Earlier this month was this year’s edition of the annual The Future Awards Africa. Somewhere in my mind I have always coveted the prize for IT, mostly because my main ICT inspiration Gbenga Sesan also won it. At some point I wanted to be everything Gbenga was and then more, that dream is fading though. I wanted to be a lot of things before a certain age but as age catches up with me, I imagine Mr. Life smiling in a corner and saying, “Look at this one o. Yeye.”.
Ignition in T minus 5 seconds…
This time last year, I was in a very bad place. Some of you noticed and I got a few more messages from people who knew me but didn’t have an idea of what was going behind my smile. You know how everyone wants to help but somehow it just doesn’t pan out, yeah, that we go sha survive thought that crosses your mind when some other hope gets dashed.
The year started out pretty scary because my dad rejected the birthday gift I bought for him for his birthday because I didn’t come home for Christmas which is also his birthday. He was shocked because it was my first Christmas away from the family. I just left the gift and reason (in the form of mom) prevailed over us.
I met Mary and being my usual very reserved self, we didn’t quite kick it off immediately apart from daily hellos and how are you doings. Until one day she said, “one day we’ll have a continuous convo beyond ‘how are you.’”. When I read that DM, I was thrown aback because he even though she warned me that she is a straight up person, I felt it was too blunt but I fast realised that this was someone I definitely needed.
0 – 100 in 15 seconds…
The Social Media Week came and it was fun. Then I was inducted into the Y! Tech100’s Class of 2015, a list of 100 young people who are doing cool stuff in Nigeria’s technological space. Later, I got the opportunity to train people who enrolled in the Digital Jobs program of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria. I discovered Afropolitan Vibes and climbed Olumo Rock for the first ever, with Mary of course.
Meanwhile, Mary and I were having the time of our lives till one day she decided to cut me off. Devastated is an understatement of how I felt because I had fallen hard for her and she was a breath of fresh air (pardon the cliche). She has given me several explanations and I honestly don’t understand any of it and I no get strength to keep asking why so I just accepted it and move on. It is so easy to move on, y’know? Like ignoring your shit for others to deal with and just move on.
The elections happened with me getting home at past midnight with my team. When you are the tech guy for a major media company, those things happen. From pushing livestreams to liveblogs and coordinating field efforts with Cheta, Tobi and Deji; livetweeting the historic and phantasmagoric debate session at Channels TV, everything moved in a blur.
My only surviving grand mom celebrated her 80th birthday. I had not seen her in years, it was nice seeing her again. I also got to put my photography and picture editing to good use. Ibadan is such a quiet city. By 8pm, they were locking street gates. 8pm wey people never reach house for Lagos. By 9pm, everyone was asleep in the house and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Maybe I will relocate there someday after making all the money in Lagos.
30 seconds to Mars…
At this point, I began to realise how much of an impact she had made within me in a short while. I cared more about money, I tried to be more punctual for meetings and events and overall put in more effort and things were better all-round but I just had to suffer withdrawal symptoms and then Lulu happened. That didn’t end well. Meanwhile, Mary continued to recommend me for projects from her friends while urging me to step up my communication skills with clients generally. You see how she stays without staying but still pushing? I don’t get it. Weirdly, she refused to stay friends.
I lost a major source of income when my appointment was converted to a monthly contract but I just took it all in stride since I have always had more than one source sha, we bless the Lord.
45 seconds from wildin’
The greatest change happened to my dad this year. A lot of things he did were surprising and in some cases, outright weird. He finally allowed my mom to have her own car and then he voiced out support for some of the things I do we had previously fought about. And oh, he asked when I will introduce a girlfriend to him. This is from someone who said he won’t attend my wedding in the past because I supposedly had an Igbo girlfriend at some point. I don’t know what happened, old age maybe or just realising say I no be pikin again.
TPL5 was lit, it was also my first time attending.
Great is your mercy towards me… God began to teach more or I began to open notice things better. I did disappoint a few people from my Sentinel (I messed up a project that I got through the Sentinel though but I learnt some more lessons) to Tobi.
Gone in 60 seconds…
As the year wound down, I had to face my unwillingness to ask for responsibilities due to my fear of disappointing the person I was working with/for since that tends to happen. I volunteered with 3 different companies and they all accepted me and so far, I have not fucked up. I am enjoying my volunteering tasks from Construction Project Management to Digital Media Strategy and my first love – coding. I try to be perfect and I fail miserably. I try to be nice but I am taken for granted. I try to ignore and I am called nonchalant but my greatest lessons this year are these:
- your joy should not be tied to anyone or anything, live happily.
- your words make you believable but results make you reliable.
More than anything, I am grateful for a better year than last year. I am also grateful for all the gifts I have (in form of great people) – a great big thank you to Osanedum, CGN, Mary, Seun, Sentinel, Kiitan, Eva, Mary, Tobi, Baddo, Lulu, TK & PJ, RM, Empexy, Penzaar, Tomiwa, Tamilore, Mrs Oyalowo, Deb and others too numerous to mention. My favourite aunt and her husband for taking a chance with me.
For next year, greater work ethic and better communication are on my mind. I also want to do more stuff (work & play) with more people (friends & partners).
Finally, all I have to say is Imela, Imela, Okaka Onyekeruwa!!!