Emmanuel Faith | Nigeria | Delay Isn’t Denial

HR Generalist | Employability Skills Trainer | TEDx Speaker | Poet Leading People and Culture | Initiator I grew up in a rural area, a village in one of the oldest suburbs in my state (Nigeria). It was a place slightly far from civilization and education wasn't a priority. In fact, I dropped out of school during my last year in Junior high school because that was the norm. People prioritized learning skills like blacksmithing, welding, carpentry over proper education. Can you guess what skill I learnt? I didn't go back to school till six years after when I relocated to the country's commercial capital, and started again from senior year, where I struggled a while to adapt to the school system. Delay isn’t denial, and with a lot of grit and tenacity, three years later, I passed my Senior school certificate examination, and got admission to study Economics for my Bachelor's degree after which I practiced in Tax and Commercial and risk mitigation before switching career to Human Resource Management. Today, I am a globally certified human resource professional, having worked with reputable multinationals like General Electric, I presently Lead the people and culture at Cowrywise (YC18), one of the burgeoning fin-techs in Africa. My day-to-day activities involves leading people-centric strategies and spearheading exciting employee experiences that positions our organization as one of the best places to work, in Africa and beyond. I also coordinate a book reading community, “thebookathon” where members read at least five books every month. I am an SDG 5 advocate, an author and poet with a couple of chapbooks to my name.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them? Well, asides the fact that I had a very humble background, I was raised by a single mother, so finance was a constraint. I remembered in Uni, I had to do additional jobs, apply for various scholarships just to stay afloat and survive. I have always been adept with optimizing resources to meet my needs and I was able to survive University. Switching from finance to HR was also quite challenging as nobody took a chance on me at first, I had to take a lot of online and recognized offline certifications, raise up my hands to take up projects, and execute these projects with finesse before the door was opened for me.

What books are you currently reading? I am currently Re-reading, “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay, “Nearly all the men in Lagos are mad” by Damilare Kuku, and “Lustre-shining through the teeming crowd” by Emmanuel Faith (my humble sef). What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally? I think the world is becoming more interconnected by the day thus the global audience is yours to own, connect with, and reach out to. I have seen a lot of my friends go on to study at Oxford University, Harvard University, or NYU despite their very humble background. I also have acquaintances who work with Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, TikTok and other global organizations. I think we can achieve everything we set our mind to do, if we have the will-power to pursue them. As Paul Coelho said in The Alchemist, And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Social Media Handles: Twitter: themmanuelfaith LinkedIn: Emmanuel Faith Instagram: themmanuelfaith Book-links: Lustre and Chronicles of an Intern Poetry Chapbooks: Adulting in Nigeria :Lagos doesn't sleep