Although, not all superheroes wear capes, we’ve discovered one who has a multi-coloured cape, by virtue of what she does, and she is Dr Chidinma Abuwa, our Woman Who Inspires this week.
Chidinma Abuwa is a Medical Doctor whose business is not just saving lives in the Emergency Room but also making sure people of all ages are living a healthy life.
EM’s Gold Gerry had a chat with the ever-inspiring Fitness Expert and President of the Gray Healthcare Foundation, an NGO created to give care and uplift the health of the elderly.
EM: Please tell us about yourself
Chidinma Abuwa: My name is Chidinma Tolulope Abuwa, fondly called the Fittableshaker. I am from a bi-ethnic family in Nigeria. I have my first degree at the University of Port Harcourt where I studied Medicine and Surgery. I am a Medical Doctor and Fitness Expert.
While pursuing a medical degree, following my lifelong passion for helping people live out their purpose in a healthy body, I ventured into the fitness and wellness industry. During my undergraduate years, there were a lot of strike actions that led to me having a lot of time on my hands which I was determined not to waste and I invested the time in starting a business in helping people overcome something I had struggled with at some point in my life- being overweight and eating a poor diet.
I kickstarted with improving my fitness, eating healthy and attending a Nutrition course by Stanford University. I have been in the fitness industry for about half a decade, I worked in two gyms before starting my own business, Fittableshaker where I have helped numerous people develop healthier lifestyles and have a great connection to their bodies.
EM: What are your hobbies and fun activities you love engaging in?
Chidinma: I enjoy travelling, learning new sports and photography, in the past few months alone I have learnt how to do weighted hula hoops and currently learning basic kayaking.
A while ago, I was employed as a doctor in an organization and the same organization engaged me as a photographer for some of their events. An added perk to travelling is I get to explore new sights, new sports and try out new food. I love food.
EM: From being a Medical Doctor to managing a business, let us know how you balance work and your personal life?
Chidinma: Balancing work and personal life does not come easy, it is as intentional as it gets.
Working full time as a medical doctor and fitness expert, two key factors that have helped me maintain balance are being organized and intentional. There are phases when work is very busy and needs a bit more attention than usual because there are a lot of deadlines, projects and things that need to get done urgently. And at other times, there are more family engagements and personal projects, knowing what phase it is and adjusting accordingly requires one to be flexible.
Getting support when needed and speaking out when one is feeling overwhelmed is very
EM— What have been your proudest moments as a business owner?
Chidinma: I have had several proud moments, one that stood out was when I had cared for a man who thought his life was coming to an end owing to complications of a chronic medical illness.
After getting specialized medical care, he resolved to improve his lifestyle habits and I helped him through it. He said he has become the healthiest he has been in over fifty years. He was so happy, he even told his family and his sister named her daughter after me, as she just had a baby when it happened.
EM: Have you experienced any limitations in business or a project because you’re a woman?
Chidinma: I have had quite many challenges but no challenges I would ascribe to being female. As regards my gender, I have had quite a few remarks from people saying “wetin woman dey find for business ” and the occasional “this your work no go gree you see husband”.In all, one of my top challenges has been with staffing, particularly identifying people who truly share my vision to work with me. In this field, we deal directly with the human body so being meticulous, motivated and passionate is very important.
EM: You have been in business for half a decade, how have you maintained visibility in your sector?
Chidinma: I think maintaining visibility is sort of a subconscious thing, it’s not something you entirely set out to do. When you’re doing your job excellently and consistently, you maintain visibility. Another important way is through collaborations, the sky is big enough to contain everyone, collaborating with those in your field and across other fields helps to broaden your horizon and maintain a healthy relationship with people that you share similar passions with.
EM: Kindly share some of your secrets to becoming successful with EM
Chidinma: For upcoming entrepreneurs, I say be courageous, take risks and let excellence be the foundation of your business. Excellent service speaks for itself. I can say from experience that fear is crippling and if you want to start a business you have to be courageous and exude excellence on all sides.
EM: What is next for you and your brand?
Chidinma Abuwa: Presently my business is digital and offering, e-services and e-products. We are
currently working on building more physical products and infrastructure. A key area I am
focusing on in the coming year is establishing wellness and fitness services tailored to the needs of the elderly. I am currently the President of the Gray Healthcare Foundation, an NGO focused on uplifting the health of the elderly population in Africa.