Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Extraordinary Nigerian Woman; Tokunbo Laotan-Brown

I want to introduce you to a truly extraordinary Nigerian woman; simple but deep.
Her name is Tokunbo Laotan-Brown but her friends call her Tokie.
She holds a diploma in Human Rights Law -following her desire to study law while growing up but somewhere along the line, the entrepreneurial bug bit her and she decided to open a bridal shop with a friend.  
While working on the project, she had to work on the interiors of the shop. The finished work was so brilliant; it was nominated for its interiors at the Image awards in Galway, Ireland in 2007.
She then decided to go back to college to study Architecture.

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Wonder Woman Tokie then bagged a degree in Architectural Technology and Sustainable Construction and a Masters in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Center for Alternative Technology in Wales. She is now working on a PhD joint program in “Economics and Techniques for the Conservation of the Architectural and Environmental Heritage with a focus on Africa at the University of Nova Gorica and Universit√† Iuav di Venezia, Italy. #Bigtinzzz
If you haven’t figured out what she does for a living then let me spell it out for you…she is an Environmental Architectural Technologist working all over the world in Architectural offices as a consultant on sites; analysing the environmental impacts of these sites. Her company “Merging Ecologies” also curates and documents old buildings and how they can be preserved as well as maintained in their original state.
The 30 something year old is also the author of the Book, ‘10 Steps to Managing your Household Budget’.  Hear her: “As a busy professional woman, wife and mother, I am all too aware of what it takes to make every penny count.  By using my own experiences and undertaking research, I was able to compile this easy to read 10 Step guide to household money management”.
The lover of buildings still runs that bridal business; ‘House of Creations’ with a friend. They specialize in Wedding favours, Bridal clothes and accessories. No surprise she also runs a realtor and property management business, called Riblan LLC based in the States with her Father and little brother.
You will agree with me that with a profile like hers she can only but mentor young black women aspiring to become entrepreneurs in their fields and break grounds in the Modelling industry. She does this on the platform of the (Miss Ebony Ireland, Pageant).
Tokie steals my heart because she is so hardworking and busy but still finds time to bond with her 3 girls (twins inclusive) and her husband who is on dialysis. This must have played a role in her decision to volunteer at her local dialysis unit anytime she is on holidays from work or college. She also works with a friend on a charity helping women prevent/treat cervical cancer in Gwarimpa village, Abuja, Nigeria.
Perhaps all this time spent around helping the sick makes Tokie feel that if she had another chance at choosing a career she would have loved to become a Scientist. She says she loves the Lab coats!...Lol!
For her inspirational words to the rest of us women trying to find our feet in the ordinary before we move to the extra ordinary, she says…
  • Find a supportive role model either male or female.
  • If you do not succeed the first time, try again. Never give up hope, it will eventually happen
  • Do not limit yourself to just one thing; be open to new ideas always.  
  • Success should not be judged in monetary terms but in the satisfaction derived from it.
Concerning motherhood and caring for my husband, there were days that things did not go according to plan but with a strong family and friends support base, major things were possible. I will not change a thing! I am grateful for life’s lessons.
Now dear friend reading this amazing story, what did you say is your excuse for not pursuing your dreams or making a difference in the world again? Tokie more grace to you, more power to you and more help to you.
We celebrate you oh Extraordinary Nigerian Woman!

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