This is an inspiring story about a woman who hawks her wares in a unique way, making her customers long for more.
Mrs. Ifeoma Uzoma is now of a celebrity after a video of her hawking her famous Ogiri [a tasty and nutritious seasoning made from fermented oil bean seeds], went viral.
Uzoma who spoke fluent English with a British accent in the video, according to Mofolusade Sonaike of Mumprenuer.ng who interviewed her recently, said she has dreams of exporting the Ogiri and making it a great brand.
Read the interview Sonaike had with the Ogiri seller who goes about her business in an entertaining manner that has drawn many customers to her.
"Tell us about yourself
My name is Ifeoma Uzoma, I answer 'Oma-Oma' which simply means 'Good-Good'.
Tell us how you got into the business of Ogiri?
Ogiri is not just an afterthought. I had run a lot of businesses, but Ogiri came as an inspiration from God. I had tried selling pepper, pap, nylon and all of them were moving slowly but I needed something I could relax while doing.
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I ran into an elderly woman who was selling Ogiri in the market. I was amazed by the fact that she would come and sell out in a few hours every day while we stayed for hours and hours before selling out.
So I approached her to ask her to teach me. She was skeptical at first because where I come from Ogiri is a skill mostly reserved for really elderly women. She felt I was too young but gave me a test to prove my passion. She asked me to prepare a simple one based on a recipe and I did it perfectly.
Do you have a flair for cooking or a background in cooking?
I love cooking even though in school, I didn’t read food and nutrition as people might think; my love and passion for cooking and natural things made me delve into it.
Where did your love for natural things come from?
I love natural things. My parents raised us with natural things as well. I research a lot, sometimes I walk around the garden and ask God, ‘What does this leaf do? What is this one for and He tells me?’
How did that viral Video happen?
One day, I was just around my normal character of going around the market hawking. I always come up to the market with a song and with energy to make people feel that they have to get something.
So, this lady came as a customer to buy. She bought some and we laughed a bit, then she said to me, I love what you are doing. I will put you on Facebook.
In my mind, I thought it was just a joke. I playfully did my usual thing as she recorded and forgot about it.
How long before you started getting reactions from the video?
The video was done around May and it was in June that I started getting calls and people stopping me and saying ‘I saw you here, I saw you there.’
So far I have received calls to supply Ogiri from people in Lagos, the US, and even Australia.
How does this make you feel?
I really feel good.
How do you manage to maintain that happy glow?
There is one thing I have in my head whenever I am doing something. Just do your best and let it go. Rome was not built in a day; I know this is my little beginning and it will become big.
What keeps you going?
I believe there is a reward. People’s lives are changed by my product and this keeps them coming back. The thought of that is enough for me.
How is it that you have such a good diction?
I stayed outside the country for a while, but I won’t go into details about that now. What matters is that even if I was there, I am here now. The diction is inborn and has come from practice as well."
Watch the video here
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