Memunatu Issifu is one of the forty women at the Sagnarigu Training Centre, home for processing shea in the heart of the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern region. With zeal and perseverance, she has recorded an up turn in her shea butter business which she started some eighteen (18) years ago with just ten bowls of shea nuts.
The mother of six is the second in command of the Soglo Bor Buni group, one of the three groups at the centre which operates under the Pagsung Shea Nut Processing and Pickers Association, a project initiated by Adisa Lansah and Sanatu Andani with funding from DANIDA and supported by UNDP and Japan Embassy in Ghana.
Eighteen years back, Memunatu Issifu challenged herself not to be a housewife and to meet up to her own challenge, she begun picking shea nuts from the wild in the Kpeni community while in her matrimonial home where she would trade off to buyers little over GHS 20.00.
Her usual routine of waking up before 05:00 am each day changed when she finally relocated to the Sagnarigu community with her family.
With just GHS 20.00, she hit the market to purchase shea nuts and with the help of few logs of firewood, and the shade from a tree right in front of the centre, Memunatu Mohammed processed shea butter.
“I used to sell the butter in small bowls and calabashes”.
“Now I am able to buy three bags of shea nuts at a cost of GHS 600.00 and I do this at least every two weeks”.
To be able to process all three bags of nuts, she arrives at the centre at 09:00 am each morning and with the support of members of her group, the three bags is processed before 06:00 pm.
And with that she has supported her husband put food on the table and pay the fees of her little children.
“I never sat in the classroom but my children have though not all of them, and that is what matters, at least I know I did not waste my life”, the fifty years entrepreneur said.
Today she is no longer the same woman who earned just a little.
“I now save in the bank and I had intended to pay for my trip to Makkah this year from my savings since my children are grown ups now”.
Zubaida Afua Mabuno Ismail|www.zamireports.com|Tamale.