cadole's oja © I am Benue 2021

To Buy A New Phone or To Invest My Money

Business, Stories 27/02/2021 by Ochanya Cynthia Okwoli Adole

The journey of Cadole’s Oja business.

It all started on September 14, 2018, with the sum of N100,000. The fund was raised from the Hazard Allowance paid at my place of work. I had just gotten married and took my first leave as a married woman to visit my husband in Kano (popularly known as the Ancient City). I got calls from colleagues about some monies being paid, I don’t know if I was anxious to get an alert or not. I waited and boom, the alert finally came. I thought to myself, what should I do with the money? One side of my mind said “buy a new phone, you know you don’t have a good phone”, another part of my mind said, “invest it.” Thinking to myself, what do I invest in?

I waited for my husband to come back and after he had eaten and rested. I told him about the money I received and told him I wanted to invest in something but I don’t know what. He smiled and said, “you are in a big city, there are lots of things to invest in.” What do you think people use all the time? There are Ankara, bedsheets, shadda, inner wears. I told him, how did you know I have always thought of selling those items. He said we will go into the market the next day. I couldn’t wait.

The next day (Saturday), we left home at about 10 am. Getting to “Kantin Kwari”, I was shocked at the big market place. I was totally confused, I wanted to buy everything at sight. But, I had a budget to work with. We walked around until we started seeing different Ankara I loved. We settled at a shop (those guys eventually became our customers), young guys who y into the Ankara business. They welcomed us warmly and made us comfortable. My husband is more fluent in Hausa so he did the talking.

The sellers showed us a different range of Ankara, each with their prices. A Hausa man is honest to a fault, they showed us Ankara that fades after one wash which is N900 and the ones that will never fade no matter how they are washed. We decided to go for the good ones (since I started selling, no one has complained of any of them fading). We got Ankara ranging from Hi-targets, Small Hollandaise, small wrappers. We left there and went to the shadda market, one could get missing in the market. We were able to get fifteen (15) pieces of shadda. We had to go home and rest for the day.

The next weekend, we went to the bedsheet market. We got about Ten (10) pieces of two pillowcases and six (6) pieces of four pillowcases. I was ready for business.

As soon as I got to Jos, I had to buy a packet of seal leathers and polythene bags. I packaged each wrapper in a sealed leather and tagged the prices. I heard there are lots of advantage to the packaging. As I started selling, I noticed some bedsheets were stained and some were torn or not down at the sides, I l felt bad and had to reduce the prices (I had a great loss). Even though so many people owed and refused to pay back, I didn’t give up on the business. I got a notebook, wrote each price per item, how much to sell, profit, the tithe (in a tabular form). I realized some amounts back. I went back to the market and paid more attention to the bedsheets, this time around, I selected each material myself and it was sown in front of me and packaged as well.

I have supplied Ankara and Shadda for wedding aseobi. 

Lessons Learnt:

  1. Never give up on your business dreams.
  2. Never give items on credit, you may never recover the money.
  3. Be open to criticism and advice.
  4. Always try to explore the environment or community you live in, you may find something businessworthy.
  5. No amount is too small to start with.

Though, right now I am trying to see how I can raise more funds to put up a shop and increase the business. The first business name I used was “Kakra’s Oja” OJA means market in Idoma but because we are registering the business as a family business, it has been changed to “Cadole’s Oja“. Cadole is a composition of Cynthia, Christopher, Adole.

One thought on “To Buy A New Phone or To Invest My Money

  1. Sophia Myambala

    Such a lovely story.
    I hope business is going well.


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