Kawal Boluwatife, 19, is the youngest of four children raised by a single mum. She is currently studying Biochemistry at a university in Lagos, Nigeria. To many of us, she sounds like an average young woman on her way to great things.
But she grew up with many hardships in a densely populated city where three square meals a day are a luxury and basic education is reserved for the elite..
More than 25 million people live in Lagos and, according to The World Data Bank statistics, 62 percent of Nigerians live on less than $1.25 per day. This part of the world faces extreme poverty, political instability, limited access to education and inadequate healthcare services.
So how did Kawal rise above this cycle? She attributes her bright future to her mum, Lawal. Kawal’s childhood memories are of her industrious and hardworking mother, who effectively multi-tasked as a caring mother and a devoted business women.
“Tough times don’t last for tough people," Kawal said. "Mum is built to overcome tough times."
Lawal’s first entrepreneurial business was as a humble one. She sold local bean cake (moi-moi), working long hours to provide for her family. She then expanded to selling beverages for
“Sitting closely by my mum in the shop daily can be highly inspiring and has since remained a favorite past time for me," Kawal said. "I see her hard work translate to value for the family and society.”
Lawal is not done growing – professionally or personally. What started as selling an initial six cases of beverages has now become an annual sales volume of more than 264,000 cases sold via distribution. She has benefited greatly from business skills training provided through
She is one of the most successful beverage distributors in the area, but her family’s success is truly her success and pride as a mum. They have much to thank her on Mother’s Day and every day.
More on Journey
- 2016/17 Sustainability Update
- 2016/17 Sustainability Update: Women's Economic Empowerment
- 2016/17 Sustainability Update: Women's Economic Empowerment Infographic
- Coca-Cola scoops awards at Sunday Times Top Brands Awards
Coca-ColaFoundation helps expand access to safe water for 800,000 Nairobi residents