To many, 2016 was a horrible or miserable year, but genuinely, I can’t relate to that. God basically carried me on his wings all through this year and we soared from Glory to Glory. If you’ve watched GOT S06, 2016 was basically the scene where Daenerys was on her dragon, flying far above the war and turmoil. Also, 2016 included some occasional breathe of fire down on all my enemies. I mean God was too Good this year.
Obviously, the year started in January for me too, I was basically the last man to start his final year project. At January I had about 3-5 pages of my project because I started my project late December last year. But as God will have it, my project supervisor that seemed to be the most ruthless lecturer in the whole of Civil Engineering department, was extra kind and empathic to me. Project came and project went successfully. Right after school, before graduation, I moved in with my friends/mentors Raymond and Ebuka, damn, they were so kind to me, they fedddd me so much, they turned on their generator for me to code even when they weren’t at home. I made contributions to the home but I know it was super little. The best part is, they did all of this without grumbling or complaining.
I coded some projects while I was in their house all day and night, it was such a productive time for me, I had the best coaches for life, business and often Raymond gave me too much information of the Love of his Life – Olivia. June came, I quit social media, best decision of my life! Awkward coincidence, the day I quit social media was the day my school released the first graduating students list of my set, and my name wasn’t on it.
After quitting Social media that day, I remember going to sleep and about 8PM, Odunayo called me to ask me why my name wasn’t on the list, I won’t say I was shocked because prior to that time, I had heard about _________, but as God will have it, my petty school released the second graduating students list on June 24th, yes that was graduation day, they released that least by like 4AM and my name was on it. I graduated with a Second class upper, now you know people that don’t say their CPGA always have something to hide. 🌚🌚Lol. My mum was just so happy that day, and I was happy she was happy. I really didn’t care about that day to be honest, but seeing so much joy on my mum’s face made the stress of going to buy a suit worth it.
Prior to graduating, I think even before I started 500 level, I had always told my mum that I would move out of the house after graduation, she always laughed and shook her head saying “Okay”. That “okay” that carries a lot of meaning Eg. “Movers”/“Let me see where you would get the money”/“Live alone at 19, lol”, but I said my bit and left it for God. So after graduation, I asked her to let me stay in Lagos because I was working on a new project (Altarexpress.com.ng) I had gotten and it wouldn’t be the best for me to work on it from Port Harcourt(where I live), so she let me stay in Lagos a little longer, I was still living with Raymond and Ebuka, I think my permission was to expire by end of August. So from June to August, I was so busy working on side projects for multiple people. I had so much fun doing them.
By july, I got an opportunity to work at a company, I told me mum, she was slightly happy/confused for me because I told her I was house hunting already, which was ridiculous because I had just NGN 300,000, and to be fair, that’s just rent money in a cheap/slightly affordable area, no agency or agreement fee included. And Lagos agents and landlords didn’t want me to win. They were going as high as NGN 150,000- NGN 200,000 for extra fees (Agency, agreement & caution/refundable fee). So all through July, my mum just panicking asking me if I had started the job already and why it was taking so much time to start. While, I was just super unbothered by the whole situation, I mean, I was super busy with side projects that were almost draining me emotionally (A brother has to work hard).
The company was still stalling with the employment even till August, ridiculous right? Who wastes time for hard working and God fearing me? Lol. But I believed God always has a plan for his sons; Mid August, I realized Paystack had an opening. Paystack is a company I have admired since February when I integrated it to MobileWaiter.com.ng, I contacted the CEO and we scheduled a meeting, on the same day of the meeting, I don’t know how God did it but I got the job. I mentioned to them that my former job opportunity which I was basically waiting to kick off, offered me an apartment, they said they didn’t have an apartment plan but they were willing to give me NGN 300,000 to assist me with the house and it won’t be from my salary nor was it a loan. Speak of God just being too extra. In the same day, I got a job and God made provision for my apartment.
Still living with Raymond and Ebuka, I started working with Paystack in August…Off-course! Another best decision of my year, everyone here is genuinely nice, it’s like a Disney movie. Everyone cares about you so deeply, it’s just shocking. I remember telling my crazy cousin Nancee about how nice everyone was and in her true “Nigerian Self” she was like “Don’t get too comfortable, it won’t last”. I must say, it’s been five months, and I don’t know how it’s possible, but I think they got nicer. I genuinely love everyone at Paystack. Everyone is extremely hardworking! I mean, I could be up till 3AM in the morning doing some extra work and stuff, I check Slack to see that I’m not the only one, many people out of our small team are working hard at that time too! I love them so much! They make working fun, best part is I could work from home, but who wants to work from home when there is free food and plenty laughs at the office? No one!
In October, I turned 20, which means, I’m 20. Yeah, it means I’m 20. So I’m in my twenties. Yes, I’m 20. Lol. Also, my friends (Success Omole and Yomi Eluwande) and I launched a startup called Selar. It’s a simple platform for creators and social media sellers to sell their products and art online easily and receive payments seamlessly. It’s a product that we truly love and believe in. I look forward to seeing how we can affect more artists and entrepreneurs with it next year.
By November, the house that I’ve walked the whole of Lagos for, came to me on a platter. In the same Estate(Maple Wood Estate) where Raymond and Ebuka live, I found the perfect mini-flat; spacious kitchen, Okay room, Okay Parlor, Okay bathroom, very quiet and secure. It was for NGN 500,000. At the time, I had the money excluding the money Paystack gave me, but I knew if I spent my money on the apartment I would not have anything inside the house. Just me and the nicely painted walls. But then again, I was still riding on the wings of my God, my Uncle that lives in Port Harcourt, was in Lagos briefly for an appointment, coincidence? I think not. I went to see him and he gave me NGN 200,000 for my apartment. I paid for the house! Hallelujah!
I used most of the NGN 500,000 I had left to furnish the house, I think I was still complaining at a point that my money was “finishing”, it was such a “Ypple”/Spoilt brat complain, I mean, God has been spoiling me all year, I forgot what normal was, but then my friend Cynthia was like “What if you didn’t have the money in the first place?”, immediately my mind went from “My money is reducing from furnishing” to “God I thank you for providing so much for me that I have enough to furnish”. It’s December and I still need a lot of stuff but I quit! I’m happy with all God has provided, I’m going back to my stingy savings way.
My sisters had remarkable results this year, my mum was just too too excited! I could see the excitement on her face from a thousands miles away when she told me.
It was a truly great year for me and my family, God really outdid himself in every area of my life. All I can say is Thank you God for 2016, I know if it were based on my actions, I don’t deserve anything, but God in his infinite Grace and Mercy, did too much for me, I do not take it for granted and I’m very grateful!
My biggest and most iterated lesson of 2016
Douglas Take a chill, I’m working, I know you have plans, but don’t worry mine is better. – God
My trust for God this year has increased tremendously, I literally had so much plans…ish this year, but God just did what he did best, filtered the plans and dropped all the ones that weren’t on his list(Basically 98.9%. Lol) and made me walk with all the plans on his list, painful at the time, but worth it in the end.
I’m very excited about 2017, I feel it in my bones the God will do even more. I will trust God blindly in 2017!
My case is different!