Ingenuity and homegrown. Those two words speak of Fahma Abdi Majiid the university student and mother of two in Mogadishu who is behind one of the first locally made hair products now dotting beauty shops and supermarkets in Mogadishu.
Eaten raw, blended for juice and cooked alongside other dishes, the carrot is charting new waters in Mogadishu’s micro-factory. With locally available resources backed by research, Ms. Majiid is endevouring to provide Somalis with alternatives after many years of having to rely on imported hair oil. Sadra Oil is the new Mogadishu hair oil.
“At first I did this for fun not for business in 2017. I did a lot of research and settled on the carrot because it has been praised for its use on hair and people already know it’s good for eyes and does not have a bad smell,” Majiid told Goobjoog News.
Juggling family and classes, Majiid a student at Simad University in Mogadishu says after the first trials on the product, her fellow students, family, and friends were very impressed and encouraged her to produce more and try the market. “I am married and a mother of two. I pursue my education as well as looking after my children.”
“My family and friends at the University encouraged me to build on the idea further and transform it into a business. So I would credit them for making Sadra Oil a reality.”
Majiid’s kitchen doubles up as a production centre where she prepares the oil using simple but effective technology.
Sadra Oil is gaining traction in Mogadishu and has also found way into neighbouring Kenya as well as Malaysia as many people who have heard about the product want to test it. The reviews have been positive and Majiid hopes she can now give Somalis the choice for locally produced oil.
“I have been using Sadra Oil produced by my sister Fahma for the last six months. At first, Fahma used to give us the oil for free before she put it out in the market,” Anisa Abdiqadir, a fan of Sadra Oil said. “I used to have a problem with my hair cutting off and weak but when I started using Sadra Oil, my hair is now strong and has even increased in volume.”
For Majiid, hers is not just a new product for Somalis and a business venture but she’s silently and gradually addressing one of Somalia’s long-running challenges-youth unemployment.
“I sell Sadra Oil and earn a living out of it. People are asking for this product because it is herbal and locally made. We contact the manufacturer (Majiid) regularly because there is a high demand for the product and many girls in Mogadishu are appreciating the product,” one of the traders said.
Majiid says her dream is to see the product not just consumed locally but also in other countries and competing favourably with other brands. She adds she has also received orders from Nairobi and Malaysia.
“I hope one day my products will go international. I have received orders from Nairobi and also from Malaysia and I hope that even people in America can also use my oil,” Majiid says.