14 Oct 2013

ON STRIKING UNIONS AND BUSINESS IDEAS

By KemmieOla,
Monday, October 14, 2013


The discord between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities is still ongoing as the latter claims that it's demands must be met or no student in a federal tertiary institution can get an education. With both sides refusing to budge, we can realistically say we don't see an end to the strike which is affecting most students in universities. Most students are now working as junior staff in different organizations or going into business by themselves as there seems to be nothing else to do during this strike period. 

I recently had an encounter with a student entrepreneur, Feyisola Ogunseye, a 400L student of Botany in the University of Lagos who happens to be one of the many students who have been inspired by the strike to start her own business.
As a student who has so much to do in school and whose family lives far from school, Feyi has found a way to spend her time making money in the meantime; and we had a short chat about her business and its many issues. 

Q: What exactly do you do?
Feyi: I sell women's clothes, bead accessories and handmade greeting cards.
Q: Handmade. You make the accessories and cards yourself?
Feyi: Yes. I make them based on whatever the customer wants.
Q : Isn’t that kind of stressful?
Feyi: Well, it is. But it’s not like I have much else to do; with the strike and all.
Q: How long have you been in business?
Feyi: I started selling clothes before the strike, but the cards and accessory sales started after the strike. It was just like a hobby at the time, but then I thought; since I can make these things pretty well and I always get good reviews, I could start selling them to increase my profit.
Feyi Ogunseye
Q: Okay. Seeing as your consumer base is students and most students are out of school, how do  you sell? How are your sales?
Feyi: Sales are good. They could definitely be better, but like you said, there are no students in school. So it’s basically those who like me can’t go home now that buy my wares.
Q : Do you plan to keep doing this after the strike is over?
Feyi: I don’t know yet, but I just might. This is my final year, so I might have selling as something I do on the side while I serve and possibly when I eventually get a job.
Q : How long do you think the strike would last?
Feyi: I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s not ending soon. I’m not bothered anyways , when they’re ready, they’ll end everything and let us graduate university at least.
Q : Are you scared of not making a profit ?
Feyi: Nope. My work is creative and my wares are affordable. Besides, this is unilag; the hype for clothes and custom made things is really loud. As far as people want customized accessories and lovely clothes, I'll be in business.
Q : Why do you sell only to the students in your university?
Feyi: I don't. I sell to other people too; working class ladies and the likes. But I don't necessarily focus on them, I focus more on student consumers because its more convenient. Plus I'm a student myself, I can easily tell what the students want, so it only makes sense to sell more to students.
9JE rep : Alright. Its been really cool talking to you today. Thank you for your time. Hope we get some free samples of your work.
Feyi: *Laughing* Yes, you're welcome. You just might. Thank you too.
We would have stayed to talk longer, but the lady had to go. Like Feyi and everybody else I bet, I don't know when this strike will end, but I'm sure most people don't care anymore. I sincerely hope it is called off in time, but until then; we'll wait and pray. 




Kemi is a 200L Mass Communication major at the University of Lagos. She is eccentric, an avid lover of music and poetry, and a cautious observer of Life.

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