From the outside - a privileged background, from inside - strict and disciplinarian parents. My dad wanted me to study Law, I ended up studying Mass Communications (my choice). However, I had set up an alcohol convenience shop after my NYSC in Benue State - I sold beer for 18 months. Then I went ahead to work in the banking sector in Lagos, and later on an oil company. Accumulating all the experience out there, I ended up relocating to the UK and worked in a bank, then Hitachi in Zurich. Fast forward, now I am self - employed, working in the FDI space, publishing, InvestAfrica Magazine (www.investafricamedia.co.uk), working with several governments across Africa.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdle was stereotyping - my origin (Africa), parents were more involved in your decision - in terms of what you have to study in college or university in order to be a successful individual. Unfortunately, no room for expressing myself, that went on till I was 27years old. Why did they send me to school then?
What books are you currently reading?
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
As a first born of the family, your life literally isn’t yours, you are meant to serve others, family, siblings, project your parent image and never be yourself. Friends thought by virtue of my parent position, I had everything in life, so there was envy, little or no help if and when I asked for one. I was mentored by my Uncle, who believed in my course of study, my Dad didn’t want to know, since I refused to study the subject he wanted for me in the University. I have learnt to just be honest and loyal to myself first.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your success?
Failure. The more I failed the more I refused to give up.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
Speak out for myself. My life comes first before others. If I am okay, there is every chance those around me will be okay, too.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Be yourself. Be realistic and honest to yourself and know, you are the architect of your own future. Never ever blame anyone for your failure, it is part of your life journey.