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James Onyebuchi Ibekason works in product design and development at Clintonel Innovation Center (CIC). He also works as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machinist and STEM program Manager.

Based in Aba, Abia State, Osisioma LGA, James started a career in manufacturing and tech about a year ago through the Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathways project funded by Ford Foundation and implemented by PIND.

His typical day starts early. “My typical day flows with a routine. I wake up everyday by 4am or 5am. I read for about an hour or hour and half and depending on the daily routine, I either exercise or mediate for 30mins or less. My morning chores typically involve fetching water from a few streets away because we do not have access to pipe borne water at home, after which I eat breakfast and arrange all necessary materials needed for work that day.”

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“Work, which largely involves organizing STEM training for secondary school students and coordinating product development activities at the Clintonel Innovation Center, also flows with a routine. I lay out what I want to accomplish each day and begin working on it. I work with short breaks when I feel too tired or sleepy. Work starts at 8am and ends by 6pm after which I head home. Just as you guessed, my evenings also have a routine. I look through my To-Dos for the day and assess what I did and didn’t do.  If I’m too stressed out, I go to bed early to rise up early, or in some cases I begin my online course or try finishing some tasks that I couldn’t do at the office.”

Although this routine-oriented schedule might seem boring to some people, James says this is exactly what he has always wished for. “I have always wished for a work that would push me to the limits. The work at CIC does exactly that and this is the best thing about my day.”

James says what he loves most about the Niger Delta is its people. “The spirit of the People. I hope that someday I would be the voice that channels the people to greater causes.”

In addition to being a voice for change in the Niger Delta, James also wants to establish the largest manufacturing company in Africa. “A company that converts ideas into finished products. The goal is to have a place in Africa where Innovation and ideas at made and that’s where I see myself in the next 5years.”


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