Spruce up in a spick-and-span suit, neat white shirt, a nice tie and a well-polished shoe to match, he walked the streets of Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom State, bearing a bucket of dried meat for sale. When he hits the streets, he becomes the cynosure of all eyes.
His name is Obi Chukwuebuka Chidozie. His popularity may have little or no connection with the taste of his meat, but his zeal, hardworking disposition and dress sense allured even vegetarians to him.
Beyond purchasing his meat, people even stop him to take pictures. To many, Chidozie is a wonder, to others he is zealous and hard-working, but to an ample few, he is just being ostentatious.
Well, just recently, Straightnews’ searchlight spotted the popular corporate meat vendor at the location of a new business. He, however, spoke with our correspondent.
A native of Idemili South local government of Anambra State, he arrived the city of Uyo in 2015 in search of a pasture greener than that in his hometown. He started selling dried meat after all efforts to get a corporate job or start a bigger business failed.
According to Chidozie, his family, on finding out his line of business, disapproved of it. His friends thought it was the height of awkwardness to walk the streets hawking. He was not deterred by their opinions because selling dried meat was what he found to do at the time to put food on his table.
“It was a good business. I made at least N2,000 profit on days that I finish my product. There are days that sales get slow and it can be very frustrating. At least, I had money to feed on and pay for my accommodation.
On his dress code, the businessman said “I dress like this because I am an aspiring pastor. No matter the kind of business that I do, I cannot forget what my focus is. I love suits and I love to wear them to do my business.”
When asked how many suits he has, Chidozie said “I have about five suits. I bought some with my money and some were given to me by people who love the way I dress. Like this one I’m wearing now, I bought it for about N10,000.”
He said that his decision to abandon his former trade was as a result of the stress that came with it. He now deals on phone accessories and a few other items in a stationary kiosk.
“Even though my meat business gave me money daily, the stress was too much than I could bear. I would wake up early in the morning to prepare the meat and fit them in the stick before roaming the streets looking for buyers. At a point, it started affecting my health.
“I started this new business from the little money I saved from the meat sales. Starting the business cost about N70,000 because that is all I was left with after paying other bills. The business is really not moving because I do not have most items that people come here to ask for. If I find someone that can lend N200,000 to me, I can expand the business and do better,” he said.
Obi, however, regretted that he gets no support from his church where he currently serves in the Sanctuary Keeping Department and Crowd Control Unit.
According to him, his passion is to one day become a pastor. He said his business, which can barely feed him, is to help him save to get a university education and become a pastor upon graduation.
“In my church, you cannot be ordained a pastor if you do not have a higher institution certificate. All these things I am doing are just to save enough money to go to the university so that I can become a pastor. Becoming a preacher of the gospel is my passion.
“I have called my people telling them I want to buy JAMB form but they keep telling me that they do not have money to sponsor me through school. I do not want a situation where I start and drop out later that is why I want to save enough money on my own. I want to study electrical/electronic engineering,” he narrrated.
With his passion and dedication to success, one can only hope that Chidozie will get the support needed to catapult him to greater heights.
If you are moved by Chidozie’s zeal and passion for excellence and want to support him financially to achieve his dream, kindly call him on 08069703417.