This week we hosted Mrs. Jumoke Olowookere, an EcoPreneur with over 10 years experience in the Education Sector both in the public and private institutions, locally and internationally. She is passionate about enlightening and engaging children and adults in best practices around waste management, recycling and up-cycling by creating training and resources around them.
She has also worked as Creative Director on numerous projects, workshops and skill acquisition programmes for institutions, organisations and corporate bodies, while partnering with several companies in planning and executing sustainability events for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) events.
She is the initiator of PP40 Wastes to Playground, an initiative to 40 Public Pry Schools in Ibadan, Oyo State where she was able to reach out directly to over 16,000 students and 1500 teachers in 13 months teaching them waste up-cycling skills for free to mark her 40th birthday.
Here’s all about the interview:
Welcome to Stars Connect, ma. Could you please briefly introduce yourself to us?
I’m Jumoke Olowookere, and I’m currently the Creative Director of African Creative Hub a Social Enterprise Company on a Mission to Create a Sustainable World without wastes through education and up cycling wastes into functional, durable and useful products. I’m an EcoPreneur with over 10 years experience in the Education Sector both in the public and private institutions.
What is the Creative Hub all about and what do you hope to achieve with it?
The Creative Hub is an initiative that gives young people the chance to be creative and innovative, while creating an Eco-friendly environment where nothing is a waste.
We educate our communities on ways they can make daily Eco-friendly choices and help contribute to green living practices that help conserve resources like wastes, water and energy. We teach and train people how to manage their wastes and create sustainable products that are marketable from their everyday generated wastes. We also noticed that some school do not have play grounds, so we also install play ground from Waste in all the public schools in our community.
Could give us some insights into the kind of waste you use and what they eventually turn out to be like when you are done?
We create and innovate new ways to reuse plastics, nylons, bottles, tyres, papers, dead plants, bamboo scrap fabrics, food wastes, old wood, and other wastes.
For example, take a look at this necklace I have on. My son made this. He is now working with coconut shells to create wonderful art. We have also made sofas from abandoned tires and vases from bottles. Nothing is a waste truly.
I heard about how you celebrated your 40th birthday, how did you do that?
Yeah, that was the PP40 Wastes to Playground. It was an initiative to 40 Public Pry Schools in Ibadan, Oyo State. We were able to reach out directly to over 16,000 students and 1500 teachers in 13 months, teaching them waste recycling and up cycling skills for free. I didn’t want to go party; I didn’t want to do any other thing except to empower these children. And it was worth it. They all learnt so much!
Do you think the course you studied in school influenced such creative initiative?
No. I just simply realized that art was dying, especially in this part of the world, and then there were just too many waste around us. So birthed the initiative.
What were the challenges you faced or that you are still facing?
Well there were challenges. Finance and all. But we all face challenges. Challenges shouldn’t a setback, because no great thing comes without challenges. What matters is how we handle them.
Surely, some people feel skeptical about meddling with waste of any sort. How have you managed to convince people to buy into this amazing idea?
Well, I believe the key is understanding the vision. If I believe it, I shouldn’t have issues convincing people to see things my way.
When people see what we do and they go ‘Oh my! It’s so beautiful’, and then I tell them it’s from waste and they go ‘What? Say that again!’, because they never imagined anything beautiful, talk less of wealth, can come out of waste. But they see it. And it’s not so difficult to convince them that all they need is training and they can start something amazing too.
Do you have any upcoming event, programs or training we should look forward to?
Oh yes! The Creative Eco-Hand Day Competition coming up this March, to mark Global Recycling Day where children in the public/private, Primary and Secondary will compete, exploring wastes in 3 Categories; Fashion, Science and Arts. However, this day falls into their school day, so we have moved the program to the 25th of this month. The venue is RaceCourse Amphitheatre, Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
Is the program free to attend?
Yes, it is.
How do we reach out to you?
You can send us an e-mail on [email protected], or send a DM on Instagram to @pp40wastetoplayground. You can also put a call through to 08139291058 or 08023603977.
Thank you for coming, ma. It was nice having you with us.
To know more about the African Creative Hub, visit www.africancreativehub.com. Stay tuned for our next interview!