Nkem Okechukwu is a brilliant Nigerian man whose journey took an unexpected turn after he graduated from the University of Ibadan (UI). The young man resorted to the tapping and selling of palmwine after he tried hard to find a job.
During an exclusive chat with the young and vibrant man who was recommended by his wife. She listed him as one of the bravest men she has ever known with his decision to use his skills and not give in to the evil vices in the society. Nkem Okechukwu’s story is not just touching; it is inspiring as the impatient graduates in the society can learn one or two things from him.
He has done his best in creating a job for himself while waiting for fate to deliver that dream job unto him. Most importantly, he is not idle and seems to be impacting the lives of those around him positively.
I am known as Nkem Okechukwu Confidence. I was born in November 1987. I am the last child of seven children and come from a very humble family. I attended University of Ibadan between 2010 to 2014, where I got a degree in Communication and Language Arts(CLA).
National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was the next thing for me. I started my service at Government Day Secondary school at Pupule, Yorro local government area of Taraba before I moved on to Imade College in Owo local government area of Ondo state.
How did you start selling palm wine? Whose idea was it?
Selling palm wine was nobody's idea. It was something I thought about by myself. Notwithstanding, the real idea came from the popular music of no employment.
Tell us about the things you do asides being a palm wine tapper and seller?
I do not do much asides tapping palm wine. It could be exhausting so I sleep whenever am tired!
Have you been able to generate funds from the sales? How much do you make per day?
Concerning fund generation, palm wine tapping and selling is quite lucrative as tedious as it is. I make an average of ten to fifteen thousand naira daily.
What major challenges have you tried to overcome since you began?
The only challenge I have been battling with is rain. Tapping palm wine when it is raining is quite difficult. Rain disrupts the supply of palm wine from the tree. I end up tapping twice on a normal day. You either get drenched in the rain or sit back at home.
What major progress have you recorded since you started?
With palm wine, I have been able to take good care of myself and my immediate family. Also, I have been able to buy a car and some plots of land right here in Owo and in my village, Okpoto, in Ebonyi state.
How do you feel with your choice of work when you run into your colleagues?
I am not intimidated by anyone. Tapping and selling palm wine is something most people are not willing to do. They look down on those doing it as they do not know it pays. Sincerely, tapping and selling palm wine pays a great deal.
What is your future ambition now?
My ambition is to change my line of business and go into a bigger and less stressful venture. I am working on starting something soon.
What have you to say to other people struggling out there?
I basically want the young ones out there to know that those who make it are those who are tough. It is important for them to use what they have to work towards getting that which they do not have.
Funny enough, l started this palm wine business with less than twenty thousand naira; the story is different today as I make more than seventy thousand naira per week. So, do not wait to have a million naira in your account before you start something.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I want people to only remember me for being good. Lucky Dube already sang about it when he asked people to do good unto those they meet up the ladder as they would be needed when descending.