…As Just4U Productions graduates 50 students
Entrepreneurship experts in business coaching have called on Muslim ladies to step up their game by venturing into event planning and decorations industry, saying it is another viable means of empowerment in the modern day.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of Just 4 U Productions, a Business Development Consultant, Mr Abdulwasiu Ayoola argued that Muslim sisters are needed in the interior decoration industry in order to give professional touches to event planning and decoration.
No fewer than 11 students, all female, received their certificates of participation at an event held in Lagos on Thursday, December 12 after completing an eight-week programme on professional interior decoration.
Muslim News revealed that the centre, which started operations in 2015 has trained 50 young Muslim ladies to become successful entrepreneurs in events decoration.
There is a big market for interior decor – Mr Ayoola
The Guest Speaker, Abdul Wasiu Ayoola, a PhD Scholar at the University of Lagos, charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of Islam, assuring them that there is a big market for them in the event management industry.
In his words, “What we expect from the graduands is that they should be good ambassadors of Islam and go out there to radiate the knowledge, value and mentoring they have learnt. They should put all these things to practice and influence others.”
In an exclusive interview with Muslim News, Mr Ayoola affirmed that there is a large market for them because they are their own bosses.
According to him, In Nigeria, we have different types of occasions taking place, especially the halaal (lawful) ones such as nikaah, house warming, graduation, aqiqoh (naming ceremony), conferences, annual lectures and general meetings. We need Muslim sisters to put in their professional touch in the area of decoration for these occasions. The market is there!
Be good Muslim ambassadors – Alhaja Khayrat
In her words of advice, the former National Amirah of Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Alhaja Khayrat Sodique, also harped on the urgent need for Muslim sisters to explore the industry of event planning and decoration.
Hajia Sodique said, “I am usually disappointed when I go for occasions, especially Muslim functions and discover that Christian ladies are the ones who decorated the event halls. Evidently, our sisters can do better than their Christian counterparts if given the opportunity.
The former National General Secretary of Jama-at-ul-Islamiyya Society of Nigeria also charged the graduands to keep to Islamic values and be good representatives of Islam in the industry, adding that they should start small and let their works speak for them.
According to her, “I congratulate the graduands. You must ensure that whatever you have taken from Just4U must be shared with others. You have to ensure that the knowledge is spread, just like your trainer is spreading it to you. If six of you can spread to ten more, you know what that means to the Islamic Community. So, I wish you all the best.
“I want to say that as graduands, don’t see what you have learnt as just doing something to earn a living. Don’t see it as just learning to increase your knowledge. See it as a means of creating goodwill for yourselves by being good ambassadors of Islam. In carrying out whatever project you undertake, you have to be honest. You have to bring out your Islamic values. Don’t take two hundred thousand naira for a hall you know you can decorate for fifty thousand,” she said.
Speaking further, she said: “Do a job of three hundred thousand that’s worth it and will create a lot of goodwill for you for the next twenty years. Let people see your handiwork and say they need your services several years later. Let your goodwill work for you. Don’t give the impression that you are basically after money and thereby ruining your goodwill. Do things that will sell your expertise to future patrons. Do things that will propagate the Islam in you.
“You have to be honest. You have to be consistent. You should promote what you learnt by teaching others. Give the best to the public. So, I want to say that it’s not only the director that should be training, you should too.
“Now, I want to emphasize on this. Start small! Don’t say because you don’t have money and your husband cannot help you, you won’t do anything. Start from the smallest. There are some Muslim schools, even if it is just their hall where they have PTA meeting and so on, decorate it for them. When people come for meeting, they will ask of who did the decorations. You have started!
“Don’t wait till they invite you to come and decorate a wedding hall. That may not come in a year. It may not come in six months. Start from the smallest. Again, don’t be static. Make yourself a working tool. Always improve with time,” she concluded.
Being a muslimah isn’t an hindrance- Founder
Also speaking at the event, the trainer and CEO, Just4U Productions, Hajiah Zulfat Idowu whose ecstatic mood was easily discernible by all and sundry, revealed how elated she was that her organisation was graduating fifty decorators.
She said, “I am delighted. It is a thing of joy that I am helping the muslim community to build professionals who can make them happy at their events.”
Zulfat, an MSc holder in Genetics, noted that being a Muslim or donning a Hijab is not a barrier in the area of event planning and decoration, adding that she is a model and a testimony for others to emulate.
“Well, I am a model for them. They know I have Christian clients. I run weddings for Christian clients. Hijab is just an apparel. What they need is what you have. Offer people what you have. That’s why I teach them to be confident. So, when they go out there they should be able to prove that they can do a great job,” she said.
Explaining how the training was conducted, Hajia Zulfat noted that the training was for two months and runs for three different sessions cutting across theory, practicals and field work, adding that trainees were taught a complete syllabus of what they need to know as event planners and decorators.
“I run three sessions: January, April and July. In November or December, we graduate them all. So, I am going to run another session in January. The advert is out for those who are interested.
“What I teach them is everything – a complete syllabus – they need to know as an event decorator, including meeting their clients and how to cost their job. It is a complete syllabus to prepare them for standing on their own and doing well in the industry.
“It is actually a two-month training. For the first two weeks, it is divided into theory, practicals and the fieldwork. We do the theory and practicals at our office, and then go to the field to start executing jobs together as many as we can.
“At the end of the two-month training, some of them become very proficient in the job. Those who are not there yet, will keep going out for fieldwork until they become good. That’s why they have a whole year to perfect what they have learnt before we do our graduation in December, she said.