By PETER WARI
AFTER finding himself unable to continue with his education after grade 6 in 1988, Peter Agu was suddenly faced with the stark reality that he had to do something to survive.
The option of continuing through distance education was also unfeasible as his parents were subsistence farmers and there was no way of finding extra money for that.
But,Agu was a determined young man and far from letting his premature exit from Kip Primary School stop himfrom achievement.
Over the ensuing years, he found small ways to make money, and is now a successful businessman.
Now aged, 30, the man from LaiValley LLG in the Mendi-Munihu district in Southern Highlands is now the proud owner of the Shir Shar Computing and Electronics shop in Mendi that opened its doors last week.
While doing odds and ends about town, Agu noticed the pressing demand for everything IT, and his new shop provides printing services, as well as sell stationery and a wide array of technological devices.
“Shir Shar, in the Mendi language means dirty work and I started my journey doing work that some people find too dirty,” he said at the shop opening in Mendi last Tuesday.
The father of seven started the road to his success by washing vehicles at Magani River in Mendi.
That was a time when car washing as a way of making money was a new thing.
“It is all about being creative using the God-given brains we have.
“When one door shuts, God opens another and with God nothing is impossible so we have to have aims and be creative,” Agu said.
After washing cars for two years, he decided to collect empty soft drink cans around town. After 3 years he decided to go into shoe repairing and also weaved belts and made colorful flower pots.
Many young people, he said, won’t even think about doing what he did to earn a living because they think it is shameful and demeaning.
After struggling for a few more years, he started an auto part service which was initially where the Shir Shar Computing and Electronics business derived from.
The National Development Bank, People’s Micro Bank and Bank South Pacific branches in Mendihave applauded Agu’ssuccess, assuring him and other aspiring entrepreneurs that they were available to supportlocal
businesses in small and mediumsized enterprises (SME).National Development Bank Mendi Branch Manager Steven Albert said that while the bank has only been there about 4 years, it is keen to work with people who interested in starting up or growing their small ventures.
“We are now proud to stand together with Agu and open this business that will help many service providers, government institutions and other business organisations,” he said.
In this modern world, there are many challenges. But there are some people, determined as they are,who bravely push through the barriers and make it to the top.
By PETER WARI