Amidst tales of the current high unemployment rate in Nigeria, a widow in her early 50s and a mother of four, Fatima Abdullahi, has found succour in selling beans cake popularly known as “akara”. Similar stories of many enterprising and inspiring people such as Fatima abound across the land.
Rather than resort to begging for alms, as is common with aged women in some parts of the country, she now makes an average of N5000 daily from selling akara and pap, known as “koko”, to make ends meet. Abdullahi said she did not require intervention funds from the government or access to micro-finance funds for her efforts and determination to succeed.
The enterprising woman, a resident in Rigasa, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, said in Kaduna on Wednesday that she started the business about 10 years ago after the death of her husband. She said that although she was left with no one to help her and her kids, she disliked the idea of begging and decided to use savings to start the bean cake business.
“I started with as little as N3000, and gradually expanded the business by adding sweet potato and now I make an average of N5000 daily, about N150,000 monthly. “Although the business is stressful and dangerous because you have to seat by the fire every day, it is helping me to pay the bills, take care of my children.
“At least I can afford to pay school fees for my children and medical bills when the need arises,” she said. The entrepreneur’s business area is usually filled up by patronisers mainly passers-by, residents of the area, and others who find the delicacy satisfying.
Abdullahi called on women to make necessary effort to be self-reliant rather than going around the neighbourhood begging for alms. “Whether a widow or housewife, you can start a business, no matter how small, so as to have financial freedom,” she said.
She decried the practice whereby able-bodied women took to begging for alms to survive, adding that Islam did not encourage the attitude.