Kulikuli is well known in Ibadan and has existed for a very long time but Ibadankiniso has found someone who has successfully redefined that ‘word’. We had a nice time discovering how this amazing woman is taking her Kulikuli business from local to global.
Ibadankiniso: Can we meet you ma?
Kulikuli Alata: I am Mrs Gani M.D, from Agbowo UI Ibadan
Ibadankiniso: Kindly tell us about your Educational Background ?
Kulikuli Alata: Okay. I am a BSc. holder. For my basic education, I attended Ansar Ud Deen primary school in Aiyetoro -Oke, Okeho from there I proceeded to IWA community grammar school, also in Ayetoro Oke Okeho. Oke Ogun Oyo State. Then, I had my university education here in the University of Ibadan. I studied Wildlife and Ecotourism Management in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and I graduated in the year 2015.
Ibadankiniso: That is really nice. You had both primary and secondary education in Ayetoro, when did you relocate to Ibadan?
Kulikuli Alata: I moved to Ibadan when I started processing my admission into the University of Ibadan that was in the year 2009. I finally had the admission in the year 2010. I have been living here since then.
Ibadankiniso: What motivated or gave you the entrepreneurial drive, especially you venturing into making kulikuli?
Kulikuli Alata: I will say this is an inheritance. My mother did the same during her lifetime, I grew up to know her making Kulikuli and assisting her back then gave me so much joy. While we were making it one day, the thought of modifying it and making it go worldwide flashed across my mind. I did not share the thought with anyone but I kept it at the back of mind and the passion to improve on it was there.
When I gained admission, I used to bring it for my friends in school, so they knew that was my mother’s occupation. My friends really loved it and they kept demanding for more. At this point, I had a feeling something was about to happen and I kept bringing from home to help my mother sell and I was sending the money back to her. Also, I got to this phase of my life where I was no longer comfortable demanding for money for my upkeep in school, knowing my parents’ financial condition and the fact that I have siblings. So, I agreed with my mother to help her sell in school while we share the proceeds. She agreed and before I knew it, the business got really big and people embraced it.
When my mother died in the year 2014, people did not stop demanding for it and it was very difficult for me to disclose the bad news to them. Before my mother passed on, she would call me and ask me for when I am going to start making the kulikuli myself, I had it in mind but I was still an undergraduate and I didn’t think I was ready for that yet. But, during my practical year in school, I was a little bit free and I was thinking of what to do, I went inside the house and I took some melon and roasted it and made it into the cake, I gave it to some people to taste and they loved it. I bought a congo of melon, made the cake and sold it and the sales moved really fast. In Oke-Ogun where I come from, we call it Robo.
That was what I was calling it then, but a woman attacked me one day and told me it is called kulikuli in Ibadan. Since then, I started calling the one made with groundnut, ‘Spicy kulikuli alata’. While I was calling the one made with melon, ‘Robo’. At least, to appeal to the culture here. I started tying it inside fancy nylon to improve its appearance.
One day, I was advised to use sticker so it could appeal more to people, and I was also encouraged to register under the Corporate Affairs Commission. During my service year, I made more waves than ever using my influence as a corp member. I was able to penetrate so many offices and I had the opportunity to sell to dignitaries and important personalities in Delta State where I served. That was the year I finished registering as a company also.
Ibadankiniso: How do you make the Kulikuli and Robo?
Kulikuli Alata? The very first and most important thing is to acquire the skill, then you buy the ingredients, and this depends on what you are making. If it is Kulikuli, you buy the groundnut and if it is Robo, you buy the melon. Then, you roast it, grind it, add ginger and some pepper. After adding all these, you start mixing to extract the oil which will be used during the frying process. The mixing part is the most strenuous part.
Ibadankiniso: What are the nutrients that can be derived from it?
Kulikuli Alata: Based on the fact that it is made from groundnut, it is a good source of protein. It is a good source of carbohydrates and fats and oil therefore it supplies the body with calories. The groundnut and melon contains mono-unsaturated fatty acid and is low in cholesterol. Therefore, all these characteristics combined with the nutrients from spices added, makes it an excellent diet. It also nullifies the harmful effect of cholesterol in the body.
Ibadankiniso: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family?
Kulikuli Alata: It can be very challenging at the beginning stages but I would like to appreciate my husband because he has been very understanding and supportive. The work is time consuming but he is always willing to compromise.
Ibadankiniso: What is your long term goal?
Kulikuli alata: Although I intend venturing into other things, this business is the base or the foundation and I plan on doing it till the end of my life. Another reason apart from embracing the work of my mother, is that I really want to do business. My company is registered as Adunni Global Integrated Services and Adunni is my mother’s second name, so I really want to keep the memory of my mother alive. My mother has contributed a lot to my life so my company’s name will always be Adunni.
Ibadankiniso: What’s your advice to youths that want to venture into business?
Kulikuli Alata: My advice is that we should all look at the talent that God has given us so that it can become something good for us. Vocational jobs are doing better than white collar jobs so it’s good to have a vocation, and whatever it is that you know how to do, do it well.
Ibadankiniso: Thank you so much for granting us an audience.
Kulikuli Alata: You are welcome