ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN THE WORLD OF FASHION PART 2

Last week we brought you our highly esteemed readers the first part of this exposition which could not be concluded due to space constraints. Below is the concluding part.
In the world of fashion design or tailoring in Ika land we have what is called “Agreement” where some amount of money, say N10-N15,000, kolanut and drinks are given to the trainer (master or madam) for 2-3 years apprenticeship. During and after the training period, the apprentice carries out duties and responsibilities even outside the proper job training like attending to some personal duties of the madam or master. A visit to some of the numerous tailoring shop visited revealed that a lot of our girls and women are more into the business than the male folk. From our observation, tailoring as a business appears to be more established then any other trade in our communities. The reason for this could be that the desire to wear good cloths is inherent generally in people. Who wouldn’t want to wear good and new cloths anyway?
There are tailors who sow only night wears, under wears, trousers, skirts among others making a living. If the numbers of tailors in our communities increase in number there will still be cloths to sow and money to make. Some of the respondents we interviewed have been in the business for 3-15 years. What could have kept someone in business for these numbers of years if the trade is not profitable.
Alimeke Joy has been in the business for 12 years now. She said that she became interested in the trade when she saw cloths being designed and wondered how it came about. “I always get my designs from magazines like the ovation and others. This is a business that has yielded a lot of financial reward for me and which I will recommend for my female folks. Hand work is good. Without handwork, poverty is close by. We spoke to another fashion designer, Anthonia Solomon who stated that she started the business 3 years ago. “When I sat thinking of what to do to be busy, I made up my mind to learn fashion design. It was my brother who sponsored my training and since then God has been faithful. Our youths can either go to school or learn a trade. Even with education, you still need hand work for financial progress. Laziness carries a bad taste. So our idle young ones should do everything to get busy.
Florence Chiajika said that she has been practicing the trade for 15 years. “I have trained 7 persons who are doing well in this business. Most times, when I am asleep, I dream about sowing and that is how I found myself in this trade. Here in Ewerre Elubo where I am operating from, you can make money as long as you produce good designs and sow well. Your location is really imaterial as long as people live around you. I make money today because I suffered before I finished my training. Whatever you lay your hands upon, seriousness must be applied to it. I get designs from occasions or from magazines and I add my own to arrive at a fantastic design. All my customers are pleased with me. Wherever you turn, there are so many hand works to choose from. Men these days do not marry lazy women but hard working women. You can see that I also sell accessories with my sowing business and this is because it saves me time and financial resources going to buy elsewhere. I save transportation money and still make profit from my accessories trade. Permit me to advise that those who are unemployed should wake from their deep sleep and get busy by learning a trade, age or no age.
Sandra Adonu who has been practicing tailoring for 5 years now said,. “My parents trained me when I told them that I wanted to be tailor. Indeed they were excited. And the reason why I personally love this trade is that if you don’t make money weaving or knitting, you make money from sowing. I sell accessories and I am enjoying the job and the money. I have trained 8 people to date. I will encourage those who are looking for avenues of making money to come on to learn the trade.
Stella Umudon has also been in the trade for 5 years. “My mother advised me to learn this job and for 3 years I acquired the skill of sowing and cutting. I get my designs from magazines and from observing people passing. Those looking for what to do should learn this business,” she stated.
Happy Aikowa an apprentice we interviewed and who has been learning the trade for 8 months now said, “I love tailoring because of the money I see people get from the business. I have seen a lot of people do good things in life with this business. One of them is my madam. Aside tailoring, she sells wrappers, cheavon and, baby lace. Most young girls who are lazy should be God fearing and be agile. Some people are saying there are no jobs. That can’t be completely true because there are many jobs. The problem is that some people are proud putting their hands where they cannot reach. Such people I advise to get real and get some thing to do.” Muyideen Ayodele, a male tailor said he also likes the trade. “I decided personally on this business because it is a job that glorifies people. From the day I started work till now its been very profitable. After 15 years of training, I have trained 2 persons who are leaving good lives with it. Time, they say waits for no one so our youths like me should buy time, find time or create time to learn work. The secret to prosperity is hard work. Going to school does not disturb one from learning a trade.
What is important is ones ability to generate good money to keep body and soul together. So I advise anyone that has the privilege of going to school to make sure he or she learns a trade.
Andrew Edigbo, also a male tailor disclosed that he has been in the business for good 9 years. “When I looked at my life, I decided that instead of going to join bad company, I should learn this trade. Since I joined the business, I am using it to feed my wife and children. Since the government cannot do everything for the people I will encourage youths to learn work and go to school. While in school, you will be able to generate money to help yourself. Even after graduation and cannot find a job, you wont feel empty because you have a skill. I also will like to suggest to the government to ban Okrika (2nd hand cloths) or importation of ready made cloths so that our people will make money in the tailoring trade, he said.
Opeyemi has been in the trade for 8 years said that this is a good work which if done with seriousness is profitable. “Before I learnt this trade, I suffered a lot drinking garri for the 5 years of apprenticeship. Now I am free. Anyone who doesn’t learn a trade now will regret this life. Today I am grateful to God for helping me. Whatever anyone does, they should be serious at it. Our youths should abandoned their wicked ways and learn a trade. Anything the government can do especially for the orphans will be welcome by me. There are some youths who really want to work but have no helper.” These are the ones I think the government can render assistance to,” he said. Bridgette Uzoka has been in the trade for 10 years. “It was my father who paid my agreement and I have since applied my mind to it. I have trained many people who are using it to feed. Girls out there who do not want to work should be prepared to suffer. People without work should learn work.
Mercy Obi disclosed that she has been in the trade since 1988. “I am grateful to God for helping me all these years. Through my experience and from catalogues I get my designs. I am enjoying this work with my provisions shop. If money does not come from sowing, it will definitely come from selling provisions. This not the era of laziness.
One must work hard. I want to advise jobless girls to learn work. Anyone that stays idle without work is a disgrace to human kind. I will be thankful if the government can assist me with machines so that my business will grow,” she stated. The solution to poverty is work. There are people who want to work but needs this information from our respondents to decide on what to do. There is a Yoruba proverb which says. “Work hard my friend. To become elevated in life, you need to work hard. Without help, one is like a lazy man. Without having anyone to depend on, you must work hard. Your mother may be rich, your father may be very rich; if you depend on them, I tell you truthfully, whatever you do not work for does not last long. Whatever you work with your hands is what lasts. Your hand is your strength, your elbow is your power. The world will only love you if you are hard working and capable of fending for yourself. If you become a nuisance to society, the world will shun you. Work promotes. Hard work will distinguish you.
Dont play with you life, be prepared to work hard.” Everything in life grows. What ever you begin today will ultimately blossom.
We are encouraging people who are looking for something to do to learn a trade, education or no education. Education we agree is good but combined with work and humility will bring lasting financial security. We only hope our numerous youths idling away will turn a new leaf today, put on their thinking cap and begin to do something.
Next week we will bring you various testimonies on the automobile mechanic profession and how the business can prosper our people. We will be grateful if motor mechanics can reach to Agholor on telephone Number 08142242989 or Osakwe on Tel no 08064929488. We are eagerly awaiting your calls.

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