By Victoria Ojeme
Lami Rachel Adamu, is a former Nigerian international and a member of the Super Falcons to the 2000 Olympic Football Tournament in Sydney. In this interview, during the celebration of Nigeria Independence, she spoke on her new business, suya.
She played for the Nigerian female national football team. She played at the Olympics. She won a Full Athletic Scholarship into Bloomfield College New Jersey, got a first degree and two Masters Degrees, had a stint in corporate America but is now an entrepreneur manufacturing Nigerian Fura da Nunu and selling Kilishi in the United States of America.
Lami Rachel Adamu from Jos Nigeria has been resident in New Jersey for the past 18 years. She is a former Nigerian international and a member of the Super Falcons to the 2000 Olympic Football Tournament in Sydney.
After graduation from college, she coached both the college men’s and women’s teams as an assistant coach but because of entrepreneurial spirit, she started her new business of catering for parties, preparing fura da nunu and the packaging of suya and kilishi in the US through her outfit, Saharan Kilishi, located in New Jersey.
In 2016, Adamu was amongst the Diaspora Young Professionals that were in audience with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington D.C during his first official visit to the USA.
According to Adamu, “football is my passion I still play it once or twice a week, I call it my therapy. I do miss it sometimes, most especially when I see them in competition. Atimes I wish I was playing competitively, but sometimes the body says no.”
Now, she makes fura da nunu, saharan kilishi, and also make what is known as Nigerian suya, which she packages and supply to stores.
Fura da Nono is a popular African cold gruel produced and consumed mostly by the Fulani. The meaning of fura da nono in English is simply “millet and milk gruel.” Fura means “millet balls” and nono means “cow milk yogurt”. “I also sell online through Amazon, I produce them and process here,” she said.
“For anyone to bring kilishi into the United States, US, you have to smuggle it and you will be lucky if you are not caught by the immigration. So in order not to go through those stress, I produce it myself here,” she said.
“My challenges so far have been to find a partner and money for expansion; that has been a big challenge. It is a small business I am still trying to get into stores. “My primary customers are Nigerians. I go to event like Nigerian parade and I sell to them and I go to Houses where Nigerians live and I also supply largely to African stores.”
For the fura da nunu, she explained that she makes them with millets and yoghurts she buys in US markets.
“America has been really good to me. I came here just to get my education. I have my bachelors, two master’s degrees and a few years later I now own my own business, I can’t complain. The country has blessed me just like a lot of people here, it is hard to break in but once you break in there are a lot of opportunities here; but I think I am ready to go back home, too.”
Adamu said she wants to return to Nigeria to continue her business. “I tell people that I have tested freedom and I don’t want to lose it. There is nothing like having your own. I started this business with $50 and now I have gone beyond that.” “Working for people and working for yourself is an entirely different thing. I enjoy working for myself, I work two, three times harder but I enjoy working for myself.