How to tackle unemployment, by graduate barber

By Oseheye Okwuofu
In Nigeria
Mar 7th, 2014
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•Political Science graduate makes N360,000 monthly as barber/ beautician

He went to the university to study Political Science and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Nigeria’s premier university in Ibadan, but Dahunsi Akinola Michael earns his living as a barber. OSEHEYE OKWUOFU writes on the success story of a young man who has defied the growing unemployment in the country to become an employer of labour.

There is a popular saying that “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop”. Sadly, many young graduates in the country, due to lack of employment, have turned into a workshop where the devil thrives.

But there are some out there who have taken their destiny in their hands by not waiting for the seemingly elusive white collar jobs, but instead creating jobs for themselves and also employing others. One of such is Mr. Dahunsi Akinola Michael, an Ilesa, Osun State born graduate of Political Science, who is a beautician and barber.

As a young enterprising graduate, Mr. Dahunsi Akinola Michael preferred using his God-given talents to create job for himself and to help others gain employment.

Unlike many of his peers, immediately after completing the mandatory one year National Youth Service for graduates, he went into barbing, which many may have considered demeaning for graduates.

His dream was to be one of the top policy makers in the country, where his lofty desires in life could be met. But at the same time, young Dahunsi was not desperate in his quest, rather, he was determined not to wait for any government job.

Long before he left the University of Ibadan, Dahunsi cleverly had opted for vocational training in Barbing where he learnt the basic rudiments of not just the trade but also the running of a beauty salon, whereas his peers were busy flaunting certificates yet to be obtained.

Apparently not self-assuming, the young Dahunsi’s little knowledge of the country’s saturated job market prepared him ahead to shape his plans for the future.

Not many young graduates want to accept the stark reality of Nigeria’s grim unemployment situation. Instead, before the completion of the compulsory one year service, thousands of applications have flooded government offices, oil companies and other corporate organisations seeking for white collar jobs that are not there.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, A-One International Barbing Saloon, ”I cannot remember ever writing application for employment. I was set out to do what I am doing from the outset by using the little stipend I received as allowance from my NYSC to establish a small barbing saloon then at Ondo where I started from a very small place.”

For the father of two and the first son of the family of six, it might be time wasting and sheer laziness for a graduate to begin writing job applications, spending years doing nothing at home, except roaming the streets and constituting oneself into a nuisance.

He called on fresh graduates not to wait until government provides jobs, adding that nowadays government alone cannot do it, “but instead of turning themselves to social burden they should use their God-given talents to start something on their own by creating a viable employment for themselves. They can learn trades like tailoring, barbing and others and use their knowledge as graduates to make such more appealing and lucrative.”

With little amount of money, he said anyone can start a barbing saloon from between N50,000 to N100,000.

“To set up one barbing shop, you will need between N50,000 and N100,000 depending on how you want the shop to be. Of course, many graduates will want to practice what they studied in the university, but what do you do when there is no such job?

“As a professional in the field of barbing, I have learnt to be self-sustaining and not being a burden to others in the family and the society. I have not only empowered myself financially, I have workers that I pay salary every month. I have my family to take care of, my children’s school fees as well as others relatives and dependants to cater for from my income.

“And I hope this will teach young university graduates roaming the streets in search of white collar jobs to be creative and self-reliant. They need not wait for the government to provide jobs for them rather they should strive hard to look for a vocation, something they can use their hands to do.

“Our youths should be industrious, creative and self-reliant by taking seriously vocational education that will equip them to be responsible and reliable persons. An idle hand is the devil’s workshop. No matter the position you find yourself, engage yourself in good vocation, because government cannot cater for everybody.

“In advanced countries, people cherish this kind of vocational training. Ours should not be different. So, I call on young graduates to find useful trade to earn a good living and should desist from looking for jobs that are not there,” he said.

The amiable and fair looking young man who graduated with Bachelor of Science, Political Science, second class lower in 2008, has through dint of hard work and good management grown his business over the years from one small shop at Akure to three barbing saloons in Ibadan and Osogbo.

In the next few years, he hope to expand the business to Lagos and other four cities in the country.

“Today, to the glory of God, I have three thriving barbing saloons in Akure, Osogbo and Ibadan where I have been privileged to train many apprentices, and in a day I realise an average of N4,000 profit each from the three shops. That is to say in a month I do realise an average of N360,000,” he recalled.

Dahunsi attended Orisunm-ibare Community Primary School, Ipetu-Ijesa, Osun State, after which he proceeded to Apoti Grammar School also in Ipetu-Ijesa for his secondary education. From there, he gained admission to the University of Ibadan, to study Political Science.

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