Gob3 Seller, Car Washer & Kenkey Seller: 3 Ghanaian University Graduates Who Picked Up Blue-Collar Jobs

Gob3 Seller, Car Washer & Kenkey Seller: 3 Ghanaian University Graduates Who Picked Up Blue-Collar Jobs

  • Several students from various universities in Ghana graduate and picks up jobs totally different from the programs they studied in school
  • A University of Professional Studies past student, Joyce Alorbu, picked up selling kenkey after searching for job for years to no avail
  • Felika Mahama, a University for Development Studies former student, luckily got a job right after national service but chose to quit to start a mobile car washing business
  • Evangelly Tetteh, worked as a part-time journalist after completing Ghana Institute of Journalism but quit to sell 'gob3' on the street

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Life happens in diverse ways. A person who had a particular dream career as a child may grow up wanting something completely different or get to a state of uncertainty where they are clueless in terms of what to be. The common result in both situations is, that person would eventually settle on at least one thing to keep them going.

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Life choices undergo a lot of influence: financial, circumstantial, and passion, among others. The dynamic nature of life makes it no surprise when a person spends years and good money on a university education only to pick up a career or trade that requires no tertiary education. Many of these career pivots in Ghana happen due to a lack of formal employment.

Over the years, YEN.com.gh has shared the stories of Ghanaian youths who made interesting career changes for various reasons. Some of such individuals have been listed below for YEN readers.

1. Joyce Alorbu, a University of Professional Studies alumnus, picks up selling kenkey for a living

University graduates in Ghana who picked up blue-collar jobs
Joyce selling kenkey and posing for the camera at a studio Photo credit: Joyce Alorbu
Source: UGC

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Joyce Alorbu graduated from the university and thankfully landed a job with an international company one and a half years after completing her national service. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic showed its face to the world just a few years after getting employed, and her company collapsed.

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This made getting a job twice as hard as it normally would be in the country, but Joyce had a responsibility to care for her two siblings and had to get something going quickly.

She first applied for jobs hoping to land one, but that never happened. She took time to think of what she could possibly do and finally settled on selling kenkey just like her mother did.

"I watched my mother do this for years and was able to care for us with that. I thought to myself, here I am jobless. I might as well give it a shot, at least for the time being, until I get a corporate job", she told YEN.com.gh in an interview.

Joyce finally became a full-time kenkey seller starting with GH₵400, but thanks to her university education, she stood out from the regular sellers; she understood the importance of branding.

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The driven young lady was not interested in just feeding her clients balls of carbohydrates, which came with no added value; rather, she did her research and introduced other types of kenkey, such as the yellow corn one and millet kenkey.

"I use yellow corn which comes with a lot of health benefits such as prevention of anemia, improves eyesight, a good pre-biotic, protects the heart etc. The millet kenkey for those who want to lose weight and my proteins are done fresh and hot. I have traditionally spiced charcoal-grilled pork as well", she said.

Joyce effectively uses social media platforms to get her business out there. She also gets clients through word of mouth. The university graduate believes that there are opportunities everywhere, not just in the corporate world, and graduates need to find out what they enjoy doing and make good use of the opportunities around them.

2. How Felika Mahama quit her full-time job to wash cars for a living

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University graduates in Ghana who picked up blue-collar jobs
Felika holding a wash gun, the business owner's truck Photo credit: Felika Mahama
Source: UGC

Felika graduated from the University for Development Studies, went through her one-year national service, and got the chance to work full-time with Jogobu Company Limited for a year, Dacoph Shipping Company for another year, moved to Wekplace also for a year, then joined the youth in afforestation (Forestry Commission) for about four years.

After a visit to a washing bay one day, the young lady developed an interest in owning a washing bay. She had a big dream, but unfortunately, she was not financially ready. As smart as she is, Felika thought of ways to start on a small scale and birthed the idea of starting a mobile car washing business.

"I thought about the fact that a lot of businesses nowadays use delivery services to run their businesses and that was when the idea to start a mobile car washing business was birthed", she told YEN.com.gh in an interview.

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Felika put measures in place, quit her job, and started running her business, Park and Bright, full-time. Thankfully, she got the full support of her family. According to her, her dad is her biggest cheerleader; he believes in her business, she said.

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Another thing that keeps her going is the support she gets from her clients, given how innovative her business is.

"Most of the people I have worked with are always amazed by what I do. A lot of people have prayed for me and encouraged me to keep pushing, so I believe I’m on the right path, although it’s not easy at times", she said.

The mobile car washing business owner usually stations around East Legon waiting for clients to call her to come to their residents or meet her at her station. For Felika, one of her proudest moments on the job is seeing her clients get value for their money.

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3. Evangelly Tetteh, the Ghana Institute of Journalism alumnus who quit her corporate job as a journalist to sell street food

University graduates in Ghana who picked up blue-collar jobs
Evangelly as a journalist, selling 'gob3' and beautifully posing for the camera Photo credit: Evangelly Tetteh
Source: Facebook

Evangelly's decision to quit her job as a journalist to sell 'gob3' on the street was birthed out of the urgency to generate substantial income to cater to her younger siblings following her mother's passing.

The Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) past student grew up helping her mother sell gari and caring for them with the proceeds, so she knew that she could do the same.

Luckily for Evangelly, her corporate job was on a part-time basis which only required her to take night shifts. This meant she had the day to herself, which was an opportunity to get her 'gob3' business running.

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She first got a place to set up the business, thanks to her cousin, and with the amount of money she had saved up, Evangelly purchased the ingredients and other items to start.

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Evangelly believes that social media has played a huge role in putting her business out there, and she thanks her education for helping her understand the power of social advertising.

"My education has helped me know how to use social media as a marketing tool, which has contributed to my success. These days, a lot of people do not have time to walk all the way to food joints to buy food hence putting my business out there gives them access to it", she told YEN.com.gh in an interview.

The young 'gob3' seller revealed that she gets over 50 orders per day and is very thankful for that. According to her, the business has afforded her two things; the financial ability to take her siblings through school and she has been able to create jobs for others, which she is very happy about.

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Another person who ditched her university degree for a blue-collar job is Theresah Adusei. She did this after struggling to land a job despite graduating from the University of Ghana with a first-class.

In an interview with Joy Prime, Adusei disclosed that she started her job hunt when she was about to complete her national service.

''I started a job hunt, but you send CVs you don’t get feedback,'' she told Joy Prime.

Adusei made desperate appeals to many influential people, including her pastor, to help her land a good job, but her efforts did not yield any fruits. After years of job search with no glimmer of hope, the first-class graduate decided to turn her hobby into a business and now works as a hairdresser to support herself and her siblings.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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