Amazon
MRS CONSTANCE NKIRUKA OTABOR OSAFILE

MRS CONSTANCE NKIRUKA OTABOR OSAFILE. - CEO COSSY CAKES

"Talent can only give you the opportunity to shine and get recognition among your peers. But it cannot pave the way for success. Talent without character is an effort to nowhere" - Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

When it comes to achieving great success, it is rarely a smooth ride. But some people in particular had to face great adversity and succeeded to get to the very top against all the odds.

It is important to always be reminded of these stories and to know that whether you are at the bottom of the ladder or over the hill. It is never impossible or too late to achieve greatness.

It is one thing to build a thriving business with the accumulated wealth of a previously successful business but nothing is more inspiring than seeing someone succeeding without any capital, funding, and sometimes even education or experience. These are the people who dared to dream, hustle, and succeed. These are the people who went on to become heroes from a complete no-one. These are the people who started from nothing and went on to become true success stories. These are the real Entrepreneurs. These are people like our own Constance who dared to dream. She dared to hustle. And she is succeeding. When most youth from Ika land are leaving in droves in search of greener pasture elsewhere because of their notion that there are limited economic opportunities for them. Our own Constance is living beyond the limitations of her immediate environment. Where others see problems and challenges, she is seeing opportunities and solutions. While others like Ducks - Quacks! She just like an Eagle - Soars! Soaring beyond her limits!

From the beginning:

Constance Nkiruka Otabor was born into the family of Mr and Mrs Johnson Andrew Otabor in Ewuru, Ika South Local government Area of Delta State.

The father, a civil servant who works and retired from the Urban Water Board Services of Delta State. A strict disciplinarian. Who places high premium on education and an ardent believer in " sparing the rod and spoiling the child " The mother, Mrs Veronica Otabor from Ibusa Delta state. A housewife and a business woman who then manages 'Funk time joint' at the College of Education, Agbor. The family is blessed with 5 children - three girls and two boys. Constance is the fourth child. It was a close knitted family where their father was the 'Chief Priest' and enforcer of discipline. While their mother always act as the stabilizing force.

Her Primary School Education: She did her primary school at the Holy Infant Nursery and Primary School, Agbor. From 1988 to 1994.

Her Secondary Education: She did her Secondary School at the prestigious Marymount College, Agbor in 1994 to 2000.

At least, she and her other siblings enjoyed the privileges of been driven to school by their father in his old Volkswagen 'tortoise car'. Their movements has always been triangular movements: from house to school back to shop, then backs to the house or church.

IAS: What was your first career choice?

Constance: "Originally, it was Nursing. But you know in those days....hmmm...laughs...( Man proposed, WAEC disposed) ...I was unable to make all my papers to enabled me to gain admission into the School of Nursing"

Her ever dependable father encourage her to seek for admission at the College of Education, Agbor while she enrolled for another Waec. This was how she found herself in the College of Education, Agbor in 2001. She eventually graduated in 2004 with Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) in the department of Biology/ Chemistry.

In 2005, she gained admission into the University of Benin for her degree programme. She graduated in 2008 with B.Ed(Biology). National Youth Service Corp (NYSC): She did her mandatory NYSC in Kogi State. She was the CLO in the entire Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area. It was here that she horned her communications and leadership skills.

IAS: What was your duties as the CLO?

Constance: " As Corpers Liaison Officer ( CLO), I was the middleman (woman) between NYSC officials and the corpers. My job then was basically, to work with the NYSC officials to ensure that the Corp members pass through the scheme successfully. Other duties includes:

  1. Coordination of CD group/ activities and reporting to the LGI( local government inspector) on such matters.
  2. Organization of corp members to ensure that they are doing as expected at all times.
  3. Involvement in final clearance.
  4. Assisting in CD days attendance register.
  5. Attending to issues brought forth by the corp members.
  6. And any other jobs assigned by the LGI/ NYSC officials.

IAS: Wow that must be an enormous job?

Constance: " Yes ooo...smiles. But very interesting jobs" She distinguished herself creditably well in her duties as a CLO until she was discharged in June 2010. She moved straight to Lagos for job hunting. Providence has another plan! She attended a wedding ceremony with her elder sister in Lagos and there were served the wedding cake. The cake tastes so nice better than her usual 'Fun time' taste. She was like 'wow' there must be a magic behind this beautiful cake design. At the end of wedding ceremony, she approached the cake designer (De Prestige Confectioneries) and the lady obliged her to start an apprenticeship. Boom!

Her professional cake career journey started from there. Midway into her training, her Dad fell very sick. That was how she relocated back to Agbor to help her Mom to take care of her ailing Dad. To keep herself busy, she started taking small orders from neighbours for their birthday and wedding cakes. Satisfied customers started testifying that her cake taste different and better. More orders started coming!

In 2014, she enrolled herself at Kristam Cakes , Warri Delta state for a Diploma in Cake decorating. In 2016, she took a one - week refresher course in Lizzie's Cake N Crafts. She has undergone several workshops and seminars both in Nigeria and Overseas.

Presently, Constance is the CEO of Cossy Cakes located at 192 Old Lagos Asaba Road, Opposite Crunches Eatery, Agbor. The proprietor of Cossy Cakes Academy. She is happily married.

She is a devout Catholic. A multidisciplinary woman. She is a (an):

  • Certified baker
  • Sugar crafter
  • Cake artist
  • Teacher
  • Entrepreneur.

IAS: What are those key points that has propelled your entrepreneurial success?

Constance: "Actually there are many but let me give you just few points"

  1. Passion: Have passion for anything your are doing. Don't let anyone to dictate for you.
  2. Curiosity: Always try something new. Visit the internet. Attends training and seminars.
  3. Self confidence: Always have confidence in your self and be ready to promote your business.
  4. Time management: Learn to plan for your activities and allocate time to each of them.
  5. Communication: Always try to get feedbacks from your clients. Communication with your team, make them understand your goals, if possible get suggestions from them.
  6. Never give up: In life and in business, there are ups and downs. But never give up!

Her Role Model:

Mrs Christy Ofume Amarasa. The CEO of Kristam Cakes.

Awards:

  • ln 2016,she represented team Delta state in the live challenge wedding cake inter state competition ln the Nigeria Cake Expo(lCES Event)emerging winners.
  • ln 2017,she and her team also took the first position also in the Advanced Wedding Cake Live Competition at the Delta state ICES Big Day of Sharing.
  • Winner, National Baking Competition, The Master Baker 2018. Proudly sponsored by Acabado Nigeria.
  • Frangela ICE Entertainment Awards 2018.
  • International Cake Exploration Societe, Delta state chapter: An Award of Appreciation 2019.

People of the world, join me to celebrate this Amazon from Ika Nation. A gifted entrepreneur. An emerging leader. A youth advocate. A role model. A trailblazer and an award winning certified baker.

IAS: What is your "Nextlevel"?

Constance: " to keep on working on myself so that I will not remain in one place " Amazon Constance Nkiruka Otabor Osafile, congratulations on your induction into the Ika Amazon Hall of Fame 2019. Folorunso Alikija should watch her backs because Cossy Cakes is coming!

© Ewere Okonta