Bako was born in the remote farming village of Manga. His father was a subsistent farmer and his mother a village nurse. When Bako turned nine, and was in Primary five; he developed an uncommon interest for business. The village of Manga was well known for farming, but only a few knew about its palm kernel trading potentials. Every tenth day, some merchants from the East usually visited Manga village to buy off palm kernel which was traded by only a few villagers. Bako’s family house was located along the merchant’s route; with this, he had a good view and always watched the merchants with interest, as they transacted businesses. One day, he thought to himself that it would be a good idea if he spent his play time gathering and trading palm kernel with the visiting merchants. The little Bako pondered over his new business idea for 3 days and finally decided to share it with his father.
His father listened to him impatiently and eventually interrupted him saying, “Bako, you are only a child, you know nothing about business. Business men are shrewd. How could you think of starting your own business at this tender age? Now, I want you to focus on your studies, study real hard; hopefully, someday you will become a lawyer, a doctor or an engineer.” However, Bako was dissatisfied with his father’s reply, but he resolved to continue persuading his father to have a change of heart.
At the end of the third term, Bako returned home with his report card, which he happily handed to his father. His father was so thrilled by his performance that he made a promise to get Bako a pair of white leather shoe. Bako had wanted a pair of white shoe for long. Bako thought this would be the best opportunity for him to negotiate his way into starting his first business ever. So, in the evening, he approached his father with the same request. Bako requested that he should be allowed to use his play time to gather and trade some palm kernel in place of the white shoe. With some reluctance, his father agreed, but cautioned him against allowing his studies to suffer.
Bako finally succeded in negotiating his way into his first business. He made some inquiries and soon began to gather palm kernel as he awaited the visit of the merchants.
The news about his interest in business at such a young age amazed a lot of the villagers and they praised his courage and passion. On the 9th day, on the eve of the trading day, he had gathered about 12 kg of palm kernel. It was on a Saturday morning, as soon as he sighted the merchants making their way into Manga, he approached and greeted them, “Good morning, sir! Welcome to Manga. I have that which you usually seek for”. The merchants looked at each other with surprise, then answered him, “what could that be that you have for us, little boy?” “Please, come with me and I will show you” replied Bako. The merchants looked at each other, shrugged and followed him. While he engaged the merchants, his father watched him from a distance. Bako led them to where he had kept the 12 kg of palm kernel, while his father followed them closely.
When the merchants saw the sack bag full of palm kernel, they immediately placed it on a scale balance and paid the sum of N950 in exchange. This was Bako’s first time of touching such a huge amount of money and he was really excited. In his excitement, his father quickly reminded him never to lose sight of his studies. Every evening, after school, he shared his time between studying and gathering palm kernel. At the Common Entrance Examination, he performed excellently, and soon gained admission into St. James Secondary School, Bama.
After Bako left the village, his father decided to quite farming for palm kernel trading, seeing how lucrative the business was. Bako had earlier disliked the idea of being “caged” in a boarding school. He thought that would prevent him from checking out available business opportunities while in school. Luckily for him, he had an uncle who lived in Bama, just behind the school. St. James Secondary School was opened to both Boarding and Day schooling. Bako chosed Day schooling and opted living with his uncle. Uncle Silas was pleased to have his nephew around. While in the busy town of Bama, Bako observed that majority of the town dwellers owned and used mobile phones, popularly known as GSM. He thought to himself that it would be a smart idea if he spent his spare time learning the skills in mobile phone repairing. He immediately shared the idea with his uncle and he was quite pleased to hear that. His uncle thought it was good for him to be fully occupied after school, as that would prevent him from mixing up with some of the bad boys in the neighbourhood.
Soon, Uncle Silas enrolled him to learn the trade. The training was scheduled to hold only after school hours. Bako’s knowledge and skills in mobile phone repairing made him popular at school amongst his peers. He was well respected, and his academic records remained excellent all through. At 16, he had written a university matriculation examination, seeking an admission to study Computer Engineering. Back home, the palm kernel business which he left in the care of his father had grown bigger, and now his father had saved enough money to fund his tertiary education.
Bako performed well, and soon gained admission to study Computer Engineering. As soon as he got to the school, he got himself a small workshop where he spent most of his spare time fixing clients phones and laptops. He had a habit of dedicating 4 hours daily to his studies after lectures. His craftsmanship and honesty endeared him to many. His academic record at school remained excellent. In his second year at the university, he had made some savings which he invested in stocks, purchasing a handful of shares in one of the largest telecommunication companies in the region.
Bako spent 4 years studying Engineering, and at the end of the program, he came out with flying colors, and a personal savings of N300,000. Now, Bako confident he had the required skills, so he decided on graduation to set up a technology centre, which he named, “Young Stars Technology Center”. The centre was primarily to train young people in the repairs and maintenance of mobile phones and laptops. He ran the centre for three and half years. The news and success stories of the training centre spread across the whole region like wild fire, and soon; the Bank of Industry was ever willing to offer him some loan to enable him expand the training centre. With the loan, Bako was able to upgrade the training school to a standard technical college, and in due time, paid back the loan. The technical college continued to grow in leaps and in bounds. At the 8th Year Anniversary of the college, after due approval and certifications from the National University Commission, the college was upgraded to a private technical university.
At a very young age, Bako became a multimillionaire and the pioneer owner and chairman of the only technical university in the whole region.
Bako achieved all these through passion, determination and focus.
I hope you enjoyed the story? Now, join me let’s analyse those special qualities that makes Bako the Entrepreneur.