by Alieu Ceesay
Skills acquisition has paramount significance to move developing countries towards socio-economic empowerment. This is true about the Gambia to make it an economically self-reliant country. Gambians must encourage young to embrace self-employment through skills acquisition, entrepreneurship, self-reliance and financial empowerment.
A skill is the ability to do something well, usually gained through training or experience. Skill acquisition on the other hand involves the development of a new skill, practice or a way of doing things, usually gained through training or experience. The types of skills that can be acquired through our trainings include hair dressing, fashion designing and tailoring.
In less than two years since she ventured into tailoring and fashion designing, Nyahally Samateh, a young Gambian fashion designer and founder of Ramm Unisex Tailoring Shop is reaping the sweet fruits of the skills she acquired as she is determined to live an independent life and create employment.
Ms. Samateh is determined to be one of the country’s finest, most known and respected designers. She currently own a tailoring shop in Bakoteh Sanchaba Junction where she employs seven skilful workers.
“I want to be self-employed because I believe every person is endowed with one thing that he/she can take as a skill in life. For me, I have natural love for fashion and I decided to take up tailoring and fashion designing,” said Samateh, who takes control and supervision of the daily work at the shop.
A graduate of Farafenni Senior Secondary School, Ms. Samateh explained that immediately after her graduation, she started a course on accounting at First Sight Training Institute before taking a break to venture into fashion designing.
With the recent proliferation in the number of tailoring shops and fashion designers in the country, the Ramm Unisex Tailoring Shop owner is happy that things are faring well for her, but admitted that there are some challenges. “It was difficult when I started but the faith in what I am doing keeps me moving. I also have people who are supporting me with encouraging words. I currently have seven sewing machines and seven workers,” she told The Fatu Network in an exclusive interview.
In less than two years, the young woman’s customer base begins to increase both within and outside the country, thanks to her good marketing skills. She uses the social media such as Facebook to reach out to people. “Here, we sew for children, elders, women and men. We also have customers from the U.S, Norway, Spain, Italy and Sweden.”
When Ms. Samateh was asked whether it has ever occurred to her at a point where she felt quitting fashion designing, she said she has always been filled with encouragement, stating that she wants to leave a legacy in the fashion designing industry and to inspire other Gambians to venture in the trade. Just like many, some of her role models include Tailor Ebrima Drammeh of London Corner and Tailor Adama Cham, who she works with.
Ramm Unisex Tailoring Shop is a registered business and for the founder, it is good to have one’s business legally registered to be recognized internationally. “I registered the business in 2015 but it was until 2016 that I started operation.”
Ms. Samateh advised those young people who are not venturing into skills acquisition to start venturing into self-employment and job creation enterpries to improve their lives and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
Ramm Unisex Tailoring Shop was among the organizers of the recently held fashion night held at the Ndows Hall in Kanifing by a number of tailors and fashion designers. To her, such event would help to promote showcase the work of the tailors and is hoping that the event will be held annually. “We want to register the event to have it annually. I was so happy with the applause from the audience when I presented my work. I am hoping for a much more organize event.”
Many entrepreneurs in Africa have been complaining about the little or no support from their governments. “I want President Barrow’s Government to support us and help facilitate our international travels to sell out our work internationally,” appealed Samateh.
“I sometimes spend the night here with the workers to share ideas just to make sure the outlook of the work is appreciated by the customers. I have to thank my mother, all family members and everyone for the support and understanding.”