I’ll encourage youths to learn any skill they have passion and flair for
Ebube Ejiobi-Okeke is a 400 level student studying Law at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka. She’s multi-skilled; she cooks, bakes, also styles and cares for natural hair. Ebube, in an exclusive with MERCY, EZEOKONKWO, shares her entrepreneurship journey, the challenges and encourages students to learn skills to remain relevant. Excerpt:
May our readers know you?
My name is Ebubechi Ejiobi-Okeke, a Law student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and in my penultimate year.
What’s your background like?
I grew up in Eastern Nigeria, Enugu state precisely in a beautiful Christian family of 7 and I am the third child. I had both primary and secondary school education in Enugu and then proceeded to the prestigious Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, where I obtained my National Diploma in Law in 2016, and also commenced my journey to attain my Law Degree in the same institute.
What are you skilled at?
I’m multi-skilled, I cook, I bake, I also style and care for natural hair.
How did you get to learn all these skills?
I learnt all these skills mostly from private practice. I love food, I love eating good food. I learnt to cook from my Mum and my Aunty. I also learnt the basics of baking from my Mum, she always made our birthday cakes every year while we were growing up. Due to my love for food and experimenting in the Kitchen I went ahead to broaden my horizon, my main tutor is YouTube, yes 65-70% of all I know today is from YouTube, especially natural hair care and baking. Then I practice on my own, learn from my mistakes and try again.
How are you able to combine all these with academics?
Combining business with my studies is a herculean task, I tell you. It is not easy, some nights after frying chin chin and packaging them in cellophane bags, I end up sleeping by 2am, and I still have to wake up by 4.30am to make and fry puff puff and be in class by 8am. It is not easy at all. But I thank God for the gift of amazing friends who understand and have ready solutions always. I just went to my closest friend and laid all my complaints, he advised me on how to go about drawing up a schedule and managing the little 24 hours I have. I never knew 24hours was so small till I started combining business and academics. I paid heed to his advice now I have days I fry chin-chin and days I don’t. Same as puff- puff as well. I just put up a smiling face and tell customers “we didn’t fry today o, today is for my books”. And they grumble, but still understand. It’s not easy, but we’re doing it. The extra cash coming from it is helpful in solving one or two needs in school.
What skills would you encourage youths to learn?
I’ll encourage youths to learn any skill they have passion and flair for, don’t go and do what you don’t enjoy doing, you’ll find it burdensome.
Then, money is a good motivation as well, so learn a good skill that you can easily monetize.
Once money is coming in from that skill, you won’t get tired, I tell you. There are 4 strategic areas that every human should know a thing or two about and then get skilled in those areas as well, because they will never go into extinction.
They are; 1. Food (Agriculture); 2. Communication; 3. Transport and 4. Technology. See these 4 areas, they’ll keep paying till forever.
In five years where do you see yourself?
In five years’ time? I see myself as a good lawyer, not a litigation lawyer, (I have no interest in that now, but we’ll shaa test the waters. With my Masters degree and pursuing my PhD. I love teaching, and my friends say I’m good at that, so I see myself as a Law teacher. Then having perfected my baking and cooking skills, I want to own a food outlet, with lots of employees making good food.
What advice do you have for youths out there?
My advice to Youths, please don’t sit down and fold your hands, waiting for manner to fall from heaven.
There is money staring right at you, even if it comes in droplets at the beginning, keep on pushing, little drops make a might ocean. You’re growing up into big aunties and uncles and as you billed your brothers and sisters, so shall you be billed, Amen? Amen. Our last born doesn’t want to know if you have money or not, his phone must be recharged and he selects which big sister or brother to bill from time to time, when e reach your turn if you like fall hand, e no go funny o. Most importantly, there’s nothing as sweet as having your own money o, I tell you. The feeling is heavenly. Surround yourself with reasonable friends. I thank God for the wonderful friends he blessed me with, I have very few friends, and we are all doing well. Academically, spiritually and business wise, money is’ importanter’. Lastly stop giving excuses and get started, do something, volunteer, get started.
You have a skill imbedded in you, it must not be physical skills like mine.
You can be a content creator, a lot of people earn millions of dollars on YouTube and other social media platforms, you just need your phone with a good camera, and you’re good to go.
Put succinctly, just get started, keep trying, keep showing up and soon your hard work will yield fruit.
Like Obi Cubana said “there is no soap anywhere to cut from, get up and make your own soap with hard work and by living a honest life”.
Have an amazing day.