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