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From rock bottom to star baker

By Amy Church | 03 Sep 2020

Lydia lives in Nigeria. At 28, she is making a good living and achieving her ambitions. But it wasn’t always this way. When she was younger, Lydia was told she’d amount to nothing…

When Lydia turned 17, her parents died as a result of HIV. This left her and her 15-year-old sister fending for themselves.

Lydia’s neighbour put her in touch with a training centre run by Tearfund’s church partner Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), and this was the lifeline she needed – the opportunity to learn new skills to turn her life around. The staff spoke with Lydia about what kind of job she’d like to do and she told them her dream was to bake cakes.

‘I love cake,’ says Lydia, smiling.

When she was at school, her friend’s aunt had sent in a cake. ‘One day, I’ll learn how to bake,’ Lydia had said. But her classmates laughed, saying ‘You will never know how to bake in your life!’ Lydia was hurt, but always knew she was capable of proving her doubters wrong.

Getting into the cake mix
Lydia threw herself into the training. At the end, ECWA gave her the equipment to start a bakery, and her new venture began to take off. Ten years later, she’s the owner of the best cake business in town.

‘I proved them wrong,’ says Lydia, thinking back to her classmates. She bakes cakes for weddings, and makes enough money to support her sister and young niece as well as herself.

To share her success with others, Lydia now works as a teacher too, showing other young people how to make a living through baking. They’re inspired by Lydia because she’s come so far, but she’s not done yet.

‘My ultimate dream is to have the biggest cake empire in Nigeria,’ says Lydia. ‘I will get there. The foundation is key to a good building, and ECWA gave me a firm foundation. They helped me become who I am today.’


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Written by Amy Church

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