•Reveals Life As Iyalode Of Her Age Grade Group
+How She Runs Egbe Jagunmolu Obinrin T2
Whenever they refer to her, people simply call her Iyalode STAINLESS. Why is this so? Why do many people all over Ijebu, and in Lagos where she is based, call Alhaja Hamudalat Oluwatoyin Sanni, Stainless?
For those who don’t know who she is, let’s tell you a bit about this pretty light-skinned fabric merchant who owns a thriving shop at Oshodi Market.
She also plays big in Haulage. These two businesses have made her big. But the leadership of her age-grade group in Ijebu-Ode has made her become so popular.
She is the Iyalode of Egbe Jagunmolu Obinrin T2, an age grade group, often known as Regberegbe in Ijebu.
This pretty woman hardly grants interviews. How has she been able to successfully lead this group that has about 100 members? These and many more were the questions, Publisher/Editor in Chief, SEYE KEHINDE asked her when they met a while ago.
Can you share with us your experience in running your age-grade group?
It has been very interesting running it for over 20 years. It all depends on God. If you have God everything will be easy. It’s not by my own doing. It’s like the grace of God. I really thank God for everything. I am so humble. I don’t take decisions myself, I listen to so many things. I combine so many views before taking decisions. I am a straightforward person. You have to be straight forward in managing people and the finance. We are over 90. I have over 30 members in London. Then over 67 in Nigeria I have over 12 in the US.
How do you now coordinate them?
We meet yearly. In London, I have Asoju Iyalode. In Dublin, I only have 6 members. They go to London for meetings in America, I have Asoju Iyalode there. Yearly, during the Ojude Oba, we all meet and come together.
How do you women go about coming together that made it become grand?
We usually select a committee to plan. When we now conclude on plans after several meeting, we pay monthly dues of N500 per month. The due has been made affordable to enable all members afford it. Its not a social club. You may think its small but if you multiply it by 90 members its a lot.
What do you do?
I am into Textiles, I sell fabrics. I have been doing that for about 22 years. I inherited it from my Aunty. My mum is into Haulage, so, I do haulage too.
Where were you born?
I was born in the North. I speak Hausa. I came to Lagos through my Aunty. I developed an interest in Textiles from her. Alhamdullahi, I thank God, its good business. I have my shop in Oshodi, Araromi-Oshodi.
How did you go about setting up your age grade group?
I didn’t set it up. I also joined like others, when I joined my membership number was 32. They just selected me as Iyalode. The name of the woman who brought everybody together is Kemi Alatishe. She is still a member.
How do you balance your business with running the group?
Its Gods doing, I can’t explain it. Me too I don’t understand how. I don’t just know. If I tell you I know how its a lie. I think about it a lot. People always ask me. They will say Stainless, how do you do it?
Why do people call you Iyalode Stainless?
Ah! It started in my school days, I went to Government Girls Secondary School in Zaria. I have a Diploma in Insurance from ABU Zaria. My friends started calling me Stainless because of my smooth light complexion. They all like my complexion and they kept asking me to explain how I maintain this my stainless skin. When ever they ask I used to smile.
But truly, how do you maintain your skin?
Ah! I really don’t know because I don’t use cream. I don’t even use vaseline. I don’t use anything at all. I don’t apply anything. But other ladies keep asking me. And when I tell them there is no secret to my skin other than the grace of God, they usually don’t believe me. But when I show them my mum’s photo they usually realise that I resemble my mother when it comes to having stainless. I resemble my mother. If you see my mum’s skin, its like a babies skin. Its fresh. At 87, she still had a good skin. She died recently. I have taken it in good faith. She lived in Ijebu till she died but I brought her to Lagos to stay with me.
Until her death, she was a Chief in my town. Ijebu-Isonyin. My mum was nee Osun. My mum is from Ijebu-Mushin. My dad is from Ijebu-Isonyin. And I use to go home a lot.
What is the secret of your good looks?
God. I rest a lot. I create my Me Time. I sleep for at least 7 hours every day. By after 9 pm. I am in bed. I usually sleep well. I wake up at 5 am to pray.
How about your fashion and style? You are stylish. Tell us about your choice of fabric?
I love lace material. Then I love Ankara. But I love lace a lot. Because I sell fabrics, I have a lot of it. I never get tired of buying more and more lace fabrics. I have a lot of designs, different designs. I wear them to show people. I have them in stock. Once other women see them they will say they want it and I will sell the fabric to them in my store.