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#StreetsOfLagos: Olusanya Osunyingbo, A Furniture Maker With Speech, Hearing Impairment

#StreetsOfLagos: Olusanya Osunyingbo, A Furniture Maker With

Midday of July 27, 2021, AllNews media crew visited Osunyingbo Olusanya at his workshop located in the heart of Alapere, Ketu Lagos.

Even though communicating with 42-year-old Olusanya was a bit challenging, it was a delightful experience spending time with this master 'craftsman' at his furniture workshop situated at No 45 Church Street, Alapere-Ketu, Lagos.

Fondly called Sanya, this Lagos-born Ogun State indigene is into the construction of various pieces of well-crafted furniture like; bed frames, couches, tables, chairs, wardrobes, and wooden educational materials among others.

With the kind assistance of his mother who spoke in the Yoruba Language, AllNews Media correspondent took a trip down memory lane on how Olusanya lost his ability to hear and speak.

How it started

Furniture maker in Ketu Lagos

Sanya's mother, who owns a water store just beside her son's workshop revealed that he was born hale and hearty. According to her, he was leaving a normal life until six years after his birth. He took ill with a serious case of measles that led to his inability to hear and speak.

Scientific research has revealed that about 30% of all individuals affected with measles suffer from ear infections, the consequence of which can lead to permanent hearing loss for some. 

Measles can be prevented readily by a routine vaccination for all children according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Madam Osunyingbo stated that after he was diagnosed with the disability, she mastered communicating with him through expressions and gesticulations.

"When he was younger, he puts his hand on his head when he gets hungry," she said.

Career Choice

After Sanya completed his secondary school education, his dad enrolled him as an apprentice in a radionic workshop.

"He went there for a while before he communicated with me that he had no real interest in learning to become a radionic.

"He told me that even if he were to spend 10 years learning, he would not comprehend the skill,

"Meanwhile, he had gone behind our backs to enroll himself as an apprentice in a furniture workshop.

"It was after he started that he disclosed this to me," Madam Osunyingbo said.

Sanya subsequently informed his mother that his boss had requested that she comes around to the workshop to meet with him. According to her, he was still unable to speak up till this period. She stated that when she got to the workshop, some of his works were exhibited for her to see. His short-term progress was surprisingly laudable because he could already make small stools and some other pieces of furniture. His new boss informed his mother that was doing really well and above his peers despite his disability.

READ ALSO:#StreetsofLagos: Bricklayer Reveals How Much He Makes Daily

Olusanya at work

"I went there without his father's knowledge because his dad was still under the impression that he was learning at the radionic's workshop.

"After seeing all of his work and where his interest lies, I encouraged my son to inform his father.

"Since his father finds communication with him difficult, I have to explain to him that his son's interest lies in furniture making.

"His father told me to follow him to work to enroll," Sanya's mother said.

He was formally enrolled at the furniture workshop for N3000 for a 5-year contract according to her.

Years of apprenticeship

A furniture maker at work

Sanya in the course of learning, demonstrated exceptional comprehension and creativity which made him a favorite of his boss. He traveled across Nigeria to work on major projects with his boss.

He has also been to some neighboring African countries on work assignments.

Due to his commitment to work, his boss with the permission of his parents held on to him for an additional period of four years after the initial 5-year contract lapsed.

"Most times, his boss leaves him to go on work assignment all by himself.

"I get worried about that because I fear that he could be cheated.

"His boss was however confident in his abilities and up till now, his boss still contacts him for some work," Madam Osunyingbo said.

His freedom

A funiture maker in Nigeria

Sanya finally gained his freedom in 2008, after fulfilling his training requirement. His parents gave him the space which currently serves as his workshop.

He has been doing well independently, that some of his former 'colleagues' even come to him for help. Some of them come around to his workshop to make use of his tools because he has almost all the tools required for his work.

For over 10 years, Olusanya has worked hard to gain the confidence of his clients, even though his workshop is not strategically located.

Thankfully, he is now able to speak albeit unclearly. According to his mother, his hearing has also improved but communicating with him requires a lot of patience.

It was gathered that when a client is unable to comprehend conversations with him, his apprentice or his mother assists him. The same applies to telephone conversations.

His apprentice

Sunday Adenuga is the only apprentice with the 'master craftsman'. He has been training with Sanya for about seven years and has been able to master communicating with his boss over the years. 

Speaking about his boss, Sunday told AllNews in the Yoruba Language that his boss is a good man and a straightforward person who does not disappoint. According to him, Olusanya is serious and committed to his work.

About the furniture Business

Olusanya Osunyingbo himself revealed that he enjoys what he does. According to him, he has taken up major and minor projects for individuals and corporate organizations since he started his workshop.

He is making a decent living and has been able to afford most of the equipment he needs for his work.

Sanya desires to make enough money to expand his workshop and gain wider client coverage. He would also love to buy more equipment.

Olusanya is married with two beautiful children.

A few of his projects


Nigerian Furniture maker

Furnitures in Lagos

Funiture maker in Alapere KetuFurniture in Alapere, KetuNigerian Made Funitures

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