My name is Lilian Kushiake Labesa and I am from Zangon-Kataf local government area of Kaduna State and Bajju by tribe. I was born in the 80s to the family of late Mr Changa Labesa and Mrs Mary Changa Labesa on 10th March. I am from a family of two children and I am the youngest but grew up with wonderful and loving cousins. I started my educational career at Wilson Preparatory School Kaduna and my secondary education at Edgerly Memorial Girls Calabar. From there I moved to Government Girls Secondary School Kawo in Kaduna State where I obtained my school certificate. I later proceeded to the College of Journalism Ogba in Lagos State where I obtained a diploma. Some people would have opted to try something new after a diploma but I went further to Television College in Jos, Plateau State where I obtained a BSc degree in Mass Communication (Television Production).
I grew up with lots of family members who loved me sincerely and helped me through life as I was one of the youngest. They were my guide and motivated me throughout my educational career and life in general.
My kind of business presently ranges from fabrics, men’s shoes, clothing, accessories, handbags and shoes for women. In fact, I sell everything that can be sold, from cars, puppies, properties, farm produce, dry meat also known as kilishi. I went into business about two years ago when I discovered that I was referring people to wholesalers of all kinds of goods as well as making enquiries for them. This act made me brace up to start and I made the right decision because I was unemployed at the time.
WHO TAUGHT YOU?
I learnt from my sisters, Mrs Babo Alau, Mrs Esther Okeugo, Mrs Anthonia Yakubu and a close friend Mrs Lilian Zubairu.
God has been my strength as well as my mothers, Mrs Mary Changa and Mrs Maria Gorretti Sule who spur me to do more.
WHAT GIVES YOU AN EDGE OVER COMPETITORS?
I am always ready to go an extra mile to satisfy a customer’s need and I try to make my prices affordable.
The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, who despite her status engages in business and has groomed her children to emulate her.
I love to travel, cook, hangout and listen to motivational speakers
I fear not been able to meet up with a customer’s demand and I also dread scandal which may arise as a result of the delay.
The fact that I am able to talk people into starting a business and they come back to appreciate me. Also, encouraging fellow women to use their time for things that will build them in the society and this to me is an accomplishment.
As a single unemployed graduate, I’ve been able to engage myself gainfully to make ends meet for me and few other people. I’ve also been able to support other people to start a business but I lack a business place and enough capital to expand.
I don’t regret this venture in anyway though it could be tiring.
To expand the business and employ youths, teach them to be self-reliant. I also plan to broaden my horizon by bracing up my skills professionally and creating a brand that will stand the test of time.
The day a customer ordered and paid for goods worth over N400,000 just few weeks after I started.
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO FIND A BALANCE BETWEEN BUSINESS, PROFESSION AND FAMILY?
It is easy for me because I’m still single and unemployed, so I focus mainly on the business.
No woman should be redundant. No matter how little, every woman should learn a trade. They should use their strength productively so it boosts their self-esteem and they earn respect from the society.