A Day in the Life of a Niger Deltan – Uduak, the Woodworker

A Day in the Life of a Niger Deltan – Buchi, the Budding Manufacturer
May 16, 2021
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Uduak Etuk is a professional Woodworker based in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State where she was born and bred. According to her, she did not have an ‘aha moment’ of what woodwork was all about until she got involved in the Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathways (NDYEP) project funded by Ford Foundation and implemented by PIND Foundation. “Prior to starting my business”, Uduak says, “I worked at several corporate organizations occupying diverse roles such as Administrator, Customer Relationship Manager, Human Resources Manager, to mention a few. However, I didn’t have the satisfaction and fulfilment I am experiencing now as a business owner. In a nutshell, I left the corporate world to pursue my dreams and vision of  being a wealth creator.”

“My typical day starts with my alarm clock waking meat 6:00 am, and as a Christian, I pray to God asking for direction for the day. I do some house chores, take a bath, eat my breakfast and run to the workshop.”

“On getting to the workshop at about 8:00am, I’ll exchange pleasantries with the workers already at the workshop and go to the store to bring out all the machines and tools that will be used for the day.”

A Day in the Life of a Niger Deltan – Buchi, the Budding Manufacturer

Despite working in a male-dominated profession, Uduak is proud of what she does and pays careful attention to deadlines. “I set a time frame for each phase of the work I do depending on what I am doing for the day. If I am close to the delivery deadline, I work into the night in order to deliver on time, but if I don’t have any deadlines, I usually close between 6:00pm and 7:00pm.”

“Before I close for the day, I will dust and oil all my machines and tools for the next day and keep them safe. When I get back to the house, I usually take a shower, eat my dinner and arrange the clothes I will be using for the next day. I also design the work to be done, write costing and quotation, if need be, and make sure I write-down all the things I have been able to achieve for the day, then off to bed I go after a word of prayer.”

Uduak sees her woodwork as a platform to contribute to the fight against unemployment in the country. “My passion for being unique and my creativity drove me into woodwork. I love the fact that I can contribute to solving the problem of unemployment in Nigeria…”

She believes that the culture of the Niger Delta is second to none. “Basically, I love everything about the Niger Delta but most importantly, I love the variety of food ranging from Afang, Editañ, Atama, Edikang ikoñ,Banga, Fisherman soup to onunu, Ekpang nkukwo, Asa iwa, Otor mboro, etc.”

In the nearest future Uduak sees herself becoming a positive role model for young people in Africa. “I see myself becoming a big inspiration and role model to young girls. I also see myself owning a leading space efficient furniture company in Africa hence employing numerous vibrant and competent youths.”

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