“It is impossible to live without failing, Unless you live so cautiously That you haven’t lived at all” - J K Rowling.

Failure is not the alternative to success. It is something to be avoided, but it is also only a temporary setback on a bigger, more significant course. Everybody encounters failure at one point or the other. What truly matter is how you react to and learn from that failure.

Take the story of our today’s Amazon (Chief Mrs. Alice Efoma Nwaebo) in spite of all the challenges in the Banking sector, her story ends in massive success. She is a perfect example of why failure should never stop you from following your vision.

TAKE CHARGE. Leadership is all the rage these days. Everyone is a CEO of a one-person company. That is not it. You are not a leader until people follow you. I mean real people in a real business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn followers do not always count. Besides, a tittle does not make you a leader. Leaders are people who others follow, period.

So, what does it take to get people to follow you?

Think about it. You have to get out in front. Take the initiative, come up with an idea, a direction, a goal. Then lead the charge to achieve it. Stick your neck out, make things happen, get things done, deliver real measurable results, and hold yourself accountable. If you do that the powers that be will give you responsibility. And others will follow.

If you want to go places, you cannot play it safe. You just got to challenge yourself. Take risks. Get out and about. Meet people – real people in real time.

This is supposed to be the Entrepreneurial generation. Funny thing is, if you spend all you time with your eyes glued to a display, that is not different from being stuck behind a desk in a cubicle. If you spend your life online, you are not an Entrepreneur.

Now you are on your way to becoming a real – life success story. Have a safe trip. Do not forget to tell somebody your story! Do not forget to tell us your story! Do not forget to write it down! As our today’s Amazon is telling us her story and we are writing it down!

IAS: May we meet you, Madam?

Today’s Amazon: I’m Chief Mrs. Alice Efoma Nwaebo from Owa Alero in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State. I was born into the family of late Mr. and Mrs. Onyekpomnwanne. Though I was barely six years old when I lost my father and there was no picture of him in our house or anywhere around us. Sometimes my Mom or any of my Uncles will say your father looks like this or like that man. That was the only mental picture I had of my father.

My Mom told me that 9 of her children died at infancy. I was the last of the only 3 surviving all female children. My Mom was a peasant farmer and a petty trader who traded on Uden Akun, Uden Ori, Agidi, Ukpor Oka, tobacco, Fufu (Akpu) etc.

IAS: How was your growing up like?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: It was tough. Just like every other village child then, you must go to farm before and after School period. On every market day, I did sell dried pepper, salt, Okro, kerosene, etc. On so many occasions, we did trek from Owa Alero to Owanta Aliosimi River to fetch water. Sometimes I rode my Bicycle to Ekuku Agbor market to buy goods that I would sell at our market.

IAS: Which Primary School did you attend?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: I attended Council Primary School, Owa Alero from 1958 – 1964.

IAS: Which Secondary School did you attend?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: I attended Owa Alero Secondary Model School, Owa Alero from 1965 – 1967. Before the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War.

IAS: Would you mind sharing your Civil War experiences with us?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: What I experienced during the Nigerian Civil War is not a good experience to be shared, Mr Ewere Okonta. I pray that Nigerians should never go through that dark period in our history again.

IAS: When you graduated from the Secondary Model School, what happened again?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: Immediately I graduated from the Model School, I enrolled with the Young Women Christian Association Centre, Agbor (YWCA). It was a skill and vocational training Centre, where I learnt fashion and designing/Embroidery, cake baking, soap making and culinary skills. When I graduated from the Centre in 1969, I was fully equipped to face the world.

IAS: Tell us about your work experience as a Seamstress

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: Wow! I worked as a Seamstress professionally for a period of 5 good years (1969 -1974). My fashion home then at Ute Okpu/Owa Alero Road was beehives of activities. I was on top of my games, I had about 11 girls (apprentices) training under my workshop. Life was good.

IAS: Let’s come back to your Tertiary Educational background Chief Mrs. Nwaebo:

  1. Austin Community College, Austin, Texas. (Diploma) 1977
  2. Texas Southern University, Houston Texas. (Degree in Banking and Finance) 1981
  3. American Institute of Banking (AIB) 1981
  4. University of Benin, Benin City (MSc Banking and Finance) 1999

IAS: From a “Village Tailor” to a World Class Banker, what happened?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: I don’t know what you mean by a “Village Tailor” …laughs. It was all by the grace of God. When I joined my husband in the United States of America in 1975, I was employed by Austin Community Bank in 1976 and that was the beginning of my journey into the world of Banking. From there to the National Park Macgregor Bank, Houston, Texas. I did my National Youth Service (NYSC) with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Benin City from 1981-1982. I joined the services of the Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) in 1982 and I retired in 2012 as a Senior Branch Manager, Asaba, after 30 years of meritorious service to the Bank.

IAS: Tell us about your experiences with the Union Bank

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: Like I told you earlier, I joined the services of Union Bank of Nigeria in 1982, I was barely 6 years with them when I was made a Branch Manager at Oghara in 1989. I was also the Branch Manager in the following towns –Ovwian- Aladja, Ugheli, Uromi, Sapele, Effurun, Warri and Asaba. Working in the Bank gave me an opportunity to interface with a lot of people, I have good networks of friends. I have made people. The Bank gave me the chance to help people build their businesses and investment portfolios. It was a good training ground for me to be what I am today.

IAS: what were your greatest challenges while working with the Union Bank?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: My greatest challenges were when I was unceremoniously laid off in 1996. The reason for the layoff was simply victimization. That year was the lowest ebb in my professional career as a Banker. It marked a turning point in my life because I did a critical re-evaluation of my life. To the glory of God, in 1997, I was recalled. It was a year of full restoration. My dignity as a person was restored. My benefits and privileges were also restored in full.

IAS: How is marriage life?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: Exceptionally beautiful. We celebrated our 50 years of marital bliss this year. (18th August, 2019). To the glory of God, the marriage is blessed with 3 wonderful children (2 boys and a girl) and many grandchildren.

IAS: Tell us about your husband

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: My husband, Chief Honourable Nwaebo JP was the former member representing the good people of Ika North East in the Delta State of House of Assembly from 1999 – 2003. He is the Akpara of Owa Kingdom. Presently, the Okparan of Aliogbeje Alegwe Quarters in Owa Alero, Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State. He is a jolly good fellow. A handsome man. A born teacher. Our daddy and my personal friend.

IAS: Tell us the stories behind Ezinne Rentals?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: The idea behind Asomuya Ezinne Rentals was as a result of the challenges that I faced during the burial ceremony of my late Mom (Madam Asomuya Irabor) in the year 2000. During that period, I booked for Canopies and Chairs with one of the Rental operators in Agbor one month before the burial ceremony. He disappointed me. Somebody referred me to J Bossco Construction Company, Agbor and he charged me one hundred thousand naira (#100,000) to build two canopies. I bought one hundred (100) plastic chairs. Boom! That was it!

IAS: Tell us about all these Awards/Honours?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo:

  1. Odozi Aku of Owa Kingdom, (2009) bestowed on me by His Royal Majesty Obi Efezomor PhD the Obi of Owa Kingdom, Obi Agu!
  2. Ezinne Ozioma, by St Micheal Anglican Communion, Church of Nigeria, Owa Alero.
  3. Episcopal Merit Award, Dioceses of Ika, Anglican Communion, 2018
  4. Best couple of the Year
  5. Financial adviser to the Anglican Bishop of Ika Dioceses
  6. Member, Owa Traditional Council of Chiefs.
  7. Member, Mothers Union/Women’s Guild, Anglican Communion.

IAS: The Ezinne brand is gradually turning to a one stop shop in hospitality and tourism industry?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: Yesooo! To the glory of God, we now have the following:

  • Asomuya Ezinne Rentals: For your chairs, canopies and Large tents
  • Ezinne Civic and Event Centers: For your wedding, social and cultural ceremonies.
  • Ezinne Hotel and Garden: Home away from home. For accommodations and complete relaxations.

IAS: Who is your role model?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

IAS: Tell us your best quote

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: “Friends from outside are more reliable than friends from your place of work”

IAS: Any political ambition for now?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: No. Because of old age… laughs

IAS: What is your philosophy about giving?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: I give generously.

IAS: What is your “Nextlevel”?

Chief Mrs. Nwaebo: To take care of my husband, my family and have enough time to serve my God.


Ezinne Chief Mrs. Alice Efoma Nwaebo is currently the CEO of Asomuya Ezinne Rentals, CEO of Ezinne Civic and Events Center and Executive Director of Ezinne Hotel & Garden.

A member of the Owa Traditional Council of Chiefs (Odozi Aku of Owa Kingdom). A credit analyst. An employer of labour and a teacher of entrepreneurial development. She is presently, the financial adviser to the Lord Bishop of the Dioceses of Ika, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. A worker in the vineyard of God. A mother and a virtuous woman. A philanthropist and a Community Leader. A great Amazon from Ika Nation.

Her story is very inspirational. From a ‘’Village Tailor to a global Banker”. She exudes excellency in all her dealings, no wonder the benevolent spirits always entrust her with more responsibilities.

Amazon Ezinne Chief Alice Efoma Nwaebo, Congratulations and best wishes on your INDUCTION INTO THE IKA AMAZON HALL OF FAME 2019.

© Ewere Okonta