Riziki’s Beautiful Work
Umazi Riziki was born in Mbale, Namanyonyi sub-county to a family of 7 children. Her father was a chef in a restaurant and her mother was a hair dresser and tailor. Umazi started living with her uncle when her mother died. She dropped out of school due to a teenage pregnancy and both families decided that she should move in with the father of her child. When her husband started training to join the police force, they had to move to Kampala.
She had 3 children then and started plaiting her neighbors’ hair. She was so good at it that it landed her a job in one of the top salons in Kampala. A relative gave them a house in which to stay and they moved to Bulenga to accommodate their growing family. She was able to support her family while her husband trained.
Unfortunately, her husband did not want her to work so she left her lucrative position at the salon and returned to plaiting neighbors’ hair. It became very hard to make ends meet, because she was still new in the area and her husband abandoned his training in the police forces and was unable to find a job.
Riziki was plaiting a client’s hair in Bulenga when the BeadforLife coaches came to her community to promote Street Business School training. “I honestly went to the training hoping to learn more about hair dressing.” Little did she know that the SBS training would change not only her business but also her life. She used to earn about 120,000 USh per month and would use it all to cover household expenses and school fees for her 5 children.
At SBS, Riziki not only learned how to save and increase her income but also increased her self confidence. “I knew how to plait hair very well but did not know how to grow my customer base. I am very confident now. I can walk into any salon now whereas I could not do this before the SBS training!”
She seeks to improve her skills and never stops searching for the most recent hair styles. She sometimes has to travel to serve clients that are out of her neighborhood. Recently, she bought a plot of land where she and her husband are building a house. She plans to put up a big salon as well as rental rooms at the new place. She is thinking the rental income will sustain her family if her husband does not allow her to continue working.
I thank the BFL coaches because I am a different person. I have learned not only to manage my money but also my time. I only spend where it is necessary and will not attend every event in the village! If there is a function sometimes I might give a small contribution, then stay home and work to re-gain what I have contributed and more! I no longer have time for idle chit chat! I am saving to build my house and my business.”
Now Riziki makes over three times what she used to make, and she consistently saves. She is determined to work hard and achieve her goals.
“I am what I am today because of you coaches! If BFL had not come into my life, I would still be doing my business the same way.”