How office assistant turned barber, computer technician

Matthew Adoga, resigned as an office assistant from former Intercontinental Bank, before he learnt a craft as a computer technician and barber. Adoga says he did not regret his action. In this interview with PAUL OKAH, the technician reveals that he is able to pay his school fees and equally render services to students.
The story
After resigning from the bank as an office assistant, 28-year-old Matthew, from Ogoja in Cross River state decided to do things differently. He rolled up his sleeves and went to learn how to repair computers, phones and electronic gadgets from one Mr Naz at Giza Plaza in Mararaba for 6 months. Now, he can boast of making ends meet as a barber and repairs of electronic gadgets.
Since the introduction of the Global Systems of Mobile communication (GSM) it has become known that most people look distraught and unhappy with a faulty phone, laptop or other electronic devices they use for communication and business purposes.
A first time visitor to Matthew’s shop in Kugho, a suburb of Karu, in the FCT, will not fail to notice the endless movement of people coming and going out of his shop either to have a haircut or have their phones, laptops or electronic gadgets repaired.
In life, there is always a new beginning in the quest to get to one’s desired position in life. And in this chat with Business Starter, Matthew confesses that he has achieved more than a lot of people that are on salary either in government establishments or private organisations.
He claimed that he has been able to use proceeds from the business to pay his way through school.
According to him, “I have achieved a lot with this my business. I live in and pay for a comfortable two-bedroom flat with my younger brother, who I equally saw through secondary school and have been training to take over from me, as I am currently furthering my studies in Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa state.”
However, the business is not without challenges. Matthew says his greatest challenge is lack power supply and the impatience of some customers.
According to him, “I really suffered a setback in my business during the period of fuel scarcity. My business thrives on steady power supply. In my area, light is being rationed. So, imagine spending more than #2,000 in a day when you don’t have power supply.
“Sometimes, I have to juggle between a customer having a haircut and another customer needing his or her phone or laptop to be serviced or repaired. Some can afford to wait for my service while others go elsewhere. ”
How he started
Adoga explained that when he came to Abuja, he started work as an office assistant in the then Intercontinental, and it did not take him long to realise that the job didn’t pay him well.
According to him, “I wanted to have an independent source of income, so I started to learn how to cut hair from Mr. Abubakar in Kugbo for one year. And I learned how to repair phones, laptops and electronic gadgets from Mr. Naz at Giza Plaza in Mararaba for a period of 6 months.”
He called on youths to make necessary efforts to be self-reliant and avoid loitering about doing nothing.
He also begged the federal government to create programmes related to repairs of laptops, phones and others so that more people can be trained.

Light at the end of the tunnel
According to him, as soon as he set-up his barber shop, he resigned from the bank and started growing his business. It was not easy at first, but his clients were so impressive with his services that they started recommending people to him.
According to Adoga, the number of his clients increased considerably that it became difficult meeting up with their demands, which caused him to invite his brother to join him. This is even as he continues to send money to his relatives in the village. He later enrolled to study Computer Science in the Federal Polytechnic in Nassarawa state: these all; from the profit he makes from his business.

Future ambition
Adoga is ambitious, and according to him, “I am studying at the Polytechnic and equally rendering my services to students and lecturers alike .
“I would like to establish more barber shops in other parts of Abuja and then train Nigerians who are ready to learn and take charge of their future.
“I have a lot of plans on how to make money and only time will tell what the future will bring.”

How to start your own barber’s shop
Starting a barbers shop is not as difficult as people think. People make a lot of money from rendering invaluable services to other people and they are smiling to the bank for all their effort. It does not require waving the magic wand.
All you need to do is to attach yourself to someone who is already in the business; that will teach you ‘what to do’ to cut people’s hair and render professional or home services to those wealthy men who can’t make it to your shop.
This may take you a period of 6 months to learn; in order for you to become a professional, things you need to start a barber’s shop includes:

1. A shop: this may be a rented room or a container
2. Quality clippers, tissue papers,
3. Powder, shampoo, sterilizer and spirit
4. Hair brush and scissors
5. Comb, towel-warmer, barbing cloak,etc.
Also, in this computer or information age, people own laptops, phones and other electronic gadgets that sometimes breakdown and in need of repairs.
This is where the technician makes the bulk of his money, as he renders his services for payment. Someone willing to go into the business should get all the following, in no particular order:

Things you need to start repairs of electronic gadgets

1. Set of screw drivers
2. Lead, rework station
3. Soldering iron
4. Soldering Paste
5.Brush
6. A shop or space for the business

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