“Giving back”: How a young Nigerian woman, Jennifer Mairo Akporehe wants to be remembered

by Akintomiwa Agbaje

Jennifer Mairo Akporehe

Jennifer Mairo Akporehe is a renowned and influential voice of the younger generation. Popular in the United States and a Dallas blogger, she is hailed as an innovator and pioneer for helping young women juggle family, career and giving back. Jennifer is a celebrated author, speaker, humanitarian, mentor, columnist, and women’s rights activist.

Born on December 10, 1986, in Lagos, Nigeria, Akporehe was raised in an above average household. Her parents divorced when she was 8 and she soon experienced the brutality of divorce but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African family, community, and culture. This was the first step in her journey to help women and children from divorced homes.

As a teenager, Jennifer’s love for speaking won her a several scholarships and awards. At 16, she graduated high school to study French Language in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. Her love for travelling and passion for speaking multiple languages, further placing her with a larger spectrum of people geared her towards that field of study. She later finished college, giving birth to her son, in 2008 a few months after graduation. As a young mother, she knew that success was only defined the way she made it. With a supportive husband, she was ready to take center stage.

In 2010 and 2011, Ms Akporehe toured Northern America with the publication of her two books, “Screw It, Go Ahead and Quit Cold Turkey” and “Miss Independent, Misunderstood”. She became more aware of life around her and soon started the Pamela Erere Foundation (PEF), a charity aimed at aiding Nigerian SINGLE MOMS, DIVORCED WOMEN, WIDOWS and their CHILDREN.  In 2011, she launched the first ever PEF donation drive where clothes, food, tuition, etc were handed to impoverished women and children in Lagos Nigeria, The PEF has held multiple donation drives since then. She has partnered with other organizations including the Nigerian Red Cross Society and in 2014 to get help to those who need it.

During her years abroad, Akporehe watched and studied voraciously, mastering the way of life of the American people and pondering on how she could aid her own people, hence the international partnerships of the Pamela Erere Foundation (PEF) and larger organizations including Pei Wei, and Bluewave, The Association of NBA Legends of the United States and The IDK Foundation. Nigeria’s own Fidelity Bank Plc soon came onboard to support the cause. She insists that the eye opener and the motivation behind the PEF is first, her late sister Pam, who always wanted to help women and children before her premature demise at the tender age of 14, her grandparents, who always opened their doors freely and welcomed strangers to eat and drink, and her life in the United States, which showed her that government aid was available to certain individuals who fell in certain categories, including low income and single parenting.

Akporehe realized that her home country Nigeria didn’t provide any of these services to the masses and wondered what sort of life she would have had after her parent’s divorce had they not been wealthy. She continues to fight to get financial aid and support to impoverished women and children in Nigeria.

While living in the United States, she met with Geraldine Morris, now PEF International Director of Operations and, in 2013, joined forces to help rebuild the new Pamela Erere Foundation. With more than twenty years in business, management and personnel operations, it was a match made in heaven.

With the guidance of her friend, Dr Terrence Candell who also wrote the forward to the book, she began work on the book that would become “Screw It Go Ahead and Quit Cold Turkey”. Published in 2010, “Screw It Go Ahead and Quit Cold Turkey was published to much success. Bestselling author Enitan Bereola reviewed the book and said it was a price read amongst other things.

A trailblazer to her peers and very opinionated, Jennifer started her now acclaimed blog in 2013 out of Dallas Texas to awaiting fans, friends and family making the blog an almost instant hit because of its diversity, poise, natural and no holds barred approach to topics that affect our everyday life.

She continues to appear on the scene with her unique ideologies and approach to life. A member/columnist of the Southwest Blogger Society, Black Publishers and Writers association as well as the WritersNet Association of Writers, Editors, Agents and Publishers all located across the United States, Jennifer is insists that she’s just getting started and is having fun doing so.

On how she would like to be remembered, Akporehe says “just a hustling Nigerian out there in the universe trying to get my hustle on, showing young women that we can compete at the same level with our male counterparts and giving back to the needy which is by far the most fulfilling of them all.”

 

 

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