The name Ugochi Augusta Obidiegwu may not ring a bell to all but “The Safety Chic” certainly does to those who take Child safety very serious as it should be. The Safety Chic as she is called simply incorporates safety education in child learning.
In 2013, Ugochi, who was and is still working as a cabin crew staff, was told she was now a safety officer and in addition to her earlier responsibilities, was to work with a colleague to bring safety information and solutions to the Cabin Services Unit. What happened next led to the establishment of The Safety Chic.
Ugochi would then join hands with colleagues to launch a monthly safety forum, and as well attend conferences and trainings on safety.
“In the course of doing all these, I observed that it was mainly businesses in aviation, construction and oil and gas industries that took safety systems seriously. I decided to start a health and safety business that would provide tailored and affordable safety solutions for businesses, especially SMEs. A lot of SMEs I got in touch with thought accidents were beyond their purview,”
Ugochi is the CEO of Ulomka Multi Solutions, a safety establishment that helps “businesses, primarily SMEs to incorporate safety procedures into their day-to-day activities to ensure safe work and reduce loss of any kind.”
Understanding the importance of teaching safety from ground up, she launched the Train Them Young Initiative (#2TYI) to teach school children about safety, because even when machines are “safe,” there is also the human factor when it comes to accidents.
#2TYI “is a free safety training for public schools on road safety, fire safety, first aid and personal safety.” The initiative aims to get safety education established in the curriculum of schools in Nigeria and this she is gradually achieving through by authoring The Adventures of Muna: A Kid-to-Kid Safety Guide.
Through her volunteer work, Ugochi has also gained experience in the oil and gas sector. She is a certified HSE professional with a Distinction in the International General Certificate, NEBOSH, and is also certified in OHSAS 18001 and ISO 9001. But with a desire to learn more on running a business, network beyond Nigeria and the need for additional funding, Ugochi in 2016, applied for the TEF programme and unfortunately was not selected. This she says hurt but she didn’t give up and rather focused on building her business with the hope to get investment later. In 2017, She applied for TEF program again but did not make it again.
In February,2018 Ugochi would go on to put in another application for the TEF program for the 3rd time “I created time and asked questions from a friend past beneficiary of the TEF is programme. He gave me materials to read. I read, answered the questions and asked him to critique. I noticed that with better preparation and extra effort, my application sounded really good to my ears. I had not just done the actual work in my business, but I had also communicated it effectively. Then I understood why previous applications were not good enough. Most times, we are not communicating our work properly or we have not done good work yet.”
This time, Ugoochi’s application was selected and like 1,249 others who have made it to TEF 2018 she is ready to participate in the full programme.