Aug 15, 2021 Alumni

From Aba to Abu Dhabi – How Shoemaking Changed my life

Passion is the starting point of all achievement, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.

Today, we celebrate one of our own who transformed his burning desire into a success story. He not only took a bold step, he also achieved a great feast.

We celebrate Mr Wakil Ismail Kareem, one of our students from the Batch A session of the Aba mastering footwear program held in 2020.

Wakil was just finishing up his NYSC program in Aba, when he heard about the Aba Mastering Footwear Program. He decided to take advantage of the opportunity and learn a new skill.

Little did he know that the future had great plans for him in the career path has chosen.

Let’s hear from Mr Wakil, as he shares his success story with us.

Hello Mr Wakil, please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Wakil Ismail Kareem. It’s such a great honor to be here with you.

I am an Alumnus of The Footwear Academy. I was part of the Batch A session of the Aba Mastering Footwear Program, a training that has helped change my life.

Tell us a little about your post training experience.

My post TFA training experience has been so wonderful. Because I’ve been working and making more progress in Shoemaking line after graduating from TFA.

With the help of the TFA’s 24/7 support line, I take on any task without the fear of failing because they always provide us with new/improved ways of doing things.

TFA has always been there to encourage and motivate us all along. After making any new footwear I usually send it to the group and Mr Bentley(Founder of the Academy) would look at it, make comments, encourage me and also show me what more i needed to do on the design to make it more unique. And Mrs Chidinma (Co-founder of the Academy) would always post it on her status which actually makes me even happier and that also deepen my zeal to do more.


Interesting, So about Abu Dhabi, how did that happen?

It all started with a post by Mrs Chidinma(Co-founder of The Academy) on TFA’s alumni group chat about an international shoe company’s vacant position that needed a vibrant/well trained and skilled Shoemaker to fill.

It was like a fastest finger kind of thing. It’s a competition since all of us in the group had the requirements needed and are all well groomed but after everything I was victorious.

The next thing was to send my CV to the company, sent the data page of my passport and the following week I received the employment Visa.

It was one of the happiest moment of my life. Seeing my dream gradually turning to reality.

I can’t thank this great Academy (TFA) enough, for providing me with a global standard Shoemaking skill, for taking their time to put me and every young youth out there who’s willing to learn Shoemaking the professional way through it.

TFA didn’t just stop at teaching me how to make shoes, they went a step further to show me how to get customers, how to satisfy them and how to also make profit from shoemaking.

They also provided me with this once in a lifetime opportunity to work with a foreign shoe factory here in Abu Dhabi (the capital of the United Arab Emirates).
TFA is indeed my window to the world.
Mr Bentley and Mrs Chidinma (founder & co-founder of TFA) words enough cannot truly show how grateful I am. All I’ll say is that may the Almighty keep uplifting you and the Entire TFA Team and Family.


Wow, your success story is indeed an inspiring one, What is your advice to young people?

I’m encouraging them to pursue any productive skill they have passion for, the things they enjoy doing most. I’ll always advice them to learn from the best. The Future is ever brighter.


Indeed, hardwork pays. Do not wait till tomorrow what you can do today. We are super proud of our very own Wakil Kareem. The passion continues and we know he will make us even more proud than we are now. We pray your passion takes you to higher places. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


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