Ore, youth’s role model, grabs first award
Oreoluwa Osoba, 21-year-old graduate of Computer Science and creative director of Coz Designs, was last weekend honored with the award of Most Enterprising Youth of the year and Youth Role Model of the year at the Nigerian Entrepreneur Award, making him the youngest recipient of the prestigious award.
With the expectations the award has placed on his young shoulders, he has just one word for his peers and the youth community: “You can be what you want to be with consistency, hard work and determination. With these, you will never be too young to be successful.”
Simply known as Ore, the last child of D.I.G Femi Osoba (rtd) has made his mark after co-founding Coz Designs with Ngwube Adanna, immediately after bagging his Computer Science degree from Ghanaian university.
Coz Designs is luxury leather brand, makers of exquisite unisex bags and purses that has become the toast of every fashion-conscious and upwardly mobile Nigerians.
According to Ore, every piece from the Coz stable is a masterpiece from illustration to the finished product, carefully made with great attention to detail. “It is all about innovation, sophistication and uniqueness. Coz provides the perfect accessory to every outfit, every bag makes a statement and every design represents a character,” he said.
The firm recently showcased their new collection at the African Fashion Week, held at Eko Hotel, Lagos State, and within 10 months since establishing Coz Designs, they have been featured on Good Morning Africa business show, their bags named among top 10 made-in-Nigeria bags by Naija Fashion, currently exports their bags to 15 different countries across the world, and have been called the new face of youth business in the country by Natasha Noble, an American business blogger.
The vision for Coz began when Ore was in his third year at university. He and his partner, Adanna Nguwbe decided to start their own company using both their savings to set it up.
What was the motivation for his idea? In his words: “I knew I was going to graduate soon, and I was entering the real world. I got tired of seeing youths like myself unemployed due to the economic situation. So, I made up my mind that I was going to make a difference and help the unemployed youths in my own little way and since I have always loved fashion, it just fell into place that my first shot at entrepreneurship would be fashion related.”
But the sailing has not always been smooth. Looking back, he remembers the many sleepless nights he had thinking of how he would convince his parents on his decision.
“I was thinking what will I tell my parents that I was not going to work in a computer science related field. It was very hard for me, because they had so much expectation of me and I knew they would not understand why I wanted to go into fashion. I discussed this with my sister, Busayo. She told me that my happiness is what matters most and if it is my dream, I should go for it. That was what gave me the courage to tell my parents, that it was better to try and fail than living with the guilt of not pursuing my dreams. When they saw how determined I was, they supported me and provided me with a workshop.
“We started by making five bags and we took them to our churches and showed people to buy, but on hearing it was made in Nigeria, some of them immediately turned away, and I wondered why Nigerians didn’t believe in each other.”
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