How One Ghanaian Woman Is Fashioning Batakari Into A Global Brand

Aisha Ali Awudu’s achievements today- now with thousands of customers around the globe and cashing-in hugely- explain how passion and determination rule in pursuit of success in every business venture

Aisha, just like most graduates did have a brilliant business idea which she was certain will fly yet decided to search for job right after her National Service.

In fact, she was fortunate to land a job with an insurance company as a sales person but made U-turn in a trice.

“I run away because that job wasn’t easy given the fact that you have to walk under the scorching sun seeking for clients,” she said in an interview with

Driven by her love for made in Ghana goods and a quest to add value to batakari (Ghanaian smock hitherto worn by kings in the northern region but now popular across Ghana), she started her fashion brand, Shaaliwud in 2014, making beautiful outfits from batakari and selling them with an initial capital of about Ghc500 she had saved from her national service allowance.

This venture did not sit well with her family and friends who thought of it as a “cheap idea.” They also doubted the money-making potential of the business.

Although dispirited by their reaction, she went ahead with her plan and was even nicknamed “Fuguwura” to wits someone who deals in batakari.

Three years down the line and her business is thriving with an enviable client list nationwide. She currently exports her designs to the USA, Canada, UK and Liberia.

Peplum blouse from Aisha’s collection

With a staff strength of 8, she works around the clock with her team to produce colourful batakari inspired clutches, school bags and slide bags, bowties, neckties, skirts and tops.

But as with most start-ups, her greatest hurdles has been inadequate finances and lack of avenues to market products.

She admits, however that patronage got better last year when the government initiated programmes to promote made in Ghana goods.

With a first degree from University of Development Studies (UDS), the success of her business has spurred a positive outcome on her academic life as she is currently enrolled in a Master’s programme, partly being sponsored from her business.

To answer how she is making it through stiff competition, she had this to say. “Everyone got to find something to do. But with me it’s a passion and I’m dedicated to solving a problem and not only to make money.”

She had a practical advice for young entrepreneurs “Rome wasn’t built in a day. Believe in yourself and passion. Start now, no matter how little it is.”

Batakari bag


Batakari clutch


Couples’ wear from Aisha’s Batakari inspired collection

By Pamela Ofori- Boateng