From Abyss of Shame to Grace: How Lynda Iroegbu Set up Business for Dejected Mum of 5 on Val's Day
In a sanctimonious spirit of love and endless show of affection, February 14 of every year is always characterised by a flurry of beautiful stories and an array of gifts shared by lovers. But if there was anything that significantly underscored the 2022 Valentine's Day, it was a life-changing moment for a single mum, Ugochi Ugwuegbu.
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It looked like a familiar moonlight tale, but it was not. In what first appeared like a daydream, the mother of five from the Umuahia community of Abia state was gifted a life-changing lift out of poverty and years of sorrow-ridden existence.
A new lease of life opened when a kind-hearted fashion designer, Lynda Iroegbu, set up a business for her with a big container and provisions, ushering in a fresh breath of relief for a troubled mum who was without a helper for years.
"She was a young mum facing so much hardship with 5 tender kids, sadly she lost two of her kids as a result of her difficult situation and the petty business she managed to start was violently taken over by hoodlums, so she lost all means of livelihood," Iroegbu who is a humanitarian worker wrote in a Facebook post dated Monday, February 14.
Who is the samaritan; angel in man's form?
Lynda Iroegbu is not a billionaire, she is just a passionate young and hardworking Nigerian with a spirit of giving. The self-styled fashion designer from Uturu in Isuikwato local government area, Abia state holds a Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
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A born humanitarian service lover, Iroegbu has worked with a number of Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria. Currently, she works at Nze Timothy Akano Foundation (NTAF) founded by Dr Chin Akano.
At her current workplace, she helps "initiate, coordinate and implement various life-changing programmes... as the founder himself has empowered countless Nigerian youths, particularly through the NTAF 100k monthly empowerment scheme."
She was a stranger and I wanted to gift her a permanent joy
Speaking with Legit.ng, Iroegbu said she did not know her beneficiary until December 2021 when she visited a very remote part of her city and found her way into the heart of the community.
It was there she came across Ugwuegbu who she described as "a very dejected lady" having lost two of her kids and was left with three.
"I got to know that she was jobless without a money-making skill or business, the petty trade she managed to start was threatened and eventually frustrated by hoodlums. She was totally hopeless. I made more enquiries and got more evidence of hardship so I decided to set her up with a legitimate business," Iroegbu said.
It was from that moment the young fashion entrepreneur had been thinking of how to save the mum of five from her then predicament. With the little proceeds from her personal business Lyn Signature which is a fast-growing fashion brand, she brought Ugwuegbu's life back from the abyss of shame to the height of glory.
On her moves between December 2021 and February 2022, Iroegbu said:
"I did this to encourage youth empowerment and particularly to inspire women to also empower fellow women in dire need. I started the project in December 2021 when I met her and then concluded and presented it all to her this month, February 2022. So it took me two months to plan and finance it. "
When asked why she chose Valentine's Day - a day synonymous with sharing and showing of love and affection - Iroegbu told this reporter that she just wanted to "change the usual narrative and strongly encourage love, positivity and selfless service. So by doing so we would collectively help abate crime and put other social vices in check."
My beneficiary is brilliant
Although it took less than three months to know Ugwuegbu, Iroegbu said she discovered that the mother of five is a brilliant business-savvy woman devastated by life and entangled in the web of negative turn of fate.
It was because of this discovery she decided to set up a business for her which she will fall back on to take care of herself and her beloved kids.
Iroegbu told this reporter that Ugwuegbu's previous businesses were victims of "physical displacements in addition to constant threats and robberies by hoodlums."
She further disclosed:
"I figured that she needed not just a sustainable business but one she could do in a secure place without the financial burden of paying rent. This was how the idea to build a solid container shop also came about and I ensured it became a stark reality by loading the shop with half bags of fast-moving staple foods including garri, rice, beans etc.
"I also complimented it all with beverages and urgent everyday household needs as well as toiletries including bags of water popularly known as pure water. The idea is for her to retail all these, make her own money and keep expanding her business."
A good samaritan and more
Lynda discovered that her favour was not enough if she did not secure the future of the woman and her amazing children together. The young lady said she has taken Ugwuegbu's children to school, a project she said she is committed to without a limit.
"I am in the process of sponsoring her two kids and more kids out there from the slums back to school. These are projects I’m committed to and it has no end in sight," she emphasised.
On Sunday, February 20, Lynda told this reporter she would be presenting school essentials and also pay Ugwuegbu's sons' school fees the following day, which is Monday, February 21.