“Come and buy my rice, come and buy my beans, come and buy some tins of milk, the market woman begged”. Oh! That primary 3 rhyme I recited with mixed feeling. Yes, it was, because while it was dramatic and fun, I felt it was a mockery of my mum’s effort to sustain a family of five. I lost my Dad to a road accident shortly after my birth or so I was told. Since then, the quality of our livelihood depended on how much my mum made from her petty trading of food stuffs. Precisely, from how many customers she convinced to buy from her stock.
My pain didn’t come from the fact that my mum’s life was captured in my textbook, it rather pained me that my mum’s struggles is now a rhyme for my friends. Now, I am an agricultural economist and I wish, my mum had known better. I wish that my mum knew how best to hook with large buyers and not just sit by the road pleading and disturbing every passerby to patronize her. I wish she knew she could expand her business and gain the benefit of bulk. I wish she knew that no matter how small her earnings, she could save for investment in passive income and didn’t have to work all day for her four children to see the four walls of education, or not suffer what she suffered as she prefers to put it. I wish she knew how to avert the middle men advantage or disadvantage as it may be. I wish she knew where her more profitable customers were. I even wish she had chosen a more profitable trade instead of doing what every other woman did to sustain her family. I wish first Imo Business Linkage was organized when my mum was active in trading! There are lots I wish my mum knew about managing her family and business as a single parent without losing the taste of life. But my last, most important wish is… Before I make that wish, let me first tell you about that business linkage.
First Imo Women Business Linkage (to connect small-scale Imo business women with large buyers and customers) is organized by the Centre for Social Awareness, Advocacy and Ethics (CSAAE) in commemoration of International Women’s Day, 2020. It will hold at Rockview Hotel Owerri, Imo State on Saturday, 7th of March. Time is 9.00am. The event is supported by Fidelity Bank, Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta (PIND), VALIDO, JEKOK water and DALZON Diagnostics. Other activities at the event include:
- How to get up to N10m CBN Loans
- Fundraising to empower struggling Imo business women.
- Free HIV, Hepatitis, Diabetes and BP screening
- Awards to Imolites empowering poor Imo women
- Success stories by Imo mothers
- Instant sales of displayed goods to the public
Interestingly, Dr. Mrs. C.U. Njoku (Former Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede), one of many successful women in Imo state will be there to talk to remind the world that women are not the problem, they’re the solution and that when women participate in the economy, everyone benefits.
It is important to mention, that the convener of this event, Dr. Godswill Agbagwa, a Catholic priest, an academic, socialpreneur, youth animator and founder of CSAAE, has been championing entrepreneurship and poverty eradication since 2013 through his organization. He believes that the way out of Africa’s problem of poverty and underdevelopment is by harnessing the potentials of young people and helping them build the capacities, competencies and character necessary to sustain themselves and others. The Centre pays special attention to women, who are ranked among the poorest in the world, and have special programs designed to empower girls, young moms and emerging female leaders. Here in Imo, CSAAE has the Young Imo Mompreneurs Initiative (YIMI), an economic empowerment program that helps young Imo mothers in rural areas develop businesses to sustain their families and create opportunities that help others sustain themselves
Now, let me tell you my last wish. My last wish is that this rare opportunity gets to the hearing and awareness of every Imo Woman, who works tirelessly to bear the burden of motherhood. We can rewrite the African story together. Promise to communicate at least one woman today. Spread the gospel. Be a volunteer.
To display your goods at the event, call 08064577815. For inquiries, call 08168184714 or 0803 339 0830 or Visit www.csaaeinc.org for more info. You can also come to our office: Plot 133 Ikenegbu Layout, Owerri. Right on top of Everyday Supermarket (Cherubim Junction)
Come, let’s celebrate and patronize Imo women. Music and Refreshments available.
Uja, Joy C.