ME: I am ‘tunbi Samuel and this is my story:
I was born, bred and about to be buttered in Lagos, Nigeria. I studied Architecture at the University of Lagos (Unilag), pretty much towing the line of my father who is also an Architect. I had a fast-paced education, I got into Unilag when I was 14 years old, young right??
Being quite young, I had so many questions, will I survive? Can I adapt to the University environment? Will I make friends? Will people bully me because I was young? I tried as much as I could, oh the struggle! I ended up having an extra year, at which point my folks acted like my life had gone to ruins. The typical African parent’s reaction, who can relate? Well, I bounced back against all odds and by 21, I graduated with a Master’s Degree from Unilag (GREAT AKOKITES!!).
Growing up, I have always been obsessed with learning, reading and developing new skills. I found out that I had an interest for seemingly unconventional sports or activities in the Nigerian terrain. I have trained as a Martial Artist (Taekwondo), I have learnt how to speak French, comment ca va? , learnt how to swim when I was 20, learnt how to ride a bicycle at 23, and subsequently a motorbike, I learnt how to scuba dive with oxygen tanks, I attempted to train for a marathon – I was nicknamed Rocket for my pace – the list is endless. The constant desire to learn, develop myself and take up new challenges was ever present.
THE ARCHITECT: I worked for three years in a Corporate Architecture Firm, during which I worked on and designed some of the most iconic and recognisable buildings in Lagos. Building types ranging from HighRise Offices to Luxury Residence. While the work hours were incredible, I worked round the clock (a full 24hr job, not a 9 – 5), it was good experience and exposure. In my three years there, I met some of the wealthiest people in the world and worked with some of the best teams across the globe.
As with everything that has a start, there’s has to be an end right? – I don’t even know if that makes sense. Anyway, I left the Architecture Firm (not entirely my choice), to practice as an Independent Architect and explore business opportunities. Faced with the fears of a stop to regular salary, financial safety, and being already used to a certain standard of living (Hey, yea, I know this story sounds familiar, don’t go yet…), so it began, my journey into private enterprise. Will I succeed at this, will I be a story of another failed entrepreneur maybe or maybe not.
In life, there is what you want to do, there is what you’re made to do, and there is what you’re paid to do. If the three happens to converge, you’re blessed. With the typical twist and turns of life, if I say everything went according to plan, nothing can be farther from the truth. Faced with dwindling savings, almost due house rent, bills and staring down the path of hunger, I realized, there is a fine line between being an entrepreneur and being jobless. I can confidently say, all those self-help articles of fall forward blah blah, make feel good, are absolute BS. When reality sets and the rubber meets the road, it’s a different ball game entirely. This is one of the biggest lessons I learnt real quick. Life does come at you fast. Could I persevere in the face of adversity, uncertainty and risk? Only time will tell.
Faced with dwindling savings, almost due house rent, bills and staring down the path of hunger, I realized, there is a fine line between being an entrepreneur and being jobless.
Story continued in second part. Link to Part 2
I’ll post more about myself in the coming weeks. Kindly comment below and let me know your thoughts.