The truism of what a man can do, a woman can do better is not false when one assesses the courage Bola Christina ensued in setting up her laundry business from scratch.
Despite the skyrocketing rate of unemployment, the laundry business has made her become a boss of her own. Beyond that, she also engages others who work daily.
The rate of unemployment in Nigeria has never been a helpful one, it has led many to frustrated horizons, lured some youths into cybercrime, and some ladies into floozie businesses, also making some living a Jezebel kind of lifestyle all in the quest to make ends meet.
A score of thousands of Nigerian youths graduates annually and they industriously struggle to get placement in the already filled labor market. Also, the public division and national cake which should have been a better advantage have fallen under carpet recruitment processes with the disposition that many government parastatals have corrupted and degraded merit appointments for reservation for elites, personal progeny, and those already in government.
In the midst of all these, Bola who is a graduate of Philosophy and Religious study, Adekunle Ajasin University Ondo State, found herself amongst the many waters, but she coalesces her strength, both with resilience spirit to turn her situation around. Her narrative of jobless Nigerian youth has changed to become a firebrand female -laundry entrepreneur who now puts a smile on the faces of others by employing them.
Her journey of being a washerwoman began with her desire not to stay idle after the completion of her undergraduate studies.
“When I finished at the university, we have to wait till we are been called up for NYSC, that’s about a year. I spoke with my uncle that I needed to work instead of staying at home and being idle. He got me a job at a laundry outlet where I was working. That was when I got the idea for the laundry business. I worked for them for a year before NYSC called me up.”
Three months after she joined the laundry outlet, her hard work had so much fascinated her boss who stayed abroad, thus promoting her to the position of supervisor. Bola herself must have been awed because her ingénue slim stature could pass for a teenager or an undergraduate, yet, she is wearing a big-sized shoe because of passion, zeal, and the right attitude to work; to do one delegated work with or without the presence of the owners.
For Bola, the issue of capital, one of the main issues for startups, was easily solved because she had insured most of the money earned during her NYSC, and when she received her tranche of saved money, she knew it was time to spread her wings and try something else aside working with her boss, and selling of fabrics because her entrepreneurial drive wanted more and this demands her to quit quitting her job, despite knowing that it means forfeiting her monthly pay her supervisory role.
Hence, she had a nudge to start Lush and Clean Laundry Services, a laundry which began from her mother’s sitting room according to her, quitting her monthly pay job for a startup did not come as a joyridden but she knew that all she needed was consistency, focus, and sacrifice for growth.
“I left my job because I needed to focus on what I was doing. Although it was not easy for me to leave my job because what I was doing at that particular point in time was what gave me the desired type of money ready to make me leave a very good life. But then I looked at it and people tell me that if you need to grow a business, you need to grow it by yourself, and growing a business, one needs to take risks, hard work, consistency and it takes a lot of sacrifices.
“As an entrepreneur, I have been able to put smiles on peoples face because I remember when I started; it was not so easy for me. I remember before I started my business I went for some interviews and was not selected and it was depressing trying to wait for jobs that are not forthcoming. In addition, I feel the rate of unemployment in society, has hindered the growth of many. Therefore, I tell my workers to learn how to save for rainy days with whatever little they have, a reason I also consider them.”
“It is hard when you find out people cannot feed themselves not to talk to fending for their family. Therefore, I am happy I have been able to put smiles on people’s faces and make them achieve their own goals no matter how small they might be. At least, they can give their children the education that they deserve and support their families and daily needs.
“Doing the laundry is not about gender. Put in the right effort to manage those things. They try to override me sometimes when I first started, but over time, I set down my rules irrespective of age because we need to get things done. I advise that people should set targets to help them grow by making use of opportunities that come their way in a good way because we never can tell where we can find ourselves later in the future.” She added.
Bola believes that women in business should push their brand, and strengthen their hustle. Create opportunities, and should not wait for jobs to come, but, connect, build good relationships and be consistent, her doggedness is seen in how she pushed through with the gender normative to becoming a flourishing career washerwoman.
“I believe startups, even women mostly, should never think less of themselves. In Struggling, nothing comes easy but you have to channel your thoughts and mind to the good things and put in the right effort. You have to be determined no matter the circumstances even when it appears you are not making sense, people are watching. The world is not an easy place But with God, you can achieve your dreams and make them come through.” she added.