Frequently found by the roadside, most vulcanizers are the right people to approach if you ever need to replace your old or bad tyres; they blow air into tyres when they go flat. Though termed among the dirtiest and low paying jobs, vulcanizers are a necessity for car owners.
Happenings Media met with 28-year-old Abudullai from Ogun state, where he displays his skills and plies his trade on a street corner somewhere in Victoria Island. He shared insights into his life as a vulcanizer.
What is your everyday life like?
Everyday life is just like my normal day. Nothing exciting happens. I come to work and do my duties and that’s all. Somedays I see high patronage while there are days of low patronage as well. Its a routine.
How much do you make in a day?
Ah! How much I dey make in a day? That one hard o but sometimes I make up to ten thousand naira when business is moving but other days I earn like N2,500 or meagre earnings which is next to nothing.
What is your customer base like?
I have all kinds of customers from tricycles, okada and motorists. Sometimes I get to patch a couple of bicycle tyres too.
Size of family: wife and kids?
I no get wife but I live with my siblings and I manage to meet their needs. But any man wey ready to start family suppose ready to take care of them well, e no matter the job wey he dey do.
How do you relax?
On my free days and occasional holidays, I stay at home and rest, sleep and watch movies. E no easy to dey under sun from morning to night,everyday. Sometimes I go out with my friends, hangout at some joint or at the beach front.
Do you get harassed by the Local Government Development Council?
No, I don’t. Whenever they come around and see that my business area is neat and well taken care of, they move on to other businesses.
How long does it take to learn the trade of vulcanizing?
It depends on the individual. For me na six months I use learn the work.
Any challenges faced in your line of work?
Aside from customers coming back to complain that I no fix their tyres the way they want, I no think say any challenge dey the job. After all if you complain I no get choice but to fix am correctly.
If you have the opportunity to do some other job, what would it be?
I will still remain a vulcanizer. I go only like to have shop where I go dey sell tyres and other motor parts.
What would you like to say to the government regarding opportunities for your business?
The government should make loans available to small business owners like us.