Anda Paul. I’m a writer and poet. I do social and digital media marketing.
Growing up was good. We were like the average Nigerian family.I attended a great primary school and proceeded to Command Secondary School Jos. My fondest memories were our flight trips. Flying to Jos from Lagos consistently at that time, i mean, life was great. It was short-lived however, as my Dad made some terrible business decisions and then things got really bad for us. We sold our cars and had to move to a smaller apartment. I remember there were times i couldn’t even afford hundred Naira recharge card.
Sometime in 2012, i wanted a name for my blog. Everyone was always calling me lazy because after higher institution i was always at home doing nothing. You know how in Nigeria, everyone expects you to start hustling for jobs after school. But i was a reader and i was only interested in reading and writing at that time, so people generally tagged me lazy. They used to say i was lazy and compare me to my mates, but i knew better. Majority of them were on the streets hustling for jobs without bringing in money, i knew i could never be that. When i was about starting my blog, i just merged the words Lazy and writa (writer) and Voila!
Our financial state really took a toll on my family. All through this time i was not really affected. Because i was a reader, i spent most of my time in fantasies. Assuming the lives of my book characters and living in the beautiful worlds of my books. Fortunately for me, the whole social media rush was just starting and i became engrossed in it as well; just to escape the realities of life. Back then i did not even know that it could be monitized or there could even be a future in this path; i was just a shy boy looking for an escape from the calamities of the real world and a platform to express myself.
Being a pioneer in social media influencing in Nigeria, the major challenge was the fact that there was no precedence as to how to monitize it. There was no one to look up to or learn from. It was an Alien business. Today i look back at all the brands i worked for back then and i just want to go to their offices and collect the money i was meant to have charged. But to be honest, getting paid for something i loved to do, was fulfilling in itself. i wasn’t even bothered about the money; after all it was not like i studied social media in school, or so i thought.
In December, 2014, i lost my mom. This till today has been the saddest day of my life. i had to leave social media for a while. I was downcast. It affected me personally and professionally. Before i left, i was ranked amongst top 50 websites in Nigeria but upon returning, i had dropped drastically.It was then i started working on structure and positioning to become what i am today. I still don’t think I’m there yet, but I’m getting there.
I only have one secret: Networking. In a more sane country, maybe my message to people who look up to me would have been ‘work hard’ but in this country, i always say to people- Network. It is very important. With the right set of people you can do great things.
~ Anda Paul