You can grow from Almajiri to own a cap shop — Al-Hassan | Dailytrust

You can grow from Almajiri to own a cap shop — Al-Hassan

Abubakar Al-Hassan of Tudun Murtala Kwanar Yan Ghana arrived in Kano as a young boy for the Almajiri education but with time he combined his Islamic pursuit with hand business of firstly knitting and selling caps but now improved to equally washing the caps. He said that the business has been rewarding and has no regret in it.

According to him, recently he and a few like-minded people who have equally seen the benefits of the trade, organised themselves into groups to harmonise their operations and standardised them.

“We are three years now and with 45 active members that meet regularly to strengthen brotherhood and cross share ideas to advance the trade,’’ he said.

We tasked ourselves to improve our activities. Dealing in caps is a small and medium trade that is very lucrative and a great source of livelihood for any who delves into it.  All the children and youth who want to learn are ready to teach them and proud of that too. We use it to reduce unemployment in communities. I started cap business because it is a trade associated with many Almajiri, I started at an early age which I was introduced into by my Malam then,’’ he added

“I used it to supplement my feedings during my study days, I started with sewing it and as I grew I delved into selling and later washing which I’m still doing presently. My first marriage was from the cap business, I used to then travel to several northern towns to sell my caps but later return home to settle because of family issues’’.

“I set up with a loan of 2,500 which is used to buy Madami (the cap mould), Starch, nylon. I started in my room because I cannot afford to secure a shop. In less than two years into it, I was able to buy two plots of land which I built one and presently living in it with my family. I realised the washing has more turnovers than the selling so i concentrated on it.’

“I have trained 6 youths in the business and are presently all doing well in it, I have only a person under me now. I’m proud of that.”

On how to make the present Almajiri system better, Al-Hassan said: “The present Almajiri system is different from what we are used to or grow up with, we work on farms and get paid after school and so on. We have time for studies and work.”

“The system can be improved if the government steps in to sanitise the system engaged the malams who will make available the children to be provided with skills that will reduce the roaming about. Neglect of the religious schools by government is further deteriorating the situation,’’ he added

On what one needed now to start up, Al-Hassan said “To start the business now, a takeoff capital of N20,000 is okay because this is aside a shop rent that may later be added up. But I’m sure it will blossom with time. There was a time that I set up another with N7,000 his capital base rose to over N340,000. This is to tell you there is a massive return on investment in the venture.’’

“The business can be improved by the government coming to aid us, we have not been supported in any way. We provide jobs to many who need government intervention as well. On a good day, we can wash up to 100 caps and each costing not less than N150 you can see the multiplier of the business’’

“One way to improve our business is for the government to provide us with dryers. This is one of the most challenging issues in our business especially during the rainy season or when the sun to dry the caps is not available,” he said.

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