Tell us a bit about your childhood
I was a very inquisitive child and luckily for me my parents encouraged it. As the last born, I got a lot of attention and that meant whatever I wanted I got. So I had lots of toys and I remember dismantling them all in the name of trying to find out how they were built. My siblings would be furious especially when it was a gift from them but then my mum would always cover for me saying I was going to be an Engineer. Hence, they should let me be. To be fair, I did manage to assemble most of the toys I dismantled, plus I remember fixing my dad’s radio at age 11.
How many siblings do you have?
I have 2 siblings. Two elder sisters, actually.
Nice! What else were you interested in?
Books!!! I loved reading. I think I was influenced by my environment. My dad studied Literature and he loved reading as well, my sisters also loved reading. We had a library filled with old books and he always encouraged us to read. As far back as primary school, I had read Pride and Prejudice. Even Though, I didn’t fully comprehend it. I always enjoyed traveling to new places through books. I knew I wanted to live abroad when I was older.
You’re one of the few people who actually practiced their childhood ambition. How did that happen?
Well, I think my parents played a huge role in this. Although, we were of the middle class, they ensured I never lacked anything when it came to my education. I remember falling behind in Math in secondary school. I had two lesson tutors, one at school during break and then one at home after school and during the weekends. They were really invested in my education. I think it also helped that my nickname was Engineer. I put in so much effort into my admissions exams that I was really surprised when my name was on the Merit list of Mechanical Engineering courses.
How did school go?
School was good to me. I have always been invested in my books and my lecturers seem to take a liking to that. Hence, it was easy for me to ask questions even outside classes. That really helped with my grades. I started topping my class in my second year and it stayed that way till I graduated.
Ahn ahn! You didn’t tell me I was talking to a genius.
*laughs. Please do. We’re all geniuses.
No o! You’re a First Class graduate. There are some levels to this. *laughs
It must have been easy to land a job. So tell me, how did you kick-start your career?
Well, to be honest it was. Remember, I said I was close to my lecturers. During the break before my 3rd year, one of my lecturers had gotten me an internship with a top multinational company. They were impressed with my output and every break I’d intern with them. Immediately after I graduated they sent me on a 3 months training course in Korea. It was an amazing opportunity for me, my parents were so proud.
I worked with them for 5 years before I got an offer I couldn’t resist on LinkedIn. It was for an oil and gas company.
God When! Should I say you had it easy.
Well, maybe then but certainly not now.
My plan was to work with the company for another 3 years, save up and then relocate to Canada.
But life had other plans, sometimes I wish I didn’t take the job but we can’t change the past.
Hmm! What changed your plans.
I got posted to Port Harcourt to work on some oil tanks. It was pretty exciting and the experience changed my career, not just in the way I had expected.
In my second month, there was a technical mishap on the field as a result of an error from me. I was one of the few gravely affected and was in a coma for two months. When I woke up I realized I had lost both of my hands. It took me a long while to adjust to reality but what made it even worse was that I couldn’t go back to the job I loved so much.
That’s so sad. What did you do next?
At that point, I didn't really do much thinking. I moved back to my parents who were very supportive. I realized that my dream of relocating was going to be harder than I had imagined. I didn’t have so much savings from my previous job as I was living a Lagos big boy life.
I’m currently trying to adjust to living with no hands and trying to get prosthetic hands with the money allocated to me from the company.
Is there anything you wish you knew earlier?
Yes, I wish I didn’t take early success in life for granted. I would have been better prepared for anything life would have thrown at me. I mean I didn’t think anything could change my lifestyle.
I mean now, I know better. I recently spoke to an ex-colleague and told him to get an Income Protection plan from Enterprise Life so he can always have a backup to fund his dreams and lifestyle incase of any critical mishaps during the course of work.
I’ve also started saving with the Enterprise LifeTime Needs plan with the money I get from friends and family. My dreams of relocating are still valid; they may just take longer.