Halima Salihu Yusuf, hails from Niger State, Nigeria. She is an entrepreneur and an influencer. She speakswith PLEASURES magazine on her charity foundation, Halima Salihu Foundation (HSF), an initiative that is promoting and supporting a world that works for all.
How exactly are you giving back via your foundation?
To us at Halima Salihu Foundation, it is not just about feeding the poor and giving back to the less privileged among us. But about embracing those qualities that serve the highest and best of our humanity. To bring us together as one of inclusion, peace, and harmony. And to demonstrate that even one small act taken by an individual can make a difference and contribute to the positive uplifting of humanity.
To me, being a humanitarian is helping communities identify their opportunities and challenges, helping them believe in themselves, and look for sustainable answers for real change. It helps me to assist less privileged families and change lives in the community. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we donated over 20,000 face masks to Nigerians. I am also deeply touched by the passion to reach out to out-of-school children, donating to orphanages, using my wealth for improving education, housing, and food for the poor. I always feel sad to see children malnourished and out-of-school.
Who is your mentor?
Prophet Muhammed (SWT) is my role model. He is the best role model for all humans, and he represented the best human values in his nature. The entire humanity is in great debt to him regarding learning the meaning of their life on earth and achieving happiness in both worlds.
Tell us about your parents, what do you learn from them?
My dad counsels me a lot while I learn patience and tolerance from my mother. Do you remember being told as you were growing up that patience is a virtue? Over the years, I have also learned that patience is a necessity. It is one of the key qualities needed to achieve what we want with ease and flow.
Obviously, it is an important trait, but it is one not many of us find easy to embrace. It might sound simple when we tell someone to be patient, but the hurdle is how to learn patience. Through the virtue of patience, we place ourselves in the energetic space of allowance. This means we can achieve more, often in less time and without the need to push. We create a pull motion instead. My mother always tells us to stay focused on something more resourceful. The truth is as we move our focus rightly, our frustration levels decrease. Basically, the way we feel is a result of what we are thinking. If we feel annoyed about something, it is generally because we are telling ourselves it should be some other way. Above all, my mother is a good wife and a great cook.
Tell us how you found your way to entrepreneurship?
It has so far been exciting, and I thank God. I learn from the best. However, entrepreneurship is a broad term, and you can be an entrepreneur in just about any area. However, you will have to pick a field you find exciting to start. Because challenges will come and you have to tackle them headlong. For me, I noticed that most people tend to harm their skin by using several unhealthy products. So, I leverage using social media to and enhance my craft and ensure people care for their skin. The overall goal of Leeeemahs Secret is to make people achieve their skin goal. Our face package help treats acne, spot, pores, rashes, blackhead, and dark eye circle. We have Leeeemahs Secret whitening soap, Leeeemahs Secret Indu Magic Black Soap, and Leeeemahs Secret Skin Like Milk shower gel. Our products redefine the whole body. We encourage Nigerians to adopt all-natural body care solutions comprising skincare, haircare, mouth care, and foot care. The vision of the products is driven by the need to help Nigerians break free from toxic and harmful chemical-based body care products by creating a culture and an enabling environment for natural body care solutions to thrive. Furthermore, the whole goal of my products is to right the wrong in society using natural products; It also to get people to appreciate their skin, to get people to solve self-esteem issues. A lot of people have self-esteem issues caused by the perception that only fair people are beautiful, and that is why they bleach because they believe that until they are fair or light-complexioned, they are not beautiful. So, besides my natural products, I sell cosmetics, jalabiah, fashion and the popular abaya. Our products are sold globally.
How do you source your products?
Well, I make them myself, all the ingredients are sourced naturally. Also, I think for now organic products are trending and we’re getting good feedback as well as helping our people at the same time. We source our products from them and repackage and sell them to people who are desirous of getting a positive change.
Do you plan to sell your products globally?
Yes, my customer base is large, besides Nigeria, I also sell my products in countries like London, Ghana, and the US, and the feedback has been incredible.
Tell us about your sales?
Luxury products are expensive. However, we ensure that our customers get value for their money. It has been going well so far; I advertise more using social media. I also leverage the fact that I am an influencer to boost the visibility of my product.
As an influencer, what is your advice for Nigerian youths?
Wow! from my perspective, get something done no matter how small. You can leverage on social media and sell anything you desire. And for Nigerian youths who engage in societal ills because of power, pleasure, peer influence, and other factors, please shun it. Embrace viable ventures, seek mentorships, maximize your potentials, don’t live for this moment alone, in the next five or ten you will be surprised how far you have gone.
For those who engage in drug abuse, the fact is it may seemingly satisfy you temporarily, but it gradually erodes life from its users. It robs you of your talent, captivates your potential, and steals your future. As a youth, remember your destiny is in your hands, you either choose to make it bright or otherwise. A word of advice from my experience is also to look up to Almighty God, forget the negative vibes about the country and the mess in the news. You can make it in Nigeria. Just be yourself and not let anyone tell you otherwise. Be authentic. You are beautiful and powerful and you can achieve your potential with faith and hard work.
What is fashion to you?
Fashion is about being yourself and being authentic, and it comes naturally not by copying others. Fashion has to be within you.
It is a form of self-expression and autonomy at a particular period and place and in a specific context, of clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, and body posture.
What do you think the Nigerian youths can do to achieve their potentials?
Hard work and work smart. We learn important life lessons when we give ourselves to hard work: determination, attentiveness, responsibility, problem-solving, and self-control all come to mind.
Nigerian youth are not lazy. They are hardworking. They can do better if given the opportunity. The government should spend more on intervention projects and ensure they get to the right people. Nigerian youths deserve a decent life.
What is your opinion on the ban of Twitter in Nigeria?
I am not sure it is good because it has pushed so many businesses back and many losses especially the youth. There is no job and some of the users use Twitter to feed their families and make a living. Also, Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right. Everyone should be free to say whatever they want as guaranteed in the constitution. So, the ban should be reviewed.
Follow Halima on Instagram @leeeemah@slyroyaland@leeeemahs_secret for more details about the foundation and business.
Photography by @kamaniphotography