Amazon
Mrs. Ogor Esther Obuh

MRS OGOR ESTHER OBUH. -CEO, Ogorma Frozen Foods.

There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hardwork, There are no limits. - Michael Phelps

Every successful person has a story. And if you listen closely, their stories have a common thread. They typically involve a huge, unsurmountable obstacle. Using resources, they never knew they had, against all odds, they managed to overcome that situation and turn it around. It did not matter what the obstacle was – could have been their childhood, tragedy, broken home, health, career, debt, unemployment, death of a loved one etc. – they had a compelling reason to get out of it. They had a huge “Vacuum” that needed to be filled. Successful people look like they are living fabulous lives – but it was not always that way. Some of them had to work their butt off to reach their dreams. They did not come from money. They know what it is like to scrape for every single kobo. Their stories are meant to motivate people. They show you that everybody can achieve his/her dreams, no matter how much money their parents had in the bank account when they were younger or how many dead-end jobs they had to work in order to pay their bills. While many tell their rag to riches stories to the world to give strength to failing hearts and burdened souls, others do so to gloat and brag from their new positions of strength, wealth or power, whichever the case is. Often times, these tales of rag to riches reflect hardwork, tenacity, perseverance and staunch determinations. The above attributes are what our today Amazon, Auntie Ogor, has in stores and in large quantities. She is an alpha female. She is a woman who has embraced her leadership ambitions. She is talented, highly motivated and self- confident. She believes her ability to achieve is limitless. She has confidence that is contagious which leads others to respect her as an equal. She showcases leadership characteristics that make others to recognize her as being impactful. She is highly ambitious. Yes, today Aunty Ogor now lives a good life. A glamourous life! She is surrounded by all the good things of life. Nice cars. Well-furnished Kitchen. Nice wardrobe and nice Shoes. She lives in a well-furnished house with giant size coloured Television. Double door fridges. She eats whatever she wants to eat. Maids, Drivers and Security men all at her beck and call.

So nice! Living the lives of her dreams!

But few know the following; that this same Auntie Ogor during the birth of her first child, the husband (the famous Sir Tony Obuh) had to collect Ninety naira (#90,00) IOU from his office to offset the hospital bills. This same Ogor once lived in a one room apartment with her family along Uwelu Road, off Textile Mill Road, Benin City with only one mattress, one radio and one bucket (the same bucket they used in bathing was also used in storing the drinking water). No television. No fridge. No furniture. She used to pack soup and water in a plastic container and stored it in their neighbours fridge. In the evening after the close of work, the entire family would go to their neighbours house to watch television. (Mr. and Mrs. Ebojor, God bless you guys).

This same glamourous Ogor, once hawked “Okirika” around all the Ministries in Asaba. She once stayed for over 8 years without a change of wardrobe. To the extent that some close family members once mocked her that in spite of her hustling she could not afford a change of clothes.

Was she deterred?

No.

She remained focused!

From the beginning:

Ogor Esther Obuh was born on 17th May 1968 to the family of Late Mr. Jacob Nwabugo of Ogbemudein Quarters in Ika South Local Government Area and Mrs. Esther Obiajulu Nwabugo of Ika North East Local Government Area, both in Delta State. The first and only female child of the family. The father, Late Mr. Jacob Nwabugo, a 1969 University of Ibadan graduate of Agricultural Science who had a vast knowledge in farm management and the mother a retired primary school headmistress.

IAS: Which primary school did you attend?

OGOR OBUH: I started my primary school at Ovwodarin primary school, Ughelli, when I was aged 4 because my mom was a teacher and I was following her to school, she did not know that I was catching up with the class work; I did the exams with other pupils and I passed very well, so I continued with them. Later my dad was transferred to Agbor and the whole family relocated to Agbor. That was how I finished my primary school at Orogodo primary school, Agbor in 1979.

IAS: What about your Secondary School Education?

OGOR OBUH: I did my Secondary School Education at the prestigious Marymount College Agbor from 1979 – 1983.

IAS: What influenced your career choice as an Accountant?

OGOR OBUH: Hmmm… when I was in the Secondary School, there was this cousin of mine (Mr. Bright Obiaze) that worked with the then New Nigerian Bank (NNB) and each time he came home he spent crisp naira notes and I said to myself wow! I must become an Accountant so that I too can be spending crisps naira note like him. That was it!

IAS: Tell us about your tertiary Education

OGOR OBUH: I did my Ordinary National Diploma (OND) with the Auchi Polytechnic in the Department of Accountancy from 1986 -1987. Then I proceeded to Delta State University for my degree programme and I graduated in 2002 with B.Sc. Accounting. I must state too, that during my graduating set of 2002, we were only 5 persons that made Second Class Upper Division (2.1) and I was the only female. In 2006, I was at the Nigeria College of Accountancy, Jos, where I was qualified as a professional Accountant, (Certified National Accountant CNA) awarded by Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).

IAS: Wow! That was an impressive record.

OGOR OBUH: Yesooo. That was in fulfillment of my dreams of becoming an Accountant.

IAS: How is marriage life?

OGOR OBUH: Very blissful. You know, I married my husband when I was barely 21 years old (June 23rd 1990) and to the glory of God, the marriage is blessed with 4 surviving wonderful children (two boys and two girls, with two grandchildren and still counting). In fairness to you, it has been ups and downs. But the ups have been greater than the downs…laughs.

IAS: Describe your husband in a few words

OGOR OBUH: Sir Tony Obuh is a very wonderful man. He is my best friend. A very calm and calculative gentleman. A very good husband and a wonderful father.

IAS: Tell us about your employment history

OGOR OBUH: I was employed into the then Bendel State Civil Service (Ministry of Finance) as an Assistant Executive Officer (AEO) level 6 with my Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in 1989. But before then, I did my Industrial Attachment with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Warri Refinery in 1988. Presently, I’m an Accountant with the Directorate of Pension and Establishment, Asaba.

IAS: Any other side hustling?

OGOR OBUH: Yesoo. I’m a fish seller. I’m not ashamed of my hustling. I buy and sell various types of fishes (CEO, Ogorma Frozen Foods). I’m also into full time livestock farming and Rice farming (Anthony Chuks Obuh farms).

IAS: How do you combine your career, family and your business? Which of them is suffering?

OGOR OBUH: None of them is suffering. It is all about priority and time management. Moreover, I have workers who are dedicated to their jobs.

IAS: How do motivate your workers?

OGOR OBUH: As a business person I motivate my workers through this means:

  • I set target for them. When you meet and exceed the target I reward you.
  • I give them free hand to use their initiative and innovative ideas.
  • I maintain an open door policy with them. They can call and reach me at any time and discuss anything with me.
  • I organize end of year get-together for them where small presents are given to each and every one of them.
  • I see my workers as part of my family. Therefore, I treat them like my family members.

IAS: As a very successful person, whom do you attribute your modest achievements in life to?

Ogor Obuh: I attribute my modest achievements in life to NO MAN. BUT TO GOD ALMIGHTY AND HARDWORK.

IAS: What is your philosophy to life?

OGOR OBUH: God above everything. And family first.

IAS: What is your philosophy about giving?

OGOR OBUH: I give without reservations. I give, not to impress but to encourage. From the beginning of the year, I save for what I will give at the end of the year. It hurts me to see people suffering. The little I have I share it with my people. I share my stories with them to encourage them. I don’t give to seek media attentions.

IAS: As an award winning personality, which of these awards do you cherish most?

OGOR OBUH: I value all the awards. But the one that is dearest to my heart is that of Agbor Progressive Initiative(API) Service to Humanity Award (2017). It was in recognition of my little contribution to the good people of Oki. It was a borehole water project with a standby generator to supply the community clean water.

IAS: Who is your role model?

OGOR OBUH: My mother (Mrs. Esther Obiajulu Nwabugo). For instilling the virtues of discipline and hardwork in me at the early stage of my life.

IAS: Final question madam, what is your “Nextlevel”?

OGOR OBUH: Hmmm…Ewere Okonta, you are really an inspiring young man. You are doing a nice work. Keep it up.

My “Nextlevel” is to establish a foundation that will care for the less privileged. With special focus on Sickle cell patients, old peoples home and the Physically challenged.

NOTE FROM US:

Mrs. Ogor Esther Obuh is presently the CEO, Ogorma Frozen Foods. The MD, Anthony Chuks Obuh Farms. She is a Certified Accountant and an alpha female. The Vice President, Ladies of the League. A proud grandmother and a thorough breed Ika woman. She is a philanthropist. A role model. A trailblazer. A Newsmaker. An accomplished Amazon from Ika Nation. And above all, a proud fish seller.

Her story is an extreme example of people starting from nothing and working their way up to the top. This is something you and I can do too if we have the hunger to manage the path and curve before us and not being afraid to take the necessary risk. Amazon Mrs. Ogor Esther Obuh, Congratulations and best wishes on your induction into the IKA AMAZON HALL OF FAME 2019.

© Ewere Okonta