Didi Edet is a US certified and award-winning dating coach in Nigeria. She has been matchmaking for over 8 years but got her certification from the United States in 2015.
The platform MatchMakerDidi.com was created as a need for privacy in this dating age. It is a privacy-focused matchmaking platform for singles over 25 years to meet like-minded individuals. It has now been extended to every location in the world so they also have clients in Belgium, Dubai and more.
Didi has a first degree in Economics from the prestigious Howard University and a master in International Strategy from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She also works as a statistician for the National Bureau of Statistics and has previously worked as a strategist for NEXIM Bank and a data analyst with Debt Management Office.
When you first meet Didi, you cannot but notice her humble disposition. She is down-to-earth and carries no air around. Ever willing to help and modest about her achievements, Didi runs an enterprise that is impacting positively the lives of the singles out there.
In this interview with City People’s Contributing Editor, IYABO OYAWALE (08033564055), Didi says matchmaking is her passion. She also talks about her life and why her matchmaking business is successful.
What are the 3 most common dating problems of Nigerian single women?
The most common dating problems I believe apply to both genders. It’s usually an expectation that they can find a perfect person so they keep turning down other well-meaning singles. Another problem I would say is lacking the ability to compromise which still ties with the first issue. The third problem would be not having access to more options which is where we come in. A lot of singles above 30 are working and some don’t have the luxury of time to have a social life and go to events where they might meet people, we help by bridging that gap.
How do we deal with these problems?
Being more open-minded is the first step to take towards that. Open-minded in the fact that you can compromise on some non-negotiables. Open-minded in the fact that platforms like matchmakerdidi that didn’t exist years ago now do and it makes meeting people easier.
What is the difference between online dating and using a matchmaking platform?
The difference between online dating and a matchmaking platform is one that a lot of people are unaware of and often mistake both to mean the same thing. Online dating covers websites and apps that you can go on to meet other singles on your own. Matchmaking platforms on the other end are like having a wingman or wing-woman as the platform does act as a middleman between both singles and also may offer advice when it comes to the early stages of dating.
What expectations do your clients have with meeting other single individuals?
Clients vary in age, gender and more so their expectations differ as well. It is impossible to generalize the expectations clients have beyond the fact that they expect to meet other like-minded single individuals.
How do you deal with clients who have unrealistic expectations when they come to you?
Clients who come with unrealistic expectations are not approaching us thinking their expectations are unrealistic. It may be realistic to them but based on our experience with other singles, it may be near impossible so rather than raise your hopes, we try to explain why we may not be able to reach their expectations on this platform and maybe other platforms might be able to do that.
What are some of the challenges you have encountered with a new line of business in Nigeria?
There have been so many challenges we have faced as other businesses do but with our unique and fairly new area of expertise, our challenges have been unique as well. We have faced challenges that deal with trust as a lot of people have a certain level of fear dealing with any online business. We have had challenges with staff by having to train them specifically for roles that we had to create ourselves.
Why are you manual in your process instead of automated like everyone else?
I love this question and I get asked this question a lot. Yes, a lot of people prefer automation as it’s faster and probably less stressful. Automated services will get you more numbers but I realized I prefer to focus on quality than quantity. I started the manual and got a lot of joy from the connection and marriages that happened on the platform. I did go automated at a point and felt so disconnected and what I did was not bringing me joy anymore. I reverted back to our manual process and it’s been great. There is a platform for everyone; ours caters to the privacy-focused individual who doesn’t have the time for filtering singles online. There is also a certain joy that comes when you personally know the couple you connected.
What are the types of people on the platform?
Our platform has all types of people. We have a free membership level that is web-based and that’s the automated version. It involves sending messages to interested singles and more. We also gave the manual part which caters more to professionals that want to outsource their dating lives. There is a wide variety of people on the platform.
Can clients see pictures of people before they meet them?
Yes, pictures can be exchanged once both parties agree to it. We are very big on privacy so even with the free membership; both parties have to agree to match for their pictures to be visible to each other. The personalized process like the name says is personalized, you can choose not to share your pictures if you don’t want or customize the process to suit you.
Will they have an unlimited number of people to meet when they sign up?
There is a limited number of people to meet and this was decided because in this day and age of swipe left and swipe right, people don’t take the time to give people a chance and give up way too easily so having a strict number of matches allows people to really consider before they choose a match and put the effort in knowing the person.
Is this strictly online?
Most of the process is online because we know people are busy so may not be able to take the time to meet us in person so we try to make it convenient by chatting or talking to the clients without physically meeting them.
What advice would you give to singles out there?
Advice to singles out there. I would say do not be pressured into anything. If you want a partner, put effort into finding one like you would with other aspects of your life. If you want to lose weight, you eat right and go to the gym. If you want to meet a partner, you go out more and try matchmakerdidi or other dating platforms.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Didi Edet. I am a US certified and award-winning dating coach in Nigeria. I have been matchmaking for over 8 years but got my certification from the United States in 2015 and bagged the second certification in matchmaking in 2019. The platform Matchmakerdidi (Lagosmatchmaker) was created as a need for privacy in this dating age. It is a privacy-focused matchmaking platform for singles over 25-years to meet like-minded individuals.
I had my first degree in Economics from the prestigious Howard University in Washington, DC and my Master’s degree in International Strategy from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. I am also in the process of obtaining my PhD from the University of Plymouth in external debt management. I also work as a statistician for the National Bureau of Statistics and have previously worked as a strategist for NEXIM Bank and a data analyst with the Debt Management Office.
I am also an author and my books can be purchased on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other online book stores. My first book is titled: Examining July 2004 Banking Sector Reform while my second book is titled: Roller Coaster: the External Debt Journey so Far- Nigeria.
I have been interviewed on various platforms like BBC World News with Phillipa Thomas, Arise News, Reuters, EOM Business Network on Silverbird TV, Ebony Life TV, Pursuits by Business Day, TechPointng, TVC network, Nigerian Tribune, The Sun, Businessday, Vanguard, STV, Thisday, Guardian, TW magazine, URock magazine, the Spice TV Africa, Jasiri on Newscentral TV, Savvymedia Africa, VL magazine Africa, Jasmine Africa (cover edition) Magazine, the Daily Times, Africa Business Radio, News Telegraph paper, Glamtush, News Time Africa, Vanguard Allure, Women of Rubies, The Amazons on Radio by Classic Fm, Mumpreneur, HOTM TV by Omilola Oshikoya, Urban Woman magazine, Leadership paper, Drive magazine, Zamari TV, the Hanging Out TV on NTA, Biscon TV and has written a number of articles with Lost in Lagos Magazine.
I have also spoken on various platforms. Some of which include 53 Extra on EbonyLife TV, the What Women Want Program with Mimi Onalaja, the Sapiosexual Club Event, JCI Ikeja Business Event, Femalepreneurs, Lost in Lagos, Leading Ladies Foundation, OlahTV, standing out with Pat TV, MetroWoman, Fearless Female Network, Women’s Connect, Her Network, The Boss Lady Conference series. I have also been a guest on Tryst TV and a regular on Wakeup Nigeria on TVC.
I have also participated as a co-host on the Thursdays Love Match Show on Classic Fm, BBC podcast with Alan Kasujja and also with the Big Brother Series Ultimate Love on DSTV and hosted a regular online speed dating program ‘Dating in Quarantine’ in 2020. I currently host a regular online dating series called ‘Find a Date’.
Why did you go into matchmaking?
I have always matchmade friends and connected with a lot of people so when a friend of mine suggested that I turn my passion or gift into a business, it was interesting. Having to do that for strangers brought on a different feeling of fulfilment.
In this age of Internet fraud, how can one trust online matchmaking?
Fraud is there online and offline as well. I have heard a lot of scary stories online and offline so it pays to be careful. We do our own part by verifying to make sure that the individual is who they say they are. Who qualifies to consult a matchmaker? And can you be consulted?