Mr. Isede Chuks, is a Vulcaniser with a difference who has proved that vulcanising business is as lucrative as any other business in Nigeria and should not be underrated in the society as he has built his house with money realised from the work.
In this extensive interview with Emmanuel Obasi No. 159, Old Lagos/Asaba Road, Owa, Mr Isede revealed how he built his house with vulcanising business to the astonishment of everyone. He also addressed some pressing issues in the society. Happy reading….
May we know you Sir?
I am Isede Chuks. I am a native of Oki in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State. My parents are Mr and Mrs Isede but they are late.
What do you do Sir?
I am a Vulcanizer. I vulcanize any type of tyre both Lorries, tippers, small cars, motorbikes and others.
How long have you been in this business?
I have been in this business for more than 25 years. I learnt the work for 2years between 1990 –1992. In 1993 I started working as a Vulcaniser in this location and I have not moved to another place since then.
How has the vulcanizing business been all these years?
It has been very good. Vulcanizing is a very good work which I have been doing for long now and it has been feeding my family and catering for the school fees of my three children Two are in the secondary school and one is in primary school. I have also built my house with vulcanising work. I like the work.
There is this notion that people that do vulcanising work are usually underrated and are seen as worthless in the society, what can you say about that?
All I know is that whatever one does do it well and make living from it, is a good job. As for me, since I started this job, I have been working very hard and am making money from it, so I do not care about what people say about it.
Has there been any way the government or individuals have been of help to you in the business?
No. Nobody has ever helped me in this work.
Do you have any other work apart from this work?
No. I do not have any other work that I do. I don’t even have farm that I go to. For more than twenty five years now, I have been concentrating only on this work and it has been feeding my family. I have never done any other work since 1993. I started and I am always at my work place from Monday to Saturday except Sundays.
Can you say vulcanising work is lucrative?
Yes. The work is lucrative for me because I am doing it very well and I have many customers too. Vulcanising work is like being in the market. am always punctual and regular at it. I don’t leave my work for beer parlour to drink. Whenever I come to work, I always face my work until closing hour. I don’t go out even when customers are not coming, because I know customers can come anytime and if they don’t see me, they may go to another place and because of that I may lose that customer. Anything I want to do outsider my work, I always wait till closing hour before doing it. And because it is the only job I have, I always take it very seriously.
How were you able to build your house as a Vulcaniser since you do not have any other job that fetches you money?
I started the work gradually and any money I get at the end of the day, I will save half of it as my daily contribution and at the end of the month, the money I contributed will be given to me which I always deposit in the bank. So I continued with the same method for a long period and after a while, I realised I already had a lot of money in the bank. After I did it for about 10year, I used part of the money I realised from the savings to marry my wife. I was lucky to marry a good wife who understood my vision and was able to manage with me. So, after our wedding, I started saving money again using the same method as before. I avoided trouble and anything that could make me spend money frivolously. I also did not chase after other people’s wives and did not spend my money drinking in the beer parlor; and because I was focused made me to be very careful with people.
So after I gathered the money for some years, I decided to look for land where I could build my house. I met a man that sold his land to me and I started moulding blocks little by little from my savings until the house was completely built. I could not wear expensive clothes because I had a target of what I wanted to achieve but now I can buy any amount of cloth I want. Savings and discipline helped me to build my house.
What is your advice to people that live by “earn to spend” belief in the society?
My advice for them is that they should start saving part of their income, at least half of their income.
What are the qualities that have distinguished you from other Vulcanisers in the town?
I can say I have been able to stand out because of the quality of work I do for people. I am also faithful and truthful to my customers. I don’t lie to them whenever I do their work and I don’t disappoint them. Anytime I tell them to come for their work, I always keep to my promises and I don’t overcharge or extort money from them illegally. I also calm down to do my work.
What have been your challenges so far in the work?
My challenges are few. I need to upgrade my equipment to international standard. I am still using the local equipment but I still do the work well. So if I can get modern vulcanising equipment, it will help me so much better to do the work. So, if anybody will want to help in any way, I will appreciate it.
What always motivate you to continue with the business despite your challenges?
I am always motivated to remain in the business because I know that I learnt it very well. So I do the work with passion and confidence knowing that no kind of work involving vulcanization of tyre that I cannot do.
How many workers do you have?
Five (5) persons are currently working with me now. I used to have many people working under me and I train them for free, but instead of them bending down to learn; some will prefer to be riding motorcycles.
Where do you see your vulcanising business in the next 5 – 10years from now?
With God helping me, in the next 5-10years, I want to see my shop become the centre for tyre vulcanization in Agbor where people from far and near places will come to me to vulcanise their tyres.
Would you want your children to learn vulcanizing work?
My children have been helping me in the vulcanising work. So, there is no need asking if they will want to learn it.
What is your take on illegal migration and Human Trafficking in the society?
I believe everyone has his or her own unique destiny. It is not everyone that travels to Overseas that makes it in life. Most people that travel illegally through the Sahara Desert don’t live to tell the story. Some have been in the desert for many years while others that managed to cross to Europe are in the prison. Lots of people are making it in Nigeria, so they should just find something to do for their lives.
Recently, suicide cases have become rampant in Nigeria, what is your take on that?
Who are depressed and contemplating suicide, suicide cases are happening because some people are not happy with what they have. People don’t want to build wealth gradually; they just want to be rich over night. Wealth comes by doing the right thing steadily. As for me I cannot kill myself because of money because if I die now, someone will eat the money in my absence.
Why did you decide to establish your business here in Ika instead of going to big cities since you can do the work very well?
The first reason is because I do not have someone to help me and also, I do not have enough money. But since I am able to manage the little money that I get from the business, I am okay with it. Except if I see someone that comes to help me, aside that, I cannot leave my family and travel to any other place.
So how do you see business in general Ika land?
There are many good businesses in Ika land that one can do to earn large sum of money but there is no money to establish them. Since the money is not there, I will manage the one I have.
Who are your mentors in this work?
My mentor is Mr. John aka One Nigeria. He is from Alihagu in Ika South Local Govt. Area.
What do you do at your leisure time?
At my leisure time, I meditate and pray to God to keep me away from trouble and other evil things.
Are you fulfilled as a vulcanizer?
Yes I am fulfilled and happy as a Vulcaniser because I learnt the work very well and I do it with passion. So am satisfied with the occupation I have.
What is your advice to people that would want to start vulcanising business?
My advice is that if anyone wants to learn the work, the person should bring out his/her mind to learn the work very well and once the person learns the work well, he/she must definitely succeed in it.
What message do you have for the public?
My message is that anybody that is doing vulcanising work should be truthful to their customers and ensure that work is properly done without duping their customers. Also, they should be trustworthy to their customers.