Cobblers, popularly known as Shoeshine boys are one of the least respected in typical Ghanaian communities, however this KNUST graduate ditched his clinical job to become a modern shoeshine boy.
Solomon Kwashie, after graduating from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) with a degree in Theoretical and Applied Biology in 2009, and managing a clinic for about 5 years decided to venture into one of the oddest businesses for a person with his qualification.
Inspired by his desire for entrepreneurship, Solomon founded the Spec Shine Cobblers, a shoeshine and leather repair business in Accra in 2016, which deals in polishing, re-colouring, and fixing shoes and other leather accessories like belts and bags.
The KNUST graduate said he wanted to debunk the perception that shoeshine boys were dirty, uneducated and poor people as he believes that anything that earns one money should not be classified as not good enough.
Narrating his story on Class FM's Executive Breakfast Show he said, “The idea came to me when I was in my final year. I was thinking if after school I had no job, I was jobless, there was nothing to do, what will I do? And I thought about the fact that everybody dies, everybody wears clothes, everybody eats food, and the next thing everybody does is wear shoes, and, especially in this part of the world, I felt there is enormous heat, so, protecting your legs becomes an essential thing to do.
“So, I figured if I can’t do clothes business and I didn’t want to get into food business, then the best line of action for me was to get into the shoe business. So, I researched into becoming a cobbler.”
He added that he got support from his parents who embraced the idea of quitting his white-collar job and starting a shoeshine business.
Currently, Mr Kwashie's Spec Shine Coblers is thriving with awesome patronage at the Achimota Mall, Airport residential area and Nyaho hospital street in Accra.
The graduate-turned-Shoeshine boy has employed four persons at the moment and plans to have stands at the various Melcom shops in Accra as his business progresses.