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My pap making business opened doors for me – Male pap seller

His story went viral within 48 hours of twitting about his pap business. Four days after his post, he got the attention of Dr Kayode…

His story went viral within 48 hours of twitting about his pap business.

Four days after his post, he got the attention of Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti State governor, who invited him to his office.

21-year-old Jimoh John Yakubu has since then become an example for many youths for taking up a business not many males will engage in.


Daily Trust: What’s your educational background?

Jimoh John Yakubu: I’m a 100 Level student of NOUN, studying Information Technology.

I finished secondary school in 2015 and couldn’t start higher education immediately after graduation because we were being raised by a widow.

We lost our dad 18 years ago, and I’m the last born.


DT: What inspired you to venture into making raw pap?

Yakubu: I’m still an undergraduate.

My mum has been taking care of us with this pap business for a long time.

After I finished secondary school in 2015, I tried to do a few jobs, but they didn’t work out.

So, I decided to join her in 2016, and due to her health too.

After I joined, we expanded our operations.

Yakubu preparing pap in his workshop.

DT: How much capital did you start with and how much is the business worth now?

Yakubu: Being that my mum has been in the business before, she had a grinding machine.

She started with about N1000 in 2005.

So, when I joined in 2016, we increased to about N50,000.

The business is currently worth close to N300, 000.

We started with as little as 10 mudus but now, we use about 3 bags of maize weekly.


DT: Was there a time you felt like quitting?

Yakubu: Yes, in 2018, I got fed up with things and was depressed by the fact that I was doing this kind of business.

I started questioning myself on why I should engage in pap business.

I felt ashamed that I was not making progress like my mates then.

But today, I thank God that I didn’t derail but rather had remained steadfast as I am reaping its benefits now.


DT: What have been your challenges and how have you overcome them?

Yakubu: My main challenges had been working in a not too conducive environment, and with an electric engine.

But after my story went viral on social media, these two issues have been solved.

I have a better place now as I was able to renovate the place into a more conducive environment.

I now also have a petroleum-powered engine and a new grinder.

All these have made my work easier.


DT: What was your dream job before now?

Yakubu: My dream job right from childhood was to be a detective.

My cousin can testify to that.

Whenever he comes from school, I will explain to him that I wanted him to help me achieve my dream job.

My love for the secret service is great.


DT: Would you trade your present job for a white-collar job?

Yakubu: Definitely not! To every young person reading this, don’t ever be ashamed of what puts food on your table, as long as it is legitimate.

Not many would have thought that I would ever get to meet people of such calibre as the governor through a pap producing business.


DT: Have you experienced any form of ridicule from family or friends?

Yakubu: I have experienced this from friends.

My family has been supportive right from day one.

I thank God, I didn’t allow their ridicule to overcome my goals and hard work.


DT: Are you in a relationship and how does she feel about your business?

Yakubu: No, I’m currently single.

I won’t even want to date or marry someone who won’t love my profession though.


DT: Has this business opened doors for you? Who are the big personalities you have met through this business?

Yakubu: Yes, lots of doors opened.

I met Ekiti State governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

I have met Ekiti State commissioner of finance.

I also received Honourable Teju Okuyiga, member representing Gbonyin in the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

We were also able to buy a new engine and give the place a new look through several helpers.


DT: What makes your business unique?

Yakubu: Nothing much.

I do nothing different from the others; I produce basic pap, yellow pap and with spices.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m a male producer because you rarely find a man doing this kind of business.


DT: To what do you attribute the success of your business?

Yakubu: My mother. She has been the backbone of the business and life after God.

She has helped by laying the foundation.

She has been supportive via prayers, financial support and more.


DT: What are your development goals for the future?

Yakubu: My business is not registered with the CAC or NAFDAC currently.

However, I am working to get my business certified.

I produce wet pap mainly, for now, but I’m working now with the supports I have gotten to take the business to a higher level.

I look forward to supplying every state in the country and to export outside Nigeria.

Making the business a strong name in the world, where we will be the choice of people when they need pap.

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