Even at a young age, two things remain constant in the life of Yahaya Dogondaji – to be self-reliant and to help his fellow youth develop themselves. This is apparent in the fact that even before he acquired a degree in Hausa from the UsmanuDanfodiyo University Sokoto in 2012, he also acquired a diploma in Computer Science from Sokoto State Polytechnic.
This enabled him to become a smartphone engineer and served as a foundation to embark on his second goal of helping his fellow youth to become self-reliant.
“Before my enrolment into Usman Danfodiyo University, I had a formidable foundation in the world of technology. This was evidenced by a Diploma in Computer Science I had earned from the Sokoto State Polytechnic.
“I began as a Phone Repair Engineer not only to earn a living, but to also satisfy my interest in technology,”Dogondaji told Daily Trust on Sunday.
Soon after his graduation, the 33-year-old went on to set up his private business of phone repairs and also sharing his skills with youths in his immediate community.
“I have a strong passion for sharing knowledge and skills. This is what attracts hundreds of youths to me daily. My intellectual abilities have made me a beacon of hope for hundreds of young individuals in Sokoto and even across the border in Niger Republic’s Damagaram region.”
“I started humanitarian service by empowering youths and training them in my immediate environment.This effort provides them with skills and makes them self-reliant. Many of them are now entrepreneurs.
“I also use my social media platforms to create awareness by sharing job and scholarship opportunities; or directly connect my audience with employers, government organizations and/or NGOs.
“From August 2022 to date, I’ve secured job and scholarship opportunities for more than 2000 youths at state, national and international levels,” he said.
He said his main motivation to his work is to ensure that the youth are engaged so that they will not be lured into crime.
According to Dogondaji, the current spate of crimes being experience in all parts of the country is largely due to our inability to engage the young people in useful ventures.
“Our current state of insecurity is largely caused by youth unemployment. Because many of them are idle, they are easily lured into joining criminal gangs and causing problems in the society.”
He said his work has earned recognition from some government and non-government organisations.
“My dedication to education and skill development has earned me recognitions and accolades from numerous government institutions, including the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN).” He said the United State embassy had engaged him to train 120 youths in neighbouring Niger Republic while an NGO – Arewa Development Initiative, has also sponsored the training of another 120 youths in Katsina State.
“I also partner with SMEDAN to provide training to hundreds of youths and then empower them.” He said he derives satisfaction from the fact that thousands of youths are now employed or got admission (scholarship) at national and international levels through him.
“I had the opportunity to train over 1000 youths, who are now self-reliant or entrepreneurs. To me, this is a very good and unforgettable achievement in my life.”
He, however, said the major challenge he faces is lack of support from governments at state and federal levels.
“My challenge is lack of support from the government and private sectors. If I can get some support from the government and other stakeholders, I will take my humanitarian service to the next level, which I am sure will provide global opportunities for the youths.”
He said with support from the government, Nigeria could become self-sufficient in phone accessories.
“We have many young people who are experts in smart phone technology; all they require is the support to make Nigeria proud. If we give them the necessary support, Nigeria will have no business importing phone accessories,” he said.
A beneficiary of Dogondaji’s training, Bello Mabera, said he is now self-employed following the skills he acquired.
“Yahaya Dogondaji’s phone engineering training has enabled me to become self-reliant. As you can see, I have a shop of my own,” he told Daily Trust on Sunday.