Felicia Okpara runs a nationwide cleaning business. Her life has had its share of ups and downs, but she says,
“I have always wanted to live life on my terms; I did not want to be dependent on anyone. That has been my most significant push, and knowing if I don’t clean, I won’t eat.”
Looking back, she says,
“Post-pandemic lockdown, I lost my job as a restaurant supervisor. I was broke, and I needed something good to do. After much thought, I settled on cleaning; I was good at it. I had done cleaning jobs in the past and genuinely loved it, so one day, I tweeted about it, and the support since then has been unreal. My first job paid me N5,000.”
Up till that point, she had overcome many unconventional obstacles. As a single woman under eighteen, she got pregnant; she was temporarily estranged from her mother and was involved in parental disputes over her daughter. At one time, she lived under the Mile 1 bridge in Port-Harcourt, but Felicia says all of this made her fire-forged.
“To date, all I have is my secondary school leaving certificate, but I never stopped moving; I had to survive, so I kept moving because I had no choice. I left home to fend for myself because I knew that people would use and manipulate you when they know you are hungry.”
She believes there is a lot to learn from her experience and advises women never to stop or wait for anyone.
“Your first responsibility as a human being is to fight for yourself. Face obstacles head-on and stand for yourself always. As a woman, you are not weak; remember that!”