By: Modou Touray
Ousman Manbureh disagrees with the common notion that school dropouts are failures, justifying that he is a successful electrician. Ousman decided to learn electrical skills after dropping out from school. He attended Jamisa Upper and Senior School in Brikama and was in grade nine at the time of dropping out.
“Success is not confined in the classroom; I am a grade nine dropout, but I decided to successfully undergo apprenticeship in practical electrical training, and I am now successful, having built a house, taking care of my family and financing the schooling of my kids and also training other young people to become practical electricians. If you cannot make it in formal classroom, switch over to informal skills,” he explained.
After his formal education desire crippled at grade nine, he took the risk of dropping out from the regular academic system to undergo an informal apprenticeship skills training in electricity. Against the wish of his family, he was determined to actualize his self-reliant dream.
“My father initially objected to my proposal but was latter convinced. He was sick and there was no one to give me financial support. In stress, I walked on foot to get to the National Water and Electricity Company sub-station at Farato were I attached myself to a mentor unofficially.”
Mr Manbureh asserted that opportunities for youth employment are minimal, forcing him to acquire practical skills at an early stage. A high number of the country’s labor force is without work or meaningful engaging for their livelihood.
Mr Manbureh’s family house in Brikama is almost 5 kilometers away from Farato. He occasionally gets a free ride to get there hence his family were more attentive to his father’s detoriating health conditions than his welfare.
“It was hard, but I pushed on to this level. I now operate my own business called Ous-Tech Solutions. Thank God because I get minor contracts of electrical and CCTV installations, house alarm bells, vehicle tracking devices, plumbing and other services. I cannot say I have succeeded hundred percent, but a lot has been achieved,” Ousman noted.
He said his slogan was to employ himself if the government could not employ him, a determination which he said has been realized. His current major challenge is securing major contracts from government and non-governmental institutions.
“I used to go around to offices, companies and institutions to tell them about my skills and gradually people started recognizing me. I manifest my skills well in electrical installations and CCTV camera operations and other practical skill.”