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An admonition from the Holy Books says “whatever your hands findeth to do, do it with all your might.” This is an admonition for everyone to get serious with his or her job. And that is exactly what this 24-year-old Zubeiru Ibrahim, who hawks kolanuts on the ever-busy and popular Karu flyover bridge in Abuja is doing.

Dressed in well-ironed suit with tie and shoes to match, ibrahim, carries out his work of selling kolanuts very diligently to the admiration of motorists and other road users who usually patronize him.

The kolanut hawker who looks more like a banker because of his appearance, usually carries his tray of kolanuts, bitter kola, sweets, chewing gums and other petty items on his hand and moves from one vehicle to the other looking for customers.

He resumes duty every day at 7 O’clock in the morning and leaves when the traffic has subsided to continue his hawking at near by Kugbo mechanic village and Karu site and closes between 7 and 8 O’clock in the evening.

Born and bred up in Kaduna State, this young man who said he acquired Islamic knowledge from an Islamic school in Kaduna, would have joined his mates to go into banditry, kidnapping, terrorism and other criminal activities to make fast money. But he said that he chose to start from a humble beginning because he believes he will make it big some day.

On getting to Abuja, he said that he stayed with his boss, who also trades in kolanuts, somewhere at Nyanya, helping him to sell before starting his own business. He disclosed that he started his business with N8,000, adding that he actually started hawking around Nyanya before moving to the Karu bridge and otter areas.

In this interview, the ever-smiling Ibrahim with his neat curly hair, speaks about his life as a kolanut hawker. Hear him:

“I came to Abuja three years ago to hustle and earn a living. I am from Kaduna State and I went to Islamiya school in Kaduna. When I arrived in Abuja, I stayed with my oga, who also sells kolanuts at Nyanya. While staying with him, I helped him to sell the kolanuts before I decided to start my own business.

“I first started hawking kolanut at Nyanya moving from one place to the other. From their I discovered that I can make more money if I move to Karu bridge. I resume work at the Karu bridge everyday at 7 O’clock in the morning and stay there until when the traffic reduces and move to places like Kugbo mechanic village and Karu site and close between 7 and 8 O’clock.”

Why i sell kolanuts wearing suit

Well I wanted to be different, I wanted people to know that I am enjoying what I am doing and I like to look good. I believe you don’t have to be rich to look good. They say looking good is good business and that is what I am doing and my customers like me for always looking sharp. I used to feel very happy selling kola in suit because I am rendering service to people and some people used to ask me why I use to wear suit and carry only small kola and how much I make and all of that and I tell them that I am not the one that bought the suits that it was actually given to me by people who appreciate what I am doing. I like dressing and looking good. I had only one suit when I started the business and people saw that I like suit they started to give me suits. So, all these suits that you see me wear are gifts from people who appreciate what I am doing and encouraging me in their own way. They used to tell me that they will bring me finer suits and they keep to their words and this has really encouraged me. Naturally, I am a good dresser even though I am not very rich. You don’t have to be very rich to look neat and smart. I am married and don’t have any child for now. I met my wife while doing this kolanut business and she got attracted to me by my appearance, fell in love with me and we got married and we love each other very much. She is also a good dresser she is always neat.

Harsh weather

I don’t consider the harshness of the weather when doing my business because I am enjoying what I am doing, it gives me joy so I hardly notice whether the sun is too hot or not I just do my business.

What makes me happy

Selling these kolanuts makes me happy. It makes me very happy because I come across very important people who treat me like a human being. They don’t look down on me. They are always encouraging me.

Advice to youths

My advice to young people who are idling away and waiting to get employed by the government is that they should look for something to do no matter how small. What I have discovered about our youths is that they want to start it big, but that is not the way to go because even the big men that they want to be like started small before they got to where they are today, so I am happy now because one day I know will get there in a big way.

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