May 27 the world over is seen as a day Children are being celebrated. Children’s Day as it is called comes with a lot of celebrations for children as they go out for March past, parties and visit some recreational places that makes them happy; albeit, this year’s celebration was marred by the coronavirus pandemic.
For Tochi Nwonu, CEO, Tee Signature, the number one fashion brand in Ajegunle community of Lagos State, May 27, 2019 was a day she will never forget in her lifetime. That was the day she lost her beloved mother, Mrs. Margaret Nwonu to the cold hands of death, and wait for it, that was also her birthday.
Friends and well wishers waited for her usual birthday celebration that is done in her Oregie office, but alas, the news they got was that the mum just departed planet earth after a long battle with health issues. So it was celebration turned sorrow for award winning Tee Signature as she is fondly called by friends and clients.
Tee Signature who is the closest to her mum amongst her siblings, took time out to think out of the box having been boxed into a corner of either celebrating her own birthday or mourning her mother’s death all on the same day. What would you have done in such a situation?
May 27, 2020 saw the innate creative nature of the classic designer as she decided to launch an initiative that will have her mum in the limelight and still celebrate her birthday with no eyes popping.
On the said day, Tee Signature gathered couple of friends in her office for a little merriment, practicing social distancing and all known measures associated with the spread of the deadly Covid 19. There was enough to eat and drink as she was celebrated and wait for it…she launched the Margaret Nwonu Foundation, an initiative to cater for the widows, orphans and vulnerable children in the society.
To her, “I decided to set up the Margaret Nwonu Foundation in honour of my mum, to continue the good work I met her doing” she began.
“Since I was a child, the only thing I know she does is put laughter on people’s face; make people happy. She is like this umbrella that covers people from the sun and rain. So I just thought of continuing the good work and here we are, Margaret Nwonu Foundation.”
She stated clearly that the Foundation is an empowerment initiative for widows, orphans and vulnerable children.
Margaret Nwonu was best known to be a philanthropist and what better way to remember her than to carry out what she stood for by cementing her legacy through the foundation.
Tee Signature later took her friends to Nosanmu Street in Ajegunle where she gave out cash donations to 10 widows to start up one trade or the other.
New clothes sewn by the amiable fashion guru was also distributed to children and women that thronged the arena.
We need not look further from where Tee Signature drew her motivation from, seeing what the mother had accomplished during her life time.
“My motivation is the woman that had always being behind my smile; the woman that had always made me laugh, even one year after her passing on, I still smile when I remember her; when the sound of her name is mentioned I still smile and laugh.”
She stated unequivocally that her mum is one person that always ensures that the next person to her is happy.
“So I’m just trying to keep up the good work she was doing,” she posited.
It would be recalled that Mrs. Margaret Nwonu died on the 27th of May, 2019 at Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Enugu.