Rukayat Oyebimpe Jimoh – Impacting the life of the underprivileged woman.
Rukayat Oyebimpe Jimoh: I grew up in a rural area in Ogun state with my aunt and her family of 7. My mum died when I was 9 and my dad worked in the eastern part of the country. My dad usually sent money to my aunt; which she used together with the profits she made from her petty trading to take care of the family. It wasn’t enough, so I had to do different menial jobs to assist the family. I noticed it was the same experience for a lot of people growing up in the same community. There was a cycle of continuous poverty because of limited exposure and resources. After secondary school, my dad had settled in Akure; So I moved back to live with my dad and got admitted in The Federal University of Technology Akure.
My love for fashion designing started at a really young age. My mum had a great influence on my interest for fashion because she was a fashion designer. I started sketching, watching fashion shows and following trends before I was 9. However, when my mum passed away, I took a break till I got into FUTA. I started learning fashion design by volunteering to assist a road side tailor by my house; even though my dad didn’t want me to. I was determined and went against his wishes. After learning for a while, I realised the skill level wasn’t as good as I wanted. When I got into school and started getting my monthly allowance; I saved and paid 40k instalmentally to upscale my skill in a fashion school.
After my training was complete, I now had enough confidence and skill to start my own business. I started (Bimmybrown) in my one room apartment when I was in my 3rd year in the university. After 3 years of operation, I moved into a bigger facility; And also started a fashion institute to train and equip other people with interest in fashion.
Education and business
Schooling, learning a skill and later starting a business wasn’t easy, but I had a clear understanding of my goals. This helped me plan my school activities and fashion designing activities together. I made sure I was friends with the class representative and students who were really serious; so I could get notes when I missed classes; and also get updates of any important class activity. I was able to graduate with a Second class upper (Honours); Which is one of my greatest achievements.
Impact by Bimmybrown
While growing up in Ogun state I noticed early pregnancy was a very common occurrence among teenagers. This resulted in early forced marriages, probably as a result of poverty and a limited exposure. The experience changed my life’s view. It got me interested in wanting to give girls from underprivileged homes the opportunity and skill to achieve more; and also dream big. This birthed IMPACT by Bimmybrown because I believe we are products of the efforts of others.
We must strive to make these little efforts which would in turn make impacts in the lives of people. I believe changing one life can affect many others who would in turn continue shining the light on others.
“Our vision is to help build the Nigerian fashion industry into becoming one of the nation’s largest foreign exchange earners; whilst empowering underprivileged girls from rural communities. Impact by Bimmybrown is a scheme targeted at helping young underprivileged girls gain fashion designing skills, employment and also equip them with tools necessary to start their own businesses on a small scale.”
Currently, most of the funding have been from a percentage of the profit from my business. We have also been able to form partnerships with some reputable NGOs. They help us secure equipments for the beneficiaries after completion of training. We would be able to reach a larger number of people if we have access to more funding. So we are taking it one step at a time.
The aim is to reach and empower 1000 young women (living in the rural areas of Ondo state) in the next 5 years. With the help of partnerships from bigger organisations and NGOs; to give better lives to young women from underprivileged homes.
Rukayat Oyebimpe Jimoh
It is not enough to be optimistic, be determined and have the right mind set to set, seek and comfort. With that you can punch above your weight and win.