Published On: Wed, Mar 5th, 2014

In Five Years, I must have Done 10,000 Eye Tests- Elsie Ijorogu-Reed

The founder and Chief Executive Officer of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Deltawomen, Ms. Elsie Ijorogu-Reeds

The founder and Chief Executive Officer of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Deltawomen, Ms. Elsie Ijorogu-Reeds devotes her time and talent to make Nigeria a better place through her empowerment programmes, radio show, online publishing, and so on. Ijorogu-Reeds, whose magazine, Drumbeat, will soon hit newsstands, speaks on why she is passionate about empowering the less privileged and other issues


You are involved in many projects like Deltawomen, what inspires you?
I set up Deltawomen, an NGO, in 2010 because helping people has always been my passion and something I have always loved to do. I decided to use my time and talents to inspire people by providing for their needs, including offering skills acquisition, free medical eye tests and free eyeglasses for women in many places, including Edo and Delta States. Weekly radio programmes, online publishing and the soon–to–hit–newsstands magazine called Drumbeat are channels through which I strive to ensure that our people are empowered, informed and educated about societal issues, including business, health, relationships etc, and are able to make informed decisions or choices.
What is your next plan of action?
For the short–term, Deltawomen is engaged in proactive activities that have global reach—such as blogs, magazines, podcasts and newsletters, each of which accent women and women’s rights and ensure the inculcation of awareness—through articles, real–life stories, and experiences.
For the long term, Deltawomen is proactively engaged in educating women through online teaching and skills inculcation. The inculcation of skills is done with the intention of making women less vulnerable. Our studies have showed that because of poverty or lack of skills, some women open the window of vulnerability which leaves them exposed to harm. Women consequently go into prostitution, allow and accept abuse or violence, and even opt for monetary settlement after rape because they believe they have no choice. We also have eye health camps and checkups, where we check people’s eyesight and give them glasses for free. We are planning a free medical check-up, free eye tests, and eyeglasses giveaway to the entire Okpe kingdom, Delta State in the mid–part of this year.
Besides this, we will be offering on-ground vocational training and micro financing at our centres. We have a pay–it–forward empowerment and training scheme in Adeje and are also running our own radio show called Deltawomen Drumbeat. In the coming days, we will be working on these projects while also looking at newer and newer avenues to benefit women and youth.

Is Drumbeat a generalised or specialised magazine, weekly or monthly? When will it hit newsstands?

In a couple of weeks, Nigerians will have their first chance to see this quarterly magazine, which is the first of its kind in Africa. We are bringing the best of both worlds (African and Western) to the magazine, so it will be empowering yet entertaining; it will include informative and entertaining sections including interviews, a career guide and articles about relationships, health and living, fashion and beauty, entertainment and lifestyle, and so on.
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, drumbeat is an English word meaning “A stroke on a drum or the sound this makes”. In traditional Africa, drums were a means of communication in the villages. Whenever a drum was being beaten, people would gather to hear the message that prompted the beating of the drum. So, Drumbeat magazine is a tool for communication to the world, with the aim of disseminating factual information to our audience, which comprises both young and old.
How have people been receiving Deltawomen radio and what is its area of coverage?
Currently, we are on Crown FM, and this covers Warri, Delta state, and neighbouring villages. We are planning to move to DBS, which covers the entire Delta State.
I would like to use this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to God, Deltawomen Drumbeat presenter and production staff and volunteers at Deltawomen—all of whom worked tirelessly to make this possible. People can join the conversation every week on Crown FM or

How can the media industry in Nigeria be moved to a higher level?

The Nigerian media industry will be better if the media organisations are objective, factual and fair in their reportage. Individuals have a role to play.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In the next five years, I would like to have done at least 10,000 free eye tests within and outside Delta State. Secondly, I would like to see Drumbeat magazine categorized as one of the most informative and educative magazines, with a reach beyond Africa.

What has been your greatest disappointment?

I have no expectations, so no disappointments.

What is your greatest achievement so far?

It may be difficult for me to mention a specific feat as my greatest achievement, but I am glad that I have been able to help people with the available resources at my disposal.
What drives you on?
Seeing smiles on faces of people I have helped drives me on because it is both a service to God and humanity. That is the most important part of our call here on earth. As someone said, “Once you have stared poverty in the face, your life never remains the same.” I would love to say my life experiences and pains as well as having witnessed the suffering of many people have been my motivation and passion, and also keeping my vow to God that if He blessed me, I would be a blessing to others. I want to do what I was passionate about always, and to do God’s work.

If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would she think?
If my 20-year-old self could see me now, she would be glad because I am taking life’s challenges one at a time. With perseverance, I have been successful in many, with a few disappointments along the line, which most people would not find strange.
Can you give us an insight into your background?

I am from Oku-ijorogu village in the Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State. I was born in London, United Kingdom. My dad is an electrical engineer and my late mum had her hands in many things, like fashion designing, the food industry and other businesses. I hold a degree in Banking and Finance and an MBA in Information System Management as well as several IT certifications: MCP, MCSE, MCDBA, and IBM Expert and so on.

About the Author


Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Konga Verified Blogger

Konga Verified Blogger