Jonathan Isaiah is a happy man today, smiling all over the place that houses his tailoring shop in Minna, Niger State. He has many reasons to be happy. He is a proud owner of a business that employs other Nigerians and his products are making waves across the country and adding value to his life and family members.
He completed his university education with a degree in sociology in 2016, he is no longer roaming the streets in search of jobs but is now training many other Nigerians in his shop where he sews fashion clothes and sells materials to others as a going concern.
Jonathan, who is a graduate of sociology from the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, graduated in 2016 but had to retire to fashion designing after many years of fruitless search for white collar jobs. His case seems peculiar in their family because the blood of tailoring seems to be running in their veins.
His grandmother was a tailor just like his mother who is now his major partner in the tailoring business. Jonathan merely tapped into the family business in a bigger and more creative way, thereby making more progress and impact than his predecessors in the trade.
Today, he runs his outfit with his mother, who learnt the trade from his grandmother. “My grandmother was a tailor and she encouraged my mother to go into the business while my mother also dragged me into the business from childhood with my academics going hand in hand. I started learning the trade at the age of 12 in Ilorin, Kwara State but I never knew that it would eventually be my sustenance,” he explained.
According to him, he made up his mind to fall back on the trade after his fruitless search for work.
Thus after his graduation, he went back to fashion designing in Ilorin to brush his skills and also add embroidery to his already acquired skill in tailoring, adding: “Altogether, I am about 10 years in the business and now sew for both males and females. I also have eleven apprentices – five males and six females including four graduates with one of them being my course mate who is learning the skills and they are all feeling proud and full of hope for the future.
“With my situation, I am no longer thinking of any white collar job. I have no regret being in this trade because I am touching the lives of many people and I will continue to do that. My plan is to expand the business and promote made in Nigeria attires to the outside world because my label is boldly printed on my finished attires indicating Niger State, Nigeria.”
With the mother sewing in a corner of the shop and beaming proudly with smiles, Jonathan pointed to his mother and declared “that is my managing director while I am the manager and we have been working together for years without any conflict.” One of the problems he and others like him are facing is lack of funds to expand.
“My aim is to transform my shop into an institute where people especially the unemployed youths can be trained. I have applied for loans in the past but didn’t succeed,” he remarked.
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