‘I want my brand in every part of the world’

Joanna Gana Malgwi an indigene  of Adamawa State North East –Nigeria is a graduate of Linguistics English from University of Maiduguri. She is an entrepreneur, Shoe  designer, writer, freelance presenter /anchor, event planner, motivational speaker and an aspiring journalist. The visionary young lady shares her vision with Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable

Excerpts :

Why did you chose shoe making as a business?

Shoe  making is just one  of my specialties, but I chose it in particular because I want to “help “. I want to help ease the burden  of unemployment  in my country by becoming an employer  of labour, help, train and empower people in my community and I also want to put a smiles on someone’s face each time my shoes are worn.  I Believe so much in “gifted hands “,that is why I promised myself not to allow my hands to be idle. Personally, I love shoes especially high heeled shoes, so I felt having my own shoe line wouldn’t be a big deal that is why I have decided to embrace my small  beginning because I can see a bigger picture .

What makes your brand unique?

My shoes are unique  because  I chose a different and unique  line of shoe making that is “Crotchet  Shoes ” which was why I fell in love with shoe  making despite my lack of flair  for shoe making from Childhood. Although crotchet  shoes are common in other parts of the world, it is  not yet fully recognised in our country  especially my own part of the country unlike Leather and Ankara shoes  we see daily.

What are the challenges facing your business and in what areas do you need assistance from the government?

One of my major challenge is finance to establish a standard shoe  factory in Nigeria. I need financial assistance from the government, though I must commend the Nigerian Government for all its efforts to empower  youths through programmes such as YouWin connect , Bank of Industry  Youth Entrepreneurship Program  and  others,  but most times only the lucky ones are selected out of thousands.  It is  something you have to persist  about until you get lucky. Unfortunately,  time waits for no man.

 

You come from a part of Nigeria where not many women are involved in technical works, how  are you surviving in such environment?

Shoe making in this part of the country  is not common to females. Such herculean task like shoe making is attributed to poverty and joblessness,  so the truth is, survival has been tough ,so much job discrimination  and disrespect .Out of pity some even offered me jobs  but I always question myself ” if I quit shoe making  for a well-paid  job today, what happens to my dream of helping others and what becomes the fate of my employees and apprentice .

 

What would you like to achieve in years ahead?

Each time I write or speak to motivate people, I always tell them to “Think and see Big” and definitely I can’t preach what I don’t practice. Few years from now, I  see a shoe factory with a hive of employees and my shoe brand in every part of the world.

What is your message to the youth in the North, especially female?

To youths in general, I always say ” The youthful stage is s process, a process of  decision taking and choice making that will either make or mar you.’’  So, go  for the best  choice and decisions. And  to my fellow  females,  you carry so  much in the inside to make a  difference, don’t compromise it. Harness that skill ,it’s not really about your” certificate”  but what you can do “Sabi -ficate ”  because  it  is only your abilities that can announce  you.

Joanna could be reached on    +2347032872297