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71 year old Iya Eba, popular local entrepreneur tells her inspiring story

My name is Fausat Abike Adebayo AKA Iya Eba. I am one of the most popular local food sellers in this part of Lagos Island. When I was about 10, I came to Lagos and stayed with my aunt. She taught me how to cook. In my 20s I branched out on my own so I’ve been in this business for 50 years now
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I started with rice and meat. Meats very small and as low as N5. I would stay on the roadside and had some customers who would order for delivery. So I started delivery. A little bit of Eba. A little bit of Amala. When I lost my husband, business slowed down because I had to stay home to mourn
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Things became tough. I had periods where I had nothing. Absolutely nothing. It is not uncommon for occurrences such as this, especially for a female. I believe it happens to us in order to be able to tell a story to our children. I had times while raising the kids alone, when I had to sell my clothes. I sold my clothes so I could feed my children and sponsor their education. I didn’t want them to be like me
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But, I soon went back to selling food. A woman was nice enough to let me sell my food near her beer parlour. It was from there I saved up enough money to rent my shop. Then I began to employ people. I was able to steadily employ till I had about 10 staff… We have been here for about 20 years
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DANG: Success secrets?
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I don’t like to owe my staff because my aunt always told me to never allow a labourer’s sweat dry up before paying. Pay immediately as soon as they work for you. I’m also a neat cook and I listen to feedback from my clients. Also, I have a lawyer and an accountant who make sure everything is okay for me
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DANG: What would you say are your greatest accomplishments in the past 50 Years?
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Iya Eba: All of my children are literates and successful, I was able to send some of them abroad to study. I have been able to travel around the world. I have my own house and built for each of my children too. Alhamdulillah

This interview was conducted by Diary of a naija girl, DANG!

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