“It’s when workers get salaries that they buy more food” – Iya Ara
Iya-Ara, just like the name implies, has been performing wonders with different delicacies for almost two-decades. HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE correspondents, ODUNAYO ADENEYE & KIKELOMO ONIGBANJO had a chat with her on how she has been saving lives in Victoria Island with her delicious delicacies. Excerpts:
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: INTRODUCTION
Iya-Indomie: I am Mrs. Fatimo, but my customers call me Iya-Ara (Wonder). I am from Kwara State. I have my shop on Oko-Awo Street.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE FOOD BUSINESS?
Iya-Ara: I have been selling here for the past 15 years. I started this cooking and selling of food 19 years ago in Mushin, and then migrated down to Eko Hotel Junction, before I finally moved here.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW HAS THE FOOD-SELLING BUSINESS BEEN?
Iya-Ara: It has been fun and financially rewarding doing this business; people can’t do without eating, and I have been servicing the working class since. We ensure all form of cleanliness and timelines. We even operate like salary earners because its when they (workers) get money-salary, that they buy more food.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: How do you deal with customers that are always indebted?
Iya-Ara: That is not really always the usual practice, but once in a while, when that occurs we just leave them, knowing that they would definitely pay the debt. Like I said earlier on, we understand our customers’ cash flow, we also prepare our meal in line with that.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW HAS YOUR PROFIT MARGIN BEEN?
Iya-Ara: We have just been enjoying the grace of God, nobody can hold claim that he knows everything, but we are sending our children to school, we are all eating well, so its just his Grace. There are days when we make lot of profit and some days that, we just pray to God to finish selling our stock for the day.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW DO YOU PAY FOR RENT AND OTHER UTILITIES?
Iya-Ara: We are all enjoying the kindness of the land-owner, so it is free, but we all come together to contribute towards the up-keep of the environment.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW DO YOU COPE WITH THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES e.g LAWMA?
Iya-Ara: We obey all protocols and settle them accordingly.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: ON A FINAL NOTE, DO YOU STILL BELIEVE IN THIS BUHARI-ADMNISTRATION?
Iya-Ara: Well, I really don’t know what to say, that was a campaign mantra, but I don’t really know if that is what we are experiencing.