Jacob Israel Moses is now 40 years old and has lived many lives – IDP; artist; businessman – but his continuously creative attitude and soft expressions do not reveal his age. However, to take a look at the coarse skin of his palms, a different story is uncovered.
“There are two things that people want: to eat food and to look good”
While in his twenties, the civil war in Liberia erupted and Jacob found himself traveling through the country with conflict continuously at his heels. During this time he worked as a painter and would pour his experiences into his art. However, after the civil war he saw the lack of opportunities in his country, especially for young people, and he yearned for a profession that would contribute his community.
Jacob Israel Moses: Founder of Christ Still Care Business Center, Liberia – a tailoring company providing training to young people, producing uniforms and African wear.
Having always been a creative with a light heart and sense of humour, he one day observed: “There are two things that people want: to eat food and to look good.”
Taking this as inspiration, Jacob went on to complete five years in formal tailoring education, three years in a factory traineeship and a three month programme with the Tailoring Union of Liberia.
In 2008, Jacob decided to leave Monrovia, the bustling capital of Liberia, and return to the coastal city of his birth, Buchanan, where he saw a gap in the market.
He observed that the demand for quality, tailored clothing was high, yet almost all garments were imported from Monrovia. Additionally, young people in the town were still struggling for employment. Using his background and experiences from the capital and knowledge of the product, Jacob opened the Christ Still Care Business Center in 2008.
The Centre produces uniforms and African wear but also provides free training for young people in the art of tailoring. Jacob insists that by educating the younger generation, he is able to shape trainees to produce garments of a high standard. Currently he hires 14 young people on a contractual basis to produce orders.
“There are many people in the community that have to support children, but they cannot even provide for themselves. This is why I want to expand my business, so we can help more parents provide for their children”. He feels fulfilled in the knowledge that his skills are being passed onto others to their own economic benefit, to the benefit of their families and to the benefit of the local economy surrounding them.
However, Jacob’s ambition has not been dulled by age: “In the future I see a large office space here in Buchanan. We will have offices, a sales area, a place where people work on the garments. There would be people cutting the fabric, sewing and ironing!” Jacob already owns a piece of land and dreams of reaching regional, national, even international notoriety. We are sure that his generosity, determination and charm will get him there.