Although she studied accounting at the university and actually obtained her first degree in it, Hajia Zalia Kasim followed her passion to become a successful entrepreneur.
To this end, she has built a profitable business in Ghana’s fashion industry through her love for colours and creativity at coming up with designs.
Today, Hajia Kasim is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ZaQi, a leading manufacturer of modest fashion clothing for women, men and children in Ghana.
How she started
In a rare interview about her business Hajia Kasim told African Eye Report: “Growing up, I’ve always had a passion for fashion. Going into entrepreneurship was an added bonus for me because when you love and are passionate about the thing you do, monetary gains isn’t actually the primary focus”.
When asked how and when she developed her entrepreneurial traits, Hajia Kasim said she was born with them and then got them developed through professional training.
This means she went through school to properly fine-tune her God-given entrepreneurial talent for the betterment of humanity.
Currently, Hajia Kasim designs and produces her own modest wears as seen in the pictures. She is poised to bring out better designs by the grace of God, so watch out for her designs.
Hajia Kasim said the business is relatively new but so far Alhamdulillah meaning “praise be to God” so far so good. “Hopefully in three years I would love to have gone global or be on the verge of going global”, she told African Eye Report.
Stood Against Odds
She stood against all odds to build the fastest growing modest wears brand in the country with small savings and family support.
In Hajia Kasim’s words: “The difficulties I faced were regarding the setting-up, the location, the equipment and some expenses I hadn’t planned for. I actually had to hold the entire process; work on getting my finances in check before proceeding that was a really difficult time for me”.
From a humble beginning, ZaQi is becoming a household name in Ghana as it continues to provide beautiful modest fashion wears for the people of Ghana.
Modest fashion or modest dressing according experts refers to a women fashion trend of wearing less skin-revealing clothes, especially in a way that satisfies their spiritual and stylistic requirements for reasons of faith, religion or personal preference.
With the meteoric rise of modest wears industry in the country, most industry watchers say ZaQi is one the companies to watch.
Her starting-up story is not different from the hundreds of entrepreneurs profiled by the African Eye Report but her ambition to provide modest fashion wears to hundreds of people at an affordable price is unique.
In her words: “Making designs that fulfill the inner Fashionista while meeting any religious requirements is our goal. Also, being fashionable with restrictions without being restricted” is what makes her designs standout.
Her customers are satisfied with her designs, they keep talking about her and more people get to know her brand. And, she is being rewarded with more sales.
The company is succeeding because Hajia Kasim continues to serve the needs of the people. Her customers are her most prized assets, thus providing them with quality and prompt fashionable wears are her topmost priority.
She guided the way and did it with skill, style and high passion and dexterity. She had the right products (modest wears) and at the right time – which translated into high demand on a mass market scale.
But all that would have been worthless without her unique brand of commitment, high energy and sheer determination, and the zeal to change the modest wears industry in the country.
As a young indomitable entrepreneur, she never allowed the different headwinds to weigh her down. Hajia Kasim rather turned those challenges into golden opportunities.
Entrepreneurship is a key driver of our economy. Wealth and a high majority of jobs are created by small businesses started by entrepreneurially-minded individuals like Hajia Kasim.
Advice to the youth
“The struggle is real and hard, so don’t quit. The road is rough but remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel so keep pushing”.
She also advised the youth to take their education very seriously, saying they cannot achieve much in any field without education. It is the catalyst of growth and development.
Hajia Kasim who is active in empowering the youth and believes in giving back to the society also stands for unity, uplifting women and the safety of children, social volunteerism and generally spreading love as far and wide as she can reach.
The legacy she wants to leave behind as an entrepreneur
“Have people believe that whatever you put your mind to you can achieve with perseverance, especially to our young Zongo women. You can rise above the status quo and be whatever and whoever you want to be in the future”.
People exposed to entrepreneurship frequently express that they have more opportunity to exercise creative freedoms, higher self esteem, and an overall greater sense of control over their own lives.
As a result, many experienced business people political leaders, economists, and educators believe that fostering a robust entrepreneurial culture will maximize individual and collective economic and social success on a local, national, and global scale.
To quote an American author and entrepreneur, Brian Koslow: “If you nurture your mind, body and spirit, your time will expand. You will gain a new perspective that will allow you to accomplish much more.”
This quotation best fits well with the humble and affable Hajia Kasim whose story can be told in several ways.