Jubilee an indigene of Ereni Village, Ugheli North, Delta State is a self made woman, though not really schooled in terms of western education but, this young lady has created a niche for herself in her chosen vocational career as she makes men and women clothing effortlessly in varieties of designs, her wealth of experience span over 18 years, she did not just arrive at her comfort zone but she had equally paid the price for greatness through thick and thin.
How many apprentices have you groomed?
Have you approached young trainable girls to learn a vocational that could help in future?
Here in Bayelsa, young girls don’t like learning the trade of dress-making.
How did you fall in love with this vocation?
My elder brother talked me into it but, it was difficult because I had to do ‘jobs’ to raise the required amount to pay for my apprenticeship.
As your elder brother talked you into it, have you talked anyone into it?
I’ve gotten some apprentices in the past, even now I have few of them but they only come when they think it is necessary, funny enough some of them pay for few months and this job can’t be learnt under three or four months… no crash programme in tailoring.
How did you come about your huge skills of making men and women clothing perfectly?
After learning for a year in Ugheli, the quest to learn more came and I needed to go elsewhere to learn additional skills, what did I do? I went back to the village, did some labourer’s job raised money and went to another fashion designing outfit where I paid as an apprentice, I was there for 2 years, that was quite far from my home but then, I needed to learn that additional skills, so I normally walked from Oterri to Otobo street in Ugheli sometimes no food because cash, I later graduated but I wasn’t still comfortable because I could not do men’s clothes.
I practice for a while in Patani, before I migrated here (Bayelsa) where I was hired in a tailoring outfit that does unisex. Curiosity kills the cat they say and I have been longing to learn how to make men’s clothes so it was an opportunity for me, without hesitation I grabbed it, I was sewing, learning and was collecting salary.
That was how I got to know how to make men’s clothing. I went back to Patani to continue from where I stopped but the flood of 2012 chased me back to Yenagoa.
I learnt under different people. So, when trainable girls come around and say, ‘I want to learn for 3 or 6 months,’ I just shake my head and sometimes when you tend to correct them while on the job they go angry, many at time I’ve got no choice but to be gentle with them, even at that they still take off days without due approval.
That was why I said none have graduated from me.
Are you harsh, do you normally shout at your apprentice?
As an apprentice you will be shouted at, I was once there, even in schools there are rules and regulations.
If government opens a vocational centre mainly for dress making will you be happy to impact knowledge in such centre?
Why not? I will be more than ready to teach, once my conditions are taken care of.
What makes this job interesting?
You can’t liken Fashion designing to white-collar job, here I do thing at my pace.
How long does it take to wrap up a good male design?
It depends on how quickly the customer needs it, the quicker the customer wants it, the higher he or she pays.
What are the challenges?
Sometimes needle could pierce your hand or scissors cut you.
Apart from this job, what else can you do?
I can produce a local grinding stone, the common type they use in the village.
Where did you learn that from?
I learnt from my dad.
Let’s assume you did not learn this job and you went to school what would you have love to become?
Earlier, I was in love with music, but I would have become a Midwife or Nurse.
Thanks for your time and do have a great day ahead.