A Life In Brief
Hauwa Abubakar is from Yola South in Adamawa State. She is the fifth out of the seven children of her parents. Hauwa attended Sanda Primary School and Day-Wurohausa Secondary School in Adamawa State. She got married to Mr. Sahabo Abubakar from also Adamawa state on 24 September, 1999. They are blessed with children.
My name is Hauwa Abubakar and I am from Adamawa State. I was born in Yola South. I am the fifth out of the seven children of my parents. I attended Sanda Primary School and Day-Wurohausa Secondary School in Adamawa State. I got married to Mr. Sahabo Abubakar from also Adamawa state on 24 September, 1999. We are blessed with children.
What do you do for a living?
I am into baking. I fry chi-chi, do zobo, kunu, masa and do some baking and then supply. I take the masa to suya joints around Ojota and Ketu in Lagos State for them to sell. I can sell up to 50,000 pieces of masa per day. People also order for masa during marriage ceremonies and birthday parties. As for the chichi, dankuwa, zobo and kunu, I take them to my children’s school to sell. This has helped me to assist my husband in taking care of us. My husband is also very supportive. He encourages me a lot. He also advises me to try new things. If I succeed, good! If I don’t, then I need to keep trying.
When did you start the business?
I started the business about 10 years ago. I couldn’t just sit at home and expect my husband to provide everything for me. I had to do something to assist him in bringing up our children.
How it all started
Before I started my business, I had to visit some of the suya joints in my area and tell them I would like to supply them masa and they were very excited. I also visited places where my brothers and sisters were trading and also told them I would be supplying them masa. I started by making like 50 pieces, and as time went on, more and more people kept ordering for it. That was how I started.
Who taught you how to make masa?
I learnt it from my aunty. Whenever one of my siblings was getting married, my aunty would come over to make it as part of the food for the ceremony. I am the one always assisting her. That was how I learnt how to make masa. I also learnt how to make zobo, fry chi-chi and kunu from my sisters.
Who is your mentor?
My mentor would be my aunty. She always motivates me to try new things. She is the one who advised me to do something even if small.
What are your challenges?
The only challenge I have in my business is that sometimes, business does not boom the way it used to. I struggled to sell 30,000 pieces of masa especially during the recession period and when I don’t sell them, they get bad the next day. That is a big loss for me.
How are you different from other people?
I see people on the street begging for money everyday. I will never do that. Allah has blessed me with good health and a complete body. I will use my hands to work, so as to feed my family.
What are your plans for your business?
I want to expand my business. If I can be supplying every ceremony in Lagos State, I know how much I would be making. I also want to create more awareness by expanding my business to corporate organisations.
How do you combine business with family life?
My children are all grown up. They assist me in the kitchen and before I go out, I always ensure that there is food in the house, so that when they come back from school, they will have something to eat.
Are all your children going to school?
Yes! They are all going to school. Education is the only thing we can give to them. Even though we are not financially buoyant, the education of our children is not something we can neglect. What we do is that we ensure that all of them have solid educational background by sending them to private school. When they are through with their primary school, we then send them to public school.
What is your advice to married women?
My advice to women is that they should try to empower themselves. If their husbands refuse to help them, they should try and do something. They should never sit down at home waiting for their husbands to provide everything for them. That can frustrate the man, especially if he is not financially buoyant.
As for those who sit on the road side and beg for money with their children, my advice to them is that they should beg for once and use the money to do business. They can even sell pure water or do anything. With that, they will earn more respect for themselves and their children.
In terms of taking care of my family generally, I have ensured that I have deep respect for my husband and my husband in turn has continued to love me. The secret of my successful marriage life is understanding. I have what they call deep respect for my husband and he has continued to love me.