Case Story: Nickson Somola
The initial Textile and Fashion Design (TFD) course funded by Sympany Netherlands produced 30 graduates. The three-year Textile and Fashion design course is offered at DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational School (MVS) in Chiradzulu district and equips students with skills and knowledge in Tailoring, designing, life skills and business management.
Nickson Somola was one of the 30 initial graduates. He grew up with passion to venture into the fashion industry and jumped to the chance of being trained at DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational School (MVS) in Chiradzulu district. He enrolled at MVS having been staying idol at his parent’s home while searching for tertiary education opportunities.
Even as a student, he started earning money from the work of his hands. He had a few customers that called upon his services mostly around his parent’s home in Bangwe Township of Blantyre district. Nickson started staying alone while in school just a stone throw away from his parent’s home. He bought a sewing machine from his early tailoring proceeds and with it he started business soon after graduating. He plied his trade for almost a year at his home in Bangwe while also offering tailoring lessons to those in need, at a small fee of course.
In April 2019, Nickson joined hands with his cousin, a Textile and Fashion Design (TFD) graduate from Beehive tailoring school and together they opened “2 in 1 Textiles & F.D” shop near the MACOHA weaving factory in Blantyre district.
The shop’s main lines of business since opening its doors have been designing and sewing bridal shower and engagements garments and school uniforms for primary and secondary schools. The shop has 4 sewing machines of which 3 belong to Nickson.
Nickson has had a monthly earning of more than MK100, 000.00 since opening the shop. His partner makes around the same amount. He reflected his first days in business as tough with customers not aware of his expertise but with time has built trust and a reasonable customer base.
He brands the training institution (MVS) as a yardstick in his life. He says despite his passion he nor his parents would afford to pay school fees hence thankful to Sympany for the financial support towards his training. He is independent, a bread winner to his immediate and extended family because of the training imparted by DAPP’s Mikolongwe Vocational School. He is also very appreciative to his trainers who he says have shaped his fortune.