Do you ever think of being able to prepare your own porridge in no time? If yes, how often do you desire to have koko (porridge) in the middle of the night?
Afrikanmum.com over the weekend spoke to Zakiya Suleman, CEO of Zacky Foods Processing (a startup which is into the production of breakfast foods), about her journey in entrepreneurship.
Zakiya is a graduate from the University of Ghana where she studied Sociology and Archaeology. She hails from Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana but stays in Accra the national capital due to her job and business.
Touching on how her entrepreneurship journey started Zakiya said she was very optimistic that she would secure a good paying job that would assist her in pursuing her future career goals but unfortunately that could not happen. Job hunting,she said, was emotionally and financially draining with how some employers were only interested in getting her employed provided she would go to bed with them in return.
For a graduate who had just finished school with no job, life obviously gets tougher especially for the likes of Zakiyah who wouldn’t want to be going back to their parents and siblings for money. Zakiya likes being independent!
“That’s when I knew I had to take charge of my life by identifying problems in my community and finding solutions to them. I came to a conclusion on what to do after I failed in my first business. With the help of my mom on how to process millet in flour for Hausa Koko, I was able to raise some capital from family and friends”, she disclosed to Afrikanmum.com
Zakiyah’s first business was a popcorn joint in front of her father’s house, a product she marketed to students by visiting their various schools. It didn’t work but it motivated her to be better. “My family and friends were very welcoming and supportive in so many ways, they were my first customers, they believed in me and trusted my product. I also use social media a lot to promote my business. I use Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp among many others”, she said.
Zakiya holds the view that entrepreneurship is not an easy venture in our part of the world, citing lack offunding as one of the the top most reasons most young entrepreneurs would want to quit along the line. “It is really tough but some of us are not quitters, we are ready and willing to fight till we get there” .
Miss Suleman says her biggest motivation comes from the story of Aliko Dangote’s becoming the richest man in Africa after 30years of struggles and perseverance. “If I fail in my early years I’d keep trying because I’m hopeful and believe just one day everything will fall into place”, she intimated.
Zakiya says her friends are the most beautiful things she has aside her family.”They keep me going, they encourage me to be better. Life without them would have been boring. They make you face your problems with ease. We have respect for one another and that makes life more meaningful”.
In a conversation with Stephen Adjei, he said he’s being using the product for the past one year. Mr Adjei explains how this product is unique on the market because it tasted exactly like the koko you will buy from the next seller on the road side. For him, he said people abroad especially will love to have a feeling of home when they purchase Asali Hausa koko.
Stephen says “a good product sells itself, there is no way you won’t order again after your first time”
Speaking to Priscilla Quaye, she said she’s known the product since November after seeing an advert through Facebook. She said the product is an instant Koko and koose mix which is easily prepared. “It makes getting Koko to drink any time very simple”, she added.
Priscilla said, But for her, the customer service is very good because “Zakiya is a people’s person and makes time for all her clients”.
These are the social media handles to reach Asali Hausa koko Zacky-foods processing on Facebook and Instagram. On Twitter, she can be found @zackyfoods.