THE popular Court Road by Zoo Road in Kano metropolis is known for its boisterous commercial activities. A major feature of the busy area is the large population of youths who are into many forms of businesses all in a bid to make wealth and smile to the bank. Among these youths is 17-year-old Kabiru Isah Haruna, a native of Kafur Local Government Area of Katsina State(hometown of Governor Aminu Bello Masari), who displays his wares in an open area among the youths.
For Haruna, popularly known as “Tallest Man”, his major items of trade are bread, wristwatch and cufflinks, which he displays in a transparent box known as show- glass. What makes Kabiru’s story different among his contemporaries is the fact that he uses proceeds of his business to sponsor himself in secondary school at a time most of his contemporaries are opposed to Western education and have little or no regard for it.
Haruna seems to stand tall over and above his peers apparently by seeing the future beyond today and by investing part of his little income in his education to be able to read and write and also become a major stakeholder in the society. For this reason, Haruna has not only gone to secondary school but has also secured the Senior Secondary School Certificate which is conducted by the National Examination Council, NECO.
Neither his family background nor his income level could deter him from seeking and pursuing his dream with determination. As he said: “We are 20 that my father gave birth to. We have nine males and 11 females. I am the 13th child and the second among the male children. My father sponsored me to complete my primary school. After that, I was forced to drop out of school due to lack of money and I decided to enrol in a Qur’anic school. It was after then that I decided to stay back in Kano instead of going back to my parents in Katsina. I ventured into selling of bread as I waited for my income level to improve.
“We collect the bread on credit from our bosses and pay them after sales. We collect like N15,000 bread from them and make between N1200 to N1500 profit at the end of the sales. It was from the proceeds I made from the bread that I opened another small business where I sell wristwatch, cufflinks and counters. I made like N25, 000 to start up the business. There was no form of support or assistance from anywhere.
“On a daily basis, I come out as early as 7am to 7:30am on school days to sell as many loaves of bread as I can and then leave for school at 8am. I attended Gyadi-Gyadi Secondary School. I do not feel ashamed to have embarked on roadside trading in order to go to school. In fact, I feel happy whenever I see myself wearing school uniform among my contemporaries. And that was how I completed my Secondary School and sat for the NECO examination. I paid N18, 500 to sit for the NECO examination. And to God be the glory, I came out with flying colours in my examination results.
“I really love to further my education and apply for admission into any of the tertiary institutions but I am handicapped by money. Apart from money, I still have my younger ones and parents to cater for. We make profit from the business even though it is meagre. And we assist our parents and other colleagues who run to us for help. My parents are alive. They are farmers and not traders. We grew up knowing them to be farmers. We even follow them to their farmland to give them helping hand. I would like the government to come and assist me with capital to start up a bigger business and even rent my own shop because people belittle us because we are operating by the roadside”.