January 20, 2006
Preview: Chioma - Nigerian-Born Canadian
Entrepreneur, Speaker and Publisher Shares Her Personal Journeys
Of Overcoming Hardships And Achieving Success
As part of my mission to profile individuals and organizations
who have made positive contributions to our communities and across
the world, one of my friends was able to connect me with a Toronto-based
woman, who has been able to make a very unique mark.
was born in Nigeria, West Africa and came to Canada at 4 years of
age. Her family's home in Nova Scotia in Nova Scotia was a busy
place with many siblings, uncles and aunts. Chioma's father always
said "…you are a woman, you are black and you are going
to have a tough time, so you have to excel."
One of Chioma's uncles sexually abused her when she was a child
and Chioma has decided to overcome her feelings of shame and speak
out to thousands of students, parents and educators every year about
After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Nova Scotia, Chioma's
travels took her from the Maritimes to Toronto when she decided
not to study law, as had been her father's goal for her. In Toronto
she had to take minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet and even
ended up living on the streets for some time.
In 1990 one person changed her life: a bank manager approved a
loan for her to get her real estate license and Chioma embarked
on her new career. Initially she started without any of the tools
of the trade, she had no car, no pager, no cell phone. But she had
lots of energy, motivation and tenacity, set goals for herself and
knocked on 100 doors a day. 2 years later Chioma had achieved some
of the highest awards and distinctions in her profession.
Throughout her struggles Chioma reflected on life and boiled her
conclusions down to three essential principles: Chioma's "3Rs"
- Restraint, and
As an award winning speaker Chioma has carried this message to
thousands of students, many of them at risk and living in impoverished
areas. Her speeches are designed to generate lively discussions
and interactive problem-solving to equip students with critical
Chioma's most recent project is "Sway",
a, new glossy magazine celebrating the lifestyle and interests of
black Canadians, a joint project launched by Metroland Printing,
Publishing & Distributing and Chioma Productions Inc.
Its first edition hit the news stands on December 1, 2005. In the
first issue Chioma features an exclusive
interview with Michaëlle Jean, Canada's Governor General,
herself an immigrant from Haiti and the first black female to hold
this prestigious post. Chioma's says that Michaëlle Jean's
inspired life and her message to the world sums up what Sway is
In our upcoming interview Chioma will share her experiences of
transitioning from Nigeria to Canada, some of the hardships she
has faced and how she has risen above these struggles and become
a successful leader and a shining beacon in Canada's black community.