Ms Katie Chioma Okwuosa, takes passion and pride in taking care of people, especially their minds and body but it’s her love for the ageing group that made her services special.
Born and raised at Oraifite, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra state, Okwuosa turned what other people could easily view as family predicament into passion, helping her mother and father at their time of needs.
In this exclusive interview, she speaks on her life and work.
How will you introduce yourself to people?
I’m Chioma Okwuosa, An passionate lady from Oraifite with a heart of gold. By the grace of God, I am the CEO of Princeps Global Services, a Service company which encompasses professional massage therapy, Caregiving, Manicure, Cleaning and Arranging living apartment etc.
in all I can introduce myself that I am a passionate caregiver and a passionate professional body massage therapist.
As an authentic Anambra babe, i also do legit hustle. I mean buying and selling, I sell furniture, clothing and beauty product online.
At a personal level, I’m a great cleaner and loves cleanliness, loves cooking and other household chores.
What drove you into this therapy and caregiving services?
(Laughs) Love. I love, I love so much.
I love seeing and making people happy in any way i can.
I could have done so many other things because i am multi talented person but as i grow into adulthood, I found out that I have a different life style than most people around me. What I like is different from what they liked.
I am always eager to see the next person happy and if I see the less privileged ones, I feel so bad and wished that i could just help change their circumstances.
Nevertheless, most times, there’s very little I could do other than just being there and encouraging them in my little way.
Then, after graduating from the university, years back , I couldn’t think of a more fulfilling career other than offering my service to the most vulnerable people in the society – the aged and less privileged.
Even though I studied an Administrative Course and not Health Science course in school, I decided to go into it because it’s my first love.
I found this passion for caregiving before I gained admission but because I see it as part of my divine call.
However, when i finished school, i decided to get professional training in caregiving to ensure that what i do meets global standard.
That was how I enrolled at the Family Ark Mission, Lagos. When i completed my training, I returned to Anambra state as the happiest lady in the world.
With the professional knowledge in caregiving therapy, I felt like i was floating in the sky. I became ‘low key doctor’ laugh.
The practical training and testimonial we had in school had opened my eyes more, to understand how the importance of this kind of work in the society.
My desire to care for the aged grew and like they say: Charity begins at home. As i returned home, I started my practicing my new technique with my parents.
Those things I thought they should do by themselves afterall they’re not sick, I began to do them. Most importantly listening to them. Aged people want you to listen to them; that’s number one need to them so I dedicated myself to listening to my parents.
Can you give us brief insight about your parents and what you did to help them out?
My mum is a trader. She sells articles that need to be packaged in the plastic bags; and because it’s her personal business, she doesn’t disturb anyone to help her.
But anytime I am around, I always join her to pack, arrange and deliver them. We often do them together as a team and I love helping her in almost everything she does which gives her so much relief and happiness.
My happiness in this, is that it provides me the opportunity to listen to and interact with her. That’s what’s lacking in our relationship with our parents or even couple.
We barely have time to listen to our loved ones and most times, they hide their emotional and even physical challenges until it becomes a deadly problem.
My father, on the other hand, usually get sick because of accident he had when he was younger. However, because I was always there to offer him my professional caregiving services, he became better and that contributed to my decision to study massage therapy.
So, after two years, I returned to Lagos to study massage therapy at the Learning Edges Academy, Ikeja. I concentrated much on the massage that has to do with bones and joints which is Thai massage therapy.
I returned home and my father became my number one client. I started giving him massage therapy and he became better.
From my parents, extended family members, I began to expand my services to the aged people around. It became obsession that anywhere I see aged person- in the street, church, hospital, market etc I sought for their addresses and start visiting them to cater for them.
One thing I do is getting skills that enable me serve better as a caregiver.
Do you have other skill and how does it helps you serve better?
Sure, as I am talking to you now; apart from been Massage therapist, I am a cleaner, Barber, Manicurist and A great Cook.
My desire is that when I get to aged person’s house, I listen to him or her. I offer him massage therapy, dress his hair, manicure his feet, clean him with maybe scrub and clean his home. Most of them live in a smelling house. Finally, I cook and feed them
To be able to offer complete care to any elder person. I administer already prescribed drugs too. So my purpose is to be a very complete professional caregiver.
What is your typical routine when you visit them?
Firstly, I listen to them to understand their emotional state and how to help them. Then, if they don’t have food, I cook for them, play and pray with them.
For those who don’t have children that send money for their upkeeps, you have to give them some money to be able to get their needs. Of course, i offer them massage too because they need it.
The most exciting moments for the elderly is when they have someone listening to them, pampering them, eating with them, taking pictures and showing them funny things from their phones- something they are not used to.
It makes them come alive again and desire to live longer.
You don’t expect them to request your attention, sometimes they feel if they do, you see them as liability and that’s why they don’t open up sometimes, So it’s your responsibility to be with them first, play with them, spend time with them then little by little they open up and you understand their needs.
Did you do this as full time or part time job?
Actually, while i was doing these community and hospital volunteer services as part time, I was also working at Nnewi based media firm, Voice Viewpoint Newspaper as Operations Manager.
As head of the department, sometimes I sleep in the office to make sure we have result as my boss reside in California, United States and usually speak with me during their daytime which is our night time due to time differences.
Then, whenever my boss called at our night time and found out I was still in the office, he was glad that he had someone so committed in taking care of his business more than himself.
My dedicated service to company endeared me to his beautiful wife and till date, we still talk on phone and we are looking forward to meeting ourselves one day.
I am not praising myself but I can describe myself as a compassionate Caring person, Trustworthy, Strategical focus, Loyal, MultiTasking.
I cannot fail my job or people especially when it’s my responsibility to make sure they’re good.
But, I later left the company to work for Vintage newspaper, Nnewi as a journalist and from there joined Awka-based Orient Daily newspaper as a marketer.
These jobs enabled me to put food on the table, take care of my basic needs as well as deliver my services to people who need them.
But since i left Orient Daily, massage therapy service and Caregiver have become my career and job as well as engaging in buying and selling online.
In buying and selling, I grew up with it. I’ve always been a salesperson.
What kind of fulfillment has being a massage therapist brought into your life?
Being a massage therapist and passionate one makes me feel so proud and grateful to God.
It aids real solutions to humans around me. It made me start looking for health problems in the life of people to offer my solution which is my service.
For instance, I’ve met a young man that had an accident and then depression so I took up his case. I asked him to allow me offer him massage free to aids his healing and he accepted. From giving massage, I ministered spiritual healing by connecting him with God and counseled him on how to recover from depression and I also offered him joints massage therapy.
After everything he’s good now so massage therapy gives me more light into caregiving job.
Since my knowledge and impact as a therapist has enabled me to touch many lives and that’s my greatest fulfillment.
How do you update your knowledge for better service delivery?
Apart from the initial trainings i received to become a professional caregiver and massage therapist respectively, I usually visit hospitals, health centers to update my knowledge.
I also study online because new ideas are coming up every now and then. I have a lot of health course certificates already and I not quitting in learning.
Many young ladies prefer to venture into massage services they refer as erotic. Do you also offer such services to clients?
No I do not offer erotic massage therapy because I am a professional and erotic is not a professional massage. It was actually meant for couples.
You know massage ought to be understood by everyone because it’s a daily need.
Human beings live in a stressful nature and drugs cannot kill stress; only massage therapy can deal with that.
So couples can offer themselves massage in their private room and ofcourse erotic massage is one of the types of massage couples can offer themselves.
If I’ll ever offer erotic, it’ll be to my own husband. I deal with health massage services only.
What are the key challenges you have faced In Your Job?
Nigerians are ignorant of massage therapy services. We only manage in this job here and that’s why we have to offer free massage sometimes.
Many people don’t believe that massage therapy can take care of their health problems.
The fact that I offer only health massage services and not erotic massage also make us not popular in the market. The irony is that we are actually the people saving lives.
Another challenge is that because our service warrants being with a client most times alone and he or she half naked, there’s also the risk of being sexually harassed so we do not offer everyone our service.
I am always security conscious which put me in a state of demanding answers to my questions first time, that is to test the client’s self control abilities. Through the replies to my questions then I’ll understand your self control abilities.
Due to this principle, I have retained fewer clients but one good thing is that those who go through my therapy always come back to testify.
Lack of Government Body or Agency:
If government massage therapy in Nigeria, we will be more protected and secure to do our jobs.
Some of my colleagues in America don’t get clients request for unprofessional massage therapy and if one out of a thousand does, he or she can be sanctioned by government just for asking a massage like erotic. If that applies here, I’ll really be very happy.
There are so many misconceptions about massage therapy. Can you address some of them?
Yes, Oftentimes when I tell people that I’m a massage therapist, the first thing that comes to their mind is sexual activity.
That’s one great misconception people have about massage. You see many married men requesting for a sexual massage from a professional massage therapist and he would tell you it’s normal or he thought it’s part of it because he has had it that way so so times.
Well, massage is not for sexual gratification but an important therapeutic exercise to health. Both should not be taken as the same.
Massage therapy is a professional health service not social services. It’s for healing not for pleasure. It’s for the sick not for sex starved people. There are right places to get every service.
I’ve had an opportunity to interview someone that provides sexual satisfaction (erotic) in this job and she told me it’s the easiest service because she’d start from head then straight down to the genitals and she’s done unlike me that offers three types of massages in one session.
Incidentally, those patronizing erotic massage or whatever they call it do not understand that they have not really received the professional service of this job once.
Anyone I have ever given massage therapy must confirm they’ve never experienced it in their lives.
What’s your lifetime goal?
To be a caregiver that touched many lives. Infact I’ll like my caregiving company to keep serving people while I’m gone.
I’ll like to train and mentor more young people in caregiving services. I’ll also like to set up a school that can train people on massage therapy and caregiving services.
People need to understand that caring is a great service to mankind. Our people also need to learn to plan for their old age.
The young ones must also understand that their aged parents want to be listened to. It is also my desire to have some capable hands that can partner with me to help many less privileged in our society, that’s the gap I want to fill. Taking care of aged people and Teaching younger age to plan for their old age then teaching young kids to listen to their aged parents.
Do you think you are qualified to work anywhere in the world?
As a matter of fact I’ll say that I am more qualified than everyone I’ve seen or heard of.
Why? Because one trait I have is that I am a learner always. I love upgrading my knowledge irrespective of where the knowledge is coming from. Even if you’re a baby but have what I need, I take the information immediately.
Some people are full of arrogance and wouldn’t want to learn.
2. I am a lover. I love so much. I have a charitable heart. I love my job and I love to serve.
I have actually done much volunteer services because I love serving people to make them happier so anywhere I see myself I’ll always serve.
3, I learn from the world’s standard training schools.
All the health companies I have gotten trained are all world’s recognized.
You know there’s a difference between someone that has passion for his job and someone that work for salary.
I work as a Caregiver and professional body massage therapist because I love my job extremely.
I keep adding more skills that will enable me take care of whole families.
I can take care of big family that has grandma, parents and with little kids.
I can take care of kids alone without any helper and I can take care of aged parents without any extra hands.
I can serve and help them do almost everything even if they don’t use toilet by themselves.
So I am very very qualified to compete worldwide.
Apart from these aged people, can you remember taking care of young person?
I am a passionate Caregiver. As we speak now, I am caring for a Pakarson patient.
When her elder sister called me first time, I didn’t understand the job well.
This lady is in her 30s but look like 70 years.
Someone I had taken care of their stroke patient suggested me to them.
So when I got to island when they are staying, I couldn’t breath. Because I never knew someone could allow someone else be that dirty.
The first day was terrible, from cleaning to scrubbing to washing her clothes with hands to cooking for her etc
Complete 24 hours no food, no water trying to remove stinky smells.
At the end the whole smell vanished.
It’s a great privilege.
I’m glad God used me.
I will like to appeal to the public to take their health seriously and always go for professional massage therapy as it helps the human body and mind relieve stress and anxiety.
Princeps Global Services: 4 Seidu Ajibowu street Ikeja.
Ifecomo plaza Eme-court Road Nnewi Anambra state.
Facebook: Katie massage therapist