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Meet 25-year-old undergraduate shoemaker

At a time when university undergraduates in Nigeria were affected by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strikes and other related issues that led…

At a time when university undergraduates in Nigeria were affected by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strikes and other related issues that led to the closure of universities in the country, Young Halima Hamisu had taken the challenge to get herself equipped with a skill that would occupy her time as well as grant her financial independence. Daily Trust Saturday visited the young shoemaker.

Halima got herself enrolled in a skills acquisition centre. However, her choice of skill baffled many as she expressed interest in becoming a young shoemaker, which is seen as a male dominated field.

After some months, young Halima proceeded to another private skills acquisition centre to gain more knowledge on her chosen field.

With encouragement and support from her parents, Halima put all her strength in ensuring that she learned what she wanted to learn as an artisan as well as a student. According to her, she systematically adopted a process that will not tamper with neither her studies nor her artisan engagement through a calculative use of available resources and time.

 

Born in Potiskum Yobe State in October 1997 and resides with her parents in Plateau, she had her primary and secondary schools in Jos Plateau State. She got admitted into the University of Jos to study Science Laboratory Technology and is currently in her final year.

Though still in school, Halima nurtured her artisan skill to gradually become the owner of an online business platform called ‘Hammy Collection’ where she showcases both female and male shoes, hand bags and other collections.

She revealed that her chosen trade requires a sizable capital and that after her skill acquisition, she discussed her plans with a relative who assisted her to work for the capital that she started with. 

“I told my relative about my plan and she told me that she will be sending some clothes down to Jos and if I am interested, I can collect some as well. I said ‘why not’? That was how I started collecting the clothes and selling them for her. Gradually, I was able to save some reasonable amount of money which I used to set up my workshop at home. Though, I haven’t gotten all the needed equipment, I have to be using some equipment at my former skill acquisition centre,” she said.

Halima also stated that she was able to successfully combine schooling and her work because she has made adequate provision to manage her workshop at home. 

However, the young artisan revealed that it wasn’t easy being in a male dominated sector because of the competition attached to the business. According to her, she had to devise a means of displaying and selling her products through the online business platform she developed.

“In the three years of my being in this business, I have instituted myself as an artisan and I am proud to be one as well as doing well in a male dominated sector. It isn’t easy at all; I have to limit myself to the online due to dominance syndrome and other factors. However, I was able to make my mark known and to God be the glory that I have made my choice of being an artisan,” she said.

The young artisan further revealed that even when she successfully completes her university education, she will continue with her artisanal work as it has given her a sense of being economically empowered as a woman. “I am satisfied with the proceeds from my work. I no longer depend on my parents for funds. The work has given me a sense of economic independence and I am glad that I took the challenge,” she said

 She also called on girls to look inward and follow their passion in terms of skills that they want to go after. Halima said all they have to do is look for what they think suits them irrespective of who does it and get themselves trained on it, adding that there are lots of opportunities in skilled labour than in white-collar jobs.