•BONIX Drinks MD, BOLA OKOLIE
It is no longer news that the beauty lady everyone simple calls Bonix recently celebrated her 30 years in the business. What many may not have heard is the news that she has released a colourful 156 page book titled Bonix Empire: A Global Authority In The Drinks Industry. It is a book that speaks to her 30 years journey in the party drinks business. Bonix is derived from my maiden name, Bola Oni, with an ‘X’-This household name is known for drinks supply, event planning, empowerment for young entrepreneurs, women, etc. I am a woman who, for 3 decades, has grown to understand this industry’s in and out. Experience has shaped me, both the good, the bad, and the ugly. My grit and resilience have built me up to make this brand, Bonix Drinks, stand the test of time.”
“So, celebrating thirty years in this business is a clarion call to other entrepreneurs on the verge of giving up. I admonish that you stand firm and let the experience shape and mould you to become a better person.”
“Rome was not built in a day, nor was the Bonix Drinks Empire. It didn’t just pick up in a day and flourish. I faced obstacles, and challenges and, at some point, wanted to give up, but I pushed through, and so can you. It just takes sacrifice, commitment, dedication, and most importantly, God to make it work.”
“Hence, this book serves the purpose of telling my journey so far and letting people see that I am also human.
“I was born on a lovely weekend, Saturday, the 6th of June, 1970. It was probably a sign that was to be an owanbe person, in a catering way. I lived with my family at Ebute Meta, Lagos State. My childhood days, I can boldly say, were my formative years in becoming an entrepreneur, and they became more daring as I advanced.
It started when I was just a little girl in primary school. My mother sells food, and that involves a lot of physical chores, which require more helping hands than just hers alone. I used to go through so much stress for her. She had to go to the market to get food items that would be needed, wake up as early as possible, and prepare the food to be ready on time for customers. To top it all off, my mother’s health condition was not so good. I saw all of this; it wasn’t a good sight. My heart was heavy, and I had to devise a means to be more valuable and resourceful for my mother.
I confidently went to my school headmistress in Marywood Primary School, Ebutte-Meta. I told her my mother asked that she fix me up for the afternoon session in school so that I could help her out with selling in the mornings. I couldn’t tell what came over me to take that step, but I knew I had to do something. Fortunately, my Headmistress agreed to it!”
“With the readiness to help, I woke up earlier than my mother and prepared the food-rice and stew. When my mother wants to work, I’ll tell her to rest while I handle it. I was only nine years old, and one of the many things that stood out for mewasthefactthat I was money conscious- more business minded. Unlike my Mother, I ensured that everyone paid for their food before I handed it to them. I didn’t support eating on credit, but the customers got accustomed to that method and corporative with ti me.”
“With time, my Mother was able to secure a space at Oyingbo Market. At this phase, I started hawking water and soft drinks like Tandy, Crush, Surge, Coca-Cola, e.t.c. This experience built me- up as a firm woman who knows her stand.
My mother warned me that I should never go into anybody’s house to sell anything; if they couldn’t come out to buy, they could keep their money. It didn’t stop at just that. My mother was far-sighted enough to know that one could get friendly, and she made it known never to sit on any man’s legs. I understood all of this as hawking in the streets of Lagos was a challenging time then.
There was also the tough-up foundational training. My mother would tell me that if anyone, especially men, beats me, I should retaliate rather than cry home or fear them. No man can survive on the street of Oyingbo without being a fierce person. This continued for years until after my primary school education, and my Mother saw the need for me to go to my village in Kogi State to assit my Grandmother.
“Living with my grandmother, saw me exercising my business nature traits. My Grandmother was a prominent businesswoman who was into buying and selling foodstuffs. She reached out to my mother that she needed help, and my mother thought it was time I put to use my resourcefulness. So, she took me to my village, Ekinrin-Adde, to stay with my Grandmother.”
“I attended Baptist Secondary School, Ekinrin-Adde, because education was no joke to my family. Alongside schooling, I was a significant help to my Grandmother as I was basically the one who went to the market to buy her goods. I went to Pategi market, Lokoja, Oja Agbesun in Ikare-Akoko, Omuo-Oke, and Abaji Abuja (yam market), just to mention a few.
I frequented Pategi market so well to buy dry fish. By l0pm at night, I would travel with other market women to Pategi from my village, and we would get to the market around Sam. Abaji in Abuja was my major deal for buying yam, my Grandmother would hire a whole lorry, and we’d fill it up with yams to take back to my village for sales. I bought and sold in many markets around my village for my Grandmother, which was a well-taught experience.
I was so lucky because I was brilliant, which helped with my business craft. I was good at dealing with money and meticulous in spending. I was also tall, beautiful, and attractive. So, I utilized all of this to bevaluable and resourceful.’ was pretty popular in myvillage, majorly for being a helping hand to my Grandmother. I was called ‘Omo-eleja’, ‘Omo mamosa eleja’. From 1987-1989, I attended The School of Health Technology, Offa, where I studied Community Nursing, successfully combined my education with running errands for my Grandmother.
“After my education at Offa, I finally returned to Lagos. Then, my mother secured a lock-up shop in Tejuosho Market. She sold drinks because she was asked to quit the cooking business due to her health condition. I helped her here and there as I couldn’t leave it all to her. Somehow, I found it exciting and fun to do, even if it gets stressful. In 1995, I furthered my education at Great Ife- Obafemi Awolowo University, IIe-lfe, Nigeria. I bagged my degree in International Relations. The God-factor popped up for me again when a total stranger landed me my first breakthrough job in Minna.
One hot afternoon, some men entered the shop and settled for a drink. I could see how tired they were, and I was highly hospitable a alongside selling chilled drinks to them. I kept checking if there was anything they wanted to get, so I could get it for them and they wouldn’t have to stress themselves. After a while, one of these men asked if I could supply drinks at Minna for a particular event. This was for Babangida’s daughter, Aisha’s first marriage. Before then, I usually do home deliveries as a side hustle without charges. I was well-known in the market for supplying events, naming ceremonies, or traditional weddings, etc.
After gaining customers’ trust, I gradually put charges for delivery (transport fare) and missing bottles. The customers didn’t mind as much as they got their drinks. Over time, I added chilling of the drinks to my service for them.1 got a big iron drum and did the job for them.lndirectlv and unconsciously, I didn’t know I was training myself”.
About Her New Bonix Premium Water
During the party to celebrate her 30 years in the party drinks business, Bonix launched her new table water brand. She calls it Bonix Second Cup Premium Water. It is a bottled water that is designed to make a difference. This is hydration redefined. Bonix Second Cup Premium Water is purified and enhanced with a proprietary blend of minerals to give it the clean, fresh taste you want from water. And it’s packaged in 100% recyclable* bottle for you to refill, reuse and recycle. “Excludes label and cap. When you pick up a bottle of Bonix Second Cup Premium Water, you can quench your everyday thirst with a crisp, premium taste in a convenient package, making it the perfect beverage to enjoy while at work or school, on-the-go, or at home.
Bonix Second Cup Premium Water tastes the best because it naturally contains essential minerals that are beneficial to the body, such as sodium, calcium, and potassium. These minerals contribute to bone health, lower blood pressure, heart health, and a healthy digestive system. We do not add anything to our water for taste. We only filter and purify the water to make it as clean and fresh as possible. Our reverse osmosis process removes unwanted particles but leaves behind a clean, refreshing product.
Additionally, because our water is locally sourced, no other water tastes like ours. Every water source takes on a distinct flavor profile. The earth that our water passes through is unique to our area. No other water can quite compare. We pride ou rselves on havi ng fa ntastic water stra ig ht from the g rou nd. We keep our water as close to its natural state as possible, treating our water through a stringent reverse osmosis and ozonation process, to give you the best tasting and cleanest water available.