Emilia Ngongi Same is a young Cameroonian, owner of many different businesses which have made her to refer to herself as a “Serial Entrepreneur”.
The mother of three based in Buea, South West Region, is one of the women to celebrate during the International Women’s Day on March 8.
Emilia the “Serial Entrepreneur”
“First, I started with events decoration (Emily Events) and later endulged in making hair wigs and fascinators (Emily’s Exquisite Fascinators & Wigs). I later on engaged in the production and sales of organic skincare products (EmyOrganics),” explains the holder of a BSc in Economics from the University of Buea.
A Journey of Resilience
After Emilia graduated from the University in 2012, she had the white collar dream just like many young Cameroonians. She dropped highly qualified applications for jobs at different enterprises but did not receive a call for an offer.
This became her motivation to get into and create an enterprise of her own and someday create opportunities for others, especially young women.
“My Dad (of blessed memory) did not like the idea. He wanted me to work in an office. I took the bold step in 2014 and started events decoration, something I had a passion for,” she recalls.
Her husband has been very supportive and assisted her with the funds to kickstart this journey.
“I named my business Emily Events and not just Emily Decor since I didn’t want to limit myself to just decorations but event planning as a whole,” the talented lady adds.
Emilia N. Esame did not go through any period of apprenticeship…she followed her passion for the art and used her creative mind to set the ball rolling.
The internet has however been her special companion as she goes online to check out the work of other professionals and upgrade her skills.
“My very first job was the graduation party of a friend. I did so well and when I uploaded pictures online, a classmate contracted me to do her wedding decor. After that, it was from one job to another and gradually over the years, I have expanded the business with catering service and rentals,” Emilia happily says.
A major breakthrough was in 2018. “I attended a training session on making wigs and fascinators organised by a friend from Nigeria. This training was a plus to Emily Events as I got to make wigs and fascinators for brides and their bridesmaids when I have a wedding to plan. I also make and sell fascinators to individuals both home and abroad.”
Empowering the Womenfolk
Emilia Ngongi Same has not kept her skills to herself; the burgeoning entrepreneur has been sharing her knowhow with her peers at training sessions.
“I decided to train other young ladies because I wanted to be a part of women empowerment and capacity building in my community. Furthermore, there were times I could not meet up with orders since not so many of us were into fascinators at the time I started. So I had to train others to be able to make fascinators as good as mine,” Emilia notes.
Emilia’s first training programme was in June 2020 and the second, in August 2020. “It was a four-day training program where young ladies were trained to fashion wigs and fascinators of different designs and quality,” the entrepreneur says.
Emilia’s Message to her Peers
“My advice to young women out there is, be hardworking, be optimistic, think out of the box, train your mind towards positivity, challenge yourself to do things out of your comfort zone because that is where your strength lies. Go to school and be educated but above all, learn a skill or two: that might just be your source of economic empowerment for life!”
Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi