‘I dropped out in the first year of my Higher National Diploma at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta now I have more than five houses and three retail shops’ – Nonso Amadi, CEO Zeon Electronics.
So today I set out to buy an electric cooker then voila I am having an exciting conversation about career, money and everything in between. So here is the fascinating story of Nonso Amadi.
Did you go to school?
I gained admission to do my ordinary national diploma OND in 2008, after my ordinary national diploma. I got tired of school. I was tired of the country as a whole. So I went to my uncle for help. I wanted him to sponsor my passport and visa fees. I was ready to leave the country and to travel abroad, and I just wanted to japaa.
Why did you want to leave?
Well, I saw some of my friends leave, and a lot of people seemed to be relocating, and I felt that is what I needed at that time to be a success. You know the relocation craze. Everyone wants to migrate abroad. My uncle simply took me to Lagos to work in his electronics retail and wholesale shop in Alaba Lagos, Nigeria.
What was working in Alaba Lagos like?
I gained experience in the different departments there. I worked in sales, marketing, customer service and even to goods procurement.
Yes, tell me, Is it possible to get such practical knowledge and real experience in school? I spent two years learning the rudiments of the trade, importing electronics from China, surmounting the harsh realities of clearing goods in Nigeria and the required knowledge to break even.
What happened next?
Six years down the line I am married with four children, I have three electronic shops in Abeokuta, and I have built more than five houses.
I wouldn’t even encourage my children to further their education. ‘Is it not women young boys go chasing there?
Immediately my children finish secondary school they will learn a trade.
“What about University, sir?
“Which University? The same one graduates are roaming around job hunting? The sad reality is that for a lot of available jobs, the pay is so ridiculous, mostly less than 45$. My mates that completed their Higher National Diploma HND while I dropped out in Alaba working as a sales boy come to me looking for a job in this very shop. So why should my children be sent to chase after certificates that are no more in demand?
So how would you train your children
I would personally take them after secondary school to learn a trade or skill then startup a business, rather than waste precious time in any higher institution.
Interviewing Nonso Amadi was an exciting experience. Of course, name and personal details changed for privacy reasons.
The interview is over, and that leaves the question ‘Is higher education still relevant in our present-day world?
The world has changed, and relevance is giving to hands-on knowledge and experience over certificates.
Does that mean going to school is a scam?
Of course not. It only becomes one when you go for the wrong reasons. Higher education gives you the required knowledge for the career path you want. It is impossible to be a doctor, lawyer, nurse, architect, engineer or other professional careers without formal education. A degree or higher education seems like a scam or a waste of time when it gotten for the wrong reasons. Go for it if because you want to pursue that career path, not because of peer pressure, family, money or title. A degree or higher education is now not the only route to financial freedom.
Before you get that second degree, masters, or take that professional course
Make sure you are doing it for the RIGHT reasons. DO it because
- It is a requirement for your career
- to gain mastery in your field
- to stay up to date with current trends and innovations
- getting it is necessary for career advancement
- It would help your personal development
Don’t do it because
- everyone is doing it
- just because you want to gather certificates
- you want to make money from it only.
Money is good, a title is useful, but these should not be your only motivation.
Image credit: Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels