I’m a shoemaker.
I’m the MD/CEO of Shoe Speed and we make, fix and sell shoes. We also have an academy that has trained over 600 people in the last 9 years. 
I discovered my love for shoes when I was 7. We were about 10 kids (siblings and cousins) living with my mum. On a particular Sunday, I was quite restless and was disturbing the peace of the house. My mum felt she needed to keep me busy, so she put the school shoes of all the kids together and gave them to me to shine. Each child had about 2 pairs, so I had a minimum of 20 pairs of shoes to shine. I didn’t like it because I knew it was going to keep me busy, but I got excited at some point, especially when I saw the transition of dirty looking shoes into shiny ones. They all came to pick up their shoes and they loved them. So subsequently, I would pay them to shine their shoes. I later developed the hunger and thirst for footwear.
I studied Accounting at the University. I was on a first class in my first year but it later dawned on me that I wasn’t cut out to be an accountant. Every lecture was boring so I used to read to pass. 
I started asking questions and getting people’s opinions about shoemaking. Everyone discouraged me but I didn’t give up. I decided to take a stroll around my area during the weekend and I saw a small cubicle not too far from my street with a young man making footwear. I walked up to him and introduced myself. I told him I wanted to learn what he does. He looked up, sized me up and shook his head. He said in Yoruba, “Eni to lori o ni fila” meaning, you have all the opportunity yet you don’t appreciate it. He looked at me and said, “If I have the opportunity you have, I won’t be doing this dirty job.” I told him I see a future in this and I see a time where Nigerians will be glad to make shoes. I would leave school on Fridays, hang around him and observe what he was doing during the weekends.
Today, I have promoted a different perspective about the art and the business of shoemaking and I have created jobs for people. I have received awards from the Government and the private sector and I have a long list of clientele in and out of the country.

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