From Chuks Moses, Awka
It was a bag of mixed experiences for the eleven undergraduates of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik) as they relieved on Friday their individual encounters on the streets in their maiden effort at entrepreneurship outreach.
The five successful young girls and six boys were among the initial sixty (60) who were screened and trained on salesmanship and entrepreneurial skills by Better Tomorrow Development Initiative(BTDI), a non-governmental organization with a focus on improving the skills and business drive of youths.
But they lament the sexual harassment they suffered in the course of their training.
Other challenges they had were inconsistency on the part of buyers and frivolous talks while the past month-long programme lasted.
The experience has, however, built in them persistence, boldness, consistency and enhanced self-confidence, they say.
They said the little proceeds realized from the programme would help in their personal needs and school work.
They urged friends and employers of labour to come to cheer them on their graduation cum award night dubbed Build, Innovate and Grow (BIG Night), admitting that these street encounters and experiences would always advise their decisions and choices.
Relieving their sweet and sour encounters on the streets, before journalists who were attracted by their persistence, tenacity, courage and doggedness, their mentor and leader, Pastor Kachi Samwealth said the programme was aimed at equipping them to stand on their own anywhere without necessarily looking for white-collar jobs.
He said they gather and train them every weekend while they go on the streets of Nigeria of their choice to market product samples at subsidized rate so as to learn how to press forward, persuade and get the wares sold without compromising themselves or personal safety.
The grand finale of the programme which has been slated for next weekend in Awka, according to Pastor Samwealth would be used to honour some citizens who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers.
They include the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr John Abang; a petroleum product marketer, Chief Joseph Nwakpadolu; the Chief Executive of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, Venerable Amaechi Okwuosa, among others.
The eleven youth, whose ages range between 20-23, and who have already established personal business concerns included Obi Precious, Favour Okafor from Igboukwu, Onwughalu Ifeanyi, Eze Chinemerem and Ibeabuchi Precious. Others are Akubueze Ebube, Obi Lilian, Ugwueze Ezekiel, Ifediche Grace and Oluchukwu Augustine Marbel.