Make a mark in his community

– With hard work and perseverance

By Michel Outridge

LIKE most of the villagers of Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo, Stephen Da Costa earns a convenient right of living under his house, and despite the challenges, he tries to keep his small business running.

Da Costa has been living in Zeelugt Village for the past 30 years, when he left his hometown of the Pomeroon as a teenager to go to school.

She was learning a trade with a tailor when she saw the young woman who would later become his wife.

“I saw this girl and I knew I was in love; it was so beautiful and still is today and after nine years she said yes to my marriage and I was relaxed and beyond myself, ”she said.

Da Costa, after fading tailoring, still had to win and try fabrication and welding and today he is successful in that trade because he built a tilting trailer from scratch and would do most things as usual.

The father-of-three said he bluffed his way into welding and fabrication, because he didn’t know the craft, but when he first bought his welding factory, he got a job to wear a grilled house and it was his best job ever.

Welder / Manufacturer Stephen Da Costa at his workshop in Zeelugt

The 57-year-old told the Pepperpot Magazine that his daughter was familiar with the trade and found that by looking at it working; and she is the one who helps him accomplish many things in his workshop.

“My daughter qualifies as a lab technician, but she took a job as a secretary with a private dental clinic because she couldn’t find work, so I told her she had to take that until she got the job she wanted,” she said .

Da Costa revealed that he had tried most trades because it was not easy to get work, and he would do many things to win.

He said he had a bakery on the lower floor of his house, but that it was a small seasonal business and after he folded, he started his welding / fabrication business.

Da Costa added that most people prefer to buy things packaged in fancy wrappers and would choose the foreign products more than the local ones, because we don’t make fancy packaging; so most small businesses fail even before they start.

Stephen Da Costa and his newly made tilting trailer (photos by Carl Croker)

He said that packaging is what attracts the buyer’s eye, and most people want it because it’s well labeled and packaged.

Da Costa told the Pepperpot Magazine that he would give back to the community by training village youths in his workshop, which he did for more than 50 young men.

“I would even pay some of them to learn this craft just to gain a skill, for them to earn, but some of them are not ready to learn, but they are still trying motivate them, ”he said.

The father of three noted from the time he first came to the village that a lot of things have now changed and he has seen development in Zeelugt which is a benefit to any whole community because of the need for infrastructure.

Da Costa reported that he would leave this country and go abroad to work and would return to work as well, because he is not accustomed to sitting idle and doing nothing.

“The hardest part of starting a small business is getting your business started, because you have to spend to win and after that you can build a customer base and your business will eventually take shape, making you self-employed, “he said.