Dressing Your Way To The Top: The Success Story Of The Young Nigerian Car Window Washer


Abdullahi Olatoyan
Abdullahi Olatoyan on duty

Many in his shoe would have given up on life. They would have quit trying and resigned to fate. They would create excuses for their failures and blame everybody but themselves.  Probably some might  choose another career path. But the young Nigerian, Abdullahi Olatoyan, thought differently. He never allowed gave his perceived challenges in life to weigh him down. He never gave up amidst mountains of difficulties.  When Statistics shows that millions of Nigerian youths are unemployed and roam the streets in search of jobs, this creative and hardworking Nigerian created for himself a job with bravura.

Abdullahi Olatoyan wakes up everyday with excitement and grateful heart that he has something to do, at least,  a job even though he earns only a meager sum, the joy that he goes out and does something and of course, employs himself. The job is not the type many youths will want to do especially for someone that has tasted for a short while, the four walls of a university.

Mr Olatoyan is a University of Ilorin dropout. He was forced to leave due to  financial difficulties after he lost his father. Without a sponsor or scholarship or loan to finance his education, he took to the streets, not to roam about aimlessly or engage in a nefarious act but to positively and productively engage himself. The 30-something -year -old Nigerian began washing car windows in traffic in Abeokuta area of Ogun State, Nigeria.

Mr Olatoyan on duty
Mr Olatoyan posts for a photo

One would expect to see car windows washer in T-shirts and jeans or any casuals but Mr Olatoyan was not that type. Everyday he dressed dapperly in blazzier and shirt with bowtie and marching pocket square. If you saw Mr Olatoyan while he left his neighbourhood to his office you would think he was a banker. His dress attracted celebrity photographer Daniel Synch’s attention who took his portrait and later posted it online. He said, “So, I bumped into this well suited windscreen cleaner yesterday in Ogun State. We need more innovative citizens like Abdullahi in Nigeria. Well spoken Abdullahi Olatoyan who is in his early thirties is a University of Ilorin dropout, who turned to the street after the demise of his father to make a living and save enough monety to start a business”.

After his photograph was posted online, the first of many opportunities opened up to him. The CEO of OUCH, Mr Uche Nnaji, a label designer, saw the photos and went in search for the young man and asked all his followers at instagram to help him. He gave seven reasons why Mr. Olatoyan deserved a job at his company. Trust Nigerians social media users. They indeed helped out. They tracked down the dapperly dressed squeegee.

He was immediately offered a job of a” Style Doctor”, at the men’s brand of his company. The CEO, Mr Nnaji  later said of his new employee,  “when I saw him I thought this person is someone that likes looking good and can style others. I saw attitude in him and thought if this man is doing this just to go and wash cars, he is someone that will work with a different mindset even if he’s doing the least popular job in the company”.

Mr. Olatoyan washing the screen of a tricycle (Marwa)
Mr. Olatoyan washing the screen of a tricycle (Marwa)

The story of Abdullahi Olatoyan is another inspiring story of success. It is that of good attitude, having pride in whatever you do and faith in yourself and believing that your best days are ahead of you. Abdullahi Olatoyan is now one of Nigeria’s inspiring icons and fast rising stars.



Subscribe For Latest Updates

Signup for our newsletter and get notified when we publish new articles for free!