I was born into a happy family of eight in a village called Breman Brakwa in the Central Region of Ghana. I am the second child of Mr and Mrs Nipah’s six children. My family was not rich neither were we poor but everything we had asked for where given to us. As a young girl, becoming a nurse was my biggest dream so my parents never joked with my education. Shockingly, one day a severe illness affected my mum and lasted over a year.
Her sudden disease drained my dad so much that he was not able to further my education after my home economics studies at Breman Asikuma Senior High School. All my other siblings including me dropped out of school. Rita Maame Esi Nipah is my name but I am famously called Rita and this is my story’.
Rita left the village with her younger sister when things became unbearable for her family. She came to Accra to join her elder sister ‘who was then married’ and lived in a single room. But she had to leave the house which belonged to her brother-in-law’s father, when their family started complaining.
She took her younger sister to a friend and she also went to stay with a male friend she had fellowshipped with but was asked to pack out due to some peculiar reasons. She moved and ended up perching another friend in a kiosk for about a year.
Desperate Rita who wanted to do something to attain a lucrative living, ventured into dressmaking. “I had an idea and love for sewing which I acquired during my secondary education. And since the idea was already there, I realised that diverting from my dream career of becoming a nurse to a fashion designer would be the easiest so I enrolled as an apprentice. God being so good to me, my hard work and humble character made my madam have trust in me and left the shop in my care whenever she travelled outside the country. It was a very big shop, we had where we sew and a store – where we sold fabrics”
Unlike every other apprentice, Rita was paid for her dedication towards her work and started earning little money for a living. “The way I related to my madam was exceptional, I sometimes gave her advice and she acknowledged them. This made her develop trust in me. So my madam decided to use me as her shop keeper and paid me instead of hiring someone from elsewhere to be paid monthly. I also received tips from customers due to my service”
Unfortunately for Rita, they were asked to move out of the kiosk she lived in with her friend. She rented a single room with the little money and the tips she had received from the work place.
Rita bemoans that, after her apprenticeship she never thought of practicing fashion design simply because she couldn’t afford to purchase a shop. “I never thought I could continue with the fashion design because life was really hard. But thankfully, a customer who used to buy from me when I was at my madam’s shop, searched for me and encouraged me to put what I had learnt to practice”
Feeling challenged and determined, she started in her small corner where she lived and strived to develop her craft. She bought some fabric and a sewing machine and started in her porch where she cooked and kept all her cooking utensils. She moved from door to door and begged people to sew for them.
Despite the many complications, Rita is now the Chief Executive Officer of Ritz Design in Spintex. The company she established with just two machines can currently boast of 9 industrial sewing machines and 6 professional employees who sew for her many clients. Just like her name Rita, Ritz Design sews both male and female clothes for her clients and shop.
According to her, she struggled to get to this stage in life, “I don’t remember any family member or a friend giving me a pesewa to invest into my business I struggled to be where I am today. It’s all the doing of God.”
Narrating her struggle to the Motivate Ghana team, she said it was tough for her to buy her new shop.
“The woman who encouraged me to pursue the fashion design came to me one day and said to me that a friend of hers had a shop that she was renting so I should go for it. I turned deaf ear since I didn’t have the money she requested. In three months’ time, I was in the house when the woman called me to come to her house, I got there and met the owner of the shop. She asked me if I wanted the shop and trust me that day I wept. The owner asked, “Why”. I explained to them and begged the owner to rent the shop to me on credit and she agreed”
Rita Maame Esi Nipah in the past two years has not only settled her debt but has also rented a new apartment in Spintex and has paid for seven years advance. Throughout her trying times, she catered for her two siblings. The younger one she came with to Accra has completed Takoradi Polytechnic and the last born is currently studying at Swedru School of Business.
She explained that it was her candid responsibility to take care of her siblings because she didn’t want to be in a situation where she will be living in a mansion and her siblings will be begging her for money.
She draws source of inspiration from God. She believes her success today primarily sterns from the faith and commitment she had for God. Her greatest wish is to open an orphanage home for the needy and the less privileged.
Rita has called on the youth to never lose hope but rather set a goal and work towards that goal. Hard work and determination has always kept her moving in life.