22-Years Maiduguri Girl Who Sells Caps On Facebook Surprised With 1 Million Naira Gift
By Abdulkareem Haruna
Fatima Abba-Kyari, a 22-years old Kanuri girl in Maiduguri, Borno state, stole the show at a public function on Thursday, July 21, when Professor Isa Marte Hussein, the Chief of Staff to the Borno state governor, Babgana Zulum, made her an instant millionaire for the remarkable business acumen she exhibits on social media.
Fatima, a student of the University of Maiduguri, is a celebrity Facebook and Instagram entrepreneur who has positively used the social media handles to advance her financial status by selling local Kanuri signature caps to Nigerians.
Fatima has many customers across Nigeria who trust her quality caps and continue patronising her online. One of her “royal” customers is a permanent secretary at the federal Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Developmen (MHADMSD), Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo.
The permanent secretary who had patronised Fatima’s beautiful ‘Zanna’ caps for many years was in Maiduguri as a special guest of honour to represent the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq during a three days unveiling of intervention projects of NEDC in Maiduguri.
While in Maiduguri, Dr Sani-Gwarzo did not forget thag he was in the town where his worthy cap seller lives. So, instead of ordering online, he decided to place a call for her to deliver to him directly, so that he could have the privilege of meeting her or her meeting him in person.
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When he met her for the first time, the Perm Sec said he was amazed at the age of the young entrepreneur and decided to invite her to a function where young people who were trained by NEDC on ICT skills were being graduated.
While delivering his speech, Dr Sani-Gwarzo took a moment to celebrate Miss Abba-Kyari by saying that “this morning I told my colleagues that this cap that I am wearing today, I’ll not remove the label yet because I bought it from a young woman who I’ve been patronising online for many years now. I have never met her in person but usually order my caps online and she delivers them to me in Abuja. So yesterday, I met her for the first time when I arrived in Maiduguri and I was so amazed by what this young lady is using ICT and social media to achieve. So if Fatima is here, let her come out now so that we can all appreciate and encourage her.
Ummi Fatima, a very shy young lady clad in Hijab, stepped out to thunderous applause. The perm sec urged every young person to emulate the young lady by engaging themselves positively on Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok instead of wasting data bites on spreading fake news, hate speech or watching needless jokes and skits.
Though Fatima had, by that publicity, gotten a major endorsement that would further her cap business, it was still not the best reward to come!
It was the turn of Professor Hussein, the Chief of Staff to the Borno state governor, to deliver his speech at the climax stage of the occasion. And instead of delivering his speech, the celebrated Professor of pharmacology first did the unexpected and everyone was wowed ❗
He asked: “Where is that young woman that sells caps online? Let her come out here please,” he said.
When Fatima stepped out to meet the Chief of Staff who was also standing with the perm sec and the Managing Director of NEDC, Dr Mohammed Goni-Alkali, the special guest of honor announced that “for the good work you are doing as a young woman I am giving you the sum of N1 million on behalf of His Excellency the Governor of Borno state!”
“This is to encourage you because, because we are very proud of people like you. And in addition, I’ll need you to supply me with two caps which I am buying from you, and my size is 23.5 and I’ll pay you for that in addition to the N1 million donation to support your business.”
It was thunderous applause at the occasion as Fatima who was almost thrown off balance in shocking awe could not believe her ears.
Given the microphone to speak, Fatima who was all smiles and giggles simply said: “thank you so much sir, I appreciate it. And to the special ….(she doesn’t even know the perm sec’s name!)…my royal customer sir from Abuja, thank you so much!”
How I Started My Online Cap Business With No Capital As A Freelancer
Speaking to The Humanitarian Times, in an exclusive interview, Fatima said she started her online business five years ago with nothing as capital.
“I started my business by advertising it via social media – Facebook and Instagram. And so far, glory to Allah, it’s been so wonderful. I’ve sold so many caps; I sell more than 50 caps in a month. And I have a lot of customers.
“I started the business by advertising caps on my social media handles. What I did was go to someone’s shop, take their picture of the caps, add my profit on top of the price and if it is bought, I’ll get something from it as my income. I was freelancing, I never had my caps to sell then.
“I started the business about six years ago when I was in JSS-3.
“Now I am a 200-level student of the University of Maiduguri, where I study biology education. I am 22 years old.” I started my university with my money, I didn’t bother my parents – I paid my tuition with the money I saved from my business.”
Fatima said as a student and the second child in a family of 11 children the cap business has supported her to finance her education and some of her personal needs, “and I also use it to help my family members.”
“This cap business has indeed enabled me to help my parents ease their financial burden of caring for all of us. I usually help my parents to give transportation fares to my siblings when going to school.
Message to Young People
Fatima said social media is like a double edge blade with different effects, hence she implored the youth to take advantage of the positive side of social media to develop their career and passion.
“Let the youth start business because business is good and it helps. You don’t have to have the capital to start because, with social media, you do not need capital to start a business as long as you have data on your phone.”
“I started from zero capital and today, I no longer freelance or buy caps on credit to sell because I have my capital. People can always start small, and then patiently grow. It worked for me, I don’t see why it won’t work for others.”
“Today I sell more than 50 caps in a month and I have different types of caps. I sell tangram for N18,500; I sell Miyaram and Kindai for N25,000 and N30,000. And my customers are in every state of Nigeria. If the order, I send it to them via Borno Express transportation or DHL Express and deliver it to them.”
Fatima can’t say what she is worth as a businesswoman but the fact is that she is N1 million worthier courtesy the gift of appreciation from the Borno state governor’s Chief of Staff.
The NEDC has promised an automatic admission of Fatima into the ICT Resource Center for the next batch of training.