A female shoe-maker, Ms Mary Matthew, has advised youths to imbibe the culture of self reliance by acquiring vocational skills in any field of human endeavour of their choice.
Matthew, who, is also a student of Environmental Health at the School of Health Technology, Keffi, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.
She attributed her success in the shoe-making business to the advice her mother gave her nearly 10 years ago.
Matthew said her apprenticeship in the shoe-making industry gave her the current popularity she enjoyed ever since she set up her shop on Nasarawa road in Keffi.
She explained that she had combined her shoe-making business with her studies well enough as she was currently in her second year at the school pursuing her studies without much difficulty.
The professional shoe-maker said the youth should make out time to acquire skills even after graduation from tertiary institutions because of the dearth of white collar jobs in the country, adding that “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”.
She said she had always made some money from her business during holidays to augment her parents’ income while commending her mother for encouraging her to learn the trade that had made her a household name in Keffi.
Also Narrating her own story, Ms Rebecca Esther, another woman in the male-dominated occupation of shoe-making and a native of Eggon in Nasarawa State said she was passionate about making shoes for her clients after becoming proficient in it.
According to her, she is now training five other persons in the shoe- making business after she had understudied Matthew for four months.
But, yet another female cobbler, Ms chineye Obi , said she never learned the trade from anybody before she started mending shoes for her clients as she had a natural flair in the business.
According to her, she had passion for shoe-mending from secondary school and decided to improve her skills during her National Youth Service year in Nasarawa State at Matthew’s workshop popularly known as ‘Uncle Dot Shoe.’
She promised to set up her own shop after completing her service year in the state, adding that her little savings would enable her to acquire some machines and tools for the trade.
“Shoe-making is my passion that I cannot do without and I love it so much,”she said.
She noted that the business is highly lucrative especially in Keffi. (NAN)