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Job Creation: Fonju Noella Breaks New Grounds in shoe making

Mass unemployment in Cameroon matched by thousands of youths that keep graduating from universities have forced many young Cameroonians to delve into entrepreneurship in a bid to get employed. One Cameroonian that have put aside her university degree in favour of self employment is Fonju Noella.

At the time when women are picking up jobs and adding more value to society, Fonju Noella, a cameroonian social Entrepreneur has created a shoe venture which designs modern footwear for men, women and children at every level. She is the CEO of Fonj Shoe that is gradually making waves in the Cameroon fashion Industry.

Some designs at Fonj shoes

Fonju Noella is a 25-years-old determined and purposeful woman with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from the University of Buea. She is bold enough to venture into a field where women are still to timidly look towards, shoe making.

During her school days, Fonju Noella had difficulties in finding good shoes in her size, reason why she decided to do this.
"I love fashion in general but I am particular about leather shoes and bags. I had difficulties finding shoes that I liked in my size. I realized that a lot of other people faced same problem. I did some research and it was difficult to see people manufacturing shoes in my city. So I decided to take advantage of the gap in the market", Noella Fonju said.

After graduating from the University, Fonju Noella started learning how to make shoes in Douala in 2017 but because of her job, she was not stable. In August 2019, she decided to fully concentrate on refining her knowledge and skills in producing shoes for men, women and children.

While building her business, Fonju Noella believes that she has learnt a lot. "You're the only person who knows exactly what your vision is, what you want and how you want it done. You have to believe in yourself, it is only after you begin to see some degree of success that other people will support you. Be ready to be everything for your small business.
I have learned how to manage my social media pages, close sales, design and manufacture the shoes. Clients are today connecting to certain lifestyles and experiences, so you have to ensure that your goods reflect the style clients are looking for and you can connect and build relationships with your customers", Fonju Noella believes.

Although being an accountant has always been a life-long professional goal, Fonju Noella couldn't combine the two because of her growing client base for shoes. Because of this, she decided to put 100% of her energy and effort into the shoes business.

Her knowledge in Accounting has been of great help to her. "My Accounting degree has been extremely helpful. The basic knowledge has helped in my record keeping, which is the most difficult part for most start-ups to managing the costing of raw materials and the pricing of goods.

To young aspiring Africans, Fonju Noella has this advice for them.
"The world is evolving very fast and in other to stay relevant and to be able to contribute to society, you need to keep acquiring new skills and knowledge. Also there's dignity in hard labour as long as it's legitimate, so just do anything you want very well. There are many opportunities in Africa and all you have to do is take the time to identify a need, come up with ideas and run with, it sounds cliché but it's the absolute truth", she said.

Her major challenge has been to push back the mentality that locally made goods are of poor quality. At the beginning, she had that challenge where clients doubted the quality of her shoes and often proposed ridiculously low prices.

She makes luxury bespoke handmade footwear like; loafers, brogues, boots, slippers and slides, made with exotic and good quality leather skins like snake, crocodile, ostrich, cow, buffalo, buck, fur and with fabrics such as velvet, soft suede and patterned fabrics too.

By Nji Nelson Chefor

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  1. Thank you for the article. I appreciate the support.

  2. She is good.
    I love women who are innovative.

  3. Noella is gold. FONJ even glitters more. An absolute inspiration!

  4. Noella is one for the future. This great venture will change the shoe manufacturing industry in Cameroon and Africa. Do not stop Noella , don not hold back . Give it your all, focus, hardworking and trust me, you will make it. Wish you all the best .

  5. Love your work. More power to your whole self

  6. Beautiful venture i must say. Keep setting the pace for others to follow.

  7. Wow. Does she train?.where is she located and And how can one get to her?


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