Arewa Voices

Arewa women in business

By Aisha Kabiru Mohammed | Sep 9, 2021

It is the 21st century and women are dominating business more than ever before. Women are now taking charge and using the resources around them to create empires. Women have taken to owning a business from the comforts of their homes using social media tools like Instagram to market goods and with the convenience of mobile banking apps and logistics companies. Starting a business is as easy as having enough capital and a working smartphone and internet access and knowledge. Women can now run businesses without the hassle and obstacles they would face if they had to rent a shop and go out every day to manage it.

Arewa women are not left out of this boom of online vendors and businesses. From skin care products to accessories, baked goods and even Kayan Mata and turaren wuta. These women are creating businesses and running them from their homes despite the hindrance of culture are carving a space for themselves in the Nigerian economy not just as consumers.

Women like Maryam Shehu Usman who runs a traditional spa offers bridal consultation services and also sells turaren wuta, khumra, kullecham, natural and traditional skincare products in Zaria and Yafati Babagana Muhammed who sells pastries, desserts and Bags in Abuja. Are proof that when it comes to Business Arewa women do not back down.

Maryam says she started the business because she wanted to be independent and financially stable

"This may sound cliche or even funny to some but my reason for starting a business is to be independent, and I hate poverty,"

Ya Fati started her online bakery and bag store because she had a passion for baking.

"I started both businesses out of passion, I love baking and I thought to myself why not turn my hobby into a business and Alhamdulillah it’s so great I have achieved a lot from baking."

Both these women say that running a business has assisted them financially and given them the financial independence that they need. Challenges aren't far from all these achievements.

Maryam says people regularly make snide comments about her

"Like recently when I opened my shop something shocking happened,i was by my car and I think they didn't know I was there, they were gossiping saying I had no contentment that's why I am opening a shop. Someone messaged me to advise me to take care of my child better as my business is stopping me There is something people tell me that annoys me which is 'kinki kara haihuwa kin tsaya neman kudi' if I give birth again I should stop looking for money"

She recounts. Statements like these tell of the mindsets of a lot of people in Northern Nigeria. The general belief is being happy with whatever money you can come by and the belief that women cannot raise children and make money. Or women are meant to give up their dreams and passions when they have children.

Arewa's Businesswomen. Women like Maryam and Yafati with one pastry order, one hallawa wax session at a time slowly dismantling cultural hindrances and chasing their dreams.