Feb 3, 2009, 4:46 AM
In today's Youth forum we introduce to you a very young and dynamic youth worthy of emulation in the person of Kawsu Badjie.
Born and brought up in Serre Kunda, Kawsu runs his own electrical workshop in New Jeshwang. His secret is hard work and dedication, which makes him an example to others.
He returned to the country recently after taken part in an ECOWAS training course in
In an exclusive interview with the Youth Forum yesterday at The Point Offices, at the invitation of the column, Kawsu tells us who he is and also about his visit to
Please follow the excerpt of the interview:
YF: Sir once again what are your names?
Kawsu: My names are Kawsu Badjie
YF: When were you born?
Kawsu: I was born on 16th April 1983
YF: Which schools do you attend?
Kawsu: I attended Tallinding primary school between 1991 and 1996, Greater Banjul Junior School from 1997 to 2000. In 2001 in enrolled at GTTI, through NYSS, for a period of three years where I studied refrigeration and air conditioning. Also in 2003 I went for an attachment at GAMTEL followed by another attachment this time at the MRC.
YF: From there what next?
Kawsu: From there I started to establish my own business in 2005 and in 2006 I opened a workshop.
YF: What is the name of your company or business?
Kawsu: Its called KAW AIR-CONDITIONING, ELECTRICAL AND REFUGIRATION WORKSHOP (Kawair-co)
YF: Do you work there alone?
Kawsu: No I work there with two other youths. One on a part time basis called Madkey Njie he is the one who takes care of the workshop whenever I am away and the other one is a trainee.
YF: What work do you actually do in the workshop
Kawsu: We do refrigeration, air conditioning and electrical instillation
YF: I understand you travelled to
Kawsu: I went to participate in the 1st ECOWAS youth training on house building and electricity.
YF: What do you learn from the training?
Kawsu: Definitely speaking, personally I learnt a lot from the course. It has really improved my working conditions especially on electrical instillation. It gives me a new picture of what electrical instillation is all about. The course was very interesting and educational.
YF: Having successfully completed this important regional course what plan do you have in mind for this country?
Kawsu: Well as old saying goes one should always ask oneself what can I do for my country rather to say what my country can do for me. During the course we were all given assignments and what I worked on was traffic lights as this is a bit new in The Gambia. I made it at the course it was good and my plan is to implement it in the country.
YF: You mean you can make traffic lights?
Kawsu: Yes I can definitely do it!
YF: Coming back to the job itself, what is the business like in the country?
Kawsu: It's very challenging as well as promising. However, with regards to the issue of 'side technicians' the people who move from place to place to repair refrigerators. These people most of the time charge very small fees for their services not considering the need to buy more tools to be able to expand their business so as to set up their own business where people will come to meet them instead of you going to them. This is not helping those of us having workshop and even themselves. With regards to air conditioning is also another thing as most companies do employ their own technicians to do the instillation and servicing for them and pay them at their own prices. This is not the aim of NYSS training as the training seeks to empower young people to become job creators and not job seekers.
YF: In any institution or business there are bound to be constraints. Do you have any constraints? If yes can you share with us?
Kawsu: Our constraints regard the workshop. We need support from government, institutions and individuals to help us relocate our workshop from where it is to a tarred road. A place that can be well located and also help us pay rent for at least two months, after which we can use the little we earn during that two month to stand on a better footing to continue paying the rent on our own. This would create room for other young people with skills to also come on board.
Secondly, my plan is to go for a further studies at one university in
YF: Most young people believe that things are always brighter in
Kawsu: Well the matter is that if you feel like that you lack the support needed to develop and have the way to go some where legally, where you can develop your self with no family pressure. I don't think there is any thing wrong with that. However, I am totally opposed to illegal migration. Many able young people died in the sea that could have done something for the country. Sadly, the huge sums of money they pay for the journey could have been better utilised to set up a business here at home rather than risking their lives. Like myself I started my business with only D10,000.
YF: What do you have to say to NYSS?
Kawsu: Well for NYSS they really served as a father for me as they played a parental role for me. So I have to say a big thank you to them and promise to plough back to my country.
YF: I understand that you are a member of the NYSS Alumni Association. Is this true?
Kawsu: Yes its true. In fact I serve as chairperson of the adchoc committee. The association is aimed, among other things, to unite all the corps members of NYSS and to create employment for the registered members.
YF: I was told you were at Sifoe yesterday. What was your mission there?
Kawsu: Yes I was at Sifoe yesterday, I was there to made a presentation at a youth gathering on the topic " youth and leadership skills".
YF: Was it successful?
Kawsu: Yes it was very successful.
YF: I have been seen participate in many youth activities right.
Kawsu: Do are right, I am a youth activists and I also serve as youth parliamentarian.
YF:What is your advice to NYSS?
Kawsu: My suggestion do you have for NYSS is that if they can conduct a tracer studies to know what the ex-corps members are doing and also to built a central workshop for youth because one thing is to learn some thing and practising it is another thing. I always say this if young people are given the opportunity to start they can always make.
YF: What is your advice for other young people?
Kawsu: For my colleagues I say life is full of challenges and is better to face them as your youthful age rather than later. Grab ever opportunity that you have and put it into good use. Share and care with others and seek advice and develop from others.
YF: Thank you for sparing your time with us?
Kawsu: It's my pleasure.
Meanwhile, any one interested in learning form Kawsu or lending him support to overcome his challenges can contact him on 00220 7727495 or 00220 981137.