This 400 level Biochemistry and Molecular Biology student is reluctantly running a jewellery and eyewear business to not be dependent on her parents.
What’s your earliest memory of money?
When I was very little, I remember telling my dad to go to the bank whenever he mentioned not having money because I thought the bank gave out money to anyone that needed it just like that.
Then when I was five, my mum got me a kolo (savings box) and I would always take part of my daily food allowance and keep it there. I also remember keeping the money visitors gave me with my mummy, I don’t know why I didn’t keep it in my savings box. You definitely know how it turned out.
What career ambitions did you have as a child?
I read Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands and the man succeeded in scamming me into wanting to be a doctor because I wanted to save lives like him. I didn’t know the medicine they practised in Nigeria and “the abroad” are quite different. I also liked the way the doctors looked in their white coats. I wanted to wear one too.
Are you currently studying medicine?
Unfortunately no, you know how Nigerian universities help you change your destiny? That’s what OAU did to me. They gave me Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, but I still get to wear the white lab coats, so it’s cool. When I’m done with this degree I’m still going to go and study medicine Ben Carson still has a strong hold on men, but not in Nigeria.
What business do you do and what motivated you to start?
I sell eyewear and jewellery, and my motivation for starting the business was because I needed money. I’m not one of those people that likes the thrill of entrepreneurship or just wants to own a business for the sake of it.
I went into this business because I needed money and I didn’t want to always be calling home disturbing my parents for every little thing. When I decided that I wanted to start a business, I looked at things I was really interested in and for me, that’s accessories so I started selling jewellery.
Also, my dream lifestyle is really expensive and I need multiple sources of income to achieve it. I recently went into content creation and social media management to increase my income.
What’s it like running a business?
It’s stressful and can be mentally draining. I told you earlier, that it’s not as if this is really my passion. So when things get tough I’m just like who even sent me? Customers can be very annoying they think they can just treat you anyhow because ‘customers are always right.’ And you can’t do anything to them because you are trying to make a sale.
Also, sourcing goods can be really difficult, looking for the right supplier with the right products at the right price is a serious task. On one occasion I went to the market to buy my goods. I didn’t leave on time and on my way back, I got caught in Lagos traffic! I got home past 11 and I seriously questioned my life decisions.
But it’s not all a tale of woe there are some bright sides I don’t like spending money from my business account, I like to invest it back into the business but there was this day I needed to go somewhere and I needed a huge sum of money urgently.
It was amazing seeing that I even had that amount of money and I could take it out without the business suffering. It made me feel I was doing something right.
What’s it like juggling school work, business and social media management?
It can be very demanding. When I started I got a stern warning from my dad that under no circumstances should my schoolwork suffer because of the business. So I have to work extra hard to prevent that. Right now ASUU is on strike so there is no balancing to do.
Do you save or invest and what’s your relationship with money?
Hmm, I’m not sure what my relationship with money is but I know it’s not toxic. I save and invest most of my earnings back into the business.
What’s your advice for anyone starting a business?
Consistency, resilience and hard work. It will get hard before it gets better just keep at it. Also, entrepreneurship is not for the weak, you probably think it will be fun to be your own boss but trust me it’s most times tougher than even having a boss. If you don’t have a passion for it don’t do it.
On a scale of 1–10 rate your financial literacy?
I think 6.
What can you do to make it better?
Make better money decisions.