According to Winston Churchill, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Joseph Etim is one man that the above quotation has reflected in his life as a business man. With diligence and perseverance, he is among the few to sustain their businesses for more than three decades in the city of Uyo. In an age where businesses are easily folded up amidst challenges, Mr Etim has proved to many that businesses can still be sustained regardless of devastating situations that can hit any enterprise.
Born into a family where the Father was a Reverend and the mother was a petty trader, he may not have tested the luxury of life. The 63 year old man is the first son out of 10 children. Having completed primary education early in life, his secondary education was interrupted when his sister joined him in the institution. Joe had to drop out due to his mother’s inability to see both children through school. Perhaps devastated, but he made the sacrifice to salvage the situation.
Thoughtful and calculative, he decided to equip himself with skills on how to deal with sewing machines, as well as learn some strategies in business. He had the privilege to be mentored by an expert in that line, serving his master between 1972 and 1980. With commitment and dedication, Joseph acquired a diploma through a correspondence course and proceeded for a skill acquisition under 8 years. These trainings gave birth to his present business which he established in 1981.
While still learning his trade, he lost his mum and a short while after, he lost his dad in a tragic incident. But these dilemma did not distract the determining spirit of young Joseph. With positive vibes, he focused on his new business.
He later got married, built a house and also sponsored his 4 male children in school. As a man who believes in education, he made sure that all his four boys received the necessary educational exposure. Three of them are full fledged graduates who studied different categories in engineering.
Joseph hinted that at the time he started his business, the highest denomination in Nigerian currency was N20 and the original sewing machine was at the rate of N130. Although the profit was N10, this was quite an enormous profit then. Transportation from Onitsha to Lagos at that time was N100 and this was also an affordable rate.
Leading to Nigeria’s present economy, Joseph Etim sells the sewing machine at the cost of N40,000 and to transport goods from Lagos or Onitsha to Uyo is obviously on a high side. However, Joseph still manages to sustain his business, while meeting up his responsibility as a father.
For 38 years, his office has not moved from 21 lkot Ekpene Road, Uyo. It is note worthy that his business has survived throughout the three decades, although it is not different from those of others which encounter challenges. He has been duped for many times and being a father places on him the responsibility of obtaining loan from the bank. The poor economy has affected his business but in all these, he is still standing tall.
After 38 years, he is still in business because of God’s grace. Joseph also attributes his success to his personal dedication to the growth of his trade, by being at work on time, honesty, consistent and spending his income judiciously, without being distracted by luxury. Through his mentorship, Etim has been a role model to many, impacting on young people and encouraging them to be independent in business. He has also trained many youths in his line of business.
Without help from anywhere, he is a perfect example of a self made man. But unlike the man at the pool of Bethesda, Joseph Etim has spent 38 years in the heart of Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom State, not waiting to be taken into the water. He has entered the water all these years and still stays at the pool, eager and ready for the Angel of grace and favour to keep troubling the water. This vibrant spirit and exceptional zeal has scored him high, winning Mr Joseph Etim the award of the Personality of the Week in Voice Your Stories.