Tell us about yourself.

My name is Ogundipe Oluyemisi. I am from Kwara state and I am married with kids. I am a graduate of computer science. My favourite colour is purple & I love to eat plantains.

As a child, what did you want to become in future? What do you do now?

As a child I wanted to become a nurse as I loved looking after people. Now I’m a fashion designer & I also have a small retail business I run.

My dream is to become a mental health nurse so I can help people suffering from mental health related conditions.

Why did you volunteer as a Mamalette Champion?

Yemisi at the Mamalette/Aliko Dangote Foundation 2019 World Breastfeeding Week workshop

I volunteered as a Mamalette champion, when I realised the high rates of maternal and infant mortality in my community were not on the decrease. I realised that the government can’t fix this problem alone and I saw it as my own little way of giving back to my community. I was also looking forward to the learning opportunities provided through the program.

What was a striking moment for you during this program?

The striking moment for me during this program, was when a church in my community invited me to talk about family planning during their ‘family week’. Family planning was a topic so many people in community expressed their dissatisfaction about when I carried out a Mamalette survey.

The church invitation showed that the Mamalette program making an impact and had enlightened so many in my community who were initially sceptical about it.

Can you share a story of an enrollee whose life you have impacted during this program?

One of my enrolees was both an ulcer patient and a nursing mother. She felt she couldn’t cope with exclusively breastfeeding her baby. I encouraged her and talked to her about the benefits of breastmilk for her baby and the foods she should eat as a breastfeeding mum. I was also able to encourage her husband to provide support. I am happy to report that she successfully practised exclusive breastfeeding.

Why is your community important to you?

Yemisi during a home visit with an enrolee in April 2019

My community is so important to me, because it’s my immediate environment & whatever affects it, will have an adverse effect on me too. E.g. epidemic diseases can easily spread from one person to another.

What in your life made you care about other people around you?

While growing up, my mum always encouraged me to show compassion to others. She taught me that one can be generous even with little. In her words, “Don’t wait till you are rich before you decide to be a giver.” I grew up seeing selfless service, compassion and giving as normal.

What is the worth of a pregnant woman’s life to you?

I value every life so much, because life is a gift from God.

Women are the backbone of every home and every child deserves to live and be nurtured by a mother.

Describe a time during the program where you felt helpless.

I advised an enrolee with hepatitis B to get the necessary treatment she required & to inform her spouse about her status. I also informed her about the dangers of not getting treatment, however she didn’t take any action. This made me feel so helpless, because I knew I could not force her to seek treatment.

What is your hope for your community?

Yemisi during a home visit with an enrolee in May 2019

My hope for my community is that we have access to good medical services, prompt attention at the health facilities, more health information, affordable health insurance, financial liberation for women and that no woman dies during/after childbirth.

What message do you have for other women who are looking to make an impact in their communities?

Yemisi at the Mamalette Home Visitors training program in February 2019

For every woman looking to make an impact in their community, I will say it is achievable. I’m not promising it won’t be challenging, but let your passion for humanity drive you.