Date: January 1 2013
Location: Somewhere around the Atlantic Ocean, Ikuru town – Andoni, Rivers State.
Based on a true story…
This year has been awesome.
I started the year with little or no expectations, I just wanted to leave my hometown and get back to Port Harcourt while counting down the days until February when I would be sent to one concentration camp in the name of National service. After waiting so impatiently for February (I actually moved to Benin to wait for the postings), it came and I was not mobilized for National service because according to the staff at the University of Benin’s Students’ Affairs, my mobilization letter did not come, so I had to wait for the next batch (after spending two months away from home doing nothing). I should add that all this while I stayed in Benin, I wasn’t doing anything… Just waiting (Good things come to those who wait right?)
NYSC camp came and my classmates were shipped off to their various camps and I was back home explaining to everyone why I wasn’t part of the Batch A mobilization while convincing others that I had actually graduated.
Determined to get rid of the impending boredom, I started looking around for jobs in Port Harcourt, but I just couldn’t find any (even though I got offers from places other than Port Harcourt). Before this time, I had embarked on yet another project, Kreek Entertainment with some of my friends, but somehow I still needed some place more to learn and develop.
I had given up the job search and decided to focus on Kreek when I got an email from AIESEC Nigeria advertising the position of a Graphic designer at a Digital Marketing firm, and a BBM message from a former boss asking me to come and work for a Fashion company, both in Lagos. This was my Abraham moment. And that was how I woke up one Sunday morning, and took the dream to Lagos. Fortunately, I got the job at the digital firm and the rest is now history.
Around May, I felt I needed to get serious with being a DJ, so I did a little housekeeping and with the help of the good people at Kreek Entertainment, we came up with a logo and a new identity for DJ Niro (see the new logo at facebook.com/djniro84). I also started what was supposed to be a monthly DJ mix, but somehow, we’re still stuck at episode 5. You can check them out here (hulkshare.com/kreekent)
June came, and this time around, my name was on the mobilization list and “Abuja” did not hold on to my mobilization letter. But I was going to Ebonyi. The first question I asked myself when I saw where I was posted to was, “Why do bad things happen to good men?” Well I was happy I was going for service finally, so it didn’t bother me if I was going to the middle belt to serve, the only problem was that Ebonyi was in the East not middle belt. And it was over 14 hours away from Lagos, away from the job I had spent barely 3 months on.
Camp opened and on the 26th of June, after spending 6 hours on the road, I found myself in the beautiful town of Afikpo, without internet (all I saw on my MTN line was GPRS throughout the 3 weeks). That notwithstanding, I got into the camp spirit and joined the OBS (orientation broadcasting Service for the uninitiated).That was how I effortlessly skipped every camp activity except the football competition of course. Met lots of uber cool people in the process – and redeployed back to Lagos at the end of camp.
On the 6th of November I turned 22 – no party, no friends; how that happened I don’t know, because I had been planning a party since September. Well I am still alive and thankful.
Right now, my life is revolves around an 8am to 9pm work schedule that revolves around digital marketing and NYSC duties and weekends that are made in Beijing (I’ve always wanted to use this phrase, thanks Efe), countless cinema visits and praying to God to touch the hearts of Airtel so they can restore that BIS on iPhone. I’ve grown from “Small man” to Niro (I was actually called small man by my aunty). I’ve also gone from wanting to be busy to wanting to be bored.
Amongst many other things, I learnt;
To be patient; Nah I’m kidding – don’t be patient. I learnt to take an opportunity when I saw it; after all the early bird gets the worm.
Mind what you say – it is not just twitter. I saw people lose their jobs because of tweets they posted.
I am one app away from being a millionaire (Snapchat anybody?)
It can only get better!
Thank you very much Niro! I hope to listen to one of your heavy rotation mixes soon.
For those of you that loved Dami’s post yesterday, the second half of the story, told by none other than Odunayo himself, aka Mr Responsible, comes up this evening at six pm. You don’t wanna miss that 🙂