I want volunteering to become a lifestyle for young African women – Tobby Lordwiliams
Agusi Tobby Nazaar, fondly known as Gusi Tobby Lordwlliams, is a 21 years old driven young lady, an aspirant to the Nigerian Bar and founder of one of Africa’s fastest growing female volunteering network “Girlhub Africa” . Toby is also a talkshow host, and a professional make up artist. The young serial entrepreneur who is very passionate about creating more opportunities for African women and dedicated to her humanitarian service believe women are a treasure trove of possibilities. In this chat she talks about not being tempted to give up, her eureka moment, why she created her platform and where she sees herself in five years.
My childhood did a whole lot to influence what I do today. In fact I’m a product of the saying “Train a child the way he should grow…”My parents are my NO 1 fans…My mum is a GHAV herself (GIRL HUB AFRICA VOLUNTEER)…They both have always encouraged volunteering to us when we were kids.. My mum will take us during school holidays and after summer lessons, to the hair-dressers shop and tell the hairdressers that we were there to help them for free, I never understood why she did that until i was much more older, but i loved it. Eventually I realized this was done so we could learn the hair making skill. On another holiday she will take us to the tailor, and she kept on taking us to various artisans until she found out our areas of interest, then she encouraged us to carve a niche out of what we have learned and also to help develop our skills…especially at church events, weddings and other programs, my mum will make myself and my sisters help the organizers, we didn’t call it VOLUNTEERING then (Laughs), my sisters’ friends would even call us “Over sabi”, but my mum knew what she was doing. And I thank God I want through all that process. Having all those experiences, now I can bake, make hair, sew cloths, repair a generator (Laughs), make some simple furniture, to mention but a few.
I am a 21 year old Nigerian. The last born of 4 girls from a family of 6. I started volunteering for social clubs back in my school days from my first year, and the impact/advantage it had on my life made me realize that a lot of people especially young ladies needed to engage themselves in several opportunities in other to really find purpose. I am currently the lead volunteer and founder of GIRL HUB AFRICA a professional female Volunteering Network. I love meeting people, reading, teaching, and traveling. I am an addict entrepreneur. On an average day, when I’m not on the move, I’m in my shorts and top, exchanging emails and closing deals. I also spend time praising God and running my other business.
Inspiration Behind Girls Hub Africa
I noticed there is a gap in our society where we preach being our brothers keeper but we don’t teach or encourage it. Our schools and society don’t necessarily provide a structure or avenue neither do they have a curriculum for people to give their time to a cause or movement without monetary reward. Our generation gradually have become self centered unlike previous generations, this days its all about financial gain or celebrity status, we are becoming desensitized, then i realized when we volunteer, that humane side of us grows, we become more humble and value our place in society as someone who can do their little bit which adds to a collective achievement with the objective of a positive influence.
I was also tired of seeing a lot of young ladies after school/NYSC say “My sister work no dey”, Yes I believe things are not so easy in the country, but life itself is not a bed of roses, you have to go out there and create what you want for yourself. There are alot of opportunities out there to engage these youths if only they are willing to be selfless about it. I am glad to say since we started in April this year, we have recorded a 30% increase in employment among our volunteers, because what you do well for free can eventually bring you your fee.
How I feel about my achievements so far…
Graced… its simply a proof that there is more to be done. All these have made me realize that the sky is truly my starting point.
Projects and activities
I do have a lot of projects at the moment, but my pet projects which I have passion for are;
a) The TOUCH ME NOT CAMPAIGN by the AMAZING AMAZON INITIATIVE –
Speaking and counseling children in upper primary schools and secondary schools on the prevalence of rape, domestic violence and child sexual Abuse.
b) The GHAV project – engaging young minds in the act of volunteering, hence our *TEENS WHO VOLUNTEER* campaign,We basically make them understand that they can find purpose early in life as well as give back to their society simply by rendering a selfless service.
That would be seeing my volunteers find purpose and also become successful at any niche they carve for themselves simply because they volunteered.
It brings me so much joy that these opportunities we provide are properly utilized by them.
Where I see my brand in the next five years..
As the Ministry of VOLUNTEERING in Nigeria 😄 (Laughs) Well we do have a plan…
We are currently talking with our partners. Our focus is people development, we haven’t crystallized our strategy but we have the resource to evolve and identify growing trends and building up the relevant skills in our volunteers so that stay relevant.
In 5 years, we intend to have GHAV in all West African countries with a good membership strength of professional volunteers.
On giving up
Have I ever felt like giving up? Not at all, but this is true, I have always loved this and as the day goes by, I want to do even more until VOLUNTEERING becomes a lifestyle for young African women.
Who inspires me
God is my first inspiration, and then my mother. She is a typical example of a virtuous woman. I would also say my GHAV’s (GIRL HUB AFRICA VOLUNTEERS), they inspire me a lot, you need to experience the feeling of seeing ladies unite just to render selfless services in our present day Nigeria. The joy and hard work they put in inspires me alot, now I believe that women are a treasure trove of possibilities. This one itself is so much more than inspirational.
I am a Woman Of Rubies
I am a WORrior because I believe the potential every woman has can be resourceful if given the right opportunities. Personally, I look beyond the ordinary, what every other person will deem impossible is what’s possible to me.
Final words for women
What’s your passion? find it, work and focus on it, you are the best thing to happen in your community, you need to take advantage of every
opportunity so you can shine brighter than you can ever imagine but in doing that, learn to support every woman around you.
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