Mr Chukwuma Ezeh is a successful business man who with a dear friend discovered a need in the society and decided to fill the vacuum. They began a wheelbarrow business in Onitsha which has now made them millionaires. Mr Ezeh shared his inspiring story in a tweet on Friday 26th March, 2021.
He revealed that he was just a houseboy in the Igbo apprentice system, where he served his master in Delta State in 2015. One of his duties every weekend was to go to Abraka market in Asaba to buy and cut two old layer hens; this was how he got acquainted with Mr Boniface.
Mr Boniface was a man who sold polythene bags in a small kiosk at the market where Mr Ezeh constantly bought bags to carry his meat home. However, Mr Ezeh did not know that it was a start of a beautiful and productive friendship, he said:
“I was weary at first but I thought, what could possibly go wrong? So, I gave him my number and we became friends. Every Saturday I’d sit at his shop as my hens were cut and we’d talk. He looked poor and ordinary, but mentally he was a genius. A treasure trove of MONEY-MAKING IDEAS!”
He stated that he and his friend were not age mates, as Mr Boniface is way older than he is but they respected each other and together they thought of ways to convert the opportunities in the country to produce income which led to the going into small scale barrow rental business around Onitsha market.
He said “We wanted to help people out and of course also make money to better our lives. Being the trader amongst us, I did my research. Ran the numbers, sought and got permission from my master and thus we went into the business of making & renting out barrows”
Mr Ezeh registered and became the youngest member of the Anambra State Barrow Owners & Pushers Association. They employed other people as the business expanded; He and his friend earned more as time went on.
“When we started our aim wasn’t only to make money. It was mainly to touch other lives positively. We spent money and resources to rebrand the company & our barrow men. In Nigeria being a barrow pusher is a very unappealing job. But in reality, these noble men are filling a vacuum in the transportation system of the local markets and they are making a decent living off of it”, he said.
In a bid to repackage this albeit neglected incubation sector of our economy they branded their barrows differently and gave each employee a branded T-shirt to show that they represented a reputable brand. Small seminars were organized to educate the employees on how to be better transporters and how to be extra polite to people to build a good reputation which will enable them get more jobs around the market.
People were encouraged to patronize them because they were polite professional pushers, “GEMDECONQ” barrow men got more customers and made more money that even enabled some employees to raise enough funds to begin a business of their own.
Mr Ezeh himself has been able to venture into other business lines using the funds he derived from the wheel barrow business, he said:
“That little business me & my friend Boniface ventured into has cumulatively made us millions of naira over the years while employing over 20 people and touching lives positively”
He encouraged others to find a problem in the society and solve it because hard work and diligence pays, “You too will count your milli milli” he said.