A reputable designer in Owa land, who is well known on social media, has her clients within and outside the shores of Nigeria, has a large number of apprentices, and a trainer of Delta State STEP programme, has in this brief but concise interview submitted that there is much to gain being one’s boss instead of waiting years unend for a white collar job, or worst still take into crimes. Meet DA-KUKU FASHION HOUSE.
May we know you?
My name is Mrs. Patricia Kuku Onwuegbuzie. I am from Okoja, Cross River state.
Who is your husband?
My husband is Hon. Chief Onwuegbuzie. He is from Umunede in Delta State.
What is your occupation?
I am a fashion designer.
What gender do you sew for?
Both; it is a unisex fashion house
What is the name of your fashion house?
Da-Kuku Fashion House.
What is the meaning of Da-Kuku?
Da is an abbreviation for Daniel, my son’s name. Kuku is my name. So, Da-Kuku means Daniel and Kuku
Where is your fashion house located?
My shop is located at No. 28 Osamor Street, Boji-BojiOwa.
How long have you been into fashion designing?
I would say from birth. I was born into the business. My mother is a fashion designer. She still sews her private wears even after retiring from the business. I learnt virtually everything from her, and only learnt how to make breast tube from someone else, when breast tube was introduced into the business.
Have you been able to attain higher education since you started the business?
Sure. I have a degree certificate in Industrial Relation from Lagos State University. In fact, I plunged into the business fully after my graduation.
So, you did not bother to look for job?
I hunted for job for some time after my graduation, until I called myself to order, knowing that I have passion for a business that can fetch me money and make self-reliant. That was how I went into full time fashion designing, and it has really paid off.
What if you now have a call from one of the companies you might have submitted your CV to come over with a start-off pay of N250,000.00, what will you do?
Frankly speaking, I will turn the offer down.
There is much to gain being your own boss. Your effort is justly rewarded. The amount of effort and commitment you put in, determines the amount of money you take home. Money does not need to come in only monthly and at the discretion of someone who is the boss. Also, it makes you innovative and highly respected. Another aspect of it is that you become a means through which others are financially blessed.
What is your present staff strength?
I have ten female apprentices, and two male designers who handle the male wears. I do also get trainees from the Delta State STEP programme. I graduated eleven of them this last batch.
Who are your target clients?
My clients are men and women of all ages. They come from different places; Lagos, Port Harcourt, even outside the country.
How do People get to know Da-kuku?
From those I had sewn for, through social media, and various other means. In short, good market sells itself. All they do is to send me their measurements, and say the style they want. When I am done with the work, I send it to them.
What are the challenges in this business?
The major challenge I have seen so far in this business is the issue of light. I have to put on my generator whenever the light goes off. It costs really much buying fuel.
What are your words of advice to the youth?
I want to advise the youth not to stay idle for any reason. An idle man is the devil’s workshop. God Almighty tells us that He will bless the works of our hand. If we have nothing doing, how then do we expect Him to bless us?
When I was in school, I was doing three things at a time: I was schooling, teaching in a primary school, and sewing. I do not like being idle. Formerly, I would sit down for hours, seeing movies, until one day I told myself that the people I was spending those hours watching worked so hard to be where they are today. So, it would only be foolish of me to waste my productive hours watching them all day long. That was how I decided to start making judicious use of every hour I am opportune to be alive. Hard work takes so many things away from you including, crime, humiliation, insults and poverty.
By working hard today, they will also be preparing a good time for themselves at old age. It is better we take and endure the pains today, so as to enjoy the gains tomorrow.