Times are hard and the current economic crisis bedeviling the nation has made matters worse.

The cry of ‘no money’ is on the lips of everyone despite the country being announced to have come out of recession.

The people are yet to feel the impact of this declaration as the prices of goods and service remain cloud high.

The number of unemployed graduates continues to rise and some organisations who cannot withstand the heat are walking away throwing more people into the sea of unemployment.

The battle to secure and retain a white collar job has left several people swimming endlessly in search of Eureka!

Ofem Mbang chose to customise his own pool and has no plans to swim with the masses.

The Journey

Like most ambitious people resident in rural areas, the migration bug kicks in as early as they can count to 10.

Ofem came to Lagos State in 2011 after completing his secondary school education and National Diploma.

He stayed with his uncle in a one-room apartment in Egbeda for a few years trying to understand how this emerging city really works.

Ofem was barely leaving from hand to mouth as his uncle was not doing well financially. 

The mat he slept on every night at his uncle’s place practically became his point of solace as he lost count on the number of times he cried quietly on it.

He saw his hope of acquiring a University degree and getting a job evaporate each day.

But Ofem refused to quit, he just kept telling himself "only the living have hope, not the dead".

                                Ofem and his sister

Sharwama To The Rescue

He met a friend, Seye, who introduced him to the exciting world of Sharwama business at Computer Village in Ikeja. 

“Sharwama business is something I have always had interest in as soon as I came to Lagos but because of my financial status then, I could not afford being an apprentice under anyone.

“When I met Seye, he agreed to teach me how to make Sharwama. I worked for him a for a while before setting up my own business.

Ofem says he makes an average of N25,000 daily from the business and it is the proceeds from the business that he used to fund his university education in Ebonyi State.

The graduate of Ebonyi State University does not only have the capacity to fend for himself, he caters for younger sister as well.

“When I gained admission to Ebonyi State University, I didn’t want my business to suffer, so I asked my sister to join me in Lagos. She was managing the business while I was away in school.

“I taught her the basics of the business and she is now a don. In fact some of my customers will rather want her to make it for them instead of me the master”.

Ofem came to Lagos with practically nothing but the clothes on his back. 

He lives the Lagos dream that nothing is impossible. He can now afford to rent a one-bed apartment and pay his younger sister's school fees.

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