Mama Segun, fashion designer and seamstress: her training, her own apprentices, the union and her design work
Well before I finished learning I’ve already got customers because some people, if they bring clothes to my oga, my master, they will say to that woman: I want this girl to sew my cloth. I didn’t snatch my master’s customer, I have my own. And you have some clothes where my oga didn’t sew, like small-small girls clothes. She will say she can’t sew it. Me, I have an interest in it. When I’m going home even sometimes they will give me in her presence. And when I finish sewing I will show her: Is it okay? She says it’s ok.

So even before I do my freedom, before I pass out, I’ve already got customers, and I used to sew at home. I don’t have much difficulty because there is money. When I work like this - during the Christmas I work - I work day and night and I will not tire. Then, I sponsor my junior ones because we don’t have a father any more and my mother didn’t have much. So I take care of my younger ones by then. I work and work. Then where we want to marry too, you know Baba Segun [her husband] was here. He worked here and me too, I worked in Lagos. I started keeping my money, saving my money, so that we will be able to do our wedding. And, we thank god, god helped us.

When I retire and I don’t want to sew again, I will started selling sewing materials. Which I’ve already started. You know before, I can work morning till night. I can do overnight. But now, I can’t do it again. Even before I get home I will be very tired, very tired. So very soon, when my children get their own work, finish their school; when I have nobody in the school again, so they have their own work, they have their own family, I will leave the work.

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