Youths survives on Innovative Creation

Johnson Loputu (right) with Yaba Ismail Aron (left) displaying some of their readymade local tyre Sandals (photo by Oyiti Pernyang)

By Oyiti Pernayng

The youths of Gudele suburb area in Juba depends on making local sandals from motor tyres and colourful Straps.

Speaking to Juba Monitor reporter, Stance Lemi one of the creative youths said that he has joined this work of making local sandals since 2017 when he finished his secondary school, saying that he lacked support to continue with tertiary education, “Most of us here have completed secondary school but we only lack support to go ahead with education, that’s why you are seeing us resorting into doing this kind of work for survival” he said. Lemi said that the job is too tiresome when you are still new into it but with time it becomes easy, “this work is very hard but someone has to get used to it, it is also better for one to train himself/herself hard work instead of being redundant” he narrated. He said that the work has brought some changes into his life saying that he used the money that he raised to pay rent, buy some clothes and also pay his medical bills in case he falls sick, “Now at least I am able to cater for myself, I can pay my rent, feed myself and pay for my medical bills” he lamented.

Johnson Loputu an orphan said that he dropped out of school from senior three when his mother and father died and joined this local industry for his survival, “I lost my parents when I was in senior three and couldn’t continue with school afterward, I choose to join this venture to sustain my living” he cited. He said that it is better to experience hardship ways to get what he desires than to involves himself into criminal deeds like what the Toronto boys and the robbers are doing, “Instead of endangering my life with criminal activities like what the Toronto boys and night robbers are doing, it is better for me to sweat for my survival” he explained. Johnson also called upon the Government and the Non-Governmental Organizations to support Innovative creations that the youths are developing saying that they are cutting those Sandals soles for the girls at only 700 ssp of which they sell both in the Country and in the neighbouring countries generating income to them, “this work is very important to us in a way that we are contributing to the economy of the country, the Government should therefore but us into consideration by supporting us to buy equipment to make our work easier” he pledged.

Meanwhile Asente Susu one of the girls who are mending the straps for the Sandals said that she is mending five Sandal straps in in one day which cost her 800 ssp, and later sells the ready sandals at 1700 ssp only earning her a profit of 500 ssp per each, “the boys cut the sandals soles from the vehicles tyre for us at 800 ssp per each and we mend the straps using the treats that we buy from the market at 400 ssp per role” she explained. She said that the venture helps her to purchase for herself some basic necessities for both school and personal use, “I can now buy my own basic necessities which helps to reduce the load from my parents who are also paying my school fees” she said. She urges fellow youths who are reluctant to engage themselves into such income generating activities like the one they are practicing saying that stealing, drinking and idleness will not help in any way but rather destroy youths, she urges youths to refrain from anomalous behaviours that can cost their lives and try to be productive in the Country.

The local tyre made sandals popularly known by its name ‘Mutukali’ which means ‘You will die and leave it’ in simple Arabic is becoming a popular fashion in the country that everyone wants to wear these days. The tyre sandals which used to be designed with colourful beats were imported from neighbouring Kenya by the Masaai traders but are currently overtaken by unique and beautiful designs made by creative youths in the Country. The industry is becoming a lucrative business for young people in the Country. The sandals cost 1700 ssp in Juba while costing 400 Sudanese pounds equivalent to 3,000 ssp in the neighbouring Sudan

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