Ghanaian actor cum celebrity fashion designer, Elikem Kumordzi popularly known as ‘Elikem The Tailor’, has revealed that the demise of his father which forced him to defer his University education for a year, actually gave birth to his fashion career.
Speaking on Joy Learning TV’s Entrepreneurship development programme dubbed, ‘The Career Trail’, Elikem narrated that when he reached Level 300 at the University of Ghana, Legon, things took a downturn when he lost his father forcing him to postpone his degree by one year.
“(Around the same time in) Legon, Level 300, my dad had passed away. This was maybe like some 8 to 10 years now. My mom was doing well for me and my little brother to go to school. He had also started the University of Science and Technology by then I think, so it was hard for everyone so I deferred one year of the course, I was like charley, I can’t do it again. Maybe I will continue school some other day, maybe not. But I don’t have money now. I went home,” he elaborated.
In his quest to escape the predicament, the hapless but desperate school drop-out’s career adventure started at Kantamanto, a major market center in the capital city of Ghana, Accra, known for selling second-hand clothes. This happened when his blackberry business had failed, he hinted.
According to Elikem, he frequently visited the market to purchase shirts and with passion for designing, he altered the shirts by replacing the buttons with African designs and adding his name.
“I like making clothes, I like looking different. So I go to Kantamanto, get some small money, buy a shirt and changed the buttons. I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ll put some African print on the side. I’ll write my name, I’ll just wear it. I was in adversity, I was down but I wasn’t sleeping. I was out there doing what my mind and my heart and my spirit told me to do for myself,” he stated.
The fashion designer emphasised that this was his routine until someone noticed him wearing one of his shirts and asked him to make one for him after admiring it and through recommendation, other people began to recognise his service and started requesting similar/different kinds from him, which he offered at no cost.
Due to high patronage, he began to monetise his business and leveraging on Facebook advertisement, and the small business evolved and became popular in Ghana and beyond.
Through the money he had earned, Elikem The Tailor finally went back to the University to finish his course.
The fashion designer urged learners to push through challenges and turn them into learning opportunities.
“Failure is important in your journey in wanting to become successful. Obstacles will come your way but fail forward and learn the blessing in the lesson,” he concluded.
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