By Gift Oluchi Enwelem
In the bustling Aduwawa market of Edo State, amongst the myriad of stalls selling everything from spices to textiles, one stall stands out to the discerning nose and hungry stomach. It’s the place where the irresistible aroma of roasted plantains – or bole – wafts through the air, beckoning patrons from near and far. At the helm of this thriving business is a woman of tenacity, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit: Mrs. Tina Eghosa.
Born into a humble family in Iguomo village, Ikpoba-Okha local government area, on April 17th, 1975, Mrs. Eghosa’s educational journey was cut short due to financial constraints. But her dreams were not confined by these hurdles. With a burning desire to create a business of her own and support her family economically, she ventured into the ‘bole’ business.
The journey was not without its challenges. Mrs. Eghosa started her venture with small capital and a few plantains picked up from the New Benin village market. She set up her stall in the Aduwawa market, and with her dedication, hard work, and the irresistible taste of her roasted plantains, she gradually built a business that not only met her family’s needs but also became a beloved culinary staple in the community.
Mrs Eghosa said that she has been roasting bole for the past four years now. She had used the ‘bole’ business to assist her husband in training two of her children in the university ever since he lost his job. According to her; “Bole business comes once in a while because of the price of plantain. So whenever it is plantain season I grab the opportunity to roast bole because of how much gain I will have”.
However, the path to success was a rocky one. One of the main challenges she faced was maintaining consistency in the size and ripeness of the plantains. “The taste and texture of the bole can be affected by this,” she explains. Weather conditions like wind and rain also posed a challenge in controlling the roasting process.
The mother of four said; “I have been roasting bole for the past four years now, I have used bole business to assist my husband in training the children in the university ever since he lost his job. Although, Bole business comes once in a while because of the price of plantain. So whenever it is plantain season, as a business woman I grab the opportunity to roast bole because of how much gain I will have. This business has helped me in so many ways because ever since my husband lost his job we have been feeding and also paying rents from this business.
“Most times, we have some challenges in roasting bole due to the cost of charcoal and maybe rainfall.
As a business woman,my prayers everyday is that God should send a helper to us someday, Amen”, she prayed.
Her other major challenge was the cost of plantains, which could fluctuate due to supply and demand, transportation costs, and seasonal changes. “Unfavorable weather conditions or pests can affect the plantain harvest, leading to higher prices,” Mrs. Eghosa states. But she often persevered, while adapting to the changing circumstances and maintaining the quality of her bole.
Today, Mrs. Eghosa’s story serves as an inspiration to many in her community and beyond. When this reporter met with her, indications show her business, born out of financial necessity and the low startup cost of the bole venture, has become an emblem of entrepreneurial success. Despite the odds, Mrs. Eghosa has turned the challenges into opportunities, proving that with determination and hard work, one can carve out a successful path even in the most challenging circumstances.
In Edo State, her name has become synonymous with delicious, mouth-watering bole. But for Mrs. Eghosa, the business is more than just about cooking plantains. It’s a testament to her resilience, a means to support her family, and a way to uplift her community. She is not just a businesswoman; she is an emblem of strength, tenacity and the power of dreaming big.