Jackie as she is known to friends is a woman of many parts. Passionate, a professional who says her mission is to inspire individuals and organisations to unlock their potentials. In this encounter, she speaks on her life and passion
Jackie is a regional director of Bio Integrity and Natural Foods Awareness Initiative (BINFAI) and coordinator of Beauty to Ashes Health forum. The University of Jos alumnus, attended Zixton Primary School, Ozubulu, Anambra state, Abbott Girls Secondary School and Federal Government Girls College, Owerri.
“My first degree is in Botany. But for my master’s degree, I went for Humanitarian and refugee studies at the University of Lagos. Presently I am running another master’s programme in applied microbiology and plant pathology at the University of Jos.
“It sounds funny that I jumped out into humanitarian and refugees matters for my second degree and back again into my primary field for my third degree. Maybe I should also tell you that I am an Oakseed Executive Leadership course graduate. The truth is I needed to broaden my perspectives.
“I have special passion for the use of herbs to cure human ailments. That is why I established Beauty to Ashes Health forum which now has a membership base of over 5000. It is basically a forum through which we create awareness on the need for people to go for natural remedies.
“We are succeeding, people are becoming aware of the need to go back to natural health nutrition. The challenge we have is with all the pesticides and fertilizers that our foods are being grown with. I don’t want to talk about the genetically modified ones. People are becoming aware of the increase in cancer, diabetes and other similar ailments. “Orthodox medicines manage these ailments, but herbs which is natural, is curative and that is what we are pushing. We have an agency, Nigeria Natural Medicines Development Agency, that agency is almost not doing anything. Part of what we are pushing is for government to empower that agency to do its work properly.”
Concerned about the increase in deaths resulting from these ailments, because of the consumption of foods from genetically modified seeds, Jackie has suddenly become an activist, campaigning against genetically modified seeds in Nigeria.
“The hospitals in this country are not equipped to handle these diseases, even in the villages people now die of cancer. When you look at the rate at which people are dying, you wonder if we have a government at all.
“Monsanto is a US based company that produces genetically modified seeds, recently a court passed judgment against it and asked it to pay $200 million because one of its products is a carcinogen. This is the same company that has been appointed by our National bio safety agency to distribute genetically modified seeds in Nigeria. They are here and have been given permission to give us genetically modified seeds for cotton, maize and cassava. If the Supreme Court in America declared and awarded judgment against this company, why should our government permit them to come here?”
That question remain unanswered, but she is moving on with her campaign for people to return to nature as a way out. She believes in the popular saying ‘let your food be your medicine,’ and she pushes this on all platforms.
“We don’t have issues with hospitals nor with doctors but there are cases they can’t handle properly, studies have shown that the way cancer is being handled is part of what is killing people.”
A pastor as well as a mother of four beautiful girls, Jackie’s advice to the unemployed youths is, “don’t go and start a business, there is a place for service. Joshua didn’t just wake up one morning and become a leader he served under Moses, Elisha served under Elijah. After service year and there is no place for you to work go and do voluntary work. Tell them not to pay you, and when you get there prove yourself.”
Using her case as an example, she said: “I applied to work for Linkserve after my Youth Service, they told me there was no vacancy. I told them to just employ me without pay that all I needed was the training especially on internet usage. I was placed on commission, I was engaged as a marketing officer. I made a little commission on the first month. I wasn’t discouraged, by the fourth month my commission was almost the salary of the managing director.”
A firm believer in mentorship, Jackie says it is wrong to send young children especially boys for apprenticeship that sometimes lasts for 15 years.
According to her, “This is like destroying that child because when he finally leaves his master, he won’t be able to fit in to the contemporary society that’s why you see a lot of them frustrated. The right thing to do is to send them to school. Give them some education first, then if they want to do business or learn a trade, they will do better and they can be mentored by somebody. The rate of illiteracy in this country is so high.
‘I run a fellowship with some of these boys in Utako and I say to myself what are we going to do with a whole generation of illiterate youths? They do agbero in the morning and in the night they do robbery.”
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