By Amarachi Okpunobi
Have you tasted a food prepared outside home, leaving you wanting some more? That was the case of the peanuts I ate recently. They were fresh and had a wonderful and yummy taste too. I would say they were the best peanuts I had eaten so far. They were actually given to me by my roommate, tracing the make, I found some interesting piece you would love to read. So, below is some extracts of my interview with Favour Maduabuchi the producer the my yummy peanut.
Kindly Introduce Yourself
My name is Favour Maduabuchi, from Nsukka, Udenu L.G.A of Enugu State and I am 21 with my o Level. I am a student nurse in Ebonyi State College of Nursing and Midwifery Uburu, Ebonyi.
Hmmm, that peanut was really yummy, can you tell us how you groomed the business if peanuts?
Actually, I left secondary school in 2015 and in year 2016, I started a business not actually the peanut business but it was that of frying of groundnuts and popcorn. In a lay man's understanding, it is called uwasirike. I did that for up to one year. I wrote JAMB in 2015 but my admission was unsuccessful.
It was a very strenuous business, but as God may have it, I scaled through and I had my customers. I stopped because I started pursuing my admission in 2017 although I wasn't opportuned to gain admission then. So as time went by I discovered that I had nothing doing anymore. Recharging my phone and taking care of myself became a problem for me so I decided to get my hands busy with a skill. One day, I tasted my friends peanut, it tasted really nice and that inspired to make mine. After that, I went back to my friend and I learnt from her.
I started with just three. cups of groundnuts. My first trial was good because my family tasted it and testified. I then went ahead to get bigger quantity of ingredients for a bigger preparation. So I bought 9cups of groundnuts. I made it and they had their price tag of #50. First I introduced it to my neighborhood to create awareness about my new business. So they knew me as Peanut Girl. Distribution of my goods was a problem because it seemed like every retailer had a customer who distributed for them.
So I moved to the bus stands; to the passenger and drivers. It wasn't easy at all but the business is good. It really makes one dependent by filling ones pocket.
Can you remember the first day you entered the labour market, how was it?
Ok, I can't really remember the date but it was in 2016. The first day, I went with the hope that your money would flow. It wasn't bad. My first patronizer purchased #500 worth of groundnut and I was extremely happy. It made me feel that other days will remain to us. As God may have it, I do make my sales. I stay in front of my Father's shop and it wasn't a busy street so, that slowed down the business too. The highest sale I made a day was around#2000. All the same, the first day was impressive. I remember, I started with one painter of groundnut but later, I increased it to 3. So, you see it as moving.
Processing the groundnut wasn't as strenuous because I have to pick first, fry, peel it and keep in an air tight sack, so I could satisfy my customers. You know, when you're into business, customers satisfaction is the priority. Some would say they don't like the groundnut while others will say the opposite. They will leave you in a confused State. But it is also left for you to convince why you had to get that specie.
So, how far do you hope to go with this business?
Hmmm! By God's grace I believe that he will take me higher. I want to go a higher level not just selling it in smaller quality but in larger scale. I want my product to reach the labour markand get into the shopping malls, groceries stores and other and also in a more better quality.
You did this business, uwasirike, and the peanut for two years, what has really been your drive?
What has been my drive, is encouragement, especially from my mother, Mrs Jacinta Maduabuchi. She has always been there, encouraing me. She actually started the business of uwasirike and I took over from her. But the truth of the whole this is that it was all about determination and the desire to be dependent. Because, personally, I hate being a burden to another, at least I will relieve you of some certain needs and wants. And I still desire to grow to a higher level where I will be fully dependent on my own .
Ok, do you hope to establish this business in a higher scale?
Yes! Very much. I started in a very low way but I have a dream that through the advice and connection of some people, I believe that I will start supplying to big companies , supermarket, which will give me more because if it will get there definitely, I will have more alert , more so my peanut is very very delicious. Yeah, that's my dream, to be higher that what am I today and be greater that who I want to be.
Ok, if you're to give your business a name, what name would you like it bear?
(Laughs and exhales) I have thought of giving it a name and I decided it will bear my name as the name of the producer. So the name would be Favoured Peanuts. Yeah! It's not a bad name, is it? Favoured Peanuts!
During the course of this your 2 years as a business girl, was there ever a time you felt like quitting, may be because things weren't going so well?
Yes! Very very well. You know in every business, when it gets to the peak. is as if there is a kind of diminishing return. There was this day I went out to make my sales as usual, Lord have mercy, the sun was too much and the weather was very hot and the most pitiable part of the whole story was that I didn't make any sale. The total sale was around#200, so to me it was nothing. Ah! The next day, I didn't even come for sales. I told myself I couldn't continue with that, for what naa? Abi na me kill Jesus? I was like, the remaining peanuts, if anyone wants to eat, let the person eat without pay. I was really frustrated. I said I wouldn't go for business again. But before that incident, there was a day I had a massive sales that I had to purchase more floor and other things for making more peanuts. So on second thoughts , I decided to use those stuff to start a fresh business as I consoled myself with my previous successes. I had the hope that even if I didn't make much money that day, the net will definitely not be the same. So I continued with my business. But seriously, I felt like quitting. The stress and everything were too much yet people will still price 3 for #100. So it wasn't easy for me at all. Quitting wasn't the best option so I had to encourage myself and continue. But the interesting thing was that, it propelled me into learning a new skill. So presently I am learning Fashion Designing so you can call me a fashion designer too. I actually combine the two. I prepare my peanut, distribute to my customers then go off to work.
For the person you have become thus far, who do you wish to appreciate for that?
Wow! I have alot of people to appreciate. I first of all appreciate God for making me who I am. My mum, my Dad,I really appreciate them because there were my greatest inspiration especially my Mum and my family as a whole. I also have a special friend, Okechukwu Henry, who has been a friend indeed. My best friend Favour Orjiakor and my Mentor who taught me the peanut business, Amarachi Ugwu and a host of others who have contributed positively to my life.
Having gone through this phase of life, what do you wish to tell other youngsters?
Ok, when I left secondary School in 2015, I actually thought I would be admitted into tertiary institution that same year. But fate has a way of twisting our lives and life is not a bed of roses too. So my life did go as desired then, I couldn't keep my hands folded and stay at home all day. That was why I had to engage myself in this businesses and skills. So I will also want to advise my fellow young people to get busy with their life. No knowledge is a waste, you may never know where life will lead you tomorrow. If you're being affected by the nation's unendless strike, learn something new. We know the nation is really bad but you can also help yourself and be somebody. Do your best and leave the rest to God, he will surely see you through.
Wow! It was really nice talking with you my dear friend. Thanks so much for your time.
The pleasure is mine. Thanks for having me on this platform. I am really grateful.
Dear reader, hope you found the extracts interesting. The summary of the whole story is this, 'get your hands doing something, do not expect change when you aren't working for it',
To contact Favoured Peanuts, call Favour Maduabuchi on 08104414479