I am Asiya Eso Ita, third year student with the department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar. I am 22 years old. I hail from Obutong community in Calabar Municipal council. I am a beneficiary of the Lafarge Africa Plc – Gede Foundation educational support programme.
I was enrolled into the programme in 2015 in my 100 level. I had participated in all the educational programmes organised by Gede Foundation to improve and enhance the grant that is awarded for tuition, books and other academic needs by Lafarge Africa Plc. I have also played a part in the drug-free campaign to community’s secondary schools to enlighten young students about the damages caused by drug use and its impact on social, mental and physical health of the user.
In my first year in the programme a life building skills workshop was organised by Gede Foundation to improve capacity of beneficiaries and introduce us to basic entrepreneurial skill with an intent to encourage savings and economic activities that could aid us raise extra income for school. After the 2 day training a got around with my cousin who have had a formal vocational training and who is currently making shoes. I have graduated as an apprentice and I am making my own shoes now.
I have done a few sandals of my own and sold within the campus. I choose shoe making because I have passion for footwear and it is very lucrative business. Although, at this initial stage is demanding as materials are purchased in bits. In a year’s time when I am able to invest more money, I will buy materials in large amount to serve more production and reduce the cost of transportation.
I hope to take other courses on shoe making after my graduation to improve the skill I have acquired now and improve. I also will register my shoe company soon and have my own brand. I want to name it ‘Foothingz’.
Asiya Eso Ita
300 level student
Linguistics and Communication Studies
University of Calabar, Calabar