Shoemaking started as a profession for craftsmen in the olden days but now it is a big industry. Shoes are a major component in today’s fashion, it’s hard to imagine life without shoes. Shoemaking started because of the need of man to protect his feet from injury but today, it has become a big business venture with different footwear brands.
Oduduobong Ndiok is a graduate of Nautical Science from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron. He hails from Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Oduduobong is passionate about shoemaking. After his graduation in 2013, he embarked on a journey to Lagos Nigeria in search of a white-collar job. Along the journey, he had a terrible accident. He subsequently made up his mind in 2017 never to apply for white-collar jobs again but to rather engage himself in a craft that will make him self-employed and also create employment for other people. Today he runs Papze shoes and Leather works, a footwear brand based in Akwa Ibom state.
There are huge economic potentials in Shoemaking. Most of our footwear is imported from overseas and the exporting countries earn a lot of foreign exchange from it. Odudu avers that one that can make money from shoemaking activities ranging from the sales of materials used in making footwears down to the sale of the footwear itself.
Oduduobong says his high point in the business is producing quality and durable shoes with top-notch finishing, giving him a competitive advantage over his peers in the shoemaking industry.
As CEO of Papzeshoes , he has encountered various challenges in the course of his engagement in the business. He admits that he almost gave up the business venture sometime last year due to the effect of Covid19 on the economy but he was able to overcome the challenges and leverage on them for success.
Papze shoes and leather works is a registered company with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Oduduobong operates his business as a sole proprietorship and only engages people to work for him when he has a large volume of supplies to deliver to clients.
He points out Mrs Meflyn Anwana, Mr Ime Uwah and Don shade cover as his business mentors who he looks up to for guidance.
For small businesses to thrive, policymakers and investors must extend a hand of support to entrepreneurs. Oduduobong wants them to create an enabling environment for businesses like his to thrive.
He advises people who are interested in venturing into shoemaking to be steadfast and be focused on the goals of the business to become successful.
Entrepreneurs play an important role in the economic development of any society, the government can leverage on entrepreneurs to solve the unemployment problem and help citizens create wealth. Let the story of Oduduobong Ndiok motivate you to venture into shoemaking and stop the search for the few white-collar jobs.