For a profession often considered exclusively men, a young Nigerian lady is braving the odds and finding fulfilment in the painting industry.
Maryam Rita Christopher is the perfect poster girl for a strong-willed fellow and the description of how to achieve success at an endeavour close friends have given you zero chance at succeeding at.
The young Nigerian has been in the business of painting buildings for more than 10 years all by herself - It's almost as if she was made for it.
Like the motto of her business - creating magical experiences - implies, the chief executive officer of Bigsky Professionals Limited, which she founded, gives her customers value for their money; little wonder she has remained in the business this long.
But getting to this point in her career wasn't a stroll in the park.
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Maryam was tagged dirty and given zero chance of doing well at the job
Perhaps seeing that they recorded no success at discouraging Maryam from being a painter, they resorted to making jests of her.
"When I started this job and took it as a business, my close pals made jest of and laughed at me to my face that I'm doing a dirty job and nothing was going to come out of it,'' the 28-year-old lady narrated.
But their words were too insignificant to come in between the hardworking lady and her painting profession. So she instead found strength in it.
"I took it (discouraging words from close friends) as one of those challenges in life and then took the job more seriously. The more they disliked it, the more I liked it...'' Maryam said.
Maryam was made to choose between her relationship and her career
The lady from a family of 3 recalled how her man also wanted her to call it quits on the job stressing that it is undeserving of the would-be mother of his kids.
Of course, she wasn't ready to part with her source of livelihood for a relationship. Maryam said her relationship with the man eventually crashed because of her strong stance.
"At a time, my relationship crashed because of the job. My man then said if I really wanted to settle down that I should stop the job. He said it is a dirty job and wouldn't want the mother of his kids always being in dirt all the time."
The businesswoman said the break-up and jestings from friends encouraged her to see something they weren't.
Maryam's challenges and joy as a female painter
The young lady noted that getting male customers to trust her in executing their jobs has been a significant challenge on the job.
Due to her gender, Maryam said she often gets complaints like, ''If my wife found out it is a lady doing this work, I could get into trouble.''
In addition to the challenge mentioned earlier she considers annoying, Maryam said there is also the challenge of clients not paying up balance upon completing their jobs.
But overall, the young lady said the experience and exposure the job has given her has helped shape and mould her life.
Maryam's advice to youths idly waiting on the government for jobs
On youths and employment, Maryam advised that people shouldn't put all eggs in one basket.
According to her, God has blessed human beings with everything needed to succeed and it is up to us to search out those gifts.
"My advice to the youths is that they shouldn't just keep waiting on the governmentment for jobs, find that thing you know how to do best and perfect it.
There must be one thing you're very good at. Find that thing, work on it consistently, love it and surely there'd be positive results."
Nigerian female furniture maker
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported a lady who makes furniture with her father.
The 23-year-old had joined her father in his furniture-making business and now assists him in making beautiful furniture pieces to the delight of customers and profit for them.
Recounting how it all started, in an interview with Legit.ng, Peace said her choice of furniture-making as a profession stemmed from her closeness to her dad who she described as her role model and biggest fan.