In addition to making money and fending for themselves and members of their families, youths in Taraba State are distinguishing themselves as role models in a region struggling with terrorism. For a fee, they wash clothes for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camped at Jalingo, the state capital. And they are washing their way to fame and cash.
“The business has kept me away from contemplating crime or evil,” said 23-year-old James Dabanbiko, whose laundry services have made him easily one of the most popular figures at the camp. He said he does not know how to handle a gun and that the only thing he can do very well is wash, dry and iron clothes. He has been attending to the laundry needs of the Batch B members of the corps at their orientation camp in the Taraba capital.
When this reporter visited the camp, which is temporally located at Government College, Jalingo, it was not difficult to notice the laundryman. There he was, responding professionally to his clients. Dogo is a secondary school leaver, who did not have the financial backing to go for further studies. But with his little education, he was very much at ease, fielding questions from Newsextra.
One of the corps members who identified herself simply as Pat said: “the dry-cleaners are really trying. After retiring to the hostels from the vigorous platoon exercises, we have no time and the strength to wash.