Most telephone handset (phone) owners hardly bother to go repair their handsets because it is believed that phones are never repaired. So, when 16-year-old Isaac Mathew suffered same fate in the hands of a callous phone technician who rather created new issues, he swore against phone repairs.
Now, little Isaac is about to open shop to repair phones. What went right? Thanks for the turn around must go to a non-profit organization, Keeping It Real (KIR), who just graduated the 2018 batch of skills acquisition scheme for 50 youths, mostly persons with disability.
This is how Isaac’s story changed. He told BusinessDay’s ‘Investing in Rivers State’ on the sideline of the graduation event at the Rivers ICT Centre opposite Pleasure Park on Aba Road, thus: “Yes, those who repair phones end up damaging them, rather. I lot of people simply buy new phones instead of seeking to repair them because of sad experience all over. Most persons hardly believe that phones can be repaired.”
His own experience seems sad enough. “I once took a phone to one of these phone repairers for a mouse problem but it came back worse; casing broken, injuries here and there. Also, most of my friends and relations have the same experience and discuss these things and ended up believing that phone repairers are rather phone destroyers around here.”
He went on: “Mine was a Blackberry but they spoilt it for me. Instead of the guy to tell me he can’t do it, he went ahead to destroy it. It was one Lawrence in this KIR programme that whipped up my interest in phone repairs. I found an opportunity to solve a problem and to see why most others in this city do not show that phones can be repaired.”
After training at the Rivers ICT Centre, what could the kid have found out? “My training at Keep It Real (KIR) Foundation has revealed why these persons do not repair anything well. When they got the opportunity to learn, they paid more attention to getting the allowances instead of the intelligence. When they learn shabbily, they go and open a shop and begin to dabble into what they hardly knew about.”
So, what difference is Isaac bringing to Port Harcourt phone community? “I paid a lot of attention and there are things I can do. I can now start the business. I can fix a mouthpiece problem, earpiece problem, booting issues, screen issue, etc. What I don’t know, I know how to go to Youtube and learn it. I can do many things”.
Master Mathew hails from Inni local council area in Akwa Ibom State. He however lives in Port Harcourt with his parents (dad is into carpentry and mum is a trader). He did his secondary school at National High School, Amadi-ama and wrote his certificate exams at New Covenant Secondary School. He is waiting to write the 2019 JAMB (Joint Admission and Matriculation Board) exams, but while waiting, his passion for phones and gadgets took him to the Government ICT Centre.
He said: “I got to know about the programme through a friend and the passion to learn new things and be idle got over me. It is not good to be idle in the Niger Delta. So, I registered in the programme”, the third child of his parents stated. He said it is not advisable for any youth in the Niger Delta to be idle. That is the new mindset of the 50 o anybody that passes through KIR run by a top professional and activist, the executive director, Bitebo Gogo.