Her friends and fans on Social Media know her as Golibe OD.
In Igbo Golibe simply means Rejoice. True to that name, she has continued to cause many who come in contact with her on the SM platforms to rejoice as she constantly brings value, and even more value their way with almost each post.
In this debut edition of Young Women Who Inspire with The Interview, we are excited and, yes proud to present to you Chiddie Anyasodo, aka Golibe OD.
Believe us when we say you would absolutely love reading about this incredible CEO of Chotayah (www.chotayah.com) who describes herself as ‘a family woman who enjoys spending quality time her husband and two lovely children’.
Read and be inspired!
Just recently you announced the birth of Chotoyah, an online based match-making service; where did that come from?
The need to help people achieve something is a like my default setting. I just cannot help myself.
When I see lots of unmarried complain about not being able to find the person to marry, I always think, “what can be done about this?”
Coupled with the fact that I also faced challenges when I was single and ready to settle down.
I identified three categories of single people. The first is the category of people who are being held back from finding the right relationship because of certain fears.
These fears are real – e.g. successful females who are scared of being in a relationship with a man who won’t support their dreams, men who had been in relationship with women that were deceitful in the past, successful persons who are scared of gold diggers…. there’s also some whose fears are about possibilities of domestic violence or even the issue of being able to trust that people are honest about their health status – I mean, we have seen where people were people have been dishonest about their genotype, claiming AA when they are AS, and so resulting in serious issues in marriage.
These things create real fears for many single people.
And then there’s a category of people who are ready to settle but don’t just have the time to meet anyone or have a relationship as they are too busy building the career of their dreams.
And finally, you have people who are ready, and have the time but cannot meet anyone.
These challenges are compounded by the society.
In our African context, all the people I have talked about above will usually be under pressure by family, friends and the society at large to get married.
Some of these singles especially the ladies are always reminded of their singleness when they need certain basic things that the society considers marriage privilege like renting an apartment or even building a house.
It can be really tough being a matured single.
And majority of the time these young people being under pressure or even shame, grab the next available single not caring if they are compatible or the right person for them and jump into marriage just to tick a box.
I feel their pain as I have also worn those shoes.
Marriage is not just a box you tick, it’s a significant relationship that can radically affect the course of your life.
The person you marry, largely has an effect of what you can achieve in life and one should choose rightly.
This is exactly the reason that I birthed Chotayah.
Using my own marital experience, I have been able to help some of my friends find the right partner.
Then around valentine’s day, I decided to take it online and help my social media friends get hitched.
I focused on not only the physical qualities but mainly their common values and character.
I am very glad to say that in less than 2 months, I have many couples that have been matched and are now in a relationship.
Then I have two couples that are likely to get married before the end of August this year (one couple in USA and one in Nigeria).
The success also great depended on the fact that I encouraged them to be transparent from the onset.
I have gone ahead to get certified here in United Kingdom as a matchmaker and I am now focused on building this into a powerful global brand that helps single highflying African professionals find the love of their dreams.
Our process is very private as well – mainly because lots of people still have stigma about others knowing that they are searching for a life partner.
The privacy empowers people and saves them the embarrassment of getting rejected.
We match people first using their preferences and psychology based on values, compatible character traits.
We also help them in verifying pertinent information about the other party to ensure transparency and give peace of mind from onset.
We also provide concierge and executive search services for our very busy and highly exclusive customers.
This means we help arrange the dates- from flowers, restaurant sittings to international romantic getaways.
Executive search meant that we help them headhunt for the kind of person they are looking for even if it means searching internationally.
We also provide behavioural therapy and coaching for people that have problems staying in long term relationships or those that have had a difficult relationship/past like domestic violence or abuse.
How did you arrive at that name; Chotayah?
I was looking for a Unique African name that will embody what the brand stands. I looked at what “love” and “marry” translated to in all African languages, but nothing quite did it for me.
Then my husband said, “Chotayah”.
It sounded really nice and exotic.
Also, the meaning was exactly what we stand for. Chotayah means to find something or someone.
In this case it means to find the love of your life.
It gets its roots from the Igbo language which is one of Nigerian Languages and of course African.
We know Chotoyah is just a few weeks old, but are there signs yet that you are on the right track with this your latest project?
Oh yes there are big signs.
First, I mentioned earlier that we expect two wedding before the end of August, and they were matched on our platform.
Secondly it’s been just three weeks since we launched the Chotayah Beta, and we have over 261 singles who are searching and have signed up.
The interest is very high, and people are happy for such a development.
Any particular reason you’re limiting the scope to Africans only?
Yes – charity begins at home, isn’t it.
First, this kind of service is not popular in Africa. It’s not something that we take seriously even though in Africa, matchmaking is part of our culture.
My parents were match-made.
They never had the opportunity to even sit in the same room till they got married and they were married happily for 31 years before my mom died.
Secondly, I am African, and I understand the challenges that a typical African single will face as I have faced them too.
One can describe you as a serial entrepreneur and not be wrong; can you share with us some of the businesses you have successfully founded and nurtured?
I have a fashion business – we make African themed casual and active wear.
I also have another business that makes and sells herbal teas here in the United Kingdom.
I am currently building a global marketplace for made in African /African inspired goods.
In addition to this, I still do energy consulting (oil and gas) and I also do Business coaching. I run a skills learning platform as well.
What do you find most exciting about running businesses?
There’s a sense of purpose and giving back – especially as I love being a solution provider.
Also, I’m a firm believer that Africa has a lot more to offer the world than we care to give ourselves credit for.
So, I have a desire to showcase Africa to the world.
Therefore, the fact that a number of my businesses have the African flavour to them makes me feel like I am a positive ambassador for Africa.
I also enjoy the adrenaline that comes with new ideas and bringing them to life. I get a high from creating solutions.
Marriage is not just a box you tick, it’s a significant relationship that can radically affect the course of your life
Which of these businesses have you found most stimulating and also rewarding?
I would say Chotayah has been most stimulating.
This is mainly because it is one that I didn’t have many examples to learn from.
I get pumped up from researching and coming up with new ideas on how to make this work well and produce results for my singles.
I feel rewarded that we are contributing in building the next generation of happy marriages.
You know the home is the smallest of unit of the society. Happy homes partly contribute to a happy society.
My husband and I work together a lot on things, but with Chotayah, we are both really into it because it deeply connects a lot of what we both are about.
We both enjoy helping people and we both have a passion for seeing successful marriages.
I would also say that Chotayah has been the quickest to create instant value – i.e. one in which the results started from day 1. I really look forward to how big it gets and how it all evolves.
From being an engineer in the oil and gas industry to project and sales engineer with Siemens and Schneider electric, and now an entrepreneur; what exactly drives you?
The ability to make a difference.
All I have been working towards all my life was this moment, to be able to own my company that will truly make a difference in the lives of people.
I enjoyed my life as an Engineer and being able to work in different countries and meet people of different cultures opened my mind to the opportunities out there and I how I could contribute.
My husband (who also does a lot of things) believes that we all have a lot more to give in life than just one thing. I believe this too, and so I really enjoy exploring my creativity more and more.
Many African women don’t think of themselves as able to bring anything else to the table other than their bodies or some domestic abilities
A major factor that attracted you to us is your seeming endless desire to improve the lives of others; you have demonstrated this through the countless opportunities in different spheres of life you have continued to share on your social media platforms; what exactly do you hope to achieve?
I have this belief that if I am the only rich person in the midst of nine poor people then I am the 10th poor person in disguise.
Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world. Our GDP is so low.
The value of the naira keeps falling and makes it harder for people to do international transactions in other currencies.
I have a dream to be the one through whom many get inspired and empowered to challenge their own limitations and rise above them.
I am an ordinary person with an extraordinary ambition, but there are also many ordinary people like me with extraordinary abilities that they haven’t even realised they have.
Also, I feel injustice and poverty are linked, and if people are better empowered through challenging their own mindsets, we can eradicate these things.
I just want to help people liberate themselves from their own mental prisons.
Knowledge is power, but not many people even know they have the right to the knowledge they need.
My desire is to wake people up to things like this. I especially have a passion for women empowerment too.
Many African women don’t think of themselves as able to bring anything else to the table other than their bodies or some domestic abilities.
I strongly believe that homes and the society at large would be much better when people can go beyond their perceptions of limitation.
I believe in integrity and I’ve seen that mindset change is one sure way to achieve and maintain integrity.
Imagine a Nigeria with people who have integrity (i.e. people who say what they mean and mean what they say) …. Imagine a country with people who believe in creativity and progress, and who have no sense of entitlement but rather a desire to make a difference.
This is my dream!
This is why I sincerely hope that my Nigerian followers on social media, are able to take advantage of the local and international opportunities that I often share.
Imagine that they improve their skills with the training opportunities I share or even get international jobs from the job vacancies I share or business contacts from the business posts I make.
Imagine that mindsets change for the better from the thought provoking posts I share.
Can you see how that slowly but surely, we are empowering people financially and mentally.
These people will also end up empowering others.
The international opportunities help bring in forex into the country.
The business ideas will help drive innovation. No matter how small, I want to contribute my quota in helping my fellow Nigerians.
Is there anything in your childhood that could have prepared for the life you have now?
I think my parents did.
My father was the first medical doctor in my town and owned his own hospital where he treated (and still treats) people at very affordable rates – many times, he offers free healthcare.
I spent lots of time around my dad as a child.
He bombarded me with a lot of books like Readers digest from the tender age of six.
He made me read Business times newspaper out aloud to him, even when I didn’t understand much of what I was reading at the time.
His Christmas and birthday gifts for me where always books about successful women and men scientists and leaders. E.g. Marie Curie, different Queens in England, Elizabeth Blackwell, Isaac Newton, Wright Brothers, Edison, Tesla etc.
Recently he confessed to me that he knew he gave me stuff that was too much for me to handle at my age then, but he just wanted to see I would handle them – because he could see passion in my eyes and knew I would go places.
My mom was a school headmistress and lived her life helping people in need and she always incorporated us in this.
What is your recipe for success?
Success comes to those who try.
No one is born without the ability to succeed. Be willing to fail, then learn from and try again till you succeed.
What’s the point learning how to ride a bike by reading about it – when there’s also the option of mounting a bike and having a few falls till you can maintain a balance, and even ride hands free down a hill.
Three pieces of advice for every Nigerian young woman out there.
Let’s say, my advice for every young Nigerian – not just women:
Your life is a blank canvas, you are the master painter, and you can paint any future you dare.
Get out of your comfort zone, this is the information age, research, use all the free information available, to build yourself into a great success.
Never compare your success to others, yes, they can inspire you, but you do not have exactly follow their success pattern or timetable because everyone’s path is different.
Yours might come earlier or later, just be focused, happy and keep working at it.
Start learning to collaborate with your colleagues globally. Join international groups on Facebooks where you can meet people going in the same direction of your dreams.
How did you come about the name; Golibe OD?
Golibe is a fond name my husband calls me. He now says that the public has taken over the name.
Your last word
Dear Nigerians, if you have made it, please share the secret of your success to a minimum of 10 people around you, mentor them to be successful and then ask them to pay it forward.
Kudos ma’am. You always lift and inspire me
Beautiful interview. Golibe is always giving values, She’s so full of energy and such a selfless leader.