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People of Kaduna #04 – Patrick Yamai

by Vivian Inyang

I had met Patrick Yamai through a friend during service year in Calabar, Cross River State. Then I saw her wearing a beautiful sewed Ankara Up and down, I admired it and asked who made it for her, she responded saying it’s a corp member like us. I had loved that dress because it was beautiful and neatly done. Fast forward years later, in Kaduna, I met this same young man at a seat up and we quickly recognised each other and laughed over past things. Then I popped the question, are you based here and he said yes, for a moment I was dumbfounded how Kaduna got to have the best brains, and today he is one person we are going to know about.
Who is Patrick Yamai
I am a fashion Designer, a Business Enthusiast and a trained Accountant.
How did the fashion thing Start
It started as a hobby, by making stuff for myself during my university days when I could not afford fancy clothes, so most times I visited Kasuwar Barchi because it was low budget and what I could afford then. I buy clothes and redesign it to my taste by personalizing them. After that people always admire what I wear and ask where I got them from, so when I say I made them myself, there is this shock on their faces and some give me money to make similar things for them, after which I made a profit of 500-1000 naira which was not bad then.
Where did you school?
I studied Accounting at Kaduna State University.
Have you always been in Kaduna?
Yes, I am an indigene of Kaduna State, Born at Zankou, so yes I have always been in Kaduna, even after my service year i came back to Kaduna.
Did you ever see yourself practising what you Studied?
One way or the other in running my business, I have been practising accounting. Though I have a separate job, I and a couple of friends have developed a mobile app, which is a learning platform. I am the Business Development Manager. I am practising accounting in a business-oriented way, not the conventional auditing accounting.
Tell us more about the App
The App is called AjuwayaLearn. It’s on google play store, and for those using IOS, there is a web page for it called Ajuwayalearn.com. It’s a learning platform for soft skills, like Excel, MS word, personal development courses, blue-collar skills like beads making fashion, shoe making and more. This App is basically for personal development, those who are yet in school or out of school can learn a skill or two, while those working can brush up on some of the skills, some courses are paid for while others are free.
Let’s Talk about your Business
Kholie.ng is a men’s wear brand, we do ready to wear for men, suits, shirts, casuals, abagda, blazers, jackets, corporate wears and more. We also have something for ladies. I have staff who are also trained in fashion designing working with me, I have apprentices learning the job.
What Challenges has the Nigerian Society posed for you
(Laughs) I prefer not to talk about it because when we start we might not finish this interview. Let’s just say we are grateful that whatever is been thrown at us, we have been able to cross the hurdles. By moving forward shows we are growing, regardless we are persevering.
“We are making lemonade out of the lemon Nigeria has given us”.
To the youths there will always be challenges, so whatever you want to do, just start, the worst that could happen is you failing and by then you must have learnt, stand up and start again, again and again. “ The battle is against Poverty”
How has your business been so far, have you made profits
Since I started this business, doors have opened, I have been able to make impacts as well as profits as the business grows.
Are you married, if yes how do you combine business and family?
No, I am not married for now, so I have time to explore a lot of business ideas.
What do you enjoy most about your business?
Aside from getting paid for what I enjoy doing, I really love the satisfaction of seeing people look good and knowing that I made that possible is priceless.

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