It is a universal truism that great ideas don’t need a special place, they can come from odd places and those least expected to have such. That is the story of two young siblings residing at a shop at Olu Ade Way, inside Ashamu Estate in Oke Afa, a suburb of Isolo in Lagos State.
These two boys brother, who live in this all-encompassing shop that serves as their widow-mother’s shop and residence, have never ceased to amaze neighbours and passers-by with their ‘architectural design skills’- with paper cartons.
Wisdom Gift Udoh, a 15-year-old Junior Secondary School (JSS3) student of Oke Afa Junior College, Isolo had no formal training in the art of designing or building before he started his creative arts of building designs.
This bundle of talents started manifesting his creativity at a very tender age. However, his building design arts began the day he opted to help a school mate with his school project.
“I started this art work as a fun to keep my soul and body busy, and as a way of being helpful to someone who needed help,” he said.
Wisdom, who is now joined in the designing venture by his immediate younger brother, Kingsley, a 12-year-old Primary 6 pupil of Low Cost Estate Primary School 2, Jakande Low Cost Estate, Isolo; said his creative instinct comes as divine inspiration and his ability to imagine things.
“When I see good architectural designs, I have a way of registering the concept in mind to replicate later; however, my imagination is my strongest source of concept development,” he stated.
Both brothers attested that their raw materials comprised of cartons, bond papers, tough gums and glue, tape gum and many other things they could consider needful per time.
“Sometimes we may use brass or silver metal works to beautify a section of our design,” they chorused.
Their raw materials are majorly gotten from the near-by building material market at Pako junction, off Oke Afa neighbor-hood.
In order to construct one ideal building, these great inventors informed The Educational Tide that it cost them up to N3, 000 and above. The sole sponsor is their mother, who has been the only provider for them since the death of their father in July 2014.
Hence, their major challenges have been how to raise funds and how to perfect their trade in a more professional way. Besides, they are faced with the problem of sourcing some critical raw materials like cartons and bond paper tape.
Consequently, in order to ensure that they do not lose track of their creative ideas, these young Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State indigenes sometimes sell their designs to get finance to buy the needed raw materials for more designs, instead of always looking up to their mother.
“We don’t really sell for gains, rather to ensure we have the funds to get the materials to continue with our creative works,” Kingsley said.
Sometimes they could sell their works as low as N1,500 to N2,000 just to raise cash for the raw materials for more designs. In most cases when there are no demands, they would display their works outside the shop for passer-by to admire.
The brothers wish they could get a sponsor to help them live their dreams of becoming great architectural designers and building engineers of repute in future
For their mother, Gift, who has four children to bring up, it has not been easy carrying on after the death of her husband. She sells edible foodstuffs for a living.
“It has been very challenging sponsoring them and at the same time taking care of their other life needs, with the little income I am getting from my vegetable business,” she said.
Mrs Udoh appealed to individuals, corporate organization and government agencies to help her children realize their dreams.
“I will be very glad if my fatherless boys are assisted to fulfill destiny with their creative arts,” she pleaded.