Doing great things from a small place by Tunde Onakoya

Aside from being a National master and wearing this cap. I mean, the fashion police would probably be very triggered right now to arrest that guy after this talk. Why is he wearing a villa, you know, on a suit? Also, an area boy. And I mean, for the longest time, the term “area boy” was used derogatorily to refer to thugs, hoodlums, and criminals in Lagos. However, we were able to redefine what that meant, and many of us became “area boys” for the sake of others. Let me tell you that story.

About 16 years ago, I was at home, having just completed my primary school education. My mom called me and told me that I would have to stop school because they couldn’t afford tuition anymore. I had to stay at home so my brother could go to school, and that seemed like the end of education for me. Despite being a bright kid in primary school, I struggled, and my teachers would call me “olodo” (dummy). So, dropping out seemed like the easy way out. I spent two years at home after primary school, learning how to fix fridges as an apprentice.

Then something happened. There was this barber’s salon just across the street, and I used to go there to play video games. One day, the barber brought out a small plastic chess set. I had never seen a chessboard before, but I was curious. I asked what it was, and he said it was a chess set. He refused to teach me, saying I was too young, but I watched him play and eventually picked up the rules by observing.

What do you think?

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Associate Engineering Technical Integration Specialist