Mentoring Women To Be Independent Remains My Priority – Roni Akins

TRAINING

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

When I was 19 and working full time (evenings to midnight) I left Nigeria for the UK. After that I sometimes went back to school to study at the Charted Institute of Banking (CIB). All professional courses were self-financed.

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

CAREER

I started in the UK by going to Italy and the US to buy goods I wanted to sell while still working full time, raising children and starting a home. I will also be traveling to Nigeria for a meeting on a Wednesday and back to London on Sunday and back to work and school on Monday. My husband and children have been very supportive, there have been times when unbeknownst to my husband (that was then though) I have invested all of the family savings into the business, yet I am not paid for the work I do Nigeria have done. So I am constantly praying for the organizations that supported me in Nigeria. They were the ones who kept me going when others went out of their way to frustrate me out of business.

I previously completed Intellectual Capacity Act 1995(1) training, POVA training, dementia training, drug and alcohol training, caregiver initial training, extended needs training, risk and support plans, telecare assessor and equipment training, Chubb installation training, occupational boundaries , Manager Appraisal Training, Interviewing Skills, Training the Trainer Course, Abuse Protection (Children, Vulnerable Adult Protection, Customer Service Training, Dealing with Aggressive Customers, Equal Opportunity Training, Computer Training Center (CTC) – NVQ Level 11 in Administration .

Software Testing – Mercury Interactive. Prince Computer Training Center – Year 2000 Compliance Training

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

  • GDPR Foundation and practitioners,

LTSC – Communications 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 training courses are in 2017 Training (CPD certified), Enfield Council Freedom of Information Course Enfield Council Information Security Training Course, Interactive Risk Assessment, Interactive Fire Protection, Health and Safety, we are all responsible for video, management and other effective coping absence, Public Speaking, Human Resources Information Security Policy, Universal Credit (Online Resources), Lone Work (Employee) Interactive, Bomb Evacuation Interactive – Standard, Asbestos Awareness Interactive, Stress Management (Employee) Interactive, Stress Management (Manager) 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 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 all of these inspired me that you can be whatever you want to be.

I run a leading consultancy, Ronix Consult, with roots in Nigeria and the UK. My firm recently published its first book entitled; “Mining Exploration in Nigeria: How to Invest in the Mining Sector in Nigeria. The book in question is a compendium of everything about mining in Nigeria. The book offers a new perspective on mining investments in Nigeria from an investor’s perspective. It provides a comprehensive overview of the wide range of mineral resources available in Nigeria, where they are located and how interested stakeholders can proceed.

I am also Chief Executive Officer of Global Women Network, a UK-based NGO with roots in Nigeria. The network is currently organizing a seminar to coincide with the launch of its ICT-related courses for the benefit of a select few participants. After completing one of the training courses offered by our organization, successful participants are supported and mentored in starting a business until they can stand on their own two feet.

CHALLENGES

One of my biggest challenges right now is doing business in Nigeria. I look forward to when we experience a favorable environment and get paid after a service has been smoothly provided.

That’s not to say that all transactions go badly, but the majority do. I want to say a big thank you to our partners who have supported us over the years and still count. I’m meeting some great people now.

I’ve been way too trusting and that’s cost me a lot of money in the past. I was working on a gentleman’s agreement, but after 10 years I quickly realized that Nigeria doesn’t work that way (you have to keep your eyes lit).

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

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

Work-life balance

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

It is very difficult to combine family with international business. I haven’t been able to fully devote myself to my business in Nigeria until now, since all the children are grown up. I can only give glory to God Almighty that my family is intact and that I have been able to continue the business since 2005, that can only be with God’s help and a supportive husband and family.

I love spending time with my family, going on girls trips or trips (especially spa treatments), going to the gym; but since COVID-19 I signed up for Peleton. I also love dancing. I love helping people because it brings me joy, hence the founding of the Women’s Foundation. I don’t like it when vulnerable people are scammed, especially by authorities or carers.

We are currently setting up in the UK and Nigeria. Eventually we would like to set up ICT training centers across Nigeria and let Nigerian women run the foundation to be able to achieve their life goal.

ADVICE FOR FELLOW WOMEN

You need to find your passion and start working on it, even if you’re part-time, until it builds. If you have to keep working until it happens, just make sure you work on it at least daily, even if just for an hour. Nobody cares about your passion but you. Shower it with prayers and ask God for guidance.

LIFE IN BRIEF

Roni Akins worked as a Microsoft Certified System Engineer in IT for over ten years but when she started having children she ventured into the real estate industry and upon her return from the US – Atlanta – set up a real estate agency in the UK.

In 2005 her mentor advised her to start doing business in Nigeria, that was in 2005. Following her advice, they started a real estate agency and media company called Global Homes Magazine and thought things would move since Nigeria home is, they soon realized that Nigeria was so difficult to navigate and it took them over a decade to start creating a brand.

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