Ize Medinat Ismaila was born into the family of Ismaila and Hassana. She is the first of five children. She had her primary education at Native Authority (NA), Obehira, while she received her secondary education at Qualitative Secondary School, Oro. She was introduced into business when she was in primary school.
My name is Ize Medinat Ismaila. I am from Okene local government area of Kogi State and an Ebira by ethnicity. I was born into the family of Ismaila and Hassana on July 3, 1995. I am the first child from the family of four girls, one boy. I started my educational career at Native Authority (NA), Obehira where I completed my first school-leaving certificate with flying colours. After that, I went to Qualitative Secondary School, Oro in Idoma area and graduated in June 2016.
I gained admission to read Physical and Town Planning in Kogi Polytechnic, Lokoja but I was not able to take the admission due to lack of funds. If given the opportunity to return to school, no matter what one gives me now, I would be the happiest girl alive. I have seen the importance of education.
I feel bitter that I am not in school now and I hope one day, I will be there. It’s no longer how beautiful you look but what you have in your head. I don’t want to depend on my husband when I marry. The only way one can be a little bit independent is through the independence of the mind and what gives you that is sound education.
I grew up with my mum and I saw in her, a great ray of hope in life because my mother’s stoic adherence to fate gave me courage that one day in life, I would succeed.
My mother is the strongest woman that I have ever known on earth. She started the business of pap making and I always helped her to hawk whenever I closed from school, even before completing my assignment.
She usually made pap in the morning when children were going to school and evening when some people would like to complement the evening meal.
Through the business of pap making and selling, she was able to sponsor my education to the level of her ability.
In fact, I was not the only child of the house; there were four others who also needed to be taken care of.
She wanted me to get to the highest level of education in my career but even though her spirit was willing, her business proceeds were not enough to get us there.
So, because I knew her limitation, I never demanded more than what she could afford. My mother is the greatest mother one can get.
I started business from the primary school level. From my mother, I discovered that buying and selling pays. I would sneak out with my friends to Onitsha in Anambra State, to buy small shirts, brassieres and other small things that attracted high patronage in our area.
Then, I was a little bit conscious that I was the most senior child of the family and I needed to sit up and be responsible.
By doing that, I won sympathy and admiration from others. Initially, I was into buying and selling grains in our neighborhood market but after going on in this direction for a while, it occurred to me that I should break through the odds to use the small fund with me to join my friends to expand my market.
So, I started realising that one needs to take risk provided at the end, something profitable will come out. Sometimes, staying idle at home could be counter productive and set one against her will. Idleness is the worst disease. And also, after observing my mother’s efforts in making sure the children are cared for, I cannot behave less.
Lack of funds has been a limitation to certain levels I want to attain but I believe that success is a matter of time for those who do not give up and I won’t give up.
My mother, Mallama Hassana, is my mentor. She always advises me to be contented with whatever God gives me and not to be envious of other people.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS
I listen to people who are better than me to learn about life history. My social outlook may not be in conformity with others but I choose to respect elders.
My dread is failure. I don’t want the situation I was born into to haunt me. For this singular reason, I wake up each day and ask Allah to make me realise the goal He has set for me.
My greatest regret today is that I did not complete my quranic education when I was small. I refused to heed the advice of my mother. Each time I attended the lesson, I would always run away. Today, when I see those who completed theirs, as a Muslim, I feel guilty.
I love cooking. I learnt this from my mother because in spite of all odds, she ensures food is always available.
ADVICE TO FELLOW WOMEN
Don’t depend on any person, people can fail you but Allah can never fail you, especially when your own time comes.
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