With the current economic clime, a lot of students tend to combine academic pursuits with money making activities. Whilst it is true that the same economic climate that has some people wailing and throwing insults at the government is the same economic climate that has some people smiling to the bank and becoming millionaires, it would be profitable then to consider the words of Marcel Prost, “The real magic of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
Before you read any further, let’s set the record straight. I’m not going to teach you any get-rich-quick scheme because in reality, there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going. Money is a medium of exchanging values and when you have something that’s valuable enough, then why not? You are set to make money—I wish I knew all these while I was an undergraduate!
Now that I know, I have decided to selflessly bring you ten legitimate ways you can make money as a Nigerian student:
- PHOTOGRAPHY: Students love to take photographs and have fun. Once they know that a fellow student like them is offering those services, it will make it all the glamorous. Students for one love to patronize their fellow students. One thing though, the ubiquity of camera phones and social media has reduced the craze for photographs but that doesn’t mean photographers don’t still make money—some of them even get invited for events! You may also go a step further by taking online photography courses such as on www.creativelive.com or better still use use YouTube.
- SELLING OF WEARS: Which student doesn’t want to look trendy? As a matter of fact, most students love to resume each session with new wardrobes. A wise practice would be to sell those things that are cheaper in places where you stay e.g. English wears are relatively cheaper in places like Lagos whereas wears like shadda, atampa or Ankara go for a relatively fair price in places like Kano.
- SELLING USED TEXTBOOKS: This is one way I’ve seen business savvy students make a decent income for themselves. Every session, students churn out textbooks they are no longer in need of. You can get the textbooks from several students and sell it to junior students. You get your commission, and of course, the original owners get a decent pay too.
- CATERING AND BAKING: Who celebrates birthdays? Who organizes love feasts? Who gets cakes for their loved ones on Valentine’s Day? Alternatively, you can make also make cupcakes and snacks drop them in school shops after due negotiations—trust me there is wisdom in it. Click here to see a young caterer you would love to patronize.
- POULTRY BUSINESS: By now I’m quite sure you must be asking yourself how on earth you are going to manage poultry in your school hostel or outside the campus if that’s where you live. Well, who says you must? You can simply have a few birds at home and have your siblings take care of them for you. Selling a few of them during the holidays may not make you a fortune, but it will definitely make you something. A friend of mine uses this approach and he rears rabbits and goats, a few others have farmlands on which they pay people to cultivate for them.
- HAIR DRESSING/ STYLING: If you have this skill, believe me, you can make for yourself a handful. The reason is simple—it never goes out of vogue. Ladies usually change their hair-do within the span of two weeks or thereabout, men on the other hand shave their beards weekly while some cut their hair bi-weekly. If you can do this, trust me, you’ll be able to earn yourself something tangible.
- DJ/MC/PUBLIC SPEAKING SERVICES: DJ’s and MC’s often go hand in hand. If you can offer the service, why not? You can start with friend’s birthday celebrations. Who knows where it might be next? If you get popular with students, you can even do it for organizations that intend to promote their brand in schools. Click here to see a young MC you would love to patronize. I for example, am also a public speaker and you can get me to speak at your church, school, organization or conference. You may also go a step further by opening a YouTube page for yourself. You may also build your brand by creating a strong online presence for yourself.
- PHOTOCOPY AND PRINTING: This is a very lucrative one. All you need is a DeskJet printer, photocopier and a portable space in your room—you are set for business. You only need a few notices to inform fellow students about what you do.
- FASHION DESIGN/ PROFESSIONAL MAKE-UP: Can I share a secret with you? Do you know that fashion design and professional make up is the new cool? Believe me, once you do it right for the first customer, you will keep getting referrals, and on and on and on. I know someone who makes quite a decent income by making wristbands for sale. He makes the bands for students (singles and couples) and trust me they patronize him like no body’s business!
- OFFER TUTORIALS/OFFER WRITING SERVICES/APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS: I decided to put this in the same category because this is how the” brainiacs” make their pay. Just kidding—everybody is a brainiac! On a serious note, the remarkably studious ones can make extra income teaching—making use of their natural talents. If you have a talent in writing for example, you may sell your services to sites like fiverr.com. You may look up their website for more information. You may also decide to share your knowledge with solowrites.com: click here. Though I don’t pay yet, I will in the near future.
You may also keep your ears to the ground so that you may know about and apply for scholarship opportunities and contests. Common scholarships include:
4.MOBIL, and a host of others.
Contests for Nigerian writers include:
- The Nigerian Prize for Literature: Sponsored by Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas.
- The flash fiction award sponsored by Etisalat.
- Farafina Trust Creative Workshop.
You may also include other ways not listed here by dropping your opinions or ideas in the comment box.