Growing up: I don’t like giving this grass to grace impression. It always sounds like a cliche but if its true, then thats what it is. I did not come from a rich background and Growing up was tough. In the early days, i grew up in Okokomaiko lagos. I always like to see the bright side of things; We had food to eat so i knew there were people we were better than.
One wouldn’t say i was stubborn as a child because the things i believed in then, i still believe in now. It was just being childish as a child should be. I remember angrily leaving my parent’s house at age 16. I also remember bashing my uncle’s car in my second year in the university and almost killing some children. Above all, i was always a goal getter who never gave up.
My biggest challenge I’ve faced yet was not coming from a background where there was excess money to spend. I went to 4 different secondary schools just because of money- or lack of it. I wrote jamb 4 times before i got admission in Port Harcourt. You see all these things in the movies and you think its just a joke. It happened to me. Because of this i had a deficiency in physics.
I feel like we are not guided well in our career paths here in Nigeria. I studied Mechanical Engineering in the university, and due to my deficiency in physics, i struggled all through. On the other hand, i excelled in my art elective courses and in a functional system, a counsellor would have recommended that i switch immediately. However i struggled and i graduated in the stipulated 5 years.
Job hunting was another terrible phase of my life. I decided to pursue a career in Engineering. That was the ideal thing to do. Of over hundred applications i sent, i got just 2 feedbacks. 1 was to say they were not hiring and the other was a little bit on the positive side. Just as i was finishing my service year i got an offer from a digital marketing firm in Lagos. I failed woefully in the interview. Because I only knew how to tweet and write, i never knew there was a full blown industry revolving around digital marketing.
Honestly, If i had interviewed myself, Chidi Okereke; i wouldn’t have hired me. Eventually i got hired. My motivation was simple. My Boss looked rich and i said to myself: ”This thing that makes my boss rich, i am going to learn it.” I learnt it and in less than 2 months, i was head of content. My growth was really rapid, so i had to leave eventually.
“I found out i was focusing on being creative more than making money and that’s not good. Especially for someone who is building. The salaries and upkeep won’t be paid by creativity!
Teaming up with vast people with similar interest will take your startup far.“Chidi Okereke
Everybody has talent, passion and skill. I think everyone should find their lowest hanging fruit. Maybe not everyone, especially those born with silver spoons. But if you are like me; someone who needs to feed and take care of family; Pursue money so at some point you can afford to pursue your dreams.
~ Chidi Okereke