Bobs! I no believe am. 1983 pickin of yesterday don fourty! Not thirty, FOURTY (or is it forty?).
I remember the first time I appreciated how old, or rather how young I was. It was while watching The Sound of Music for about the 15th time.
The scene of the Post boy dancing with Liesl came up where she stated she wasn’t young, as she was already 16! and the song began…“You are sixteen going on seventeen..” the scene ended with a kiss. I was about 8 then, and began to calculate how long it would take for me to be in that glorious position. It was going to be the year 2000 – when I was to turn 17 seemed forever years away. It eventually came. That was 23 years ago.
The first time I had a proper “woah, I am so old and have done nothing with my life” crisis was in 2010, when I turned 27. For whatever reason, I had a deadline of 30 to achieve grand things. As soon as I turned 27, I felt so close to the deadline and I was so far away from achieving any of those things. 30 came and passed. It almost didn’t and I should have taken it as my first clue that the future was not mine to determine. Man proposes, God disposes. But I continued in my quest to succeed in the tech space. Starting this and founding that. Zero success.
2018, the year I turned 35 was when I said, “fuck it” and decided to go with the flow of life and stop worrying. That was the best decision I made. However, as I approached this post youth milestone of 40, I began thinking again, what am I here for? Will I achieve what I am meant to? Not sure how I came to decide what ‘meant’ was, but I worry I have not nearly begun to deliver whatever it is.
Interestingly, for a long time, I had a clear idea how I wanted to celebrate my 40th. I told folks I wanted to do 2 adverts. An underwear ad and have it on the billboard when you approach the 3rd mainland bridge in Lagos from the island to the mainland. In addition, I wanted to do a TV advert for the greatest beer in the world, STAR. Alas, I did not connect that the byproduct of beer consistency is a one pack belly na photoshop guru can help convert to 6. A requirement for my underwear ad. So we will move this goal to 50!
I am sure about what I hope to achieve in my life, I wrote it down in my 27th birthday post and re-articulated it in my about page a couple of years back: Help tech inclined folks build capacity and wealth, and hope that leverage, in the hands of rich thinkers and builders, will reflect positively in Nigerian society.
Helping others, has also worked as a contentment hack to resolve my past regret of not hitting my defined success milestones. Since I didn’t become a USD multi millionaire before 30? I’f compensate by helping someone become a USD multi millionaire before 30
So how would I be celebrating my 40th?
As I approached today, I thought hard about how I want to mark my birthday as my my underwear ad plans firmly in the mud. I decided to combine two things important to me.
- I like to help people especially younger folks get into tech. Helps with my contentment hack as explained above.
- I’m got a soft spot for my good old school, Kings College Lagos and have always wanted to do something substantial there.
After a few engagements with the PKC (Principal, Kings College 😉) , I decided to move forward with a project I believe I believe would be useful and will combine both things. I’ll be setting up a technology hub in the school.
We’ll launch the club that will own this hub this Saturday the 14th of January 2023 at the Main Campus. I’ve identified 40 students interested in getting into the tech space and will be the core of the tech community. Some of them already code!. You’re invited, especially KCOBs in tech (when the call is sounded all must answer here! I don sound call so).
If you want to give me a birthday present, it would be your support for the hub. If you are down, just fill this form and you’ll be contacted with details.
Ah! What is a milestone birthday post without giving unsolicited wisdom? Well here is one thing I wish I realised much earlier in life: The curriculum is for the average. When a curriculum is set, it the the pace that the average student should take to achieve it. If you intend to be above average in life, you have to be ahead of the curriculum.
A second thing I always tell folks is this: in life you are always interviewing. If you are asked today, “if you need to eat a full cow, which of your friends will you call? Which of your friends will you call if you have a business opportunity, and you need a sound and honest person to partner with? The people that come to mind have interviewed for the role in their interactions.
A third thing I’d say is to use your prime and do prime things. When is your prime? I don’t know but I do know that when you are young, you should take risk. The older you get, you begin to ‘understand’. ‘Understanding’ is the bestie of status quo. Your 20s is when you’ll have the least amount of expectations and the most opportunities to make errors. Most importantly, a certain drive. Use it to the maximum.
Fourth and final. Jeje laiye – easy. This will feel like a contradiction of the above but from my personal experience, everything begin enter once I started to go with the flow. Don’t over stress. Like the OG jobs said, you’ll connect the dots looking backwards. Just as paraphrasing the street church folks “your own na to roll dice, na God dey give double 6”
Am I happy with where I am in life? What I’ll say is this if I’m told to go back to my panicked 27th birthday and I’m given two choices, “fix your mistakes and have a possible better outcome” or “go back directly to where you are (today)” I’ll take my life every time. No be say e perfect but I’m damn fortunate and I appreciate it.
I am thankful for everyone who been a part of this journey of life with me. Family, Friends and the Nigerian tech community.
It’s time to play!
Giveaway? Of course there is giveaway. 😁
Am I still A baby boy! As per full grown Adult? Although according to WHO et al, youth ends in your 30s, in Nigeria it begins at 50. So yes, I’m still A BABY BOY. If you say A stands for Adult, na you sabi.
Like play, like play, I no see 40 under 40, even for STAR drinkers. 41 under 41 anyone? Abeg na!
15 thoughts on “And just like that, I’m 40!”
Happy Birthday bro.. more BLESSINGS
Happy birthday Oo.. Thank you for your dedication to building Nigeria’s tech ecosystem
Congratulations Papa O,
E don follow touch you finally.
No further comment.
Cheers to 2023 and beyond.
This was beautiful to read. I am at that stage you were on your 27th birthday. Trying to build a career in tech. I truly hope my 40th…
Happy 40th birthday nwannem…Chukwu gozibelum gi ofuma nna
Bold and audacious man! You have done well. God’s blessings on you and yours!
It’s a testament to your impact that I, who only just follows your tweets, always imagined: “He must be a 50+ man”.
Happy 40th Birthday and cheers to the next 40!
Happy Birthday, OO! Cheers to 40 and to much more impact!
Happy 40th Birthday bro! May the achievements of v4 of you trump all other achievements combined! Have a good one!
Happy birthday Oo! You’re a Star 🙂 Wishing you many more amazing years ahead!
Happy Birthday Oo, first time reading you and I’m blown away!
I hope the future brings you everything you want and more.
My first time reading about you. Thank you for all you mean. Cheers!
Happy Birthday Oo!
Congratulations, More Life bro
Congratulations bro! 40 is a big one. You have definitely achieved a lot and impacted a lot of folks. Going with the flow is the wise way to go. May the Almighty continue to bless and keep you!!