- Miss Hope Ekanem, UNIUYO first year student goes into plantain chips business over lack of sponsorship
- She says she needs N5m to boost the business and take it to the next level
- Advises Nigerian youths to desist from relying on people for help, rather they should start with little fund
Hope Destiny Ekanem is indeed a girl with determination, strong character and focus.
Losing her parents to cold hands of death at a tender age with little or no help from anywhere and anybody, Hope decided that such situation can not deter her from achieving her life dream.
She decided to go into plantain chips business with flourishing returns and proceeds.
WITHIN NIGERIA reporter had an exclusive chat with her and she narrated what actually led her to plantain chips business and many others.
Briefly tell us about yourself.
My name is Hope Destiny Ekanem. I am from Nsit ibom local government area of Akwaibom state. I am also a Theatre Arts student of University of Uyo, Akwaibom state.
What prompted you going into plantain chips business?
What prompted me to go into the business was lack of financial aid.
I have a great desire to further my education at University of Uyo but I don’t have the resources, so I have no other option than to go into this business to raise money for my education.
For how long have you been doing the business?
I have been doing the plantain chips business for the past four months. I started it when I gained admission and discovered that I have nobody to sponsor my education.
Where do you get the raw materials, that is plantains, etc which you use in the business?
I get my plantain from the local markets in Uyo and other neighbouring communities.
Are your parents still alive?
No. My parents are late. They died when I was still young.
When did your parents die?
I never get to know them so I can’t really talk about them.
Do you have siblings?
I have two siblings, boy and girl
How do you combine this business with your studies?
Well, as a matter of fact, it is very tasking combining the two. However, I read at night and fry chips in the morning and evening though it can be tiring.
Are your classmates aware that you engage in this business?
Yes they are fully aware of plantain chips business. Good enough, they always patronize me and some mock me but regardless I will keep doing it.
How much do you make every month from the business?
Currently I make like forty thousand naira a month but I don’t really have savings because I used the money to pay for my school fees and other school stuff and also for feeding.
How much does the business help you in sorting out your financial needs in school?
It really helps a lot like paying my school dues, feeding and a lot.
Where will you like to see this plantain in the next twenty years?
In the next twenty years, I will like to build a big factory for my chips business. In the next twenty years, I will also like have a big plantain farm so that I can get the raw materials myself. This will help me in boosting my business to an international status.
What dept and level are you in UNIUYO?
I’m in the university of Uyo, Akwaibom state. I am in the department of theatre arts.
How much plantain chips do you process in a week?
I make five bunches a week which is like forty eight thousand naira.
How many years are you, when exactly were you born?
I am 24yrs.
Why did you decide to go into plantain chips production instead of may be, hair dressing, selling of clothes etc?
I decided to go into plantain chips business instead of other business because it is more lucrative and I needed something I could see money everyday, students take snacks everyday but clothes and hair is not what students can buy everyday.
What gave you the motivation to start and continue the business?
The motivation came in when I started UNIUYO and in two months I already exhausted my savings due to the loads of bills I paid so, I remembered I can fry plantain chips and I decided to give it a try, and here we are.
How much do you need to take the business to the height you want?
If I can get something like five million naira, it will help to boost the business to a very high level. I will use the fund to purchase essential equipment needed for the work, rent good office apartment and pay my workers.
Why do you think Nigerian youths rarely think out of box in terms of supporting their education?
Most Nigerian youth just want people to help them in everything and as a result of that a whole lot of youth have given up on education.
Finally, what is your advice to Nigerian youths who have already lost hope in Nigeria and education?
They should keep thriving regardless of the hurdles on the road, there’s definitely going to be light at the end of the tunnel.