INTERVIEWED BY SAM EGWU
I grew up with my mother from whom I see a great ray of hope in life, because her stoic adherence to fate gave me courage. She believes that I can become whatever I wish to be in life. So, I knew that success is just by the corner waiting for me. My mother is the strongest woman I have ever known on earth. She is into fashion business. Back then, I would help her hawk her goods after school hours, even before attending to my assignments. My mother was passionate about her business. I was always with her whenever I got done with house chores or school assignments. This is why I sincerely cherish her courage and business acumen. Oftentimes, I would admire her designs, and sometimes gave my little input, which she was always grateful for. There were other four little children who needed attention. My mother would balance her business task with that of the house. She had earlier told me that I should work hard to acquire all the education I wanted in life. She told me that my education is the number one of her desire to see through. Unfortunately, we had financial constraints which affected me somehow. Knowing her financial inabilities, I was always cautious of my demands, not to be above what she could afford.
Even at my primary school level, I had started a business. From my mother, I discovered that buying and selling was a profitable venture. I would sneak out with my friends to buy kolanut and other small things available in our area market. My friends and I would go to motor parks and sell our goods. Then I was a child but conscious of being the eldest child of my family. So, I was already a business-girl (laughing) at a very early age; and so, many people admired me for my hard work. Initially, I was into buying and selling kolanut in our neighbourhood market; but one day, I told myself that this business should be expanded. I worked towards it – more time and energy was what gave me the desired result. At a point, I realised that for any business to grow, one must take a risk.
As a person, I passionately dislike idleness. I see it as a disease that can only be cured with getting involved in profitable ventures. Idleness sets one against her will. Even as a child, I never stayed idle, and that has been my message to my younger ones – Never stay without doing something reasonable with your time.
Lack of funds has been a limitation to certain things I wish to do, but I believe that success is a matter of time for those who do not give up. I am one of those who won’t give up. There is a goal that I have set for myself, and I will surely get there.
It is no longer how beautiful you look, but what do you have in your head. I do not want to completely depend on my husband when I get married. The only way one can be a little more independent is the independence of the mind, and what gives you that is sound education. My mum told me that education is the best gift that anyone could get – I have set a goal for myself.
My mother is my mentor. Also, my lecturer, Itopa, has a good spirit that stimulates you to aspire higher.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
The unique thing about me is that I want to be with people who have more life experience than me. This is for the purpose of listening to, and learning from them. I also respect everyone without prejudice.
My dread is failure. I don’t want the situation I was born into. For this singular reason, I wake up each day and ask Allah to make me realise the goal He has set before me.
WHAT IS YOUR DRIVING FORCE?
No one but Allah! I depend on Him truly for all that I want to achieve in life. So, apart from working very hard, I also pray to seek His face every day.
My greatest regret today is that, at a point, I deviated from the standard I had set for myself. I was always with those who, I later discovered, don’t think about their futures. This affected me a lot. But I thank Allah it was not too late before I realised my mistakes and retraced my steps.
I love cooking. I learnt this from my mother. She would always cook food for her family no matter how tight her schedule was.
ADVICE TO FELLOW WOMEN
Don’t depend on anyone, but put your trust in your Creator – Allah.