EDITOR’S NOTE: In this special edition of the Rising Star, youngNigerian.com brings to you exclusively an inspiring story of a young Nigerian female cobbler. She is, without doubt, a go-getter and a die-hard no quitter, who believes is possible to turn your challenges into springboard to success. She has found something worthwhile and financially rewarding in a society where many jostle for white collar job or hurl blame on whomever for their unemployment. Not only that, she has dived into an industry that is dominated my menfolk. Read the Story of AISHAT RAUFU, as told by our reporter, EWAOLUWA VICTORIA OLASOJI.
Whatever it is echoed that Nigeria is great, people are inclined to thinking is all about size. Yes, it is true; the country is the world’s most populous black nation with a population of over 160 million. There is hardly any country in the world that you will not find a Nigerian. But that is not all about Nigeria’s greatness. There are other factors, of course, that contribute to its greatness. You may think the challenges bedevilling this West African country will deny its populace to shine on the world’s stage but nay. An average Nigerian is hospitable, resilient, enterprising, and innovative.
Perhaps one class of people that have marvelled many are the womenfolk. Over time, Nigerian women have put in admirable feats, against all odds even in professions dominated by men. We see successful female entrepreneurs who even give men in their fields a run for their money, thereby gaining major recognition in their chosen fields. Nigerian women are obviously making significant contributions in the entrepreneurial aspect of the country and the world at large. We see women like Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, the richest woman in Nigeria and the richest woman of black descent in the world, The Popular TY Bello, an established singer and photographer. Even in the midst of segregation, these women are making waves in their chosen careers.
Nigerian women are breaking boundaries, engaging in jobs generally believed to be meant for men. Recently, a pretty woman was spotted driving one of Dangote’s big trucks in Ibadan. Eye witnesses said she drove so well. She even displayed her ID as people stopped to take pictures of her! Mrs Lara Sabiku, is a trained butcher in one of the abattoirs in Lagos state. A female motorcyclist popularly called “okada rider” was also spotted in Ibadan, earning her daily living from it. Today we have the opportunity of meeting a female shoemaker who vows to take the shoemaking industry to another level.
The saying that necessity is the mother of invention is again justified in the success story of Raufu Aishat. She is a professional female shoemaker who hails from Kwara state. Raised in a family of eight, she decided to acquire a skill in shoemaking a few years ago. “Joblessness made me get a skill in shoemaking” she said. In her determination to make a difference and not roam the streets like other unemployed youths her age, she thrives in the face of competition, in a skill dominated by men.
Acquiring basic training at Daystar Skill Acquisition Programme, she proceeded to obtain Advanced Training at Shoespeed Academy Ikeja. Five and half years ago, she founded Aeesha Collections, a shoemaking company. “What inspired me is my love for shoes, leather and creativity”, Aisha said. Aishat plans to take the shoemaking industry to another level entirely! Her present challenges are the unavailable resources to run production in Nigeria and lack of investors.
In her word for aspiring young entrepreneurs, she said, “Please be focused and work hard. A forest isn’t built in a day!” Wonders will truly never end! A female photographer, female truck driver, female butcher, female okada rider and even a female shoemaker! Hmmm, day by day we are getting closer to the truth of the saying “What a man can do, a woman can do better!”. When next you want a professional cobbler, do not go far, call or whatapp Aeesha Collections 08092718489 or see latest designs on instagram.
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