Name: Christiana Ude
State of origin: Enugu
Dependents: Husband and daughter.
Business: I was dealing in fruits but I quit fruit business in February last year when fruits became too expensive and affected my capital. I also made losses because fruits are perishable. I now sell ‘fufu’ in wraps.
Profit: I make N900 profit on every N3,000 worth of ‘fufu’ I sell, which is 75 wraps.
Effect of recession: Recession depleted my husband’s capital and crippled his business. He is now an okada rider (commercial motorcyclist), but much of what he makes from the okada business goes into repairs and maintenance of the motorcycle which spends more time at the mechanic workshop than on the road working. This ‘fufu’ business is our only reliable source of income for now.
And it is not doing very well either. Last year I could sell 75 wraps of ‘fufu’ within three days, but these days it takes me almost a week to sell the same quantity. I don’t know, maybe customers are no longer buying as much ‘fufu’ as they were buying last year.
Before now, we ate thrice a day and paid our bills, but this year has been the worst for us so far and it appears to be getting worse by the day.
Survival strategy: We eat whatever we can afford for the day, hoping the next day will be better.
School fees: I have not paid my daughter’s school fees since first term. We owe the school N45,000 now.
House rent: Our house rent expired last year and we were given quit notice. Two months ago (July), the lawyer in charge of the house came to drive us away but my husband pleaded with him. We rallied around and were able to raise N15,000 which is five months’ rent. The lawyer collected it but told us to pay up or vacate the room before they throw us out.
Challenge: I need capital to start a tangible business so I can support my family. My fufu business is not sustaining us. I learnt how to sew dresses and was sewing in the house until my machine broke down. Since then I have not been able to save up money to buy another sewing machine. If I see enough capital to buy a sewing machine, I will go back to tailoring.
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