As I was catwalking to the bus-stop, one of my sandals decided to talk to me. It opened its mouth and I was embarrassed.
Since it couldn't speak any of the languages I understand, my embarrassment turned to annoyance.
These sandals were perfect when I left the house. They had no sign of sickness or death. Yet, barely few minutes after I went across the bridge, one vomitted.
Just when I thought nobody noticed, I heard someone (who was probably walking behind) say "Eeyah, sorry oh!"
"Thanks", I replied without bothering to see the person.
"Uh-oh! What kind of problem is this now?"
That awkward moment when your footwear needs to see a doctor. . .
My sandal became a problem, and it needed to be solved urgently.
We (Yes, we. I met up with Diezy earlier) walked down the street hoping to find a "shoemaker".
In this part of the world, a shoemaker is what we call a person, usually a man from the northern part of the country, who mends, polishes and resews footwears.
I've always needed an oga shoemaker when my shoes are not smiling. The other day, I told you how one of them resewed my N600 Aba-made sandals. Remember?
So, Deizy and I kept walking on and asking around for a shoemaker.
Finally, we found this very dark man with brown teeth not too far from where we stood. Thank God!
Me: "I wan gum am"
Oga Shoemaker: "Bring am. Na 200 Naira I go collect"
Me: "For wetin? How much dem dey sell super glue? Na N50 I go pay abeg"
Oga Shoemaker: "Aunty why na? Oya."
Good bargain. He finally agreed to mend my sandal for N50. Then he stretched out his hand to collect my sandal that had already splitted into two.
While he applied some gum, I watched.
While we waited for the gum he had applied to dry up before he'd join the two parts of my sandal together, I watched other people come to him with their own problems too.
Some came with dirty shoes that needed to be repolished, others came with torn slippers that needed to be resewn.
There I was watching . . . waiting . . . looking . . . thinking . . . observing . . .
I started feeling strange. Not sure how to describe the feeling. Let's call it "strange". Okay?
As people collected their footwears, they dipped their hands into their pockets (those without pockets either had wallets, purses or bags), brought out money, and gave to the man.
This man made almost N500 in less than 20 minutes! And I started calculating in my head how much he makes in a day. Oh my!
Small jobs pay BIG in small bits.
Dear diary, Oga shoemaker tempted me to become a "Madam shoemaker" too. I want to make people happy on their journey. I want to solve problems and make life easier for others. I want to enjoy what I do and do what I love. I want to . . . make money!
|Never seen a friendlier oga shoemaker. We gisted like friends. He's a very good businessman. The guy apparently looks happy and enjoys what he does.|
There are actually many business opportunities around us, if only we open our eyes to see them. We are only limited by your own imagination and skillset, but we can push forward. Right?
Don’t be afraid to be creative. Don't feel too big to start small. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed.
God bless all the oga shoemakers in the world. They are problem-solvers. My sandals are in good shape again. :)
* * * *What's your oga shoemaker story? Share in the comment box, please.
Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu