For many graduates, life after completion of the compulsory national service year is scary as they move from one place to another jostling for the not so available white collar jobs.
In the process, some eventually waste years which could have been put into a more productive venture.
For Sadiya Lawal Danyaro, a Geography/Education graduate of the Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano (YUMSUK), the four years she has spent as Online Graphics Designer, have not only been productive to her, but have also made her a successful and self-reliant businesswoman. Today, her siblings and even colleagues look up to her for financial assistance.
It is not a common in Northern Nigeria to see women engage in such business as a way of earning a living, as it is mainly male dominated.
But, Sadiya insists that there is a hidden secret behind being a Graphics Designer.
“What actually motivated me to pick interest in it was a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) (Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD), which trained us on different skills. During the training, I realised that I was interested in design and that I also had the talent. Furthermore, you do not require a huge capital to start it.
“I ventured into this business in 2017. I design invitation cards for weddings, birthdays, naming ceremonies and so on. I also do video design (for invitations and for adverts) and I design logos, flyers and several other things.
“Most of my clients are online. Whenever I design or edit a video, I include my contact number at the end, so people contact me and ask for samples of my previous work, and I share with them.
“Sometimes, when new clients contact me and hear my voice, they would ask, ‘where is the person in charge?’ They are usually surprised when I tell them that I am the business owner.
“So far, there has been a lot of progress; to God be the glory. When I graduated in 2017, I was highly dependent on my parents. I used to ask of money for virtually everything, including recharge card and clothes.
“But, with this business, I am now self-reliant and I even assist my siblings with pocket money. I am not lazy.
“When I started, I was just using a smart phone, but now Alhamdillah, I got a laptop computer and even more sophisticated phone to grow the business. I use different applications like Canva, Power Director, Easy Sketch pro, Explaindio, Videoscribe and many more,” Sadiya added.
‘Family, friends are major challenge’
The major challenges Sadiya is facing according to her, are family and friends.
According to her, “People, especially relatives and colleagues always ask me to design graphics for them for free and that is not fair because I invest my talent, time and other resources in it.
“Some will not tell you it is free until you are done. That is when expressions like ‘we are family’ or ‘we are friends’ will arise.
“But I have developed the confidence to tell them that there are no free things. It is not easy spending time to design something for someone and they just tell you that we are family,” she added.
On where she sees herself in the next few years, Sadiya said, “I see myself as a successful entrepreneur, who will be motivating, training and employing youths in Kano State and Nigeria at large. I want to be more successful in it and achieve even more.”
Sadiya called on fellow youths, especially women to follow her trend by embracing entrepreneurship.
“I will like to call on fellow youths, especially women to take on graphics design; it is not for men alone. It’s for everyone! It’s something they can do in their comfort zone without going out and still make good money,” she said.
Sadiya is presently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Bayero University, Kano (BUK) and it is being funded by money she makes from her business.