. The world needs to know this special sauce that is saving homes now and making life easier.”
The Nkwobi expert started to believe in her dream when she first launched her sauce at a fair in June 2017. “I wanted to see how people will accept this new product that has never been sold before. I went with fear and anxiety. I produced almost 200 bottles of the sauce. Even my mom was scared, she thought the product was not going to sell or even finish. But God surprised me that day. A lot of people came to my stand, curious about this new product and I sold out because they have found a solution to their problems. Yes, most people don’t know how to make this sauce, and most men go out to eat this food, thereby spending so much on these local dishes. Since then, I believed in myself and believed I could do it.”
Now, she is looking to take advantage of available grant opportunities. “I really need it. I want to be able to send my products out of the country. Trust me, our people need it over there. I wish it would be in their African stores so that they can have it in their homes. I want to take advantage of collaborations. Though, some are ongoing, to have our products in USA, and the UK.”
“Youth Empowerment should be focused mainly on skills and acquisitions,” Chinonso believes. “The youths should be encouraged to start up something no matter how small. They should fuel their passion and turn it into money.
“The youth should be given incentives, grants or loans to enable them achieve their dreams. And I also think that schools should begin from primary school through higher institution to teach them these skills, so that they find their path early in life and work towards it early.”
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