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INTERVIEW: Graduate Of Engineering Turned Truck Pusher In Bauchi Says ‘I Couldn’t Get Job To Feed My Family’



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Kawu Malami is a graduate of Engineering who shocked Facebook users when he posted a picture of him pushing a truck filled with water jerry cans.

THE WHISTLER reached out to him to tell his full story.

In this interview, Malami, who is obviously a man of few words, talked about his family and why he went into the menial trade of water vending.

Could you introduce yourself?


My Name is Kawu Malami. I am from Misau Local Government Area (LGA) of Bauchi state. I graduated from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State. I’m a civil servant working with the Local Education Authority (L.EA), Misau, Bauchi State.

What was your course of study in the university?

I studied Agric and Environmental Resources Engineering.

You mentioned that you are a civil servant, why do you sell water?


I sell water to compliment the meagre earnings I get from my civil service job.

As an Engineering graduate, why did you opt for water vending instead of engaging in other engineering related businesses?

I have no capital to start up any engineering business. The only business I can think of doing that requires not much capital is water vending, popularly known as ‘Mai Ruwa’. I also sell water because the business is easy to set up. The amount of capital needed to purchase the wheel barrows and Jerry cans to run Mai Ruwa business is not much, as compared to setting up any engineering related business. Apart from that, water selling is also a business that can be independently set up without the need for assistance from any financier.

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How much do you earn in a day after selling the water?


In a day, I earn about N2000. 00 or N2, 500.00.

Since when did you start vending water?

Since 2020.

When did you graduate from the university?


I graduated in 2014 and started working as a civil servant on 1st February 2002 as a teacher. I had my Nigerian Certificate of Examination (NCE) in 2001 and used that to secure a teaching job. But when I noticed that what I was earning could not cater for my needs and that of my family, including my parents, I went back to the university and studied Agric and Environmental Resources Engineering. But after graduation, I’m yet to get any job, which is why I resorted to water vending. I sell water in Taraba state during my annual leaves.

How much are you earning as a civil servant working with Bauchi State?

Well, you’ll have to check the grade level salary of the Bauchi State to know that.

Which level are you?


I’m in Grade level (GL) 12.

How many wives do you have and how many children?

I have only one wife and three children.

Do all your children attend school?


Yes. Two of them are in primary school, while the smaller one is still in a nursery class.

What does your wife do for a living?

She is a full time housewife. She does not do any business.

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