Hey guys! How’s the holidays treating us? I have spent just four days at home and I am bored already. I’d give anything to be back in my hostel right now, lying on my bed and doing nothing. I usually go for vocational classes during long holidays but this time around, I thought I’d mop around and sleep, eat and regain the strength I lost with school stress but I am having a rethink because I can’t sit in one place and doze off for five minutes in peace…

‘Kaothar! The fan is blowing hot, turn it off.’

‘Kaothar! The soup is peppery, what happened?’

‘Kaothar! Why are the mosquitoes singing in our ears? Stop them right now.’

‘Kaothar! Buhari is back from London, go get us our share of the London bread.’

Kaothar! Kaothar!! Kaothar!!!

So, there it is. I had a rethink, I can’t laze about and enjoy myself as I had planned to for a month before I think of something to do with my life. Different things I can learn kept popping up in my head, makeup? No, makeup artists are now like pure water, with just a whistle you’d have twenty climbing each other’s heads to do your makeup for you. Even at weddings, we have those on standby waiting to carve the perfect ‘highbrow’ for you for just #500. Tailoring? Hmm? They are many already and those on Instagram wouldn’t let us hear word. Every one of them now does couture.

Excuse my long stories, but I realized some vocations are polarized, and in situations where there are lots of people doing the same thing, you need to over work yourself to stand out. You need to put that extra extra extra extra effort before your work pays off. I realized some vocations are neglected at the expense of other lucrative ones, people want quick money nowadays, sucks to passion.

– COBBLING: Aboki shine my shoe, oga shoe maker. There is money in that vocation you mock, few people see that but this industry is steadily growing. Custom made shoes by some Nigerian cobblers can give the Giuseppe brand a run for their money. And no I am not joking.

– KNITTING AND CROCHETING: These second cousins of tailoring have been relegated to the background. We no longer see the beauty of knitting and crocheting, they are no longer cool. They used to be the rave then, if you went to school back then as a lady you must be good in knitting and crocheting – not the hair please. The fashion industry is growing and people are coming up with unique designs as the day goes by, think of the amazing stuff you can do with knitting and crocheting. Yes!

– HAIR DRESSING: If you didn’t know before let me tell you now. ‘Saloom’ business is selling like hot cake. People who are good in what they do when it comes to hair are counting their money which each braid they weave. Do some unique cornrows, give it a name and bam! You have created a new hairstyle, imagine the number of people that’d patronize you when your customer carries the hair out. Oyoyo

– GRAPHIC DESIGN: I noticed majority of people who learnt this do so grudgingly, because their parents forced them to or because they don’t have anything else to do. But this is selling like hot cake nowadays. The Internet is there for you to hone your skills in this field, this is an amazing source of income and you can make or not-make yourself through this. I know of someone who is a self taught graphic artist and she is good at what she does. Hey Miss Purple Heart!

– FURNITURE MAKING: The furniture business is not as it was before. Carpenters are no longer the people who sweat at the workshop as they cut and nail woods together to collect stipends at the end of the day. They are now innovative and create new and better pieces as the year goes by. Last year coloured furniture were popular and I could remember how much furniture makers charged then to make those attractive pieces. Some furniture makers with good ‘packaging’ collect huge contracts and… You know the end.

All I am trying to say is that, with the knowledge you have gained in school and the one you’d gain when you learn any of this vacations and maximize your other potentials. The sky would be your starting point, some of the people who are good in this but still remain impoverished and collect less than what they deserve do so because they package their services poorly.

P. A. C. K. A. G. I. N. G, there is no good or bad business, there is no business that isn’t lucrative. What matters most is packaging, the way you present yourself and your services. If you act like your services are worth 1million dollars nobody would offer you 10 kobo. The difference between Mai Atafo and José the London tailor is… packaging.

What other skills do you think are being neglected? You can voice your thoughts in the comment box. I always reply.

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