Hello Readers, Happy New Year! I hope you are settling into the new season. This is my first blog post for 2019 and my 100th blog post from when I started writing in 2016. Its fair to say I love writing and sharing stories. I was recently interviewed by the owner of The Igbo Initiative Ugochi Onyewu about my unique life experience. In the interview I shared how I lived in two different countries at different times in my life and how the experiences has shaped who I am today.
I shared many stories with her including my delay in going to University because my teachers knew best; so I thought. After I had returned back to the UK at age 15 after doing Secondary school in Nigeria, my teachers there didn’t think I was “University material” and tried to persuade me to get a job in a shop as a cashier.
I must admit I struggled at A levels because some of the subjects that I took like History and English were taught in a completely different manner from what I was use to in Nigeria. I was use to cramming and writing down everything I knew on the subject. Looking back, my teachers should have given me guidance on how to improve my writing style and not try to dampen my potential.
Believing that my teachers knew best, I took their advice partially but rather than go into retail as a cashier because I knew I had more potential, I decided to look for a management trainee role in a bank. I was eventually placed on an accelerated trainee program with Natwest bank which was due to lead into an executive management position after completing banking professional exams.
Interestingly, when my A level results came out in the summer, I surprised myself and my teachers and scored enough points to go to a University but I did not apply in time.
I went on to become a banker for 5 years at NatWest Bank. My branch at Hounslow won several awards for the top sales branch in that region. At the peak of my banking career I was head cashier in charge of a large team. But banking bored me, I wasnt using my natural creative abilities and the thought of being in the bank for the rest of my career life scared me. My late father (bless his soul) was not impressed and was constantly nagging me to go to University. ”All your mates are graduates” he would say in a typical African parent manner.
One day, I quit the bank world after gaining admission into University. And three years later, I ended up with an Upper Class BA (Hons) 2.1. At that moment, I wished my A level teachers were in attendance at my graduation ceremony to see that they were wrong about me. My teachers didn’t realize that after their remarks and concerns about my abilities, I actually taught myself how to write powerful essays and pass exams with flying colors. I invested in a book called the “Good Study Guide” by Open University which by the way is still available on Amazon. The book changed my life.
No sooner had I completed my degree and after a couple of media experiences, I entered a world class organization, the BBC, and spent 8 years there in Events and Marketing. Since leaving the UK, I relocated to Nigeria in 2008 and I own a thriving Events and Training Consultancy called Majestically Rare.
Hmmmmm it just goes to show you that teachers don’t always know best. You have to be confident in your own abilities. And that’s where I will end this story so far. Thanks for stopping by and dont forget to subscribe.
If you want to hear other interesting stories about my journey that I shared with Ugochi including what keeps me in Naija despite the challenges click here to listen to her podcast