The success story of a South Sudanese Boutique owner
By Mandela Nelson Denis
Opira Geoffrey, a law student fresh from the University had nothing to do but had to crack his mind of what to do in order to earn a living.
Growing up in a family where Geoffrey depended on his father for almost everything, it was time for a grown up man to fend for himself and build a legacy for himself and the future to come.
Armed with capital of $3000 back in 2014, Geoffrey started the journey of dressing and styling up the population of Juba.
As majority youth in the country still struggle to be job seekers, Geoffrey created a job for himself and he is his own boss.
Pirlo Poutique sounds misspelled for some people but according to Opira, he had to change from Boutique to Poutique and he confessed that it has worked.
“Many people think that am confused but am not, I wanted to be unique and create something usual and today we are here celebrating almost five years in the fashion and style industry,” he said.
Juba people love dress to impress and this is one of the reasons that motivated Geoffrey to start his Poutique.
Located at Juba International Air Port Road, Geoffrey’s Poutique always causes traffic for the motorists and passengers who use the road.
Though business is hard, Geoffrey revealed that he is still able to pay his rent and stock new stuff after every one or two months.
It has not been easy to manage businesses since the crisis hit the country but Geoffrey said what has kept his business alive is financial discipline.
Geoffrey said that he never mixes the money meant for business for any unproductive venture.
“I have always invested the little I make back into the business to keep it growing, I don’t waste money on unproductive activities such as reckless life styles,” Geoffrey said.
Every Business has challenges but for Geoffrey the major challenge is when his trusted customers take clothes and delay to pay. He also added that it is very expensive to import clothes into the country.
Another biggest blow to Opira is the taxes from Juba city council.
No matter the challenges, Geoffrey said that there is no single day he has failed to open his Poutique.
As the festive season approaches, Geoffrey is so optimistic that business will boom and he is restocking to get ready.
South Sudanese music stars such as Mc Lumoex, Crazy Fox and many others have tested the clothes from Pirlo Poutique.
Mc Lummox a regular customer describes Geoffrey as a young man with creative a mind.
“The first time I was introduced to Pirlo Poutique, I got impressed and since then, it is where I shop for all my events,” said Mc Lumoex.
Being a young man in his late twenties, Geoffrey advised the youth in the country not to be job seekers but rather job creators in order to play their role to nation building.
Every Youngman’s dream is to drive a car and off his choice and for that reason, Geoffrey from his hard work awarded himself with a brand new car to ease his movement.
To Geoffrey, the sky is the limit and the young man is hoping to expand his business by opening many branches across Juba.
Apart from opening more branches Geoffrey is venturing into the Transport business. He revealed that he is buying his frist mini-bus by next year.
Today, Geoffrey joins the list of South Sudanese youth who are not waiting for the government to employ them but are employing themselves.
There are so many South Sudanese young entrepreneurs out there with great minds to enable economic boom in the informal sector.
In an earlier interview with the secretary general of South Sudan Investment Authority Dr.Abraham Mamer Maliet, he urged the youth to engage in micro business.