Dr Lauretta Emiakpor Ogrih is a woman of many parts. She is the Founder/Director, Ivory Whetstones & Mentors Foundation. She is also the publisher of SEE, an inspiration magazine and she runs SEE Events Centre and Leawood Hotel in Lekki. Soft spoken and calm, she could also be regarded as a philanthropist, a passion she has nurtured since childhood. Today, she assists the less privileged i.e. struggling single parents, widows and needy children. In this interview, she talked about RED Moment, a comedy show she’s put together to help these people.
Why did you venture into charity work?
It’s a long story. Since my childhood, I have learnt over the years that giving is a command. Basically, it’s my upbringing. What I have learnt from being a child of God and also as I have come in contact with a lot of youths and people in my career.
I have been the head of my family’s higher education collaboration with LASU and UNICAL and I have seen the need to help. I have gone ahead to pursue a doctorate degree in corporate social responsibility.
So, it’s in me to lend a helping hand and give. Consciously helping and inspiring those in our world today is a key we all need for abundant living. William Ward put it this way, “There are three keys to more abundant living; caring about others, daring for others and sharing with others.”
My parents are givers. My father is a custodian of a title meaning “Goodman”. We had dozens of people living with us, I also love to bring people together and that’s one of the things that motivated my association to have an events centre.
I organize programs for people to learn different skills and about relationship. That was the reason I incorporated SEE inspirational magazine, which tells the story behind the glory and touches all aspects of life.
When we had the relationship edition, we featured Joke Silva on our cover and each time we do, we also have a talk show featuring real life stories of people having problems, which we address. Some people may not be able to express what they are going through but as they listen to questions being answered they are encouraged. I’m also into intercession and praying ministry.
You are really busy. How do you cope with the home front?
I’m energetic by nature and I love to delegate assignments to my aides who handle different things as well. I trust them too. My phone is my working tool. I have at the back of my mind that I have to live a balanced life. Give to my family and society, so that no one is suffering and especially at my home front.
How do you relax?
I like to work out and I love my home and I love my family.
You look good what’s the secret?
I eat right and take it calm. I jog seven kilometers every morning in the estate and they know me and I try to cut down on what I eat. It’s an 80/20 strategy.
Eighty percent of how you look is what you eat. I have a workout routine but you must have a good relationship with your family after all said and done to enjoy what God has given you.
What has life taught you?
Life has taught me to live right, be who God actually created me to be, be real, and be myself.
Can you tell us more about RED Moment?
It’s an initiative of Ivory Whetstone and Mentors Foundation. It’s an annual event but this year’s is unique because we are continuing our outreach to women via comedy. We have about nine comedians coming together. We are trying to get workers and the public to support our cause, coming around to laugh and remove stress. That’s why the event is scheduled for April 30th at SEE Events Centre. We are impacting struggling single parents and widows.
The proceeds from the comedy concert will be used to empower some women like we’ve done in the past but this is the first time we are using comedy to raise funds. There are special attractions too. We have a return ticket to Dubai, all expense paid night at Leawood Hotel and a wellness hamper.
About 50 women will be empowered with life skills and business skills. We intend to get them through the church, as there are churches that cannot fund their needs. We train them for a week and we also do mentorship. We follow up on them and ensure that they are actually utilizing their skills, earning income and getting better etc.
These would help them look after their children so that they won’t be a menace to society. We chose a workers’ day weekend and we believe laughter is a good cure for many problems these days. We need to laugh and laugh more.
Who is the man behind this beautiful woman?
He’s a lovely, caring man and his name is Mr. Sam Ogrhi. We have come a long way. We have been married since 1994 and my sons are already in the university. I met him before I started any form of business when I was working in a commercial bank and we discovered that we are from the same place. Initially I said no, no, because I wanted to be far from home. One thing led to the other and we are today husband and wife.
You look real trendy, what do you like to wear?
Things that are comfortable, things that suit me. Not necessarily trendy stuffs but I dress for work, church and social events in clothes that suit me.