BY JOSEPH DANJUMA
Born on October 3, 1980, Chai Esther Saati has been making Masa since she was a 10-year-old. She got married and relocated with her husband to Lafia in 2012. She turned to her childhood trade to make ends meet in her new home and said her trade helped her solve the problem of finance and low self-esteem.
I was born on October 3, 1980, in Kanan local government in Plateau State. I am from Ganawuri, but I was born in Kanan local government, that is, Dengi in Plateau State. I am Tein by tribe, my parents, Saati Chai and Shiashimi Saati, are from Ganawuri, in Riyom local government, Plateau State.
I started my primary school at Ganawuri, after my primary school I proceeded to Government Secondary School (GSS), Ganawuri. I finished my secondary education, and stayed at home for about two years to save up money to further my education, afterwards I proceeded to College of Agriculture, Lafia, for a National Diploma in Agricultural Technology.
I started making and selling Masa at the age of 10. My aunt sells Masa, so, she taught me the ropes. I took over the business when she died and continued even when I got married. Altogether, I have been selling Masa for over 31 years.
I have two mentors, my aunt, who taught me discipline in business, and my mother, who taught me how to work hard and excel in life.
She encouraged me to be hardworking, and never to see the bed as my resting place. She taught me how to wake up early. These principles shaped who I am today.
I got married and relocated to Lafia with my husband in 2012. I started making Masa shortly afterwards because I saw it as an avenue to contribute my small quota to the progress of my new family.
I started by giving out Masa as appreciation to my neighbours who encouraged me to make it commercially because it was so sweet, that was how I started making and selling Masa in Lafia.
I have two major fears. One has to do with the hazard of always being close to fire all the time which has its own negative implications. Then I also struggle with the fear of meeting up with customers demands on the one hand and making profit from sales on the other because of price fluctuations of raw materials needed to make quality Masa in the market.
So, I have to maintain the standard in order to keep my customers and then try to balance it with making profit.
To me, sincerely, I don’t have any regret, I don’t have any regret because the business has boosted the standard of my living. In terms of socialization, it has increased the level of my socialization. I relate a lot with people.
Let me say it has brought a lot of exposure to my entire family and my status in the entire country because I do receive calls from other places. Many of my costumers from Lafia, who are no more here would called, Madam, do you remember me? I have connection all over the country as a result of this Masa, my inferiority complex has decreased because the business has made me relate and know many people.
I used to see myself as Mrs Nobody and I thank God the business has made me very popular because wherever I enter I see people that know me through my Masa business, so, I do not regret going into the business.
ADVICE TO WOMEN
Statistics has shown the rate of death of men globally is very high because the world and family place a lot of strain on them so they are always struggling to meet these demands which leads to early death. So, my advice to women is they should wake up from their slumber and assist their husband because if you sit down and depend wholly on your husband to meet all your needs and that of the family then you are gradually sending him to an early grave.
My advice to women that are seating without doing anything is to wake up from your slumber, look for what will help you not for the sake of your husband, but for the sake of you as a woman. When a man brings you into his home do the little you can to assist him and he will appreciate you more.
You can start small but prayerfully, God says that he would bless the work of our hands. Whatever you are doing prayerfully leave it in the hands of God. But if women are always afraid of the disadvantages of the business, which discourages them from going into business but if they are sincere and faithful, because business like every other venture need faithfulness, the Lord will see them through.