Jimoh Ridwan Olawale, teen barber, stylist
My name is Jimoh Ridwan Olawale, but my friends call me (Rado) carved out of Ridwan. I am 17 years old and the first child of my parents.
I am into barbing, styling people’s hair and bringing out the beauty in them. Barbing is something I love doing. I love taking care of myself and most time you will see me with a comb or a brush, making sure my hair is always tidy. My cousin noticed this attitude of mine and advised that I went into barbing. I started this business towards the end of my secondary school education, while I was preparing to go into higher institution.
I get motivation from home, especially from my brother, who is also my mentor. He taught me life precepts, including why I should be independent, how to be serious in life, how to save money and general etiquettes.
Initially, I wasn’t really interested, when my cousin told me about the job. In fact, I discarded the idea, but when my uncle also mentioned it to me, I started giving it a second thought. There were other things that also made me go into the business. One of them is my desire to be independent. I have always wanted a life where I can cater for myself, bearing in mind that I need to relieve my parents and extended family members of some responsibilities.
The aim and vision of my business have grown bigger over the years. I want my service to be well known and accepted. I want to be known for doing a perfect job, and satisfying customers, because I know by so doing, many young men and new customers will know me. The survival of business surely depends on these.
The training was difficult and discouraging, but it has been worth my while. A seasoned professional trained me.
My business helps improve people’s appearances, because the way you dress (of which hair is a part) is the way you are addressed. This also determines the way people reckon with you.
It’s not easy combining schooling with business, but because of the passion I have for both, I had to find ways to make things work.
I see myself as offering quality services to target customers, and with God’s Grace, I am making money from my business.
When I see the good works of other people, I feel motivated and work hard to remain on top. When I see new styles, I enquire about them and also copy them. I practise them till I know how to do them correctly. Some styles take time, but some don’t. I remember when I first started, especially when I was still learning, people laughed at and insulted me.
Sometimes, pressure from my studies weighs me down, but I have to find a balance and keep going because I have learnt that tough time doesn’t last, but tough people do. Also, winners don’t quit, and quitters don’t win. Fortunately, I am now earning the reward of hard work.
In the next five years, I see myself owning a big barbing salon that satisfies customers, and gives them value for their money. I also see myself running an outfit that will employ young people and empower them with vocational skills.
Aside barbing, I am also good at mentoring, helping people discover their real selves and motivational speaking.
My advice to other kids with potential is that they should go for what they love and have passion for. They should improve on their skill; ensure they do them well until they achieve maximum result. They should start small and never give up. I believe in the future, I believe in them and I believe in Nigeria.
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