Mentoring women to be independent remains my priority – Roni Akins

EDUCATION

I attended Mary Wood Primary School and Mary Wood Secondary School, Franklin Road in Lagos.

I left Nigeria for the UK when I was 19 working full time (evenings until midnight). After sometime I went back to school to study at the Chartered Institute of Banking (CIB). All professional courses were self-financed.

After completing my studies I started working at the Royal Courts of Justice and worked there for over seven years before taking a vocational course in ICT and am now qualified as a Microsoft Systems Engineer certified, (MSCE) Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) and later became a Microsoft Solution Provider (MSP).

CAREER

I started in the UK going to Italy and the US to buy goods to sell whilst working full time raising children and raising a home. I will also travel to Nigeria on a Wednesday for a meeting and return to London on Sunday and return to work on Monday and continue school runs. My husband and kids have been very supportive of me, there were times when I invested all the family savings into the business without my husband knowing (that was then though), I will still not be paid for the work I did in Nigeria. This is why I constantly pray for the organizations that supported me in Nigeria. They were the ones who kept me going when others were all there to frustrate me.

Previously I have completed Mental Capacity Act 1995 (1) training, POVA training, Dementia training, Drug and alcohol training, Care first training, Advanced Needs Training, Risk and Support Plans, Assessor and Telecare Equipment Training, Chubb Installation Training, Professional Boundaries, Manager Assessment Training, maintenance, Train the trainer, Protection against abuse (children, protection of vulnerable adults, training in customer service., how to deal with aggressive customers, training in equal opportunities., computer training center (CTC) – NVQ level 11 in administration.

software testing – Mercury Interactive. Prince Computer Training Center – Y2K Compliance Training

ICT qualifications: MCSE/ MCDBA/ MCSP, APMG- International Change Management Practitioner

  • GDPR- foundation and practitioner,

LTSC – Communication Training Course, Pitman’s Typing – 1st Class Pass

5 GCE O/Levels, Microsoft training – MCP, MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator)

My current trainings are in Training 2017 (CPD Certified), Enfield Council Freedom of Information Course Enfield Council Information Security Training Course, Risk Assessment Interactive, Fire Safety Interactive, Health and Safety, we are all responsible for video, management, others dealing effectively with absence, public speaking, personnel information security policy, universal credit (online resources), lone work (employees) interactive, bomb evacuation interactive-standard, asbestos awareness interactive, stress management (employees) interactive, stress management (managers) interactive, Legionella video, Slips, trips and falls video, DSE Interactive, COSHH Interactive, Office Safety Interactive, Working at Height Interactive, Driving Safety Video and in Introduction Safety Interactive

I have attended many seminars and read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Assignment, The Secret of the Millionaire Mindset, Think and Grow Rich to name a few and it all inspired me that you can be whatever you want to be.

I run a leading consultancy firm, Ronix Consult, with roots in Nigeria and the UK. It was only recently that my company launched its first subtitled book; “Mineral Exploration in Nigeria: How to Invest in Mining in Nigeria. The book in question is a compendium of everything related to mining in Nigeria. An Investor’s View It provides a comprehensive view of the wide range of mineral resources available in Nigeria, where they are and how interested stakeholders can go about them.

I am also the Managing Director of Global Women Network, a UK-based non-governmental organization with roots in Nigeria. Currently, the network is holding a seminar to coincide with the launch of its information and communication technology related courses for the benefit of some selected participants. Upon completion of one of the trainings offered by our organization, successful participants will be supported in setting up a business venture and mentored until they can fend for themselves.

CHALLENGES

One of my biggest challenges right now is doing business in Nigeria. I look forward to the time when we experience a conducive environment and get paid after a service has been delivered without a hitch.

That’s not to say that all trades go wrong, but the majority do. I would like to say a very big thank you to our partners who have supported us over the years and who continue to count. I now meet great people.

I was overconfident and it cost me a lot of money in the past. I was operating on a gentleman’s agreement but soon realized 10 years later that Nigeria didn’t work like that (you have to shine your eye).

It’s important to note that while we were building our brand we encountered the good, the bad and the very ugly, but the good quickly overshadowed the bad and we met some great people who supported us and have now become a family.

I found it difficult when dealing with women at that time. I don’t know why but things are changing now and it was the bad experience I had that made me start a foundation for women because I believe in empowering people. And once you meet the right people, great things happen.

FAMILY AND CAREER BALANCE

I have been married for over 30 years to a loving, supportive and caring husband. We are lucky to have three children and a granddaughter.

It is very difficult to reconcile family and international affairs. I could not fully commit to my business in Nigeria until all the children were adults. I can only give Almighty God all the glory for my family to be intact and continue to carry on the business since 2005 can only be with the help of God and a supportive husband and family.

I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling or going out with the girls (especially spa treatments), going to the gym; but since COVID-19 I signed up for peleton. I also like dancing. I love helping people because it brings joy to my heart hence the creation of the women’s foundation. I don’t like it when vulnerable people are cheated, especially by the authorities or caregivers.

We are currently expanding into the UK and Nigeria. We would like to eventually have ICT training centers set up across Nigeria and have Nigerian women leading the foundation so that we can achieve their life’s ambition.

ADVICE FOR WOMEN

You have to find your passion and start working on it, even part-time, until it grows. If you must keep working until it materializes, be sure to work on it at least daily, even if it’s just for an hour. No one cares about your passion but you. Shower it with prayers and ask God for guidance.

LIFE IN BRIEF

Roni Akins worked in IT for over ten years as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, but when she started having children she ventured into real estate and later started a real estate agency in United Kingdom after returning from the United States – Atlanta.

In 2005, her mentor informed her that she had started considering doing business in Nigeria in 2005. Following her advice, they set up a real estate agency and media outlet called Global Homes Magazine and thought things would start to pick up. move because Nigeria is home, they soon realized that Nigeria was so difficult to navigate and it took them over a decade to start building a brand.

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