Shom Fanen Akor is a graduate of physics from Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola, in Adamawa State.
Two years ago, Akor took to frying masa – a snack made from corn or rice popular among the Hausa – in order to a earn a decent living with his wife and son in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
- COVID-19: ‘How delta variant spreads rapidly in communities’
- Vigilantes to lead fight against bandits in Sokoto – Tambuwal
Speaking to our correspondent, the Mbater indigene of Logo Local Government Area of Benue state, expressed optimism that his masa business would continue ad infinitum.
Akor said, “My target for this masa business is infinity; that is it has no end.
He explained that he ventured into the business at the present location within the Owner Occupier Housing Estate in Makurdi to satisfy the teeming Benue and Nigerians resident in Makurdi and in the process generate income.
According to him, his wife’s crave for the delicacy was what motivated him into the business, because anytime they were out, she would go in search of masa, but that the kind of masa they were usually buying in Makurdi was not really fresh.
He explained that, “So, an idea struck! And I began the selling of masa. Few days from the time I began this business, I sat with my wife and we suggested a name for our masa known as “Alifan’s Fresh Masa”. That’s the combination of Alice and Fanen.
“I have been doing the business for two years now. But, the major challenges have been inadequate finance to expand the business, as well as mobility and business location.”
Akor added that the business has positively imparted him as it has improved his standard of living, made him self-sufficient, financially independent, just as he feels satisfied that people appreciate what he does.
He further said the masa business was highly profitable, explaining that though his monthly income fluctuated, sometimes he made as much as N105,000, while at other times the profit hovered between N70,000 and N80,000 monthly.
Despite some people applauding the young man for braving the odds and selling masa, there are others who consistently make mockery of him for what they consider “stooping too low to conquer poverty”.
However, Akor does not give a dam to such line of thought, even as he stressed that what mattered to him was the profit being made to put food on his table.
He maintained: “They have been making a lot of fun about the kind of business I do, but as they make fun of me; they push me to do more and to save more money in my bank account.
“What they don’t know is that their fun is like a fuel that keeps me going stronger.”
Before venturing into frying masa, the young Akor was and still is into activism, humanitarian services and blogging.
He advised the teeming idle youths, especially university graduates, who are yet to find gainful employment to no matter how small it might seem, start from anywhere and stop waiting for white collar jobs.
He said, “Look around you, do something unique well, be consistent and above all always pray to your God and put humanity first in all that you do.”
Apart from his masa business, Akor is the Initiator and Convener of Taking Food/Items to Benue Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He is also the CEO of ShomExpress.Com, also has a Diploma in Peace and Conflict Management and is a Chartered Manager from the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM).