Oyiza Bello was born into the family of S A Bello on 24th November, 1989 at Oboroke Ihima in Kogi State. She is an Igbira woman from Okehi local government area of Kogi State and the last child of her parents. She began her educational career at Oboroke and proceeded to Lokoja to complete her secondary education. She is a graduate of television journalism from NTA Television College, Jos, Plateau State. She owns the brand name Rosey Empire and has been in business professionally for nine years.
My name is Oyiza Bello. I was born into the family of S A Bello on 24th November, 1989 at Oboroke Ihima and I am the youngest of five children. I am from Okehi local government area of Kogi State and Igbira by tribe. I started my educational career at Government Girls Unity Secondary School, Oboroke where I began and completed the junior secondary school. When my mother relocated to Lokoja, I changed school to Bishop Belisle College where I completed my secondary school education. I stayed home for some time before gaining admission into NTA Television College, Jos, Plateau State where I bagged a bachelor’s degree in television journalism.
Growing Up And Family Life
I grew up as the only female child amongst my siblings, I was surrounded by parents and siblings that showed me love, care and were always there to protect me. Limits were set in terms of movement and I couldn’t have many friends, the ones I made were known faces to the family. I got married November 2015 to my long-time friend and we are blessed with a daughter, for now.
As a child, my mother exposed me to business and it goes as far back as primary school, she would give me sweets, soaps, and a cocoa tea they used to make in those days to sell, and because I was the only female child, I was made to stay close to her at all times to learn the trade.
After my transfer to Lokoja for secondary education, she introduced me to the sale of veils. Whenever she was opportune to travel, she would bring some for me to resell. My mother was also into tie and dye. While I was waiting for admission, my mother felt it was wrong for me to just be at home, sleeping, eating without doing anything. So, I began the sale of recharge cards and making of calls alongside. I did this till I got admitted into school, and when I settled down in school, my husband who was then my boyfriend decided I should go into Ankara business, and he helped me set up the business. From there I began travelling to Kano and Lagos to buy Ankara and shoes, this was in the year 2010/2011 and since then, I’ve not looked backed.
While I was doing the one-year mandatory service, I felt the need to learn something new, and so I went into cakes and confectioneries. It went a long way in helping me out financially throughout my service year. I was lucky to secure a job few months after my youth service and that in a way, slowed down the business, because I knew I needed more time to invest in my chosen profession. But I did not stop the business. Today, I’m into not just retail but wholesale. I also no longer need to travel to buy my wares, I can stay where I am and place an order. I currently purchase clothes for adults and children, shoes, bags directly from manufacturers in China and sell them to wholesalers and retailers. I am also into the sale of palm oil and so far, business is good.
What Gives You An Edge Over Competitors?
I think every business owner must be considerate, have empathy as well as good manners. There are businessmen and women who speak to customers like they are doing them a favour by the patronage, when in the real sense, we are assisting each other.
So, whatever tactics I can devise to get a customer bring out his money, I will do so. I get to hear people who say they can’t sell on credit, but I sell on credit to people I know will pay back and I usually make payment flexible by telling them to pay twice.
People appreciate that I give them ample time to pay back, and this keeps bringing them back to me.
I have bad debtors, but the percentage is not much. Customer relations is also key for one to gain and retain customers, as it promotes buyer/seller relationship.
Success has spurred me this far because I’m too scared to fail. Whenever I sit down and think of failure, I have no option than to push forward for a brighter goal. I want a bright future for me and my family. I want them to attain heights I was unable to reach. I’m always thirsty for success.
My number one mentor is my mother. She was a teacher who knew she needed to go the extra-mile to earn more. She is a great woman and was never lazy. My husband is not into business, but his encouragement, advice on what to do and how to achieve a better result makes him admirable.
I love staying in the kitchen cooking and no matter how angry I am, when it is time to bake, there’s this joy that comes to me. Time out with family is always great.
I’m scared of the business folding up. In business, we take lots of risks, interact with people we never met and entrust your money with people you’ve never seen. I always pray to God to shield me from bankruptcy. I spoke earlier about empathy towards customers, but I have also come to realise that sometimes, I need to be a bit strict so customers do not exceed their boundaries because when they do, it is the beginning of failure as they end up tying down one’s capital, thereby crippling the business.
There are times in business when one is growing, you start having big dreams, unfortunately financial constrains has always been a barrier.
I have a big dream that scares me, but the fund is not available.
I don’t beg for food and this is a huge success (she laughs). I hate being broke and everyone that knows me knows this truth about me. I can’t imagine being broke and business has helped me overcome that stage of life. Seeing money makes me happy and thanks to business I can’t be broke, even though there are some bad days in business, but something must come in no matter how little. I’ve been able to groom young women among whom are working-class.
I give them reasons why they don’t need to depend on their monthly salaries. I started something recently, where I tell people to create a group to avoid buying goods at a high price, by putting their funds together and making lots of money instead of being extorted.
I see Rosey Empire grow to become a one-stop shop for all, with various locations within and outside the country.
Balancing Business, Profession With Family Life?
It is challenging but I have an understanding spouse and a considerate boss at work that makes everything easy. My boss understands that I have a responsibility to my child and home-front and at the same time be a professional at work.
Advice To Women
You have a potential to unleash your potential rather than being a liability. Support your spouse. People are afraid to start a business because they think it require huge capital, but this is not true. I started my recharge card business with N3200 but before admission to school I was buying from N80,000 to N100,000. One can even start with nothing, all thanks to social media platforms. It is important you do something to earn extra income.
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