My dear readers, I would love to introduce another young talented Nigerian Shoe designer, as you all know, I write about outstanding people to encourage others and let them know that they can exploit their talents and make a living from it. It is not a secret that many Nigerian graduates are jobless but as they say,every disappointment is a blessing. The hardhip in our Nation has made some of these highly qualified graduates to use their creativity to be financially independent. I search for such people and promote their “Made in Nigeria” goods as I want our people to learn to appreciate our locally made products. I found Mr Franklin Tochukwu on Facebook.
He is the C.E.O of Raph & dom collections (Proudly Nigerian as he says). Mr Tochukwu is from Imo State but was born and brought up at the Coal City of Enugu State though he currently resides in Lagos where he works. He had his Nursery to Secondary School studies at Enugu and studied Library and Information Science at the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)..
When I asked him what made him to go into crafts/shoe making and where he learnt to make shoes he smiled and said ” when I was growing up, I had a big foot which is always a challenge to me because my parents hardly find my size in the market, so my parents had the shoemakers customize my own shoes. One day I said to myself, it is high time I do this on my own. So after our school vacation, I travelled to Lagos and Aba to learn some skills acquisition on shoe making”...
I was marvelled that his own difficulties to find adequate size of shoes for him made him to produce shoes for others despite the fact that he studied a different course in te University so I asked how his beginning was.
I got a job at now Artee group of Companies (SPAR) at Lagos, I squeezed out time every night after work to make some footwears for my colleagues at work. One faithful day, I was invited by one of my bosses (Mr abrakash) to make a pair of shoes for him, so after the work well done, he pressurized me to resign and go into the commercial hub for my creativity than wasting my time in the company.
Once I started producing them, I had to do a lot of talking to convince people who had lost confidence in Made in Nigeria goods but after they have bought some pairs, they were much eager to patronize me because my designs and standard are very good”. ..
I thought he only makes men shoes and inquired if he intends to produce for women in the future, he smiled again and corrected me saying that produces shoes for all sexes and ages. He mentioned he has many clients (men and women) incluiding some celebrities like the Veteran actor Sir Charles Okafor and the Nigerian Superstar Singer,Mr Innocent Idibia populary known as Tuface or 2Baba....
Oh wow! He makes shoes for TuFace? I asked him people got to know about his shoes and he said that he advertises his business on Social medias and through his family and friends. His clients also brings him new customers. You can reach him through ±2347068669271(whatsapp and call), or visit his workshop at .Solomon close(agege motor road by access bank Mushin) Lagos state. You can also contact him on Facebook … Franklin Tochukwu.
I asked what he thinks the government should do to help the youths go into different types of businesses rather than sit and wait for white collar jobs that are not forthcoming? He told me that he thinks that the Government should provide the basic fundamental institutions for skills acquisition, create awareness for the young,old and new entrepreneurs,train them and get the mechanism ready...
I wanted to know how he felt being self employed and what he would advise the Nigerian youths that are jobless and frustrated right now… He said he feels great and honoured to his own Boss, That it expands one’s limitations of thinking both mentally, physically and otherwise. He thinks that the youth shouldn’t wait for their family,friends and Government to come to their aids as means of survival. He thinks that the youth should eradicate their mental slavery. They should find out their talents and work on them and also put God first in all they do.
Mr Franklin Tochukwu apart from being highly talentd,he is salso such a grateful youngman, when I asked him who are the people he owes gratitude, he dropped long list of people….”My utmost gratitude goes to the Almighty God despite the tough times and financial constraints.I bow down my head for the almighty God,the giver of life and the Savior of Mankind. My gratitude goes to my parents for their advices and encouragement, I am indebted to my brother Raph Ugochukwu,who also encouraged me and believe in what we share together. Many thanks to the family of Okuhu, especially Sir Ikem Okuhu, Engr Kachi Okuhu and Sir Chijioke Okuhu for their Encouragement,support and accommodating spirit, may God Almighty grant you all long life and bless you and your families abundantly. I am so greatly indebted to Chief Engineer Ignacio Campo (the Eziafakaego of Awka Kingdom and his wife, Her Excellency Chief Princess Mrs Nwanne Campo (UN-AmbP) the Osodieme of Awka Kingdom who made this dream come to pass, may God bless you more. I am very grateful to my friend Engr Ethelbert Nwosu,you are truly a worthy friend. Countless thanks to all my customers, without your financial support, encouragement,I won’t be here.May Almighty God continue to bless you all, your pockets will never go dry… Amen, I love you all”.
Well, my husband and I are humbled by his kind words to us, we wish hm the very best.I will be back with more articles soon. Remember that God helps those that help themselves, use the talent God has given you to fetch a bountiful harvest. Do your part and leave the rest to God. Stay blessed