My name is Bintu Umar and my maiden name is Rukayya. I was born in Damaturu local government area now the Yobe State, precisely in 1979. I was raised and brought up in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
I started my early education in Borno, where i attended Lamisila Primary School, Maiduguri, Borno, from 1986 to 1992 , after which I proceeded to high Islam, Maiduguri, for my O’ level education from 1992 to 1996.
After graduating from high Islam school in 1996, I got married , and as you can see, I am happily married to my my super hero and very lovely husband, Mohammed Abubakar, the union is super blessed with four children. Permit me to that I am proud to announce here that while one is presently doing his mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps programme, others are at the verge of completing their studies in various universities in the country.
As a child, I had passion for business, particularly buying and selling. There is this passion in me to change the world through appreciable furnitures and other accessories. I can proudly tell you that in the past 25 years, I have constantly pursued new and better ways to carryout my business to customer’s satisfaction.
I have liked the idea of bridal and children clothings as well ad furniture. I also deal on other fabrics such as wrappers, bed sheets, shoes of different kinds, and kitchen equipment among others. In fact, everything a woman needs in her matrimonial house. I also have sachet water factory.
WHO TAUGHT YOU?
My mother . She 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.
Despite being a housewife, my mother was carrying out what we call petty trading. She sold Kolanuts, soup spices to mention but a few. in fact, she taught me how to wake up early . These principles shaped my life. Growing up, each time she sends me to buy earrings for myself and my siblings, I always patronise wholesalers and use the entire money to purchase the pack instead of retailers who sells pieces , and when ordered by my angry mother to return it , I go ahead to defend my self, giving her reasons to allow me retail it to make profit. I always go the extra mile to defend my action by insisting that it is cheaper.
So, this is how I ventured into business. To be candid, I started my business with less than N100 or even less. That’s how I grew to what I am now.
The logic is that , immediately I realised that people were always on standby to patronise me, I decided to expand this, upgrading my procurement and supplies to buying and selling of wrappers of low quality but later progressed to selling high quality and valued fabrics and others; shoes, earrings and plastic plates among other items.
Well, though I now own a furniture shop and a sachet water factory, I still have that habit of selling almost everything such as shoes, wrappers, earrings, plastic plates, kitchen equipment and others fetches me impressive income. I once stocked my shop with provisions too. In a nutshell, I have been into many trades that, Alhamdulillah, has been fruitful for me. I think to the best of my knowledge what I have never tried or sold so far in Damaturu is food stuff, hence, I dream of venturing into it. My life is full of struggle and is paying significantly.
As a human being, one will not stop planning and hoping for the best. My future plan is to establish a huge company , through which I can employ more workers. Right now with the little I am doing, I have about eight workers. So if I can have more, off course, I will establish more factories, engaged more persons and help women to be self-reliant.
Three strong forces inspired me.
Firstly, like I said, buying and selling is my passion. I love trading do much . Let me just say that I love making profits; this is the kind of thought that inspires and motivates me.
Secondly, my loving husband who didn’t object to my choice of business. He believes in my capability, supports and suggests result oriented strategies that had helped me today.
Thirdly, I saw it as an avenue to contribute my small quota to the progress of my lovely family. I am inspired by events and demands around me.
My major challenge increasing debt. This is quite unfortunate because some deliberately owe in other to fustrated you. I am saying this because even though you always have good capital base, ideas and inspirations as an entrepreneur, those debtors who deliberately collect goods with promises to pay at a later date but never do, you cannot excel.
Look, they might end up pulling business down.To an extent, you just need to be strict. Again, we live in a society where the economy is bitting and families are battling to survive. So, I get a lot of strange looks when I decline to sell my goods on credit.
WHY FEW WOMEN ARE ENGAGED IN BUSINESS
I think this has to do with many factors. The major ones I think have to do with support and encouragement from different sectors. Though, if you look at it from another angle, the women too have their own unique problem. You see as northerners, we have our religion and culture that teaches us how to live and behave, but, some women , if given opportunities to do things freely, abuse that freedom and engage in unthinkable behaviuors.
So the factors are just many! For example, some men are of the habit that if a woman is financially buoyant, she could be stubborn and as such he will not allow his wife to partake in business or enterprise. Others also feel like, since the woman has a source of income they tend to leave every responsibility that is hitherto meant for them to their wives. So the factors are as many as you can think of just as the solutions
Then what differs you from others?
For me, I have the full support of my husband. He knows me in and out and we have a good understanding of each other. I have told you before, he encourages me so much, hence, my story is entirely different, Alhamdulillah! Also, the mere fact that I am deligently doing my business expanding and succeeding I. My choice business makes me different from others.
I believe my name rings a bell in Damaturu. Overtime, I have been able to open up my heart and let Allah express himself through my struggle.
What I dread theost is not being able to do as much as I aspire to do in business and in life goals..
I would say my biggest achievement is the lives I have been able to impact through my business . My family’s progress and having a loving husband as well as social responsibility activities. These achievements I value greatly
HOW DO YOU MULTITASK?
Bythe grace of Allah I have been able to strike a good balance between family and business.
Honestly despite the profit I make, I set a turnaround time , and doing this is really helping a number of things at the same time. Also, my children have come of age, so they help me a lot. They make things much easier for me.
WORDS OF WISDOM
To my fellow women and to young ladies, learning never ends . I always take advantage of any opportunity to learn and introduce new trade . So, in essence, do not limit yourselves . You must dare to do more and learn new skills. Be creative
Successful entrepreneurs always give 100 per cent of their efforts to everything they do. If you know you are giving your best effort, you’ll never have any reason for regrets. Focus on things you can control; stay focused on your efforts, and let the results be what they will be.
I also want to channel part of my advice to men . As we are aware, our religion, culture and tradition emphasises the place of a man as the head of the family. It’s time we move along aside development train and begin to see things from a different. In fact, it is high time we embrace positive changes. Things are changing and the world is changing very fast, hence, we must strive to move with the train.
Men as heads should encourage their wives and female children to be enterprising. We have many ways of making our daughters venture into businesses that will be beneficial not only to their immediate families but to the society at large. The major things are for parents to gear up towards inculcating sound and moral upbringing of their wards. While educating them, we must prioritise religious education; it is always paramount to inject sound character in the minds of younger ones. With good and sound education, especially religion, the misleading debate and fear of allowing women to venture into business will not arise.
Women must know their limits by doing things appropriately. As I am talking to you because of poor upbringing from both the parents and the husbands, you may find a woman delving into several crises running into thousands or millions at the , there must be a starting and reigning point, so nothing comes easy. As women, we must be patient, obedient, respectful to our husbands, family and the society. Even if you are a complete housewife, start doing something at your matrimonial home. I mean start selling something because by doing so, your husband may support you and your children will learn to be enterprising. Encourage your children to be enterprising especially now that we have modern ways of doing things on social media. Due to the advent of social media, one can easily advertise and even sell property online. So let’s try something because for a business to be successful, there must be logic, commitments which are built over time.
LIFE IN BRIEF
Born in 1979, Hajiya Bintu is a renowned businesswoman and the proud owner of HAJIYA BINTU MURMUSGIN AMARYA DA YARA (Hajiya Bintu’s Brides and Children’s Smile) business venture.
Aside also dealing on household furnitures and other accessories, she Thrives also in fabrics needed in homes. She has been in the buying and selling business for over 25 years in Damaturu , the Yobe state capital. Hajiya Bintu also has a pure water factory. She believes her passion drove her to take -up the trade and she is making a success of it. 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.