My name is Caroline Soje. I am from Olamaboro local government area of Kogi State and Igala by tribe. I was born into the family of Late Mr Peter Momoh, an accountant and Mrs Salamatu Monicah Momoh, a caterer in Sokoto State. I am the last child from a family of four children. I have a twin brother who occupies the third position.
I started my educational career at Gado Nasko Primary School, Gwagwalada, Abuja. From there to, Government Secondary School Agaliga Efabo, Kogi State. I later proceeded to the University of Abuja, where I studied Sociology. I requested for an exemption letter from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) due to some health conditions as I was pregnant with my first son, and during the first trimester, I had complications. It would have been a privilege to serve my country, because it has always been my passion from childhood. I am a make-up artist and also into wholesale of palm oil.
We had our moments of disagreement and fights, especially with my twin brother. I was hot headed and sometimes he got punches from me, which left him crying and calling for attention from our mother. But we are all grown now and whenever I recall those childhood moments, I smile and laugh sometimes. I am among the lucky children who had a normal and comfortable life as I was provided with the basic things I needed to grow.
Initially, I was into the buying and selling of lady’s wears, bags, shoes, costumes and all kinds of hair. I later switched to makeup because I needed more time to concentrate on my studies. I was trained by House of Tara International in 2011 and the experience was mind blowing. It felt good to be a makeup artist then, because only few people were into the business, and this gave room for more referrals all over the place. Marriage and child bearing have made things different now, as family is now priority and I can no longer jostle from one city to the next for makeup jobs. As time went by, staying at home for months after having my first child in 2010 made me realise I could try another line of business, and so, I decided to explore the palm oil business with a start up capital of N100,000.
The price of a gallon at the time was N14,000 in 2016 and knowing I could get it from the village to Abuja, was good because i would make a reasonable amount from sales. This made me focus on the trade. Its non-perishable nature further convinced me. My grandmother, who resides in the village, plays a role in the business as she helps place orders for the quantity needed as well as getting a driver to transport them to Abuja. Though I have, on several occasions, gone to the market, met few of the palm oil marketers where I reside, in Abuja, to show them the quality of my product and price, I still retain this chain of business with the help of my grandmother who is readily available to assist me. The industrious part, I also got from my mother, Mrs Salamatu Monica, who has always been in business while I was a little girl. So, it was easy for me to start something of mine.
WHAT GIVES YOU AN EDGE OVER COMPETITORS?
I learn and listen to people who are above me and are thriving in different areas of life.
God, family and friends.
I have been able to invest more than the capital I started with in the business. I do not depend on my spouse for little things, referrals keep coming and being able to sell and get a thank you is fulfilling.
Logistics but of course we are growing and it will definitely be a thing of the past.
My plan is to expand the business across the 36 states of the country.
MOST MEMORABLE DAY
The gift of life on a daily basis is memorable to me, and I don’t take the privilege for granted.
I love to cook and I got this from family. I also love travelling, trying out new foods and recipes. I am an extrovert.
HOW DO YOU COMBINE BUSINESS, PROFESSION WITH FAMILY LIFE?
Sometimes, it gets difficult. But it would be worse being a stay at home mother. I find a way to do it right even though I am yet to achieve a perfect balance.
ADVICE TO WOMEN
In the end, you are all you have. Get busy, go out and do something, no matter how little. Remember little drops make an ocean. Let’s also learn to love and tolerate one another in order to attain success.
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