BY ACHOR ABIMAJE
A LIFE IN BRIEF
Mary Stephen is 31, and a successful knitter. She hails from Jos-north local government area of Plateau State. She attended Government Girls College (GGC) Bokkos, and Plateau State Polytechnic, Barki Ladi, where she obtained National Higher Diploma (HND) in Business Administration and Management. She funded her tertiary education all by herself through knitting work which she learned from her mother. Thouh a graduate, she does not contemplate going for any paid job because her kitting business has made her comfortable.
My name is Mary Stephen. Knitting is my profession. I was born in 1986. I am an indigene of Jos-north local government area of Plateau State. I obtained my Primary School Certificate from Saint Luke Primary School, Jos. I attended Government Girls College (GGC) Bokkos. Thereafter, I proceeded to Plateau State Polytechnic, Barki Ladi, where I obtained National Higher Diploma (HND) in Business Administration and Management.
I was born into the family of Mr and Mrs Stephen and Evelyn, both from Jos-north local government of Plateau State. My parents gave birth to seven children. They are all alive.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
It all started like a child’s play when I was at the age of nine. In fact, I was born into knitting because my mother is a successful knitter. I learnt this skill under the supervision of my beloved mother. In JSS3 I became a professional to handled major work whenever my mother wasn’t around. Since then, we started working together because she had confidence I could deliver. I took her as my mentor and never a moment did I take anything concerning learning the work not seriously because she is my mother. This has made me who I am today and throughout my entire life. I have tried to learn tailoring but because I lack passion for it, I turned to knitting which I cherish most. From knitting, I am able to feed and the most important thing, trained myself to the level of Higher National Diploma (HND); as my father could not cater for our education due to his meager resources. I am a successful knitter today just because of the passion I have for it.
I appreciate God for what He has being doing especially for the gift of life to achieved this success.
It is not easy getting to where I am today, but my success so far is attributed to the passion I have for the work. More than any other person, I have achieved a lot with knitting.
ANY REGRET SO FAR?
I don’t have anything to regret in the choice of becoming a knitter now that there is no job anywhere in Nigeria. I don’t think there is something to regret about it at all. I have no regret whatsoever in this work.
My dream is to grow and establish a bigger place in order to create job opportunities for Nigerian youths.
I love watching films and listening to music.
The first person are my parents, especially my lovely mother who made me who I am today in the challenging contemporary society, especially regarding her humility and approach towards customers. The second person is my primary school teacher, the late Mrs. Matha Dalyop for her humanity.
YOUR MEMORABLE MOMENTS IF ANY?
My memorable moments are whenever people commend my work and when I am on the machine knitting.
YOUR EMBARRASSING MOMENT
My embarrassing moments are when the work is not well done the way I expected it to be; when I undercharge, and when I cannot meet up with a customer’s expectations.
This work is meant for both men and women. I advise boys and girls be you graduate and non-graduate to learn one or two handiwork that will make them self-reliant and not putting their hope totally on the government as there is no white collar job anywhere in the country. I trained myself in higher institution from this handiwork, and now it still puts food on my table. Education is good but they should not depend on it alone; they should have something doing to earn money. Via this they can aid themselves and even the entire family. Young ladies should deviate from sex working and look for what to do. Ladies should not depend on men or prostitution for survival as no man gives something to a lady free of charge. They should try as soon as possible to learn any handiwork they have passion for at an early age as this will feed them when they are old. I thank god for seeing me through and I pray the same God will help young ones who are resolute to make success out there.