At seventy-five, Alhaja Amudalatu Arogunre has built three houses, trained her kids in school and sent some of them abroad. All from the proceeds of her business. She is a clothes and fabric seller in Lagos trading as Kafayatu Abiodun Sodiq Clothings.
“When I started, my business was at Idumota-Eko, and every day I’d leave home to go to the shop. Around that time, I started having kids, but I was so focused on my business that my mum would offer to take care of them. It made a lot of sense, too, since I travelled a lot to source for unique products due to marketplace competition.
My mum, who understood the importance of independence, paved the way for me to go into business. She was a businesswoman who wanted to set up her child, so she gave me 65 pounds to start a trade. I started business at 18 as a newlywed.” she says.
The journey has not always been smooth for Alhaja Arongure, and she recalls having faced a fair share of challenges.
“One that stands out was when I went to Cotonou to buy fabrics, and the driver who was to bring them back to Nigeria stole everything I bought.”
Her husband was also against her going into business but she continued because, according to her, she needed to take care of her children and the idea of making her own money excited her.
We asked for some advice for young women, and her response is in tune with her age and experience:
“Never depend on any man! Face the business that pays you. Whatever you do, never completely combine your wealth with your partner; you never know what can happen.”