ASUU Strike
Uduakobong Joseph
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How ASUU Strike helped a Female Undergraduate discover her passion through tech

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Away from the trendy Ankara styles and designs, Let’s see how the current ASUU strike has helped a female undergraduate start and incubate a startup that is changing the fashion trend in Uyo.

How ASUU changed her story

  • It is no longer news that the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) has been on strike for the past 4 months. This has forced most undergraduates to stay idle all day while some roam the streets.

The strike was announced earlier in February to be a 3 weeks action, renewable if the Federal Government refused to abide to the demands of the striking lecturers.

ASUU strike
Some sample of her work

4 months after its commencement, the lecturers are unable to reach an agreement with the Federal Government which has led to the constant renewal of the industrial action while Nigerian undergraduates bear the brunt of the face-off.

  • But the story has not been the same for all Nigerian undergraduates studying in public universities.  Here is the story of Uduakobong Joseph who has not only acquired the necessary skills in tie and dye but has used technology to market her product and is determined to change the fashion trend while waiting to get back to the classroom.

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Miss Joseph is a female undergraduate of the University of Uyo in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Nigeria.  Before the industrial action by ASUU, she was a 200 hundred level student of Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture. 

According to her, “the first 2 weeks into the strike, life was boring, there was nowhere to go to as I don’t keep friends.  I read some novels and gave so much thought about my future if this strike should persist for the next 5 years”, she recounted her plight in the first few days of the strike.

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But then, while ASUU in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria thought they have buried the talents within her, they never realized that they have actually sown a seed in the young girl and she soon germinated.

Idling away but seriously thinking of how to turn her misfortune around, she soon discovered that through her mobile phone and the various Youtube Channels she watched, she could contribute positively to the fashion trends in her locality through tie and dye.

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ASUU

Changing the fashion trend as ASUU continues the strike

What actually make up a designer T-shirts or anything tagged designers?  I think it is what is uncommon or what is out of the current trend, a unique design that stands out that one could be identified with.

Yes, this is just what this undergraduate is doing. Helping people wear something different from the current fashion trends.  Creating a unique design that is just made for you.

After getting all the ideas and tips from Youtube, the nineteen year old decided to take another course offline just to sharpen her skills and understand the market within her vicinity. 

She soon got perfected in her skills and the boredom gave way to an industry.  Various designs soon pop up in her brain and she applied them to whatever fabric (white) she could lay her hands on.  Soon neighbours and her friends saw her designs as unique and worth the few naira she was charging for her designs.

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How does she get her Market?

Without the ASUU strike she would have gotten a huge market from her course mates, roommates and her friends on campus. But the sad story of the strike lingers.

Taking advantage of the huge market in the various social media platform, she set up her markets online through her various social media channels. One, two, three sales and her reputation for the various designs she churns out resounds within the Akwa Ibom ecosystem sparked up interest in the buyers.

Presently her target audience spans across Nigeria and is bringing her a huge turnover with customers opting for various unique designs that suits their yearnings.

“The market is huge and everyone now wants something unique for themselves when stepping out.  I spend hours pondering on designs that befits the personality that has placed an order and always come out with something very unique for all of them”. She narrated.

What’s next as Nigerian Undergraduates awaits ASUU?

“Since we have a government that care so little or nothing about education, I have decided to move on with my life.  Like most Nigerian undergraduates who are in my shoe I can’t kill myself.

I intend to open a fashion academy where we will not only work on tie and dye T-shirts but we will look into fashion holistically. There is so much work to do now.  I hope to rent an office space and get huge supply contracts for a brand or personality”, she explained.

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That’s it.  The young girl seems to have shut her mind away from a government who cares nothing about the education of her citizens.

What’s more? The politicians in Nigeria has over the years gained extensively by using uneducated youths as political thugs and assassins to intimidate and quieten dissenting voices within the political arena.

Boko Haram terrorists, herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers, etc. are alleged to be under the politicians’ payroll while politicians throw billions of naira around ahead of the 2023 elections as the university doors remain shut due to ASUU strike.

It was reported that some Nigerian undergraduates went for a peaceful demonstration to draw government’s attention to their plight, but nothing positive has been said as the Nigerian government seem more interested in the 2023 elections than the future of her citizens.

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Uduakobong is currently seeking for funding and partnership to help showcase her work to a wider audience.  She intends to help other Nigerian undergraduates who are trapped in the ASUU debacle find a passion in the business.

She intend to train as many youths as possible in the business and help them work through the process of getting their first market through the use of the social media and other marketing tools.

What are you thinking of your brand? Do you need a unique T-Shirt design for your staff or students? Encourage this Nigerian undergraduate today and let her create something unique for you. Email us at mail@techforestng.com or whatsapp 08034417104 to contact her.  

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