‘WHY WE ORGANISE FREE TRAININGS’ – Mix ‘N’ Bake Boss, Patricia Ikeoluwa-Biobaku
The country is hard and the economic situation is not putting smiles on the faces of the citizens. There is however a handful of patriotic business individuals who are always ready to assist people in their little ways. Mrs. Patricia Ikeoluwa Biobaku is one of these few God – sent philanthropists that love helping people and winning souls for Christ at the same time. Our correspondent spoke with her at one of the bi-monthly free classes the Mix ‘N’ Bake boss organised recently in Lagos. Excerpts…
Tell us about Mix ‘N’ Bake.
Mix ‘N’ Bake is an organization of many parts. We have the baking and confectionery section, the catering section, which takes care of birthdays, wedding parties, etc; the sales section for baking accessories; the training school, where we have regular training classes and the periodical free baking and decoration classes.
Why train people for free?
The free training classes is a call to service, a divine instruction from God and my own little way of telling my success story; sort of expressing God’s goodness in my life. I noticed this even before I started Mix ‘N’ Bake that most successful people rarely want to reveal the way to success to others. But Mix ‘N’ Bake is different. This is not blaming anybody; individual callings differ.
Secondly, due to the challenges people face due to the state of the nation’s economy, we found out that some people love to do something meaningful with their lives, but the wherewithal is not there. This group could not afford our regular fees, hence Mix ‘N’ Bake decided to organize free classes twice a month. And beyond the free classes, we seize the valuable opportunity to tell people about Christ, winning souls for God’s kingdom.
What is the attendance/response like?
To the glory of God, the attendance has always been encouraging. For instance, this last one, at Maryland, we recorded at least 180 attendees. We even discovered that our regular students too still join the free classes at any given opportunity. When most of these people realized that it goes beyond just learning to bake and decorate, many more became interested because of the church-like setting: we sing, dance, praise God and even listen to truly challenging gospel messages from seasoned men of God like Pastor Sam Adeyemi and others.
And still give health talks?
It has been amazing. I used to be very slim, but suddenly began to add some weight. My husband has always loved me slim, so the little weight added was quickly noticed and I concluded that something must be done urgently. This is why I always advise my fellow ladies, women folk, about health. Being obsessed could lead to heart problems due to excess cholesterol. It is good to keep fit.
You talk so much about your family, your church, why?
Yes. I love my husband so much, and I love my children too. When you serve God, you appreciate the need to ensure that you are a winner at home, even as you do not lose at work. I love being around my family as there is no place like home. We need to have time for our families, with our children and spend lots of time with them even as business people. I encourage women who come for training to stop buying and buying most of the stuff they can bake at home. They should learn to bake bread, cake, etc and make them taste special, so that the entire family would enjoy together and look forward to more of such bakings.
The praise and worship cum prayer sessions, any plan to start a church?
(Long laugh) No. No. Not at all. God has not called me to start a church. We pray, worship and praise God, the giver of life and all other good things before we start anything in Mix ‘N’ Bake. Moreso, as a committed member of Daystar Christian Centre under Pastors Sam and Nike Adeyemi, in life, God must be at the beginning, He must be the foundation, that is why He remains the Alpha and Omega. But then, as a born again child of the Almighty God, you don’t have to start a church to reach out to others, especially the unbelievers and win souls for Christ. Your vocation, your office work and everyday interaction with people represent channels whereby you can preach the word and introduce Christ. Every opportunity we have as Christians should be made an avenue to glorify God, the greatest giver, from whom all blessings flow.
Tell us about your affiliation to PME Arts & Crafts of England.
Yes, Mix ‘N’ Bake is affiliated to PME Arts & Crafts of England, a first class training school. We actually started by selling their products here in Nigeria, like baking materials, baking tools, sugarcrafts, etc. PME noticed our consistency and integrity after a while and since they could not come down to Nigeria, I was invited for training as a teacher. We thereafter went into a partnership deal whereby Mix ‘N’ Bake trains people in Nigeria who cannot afford to travel to England. These people here in Nigeria take the classes, exactly as in UK, same training, same curriculum while the professional certificate is issued from England to students.
How many classes do you organize nationwide?
Presently, Mix ‘N’ Bake runs baking, cake decorating and business classes in Lagos; two centres at Ojodu and Maryland. We are also in Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Warri. The PME International School, England, UK remains our major partner. We run courses on baking, cake decorating and sugarcraft accessories as business classes. A certificate is issued from England to participants after every PME professional diploma course.
You’ve won many awards, local and international…
We glorify God for these numerous awards from people within and outside the country. They show the extent Mix ‘N’ Bake is being acknowledged and appreciated by our admires, most especially beneficiaries of our free classes whereby the less privileged in the society are being empowered. We thank everybody.
Any advice to fellow believers?
We should imbibe the spirit of a minister in the market place. Our lives and businesses should flow with the passion to encourage, enlighten, empower and enrich others. A ministry that begins with the burden that God laid on your hearts, coupled with a new ability to make others successful. And through these, we secure God’s presence in all we do.
NB: First published December 2013
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