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Use Your Hard Earned Mon­ey to Invest in Nige­ria Instead of Trav­el­ing Abroad — Jude Zakariya to Youths

Jude Zakariya Ndak

Jude Zakariya is a Niger­ian entre­pre­neur who deals in table water pro­duc­tion in Abu­ja the cap­i­tal city of Nige­ria. He is a grad­u­ate of Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy (IT) from East­ern Mediter­ranean Uni­ver­si­ty, North Cyprus (EMU).

After sev­er­al hunt for white col­lar jobs, Jude ven­tured into pro­duc­tion of table water pop­u­lar­ly referred to as ‘pure water’.

Jude is into many things, he enjoys thrilling fans with gospel vibes, being a gospel artist has also con­tributed in flour­ish­ing his table water brand. Today his busi­ness is boom­ing.

Speak­ing in a chat with toktok9ja exclu­sive on Dias­po­ra Con­nect (DC), Jude shares his expe­ri­ences, chal­lenges study­ing abroad and the twist into entre­pre­neur­ship.

Can you tell us your full name(s) and a brief back­ground of your­self?

My name is Jude Zakariya Ndak I am a Niger­ian from Jaba local gov­ern­ment area of Kaduna State, I reside in Abu­ja, I am an entre­pre­neur I love to sing and make new friends.

What is the name of the Uni­ver­si­ty you stud­ied and where is it locat­ed?

I stud­ied at East­ern Mediter­ranean Uni­ver­si­ty, North Cyprus (EMU)

What did you study and which year did you grad­u­ate

I stud­ied Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy (IT) and I grad­u­at­ed 2014

How did you feel gain­ing admis­sion to study your desired course over­seas?

I was so hap­py gain­ing admis­sion to study over­seas; it was like a dream come true. After my sec­ondary school edu­ca­tion, I kept on apply­ing to dif­fer­ent Uni­ver­si­ties in Nige­ria and each time I was turned down.

For four years I was still apply­ing for admis­sion, you can imag­ine the trau­ma and dis­ap­point­ment I went through dur­ing that peri­od. When all your friends are almost round­ing up their edu­ca­tion, you can’t even get in.

Even Amadu Bel­lo Uni­ver­si­ty Zaria (ABU) turn me down, Kaduna State Uni­ver­si­ty (KASU) also turn me down so, I’m sure you can tell my excite­ment when I got accept­ed by East­ern Mediter­ranean Uni­ver­si­ty ‚North Cyprus.

Was the lan­guage bar­ri­er a chal­lenge dur­ing your under­grad­u­ate degree?

Yes in a way it was, but not with the lec­tur­ers, they were all flu­ent in Eng­lish Lan­guage.

How­ev­er the lan­guage bar­ri­er was with the locals espe­cial­ly when i want­ed pur­chas­ing goods or con­sum­ables in the mar­ket for instance, notwith­stand­ing, I and oth­er stu­dents derived means of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the locals.

Tell us about the Nige­ria com­mu­ni­ty in your school and how it helped your edu­ca­tion

The Niger­ian com­mu­ni­ty in my school was warm and unique then, I don’t know about now, in the Uni­ver­si­ty I stud­ied, we had a body called ‘Niger­ian Stu­dent Soci­ety EMU’ head­ed by an elect­ed Pres­i­dent with oth­er offi­cials.

This stu­dent soci­ety is tasked with the man­date of fight­ing for stu­dent rights, they serve as medi­a­tors between the school author­i­ty and the Niger­ian stu­dents when issues aris­es, they organ­ise ori­en­ta­tion camps for new stu­dents to help them set­tled down in the Uni­ver­si­ty com­mu­ni­ty, they also organ­ise social events like ‘Niger­ian night’, ‘Inde­pen­dence Day Cel­e­bra­tion’ and so many oth­er activ­i­ties.

This made it looks as if I was at home in Nige­ria.

What was your great­est chal­lenge study­ing over­seas?

One of my great­est chal­lenges was the weath­er con­di­tion at Cyprus, dur­ing win­ter the weath­er drops to plus 11 degree mak­ing the envi­ron­ment very cold.

I am not a fan of cold weath­er; in fact, dur­ing my ear­ly days at Cyprus I fell sick because of the weath­er con­di­tion, but then dur­ing sum­mer which is their heat sea­son, the weath­er gets so high as 40 plus degree.

My sec­ond chal­lenge was the kind of food they served, it took me time before I adapt­ed to their kind of food.

How would you rate the edu­ca­tion­al stan­dards between the two coun­tries, Nige­ria and Cyprus?

Their edu­ca­tion­al stan­dard is way bet­ter than ours in Nige­ria, I am sor­ry so say this, but that’s the truth, every resources need­ed for learn­ing is made avail­able, the lec­tur­ers in the Uni­ver­si­ty I stud­ied were always avail­able to help out when we need­ed help in any sub­ject or top­ic.

If you don’t under­stand a course, they will take their time to explain in details.

You and I know that in Nige­ria that’s not the case; stu­dents hard­ly even have access to see their lec­tur­ers

How was Life after grad­u­a­tion and your return to Nige­ria?

Well, it was hard and also chal­leng­ing but I thank God things are get­ting bet­ter now.

We learnt you ven­tured into busi­ness after your return, can you tell us more about it?

Yes, I run a table water com­pa­ny called FUNOM TABLE WATER locat­ed at Dutse Alha­ji axis of Abu­ja and its NAFDAC approved.

What are the chal­lenges you face in run­ning your busi­ness?

I would say logis­tics is my main chal­lenge for now, I don’t have a truck to con­vey my water to oth­er places so am con­fine to only sell­ing my water with­in my ter­ri­to­ry here at Dutse.

The Toy­ota Seiana bus I am using can’t con­vey large quan­ti­ty of water.

If I have access to a truck, it would lib­er­ate and expand my busi­ness across all cor­ners of Abu­ja and neigh­bor­ing States like Nasarawa.

Aside being an entre­pre­neur, what oth­er things do you do?

Aside from busi­ness I am also a gospel musi­cal artist.

What is your advice on school­ing out­side the coun­try?

Well it’s unfor­tu­nate that because our edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem in Nige­ria which is bad, so many stu­dents have to trav­el abroad to school.

My advice for those that want to study abroad is please don’t fall vic­tim to fake agents who will promise to help you get admis­sion, many of them are scam­mers.

For those who are already there study­ing, please obey the laws of the land to avoid being deport­ed

A lot of young Nige­ri­ans believe the dream green­er land is out­side Nige­ria, what would you say about that?

There is no place like home, the green­er pas­ture that Niger­ian youths are trav­el­ling abroad to seek for is actu­al­ly here in Nige­ria. If I tell you how Nige­ri­ans who trav­elled abroad to seek for green­er pas­ture are being vic­tim­ized, it will break your heart.

My advice to the youth is this; please stay home, Nige­ria i s rich­ly blessed, with hard work, prayers and ded­i­ca­tion you will make it, that hard earn mon­ey that you are gath­er­ing to trav­el abroad use it instead to invest in a busi­ness and see if you won’t suc­ceed. I am a liv­ing tes­ti­mo­ny.

Where do you see your­self in 5yrs time?

See me grow­ing my com­pa­ny to inter­na­tion­al stan­dard.

What is your advice to the gov­ern­ment?

They should revive our edu­ca­tion­al sec­tor because it’s vir­tu­al­ly dead, also they should try as much as pos­si­ble to set­tle the dif­fer­ences with (ASU) so that this issue of Uni­ver­si­ties going on strike all the time won’t keep on hap­pen­ing, it’s real­ly affect­ing the stu­dents.

The gov­ern­ment should also empow­er the youths by giv­ing access to loans and grants for them to be able to start up a busi­ness.

By: Abel Wealth

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