LIFE IN BRIEF
Oyiza Bello was born into a polygamous family in 1983 at Okoroke, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State. She attended both primary and secondary schools in Okehi after which she proceeded to the Jos Television School, Jos, Plateau State. She is happily married with a baby girl.
By SAM EGWU
My name is Oyiza Bello. I was born into a polygamous family in 1983 at Okoroke, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State. I attended both primary and secondary schools in Okehi after which I proceeded to the Jos Television School, Jos, Plateau State. I am happily married with a baby girl.
HOW IT STARTED
I started buying and selling of clothes and pieces of jewellery at the age of 10 years. This, I currently combine with my work.
My love and passion for the business of buying and selling clothes were inspired by my mother who got these items from Okene and took them to Abuja to sell. She also bought stock from Abuja and came to Okene to sell. Realising that it was very profitable, I entered into the business. Everybody wears clothes so selling clothes is not as difficult as people think. When I was 10 years old, my mother was making soap which she would give to me to sell. From the proceeds, I bought and sold sweets. I, however, returned her money after I finished selling my wares. When I was in the secondary school she bought me veils to sell; which I did. That was how I entered into the business world.
There are challenges in every business. But here, the greatest challenge is that of debt. That is, people would buy goods and refuse to pay. But this can be conquered and so one does not have to entertain fears on it. If one makes small profit, then one doesn’t have to worry or entertain fears. When customers go to market to buy and discover that your price is reasonable they will come back to buy form you. And that is okay. In the last 15 years that I have been in the business, debt has not pushed me out. I had to take up the responsibility of a woman early enough because of what I saw in my mum.
ADVICE TO OTHERS
My advice to other women is that they should not embark on idleness because it brings a lot of problems. A woman should not be looking up to her husband for everything that concerns finances. Hence, she should get cracking. Waiting for the husband will frustrate you. You can start with a business by selling ordinary sachet water. All you need is a small capital and with faith and hard work you can become an entrepreneur.
In all the years I have been in business, I have been able to achieve a lot. When I was observing the mandatory one year NYSC service, I was also selling clothes combined with snacks. After service, I was able to make N200, 000 and it baffled some of my colleagues who did not believe in buying and selling. It also widened my horizon in other business and that has made my husband happy. When you are independent through business, you derive respect from your neighbours and it makes you happy and the house too will be happy. You don’t have to wait for anybody for little needs that you can ordinarily do on your own.
I love cooking so much and I am sure that is why my husband fell in love with me. I just love cooking. Cleanliness is also part of my hobby. Right from childhood, I have been a champion of cleanliness and as the only woman from my mother, I clean everywhere in the house, kitchen and surrounding. I love singing too.
I really have no regrets to the magnitude of exploding the only regret I have is that I learnt business from my mum but nobody has learnt from me yet.