A LIFE IN BRIEF
Zarah Umar Mu’azu is a 35-year-old lady from Katagum, Bauchi. She is of blue blood from the royal family of late Alhaji Umar Mu’azu, the Durbi of Katagum Emirate in Bauchi State. She did her primary school at the College of Education Azare Staff School, and proceeded to Unity Collage Gwaram, Jigawa State for her secondary. She has a diploma in accounting from Bauchi Polytechnic and a higher national diploma in banking and finance. She is married.
My name is Zarah Umar Mu’azu. I am 35-years-old. I am from a royal family, that is the family of late Alhaji Umar Mu’azu, the Durbi of Katagum Emirate in Bauchi State.
I was born in Azare the headquarters of Katagum local government of Bauchi State. I did my primary school at the College of Education Azare Staff School, then proceeded to Unity Collage Gwaram, Jigawa State for secondary.
Later on after my secondary school, I moved to Kaduna to live with my uncle and I was there for many years. By 1998 I was admitted into Federal Polytechnic Bauchi for a national diploma in accounting; by 2002 I also proceeded to do higher national diploma (HND) in banking and finance and successfully graduated in 2003. I am now happily married and blessed with an eight-year-old son, Arif.
HOW IT STARTED
My mom lives in Lagos, and I usually pay her visits at the end of the semester. So when I entered polytechnic she started buying some jewelries for me to sell in the school. It all started like a try, and I can recall my mom at that time didn’t mind if I return the profit to her. All she wanted was to see that I am making progress. For my own kindness I do return some share of the profit to her which she occasionally asked me to keep but sometimes she collected it.
I was pretty making profits and I had a lot of customers in my school and within the family and among my friends.
That made my mom to extend my business capacity to add wrappers, laces among other ladies’ stuff on the existing business. When I also got married, my husband empowered my capital and I started going overseas to purchase goods.
Now I do go to Dubai and America to purchase goods like hand bags, shoes, and some men’s wears too.
As the business expanded, I had to look for a specific and secured place where to meet with the customers and be in touch with. All thanks be to Allah, I now have a boutique with three female and two male employees under me.
As I have said earlier, my mother inspired me. She was the one that paved this way for me and more importantly encouraged me to the success.
My love for fashion stimulated me to strive hard in this business. Sometimes it is impossible to obtain all you need. I always want to look good and decorative since my life.
I always want to wear latest designers, fancy bags, phones and all those ladies’ stuffs, thus I have to be self-reliant in order to satisfy my desires and needs and for me, there is no suitable alternative than to have a successful and sustainable business.
It was on that note that I also ventured into other entrepreneurial activities apart from my known business.
I attended make-up school at House of Tara Abuja, and I am currently partnering with some NGOs in Bauchi to train young girls especially the vulnerable ones.
Patience and confidence in myself are also the significant factors behind my secret. Business as professionals say is risk. It required high degree of patience and confidence. Things aren’t going to be successful at a spot. It must be matter of time, and that is probably the reason behind some business failures especially in the small and medium scale enterprises (SMSE).
I love traveling and watching movies.
I have got a boutique, numbers of assets, and more importantly I help people and my relatives with my endeavour.
I have no mentor other than my uncle Alhaji Muhammed Gambo Mu’azu, the director Procurement Federal Ministry of Health, no words can fit in to say thank you to him rather than prayers for his progress.
My dream is to establish a big company with a branch in each of the 19 Northern states of Nigeria; to become a business role model and a philanthropist.
I have no regret.
HOW YOU MANAGE BUSINESS AND MY MARRIAGE
I have a housemaid at home and five people in my boutique. So I have no problem with anything at all.
I am pretty sure that an entrepreneur cannot escape debt. Majority of my customers always collect stuffs from me on credit and many of them are very loyal to me in terms of patronage. I struggle hard to retrieve those outstanding debts from them.
My advice is on upbringing and discipline in our various households especially in the northern states. I urge every parent to imbibe the culture of making their children to be self-reliant. This could be done by teaching them some vocational activities especially those accrued in some skills acquisition centres.
I would also like to enjoin those in small and medium enterprises or those that have passion in business to always believe in themselves no matter how their situation might be. This will no doubt get them focused and to face a specific direction that lead them to success in as much as that confidence exists in them. They should always think deeply in making decisions because it decides their whole feature life.
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