Saturday, April 08, 2023

2022 - Reset, Redisccovering Me in 2023

​This blog holds sort of a timeline of grown adult life for me. It is a collection of thoughts that date back different epoch of my life, first as a young entrepreneur and budding policy wonk, when I discovered blogging. Those early years were fun, I read and wrote copiously. 

Blogging was an offshoot of a favourite last time, contributing editorially to the slew of online message boards and platforms focused on issues impacting my country of origin: Nigeria, from the Diaspora. I had written severally for the likes of,, and iNigeria (then NIA).  It was all about learning, growing and sharing.

In the last few years as business and family building took over. & wrote less and I read less. I sort of missed it, even though long haul travels associated with my work has enabled to creatively cheat on the reading one. But writing became harder amongst all the distractions.

Then 2022 happened…life changed

This pages will be filled up for the better. My intellectual juices flowing. Life has happened and there are bountiful lessons to learn and share. Watch these pages 

2022 Travels to Remember: South Korea and Mombassa top the chart…

2022 Book to Remember: 

This book written by an early European business man seeking fortunes in Nigeria pioneer lumbering sector from the 40s is a must read for anyone who loves Nigeria. It shows dramatically how quickly the country has modernized and businesses improved.  

And oh my photo of the year, gotta be this young man …God bless them all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

2021 - The Year without a Mind of its own

​2021 seem to be a quiet continuation of 2020 it seems. We all agreed that 2020 was postponed because of how the world was shutdown by the pandemic. The crazy 2020 continued waltzing through the next year it seems, as I can’t seem to take hold of something that happened in 2021 that didn’t seem to have started in 2020. The two years seem like conjoined twins for good or for bad.

One distinct difference though: Donald Trump. I mean, who could have imagined the White House can be a whole lot quiet and disciplined. One day, One Trouble guy has ported. Lol. 

2021 has been a good year on the whole. Started with great personal challenges for me, but ending on a good, happy note. What is life without challenges? I faced my greatest personal challenges this year but they only matured me and prepared me for my greatest professional and business triumphs! I’m particularly grateful for good friends and partners, close family members and my children for making tough times seem so less tough- what can I do without you guys?

Health wise..

For me, I will remember 2021 for being the year of COVID tests (I think I’ve logged close to 50 due to my numerous travels, the three trips to Ghana alone logged And also the year I finally caught Malaria after 25 years of dodging the bullet. Ol boy, was it tough. 

Travel wise…

I did more of Africa as I always wanted to do this year. Visited Rwanda and Sudan for the first time and throughly enjoyed it. I ate all kinds of food on this journeys. Will be back in Rwanda in January 2022 and hope to add Mauritius, Madagascar and Cape Verde to my travel path in 2022. 

Best trip gotta be the tour of Egypt especially the Sinai Peninsula during my birthday. I was with long time friends and hosted by the Sheikh of Cairo, Idris Bello. I thoroughly enjoyed the sumptuous food and company of my Egbon, Babafemi Ojudu and Ahmed Alimi as well. Fond memories. 

The most fun local trip was the visit to Yankari Game Reserve and the swim at Wiki Warm springs but the best local trip gotta go to the Calabar-Uyo swing with my young buddies. We even used the canoe to connect Calabar and Oron. OMG! 

Books and Reads..

I enjoyed reading the Early Jewish Wars, quite a bit. Clarified some issues around Christianity for me. The book, Sapiens was also an enlightening read. I only read on planes this year. This was just a matter of convenience for me. But we can do better next year.

2021 was about finishing or completing goals we missed out on in 2020. But I’m equally convinced that many things that we never got around to start in 2020 were also started in 2021 including things that needed to be cleaned out, restarted or re-engineered. For starters, our relationships got that re-engineering bit for good or for bad. Things fell into places. Grateful. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Hindsight they say is 20/20...and so it was literally

 As 2020 draws to a close, the year couldn't have been so more aptly named. So interesting a year, it was never going to just be one of those quiet years that just happened. It came with a bang, and it is leaving with a bang!

Personally, the year started with a lot of changes and strategic planning for me. I was off to an early start. Downsized at LoftyInc, while hiring a lot at Vertmance. We went all in into the ranch project in February. I remember picking up the phone call to our financiers, and asking for a huge sum and it being approved over a mere phone call and deck. This was our saving grace in that business, so far. 

Then, I hit the road to Tunisia. The only foreign trip up until now in the year. As soon as we took off from Nigeria, we heard the first COVID-19 case was detected in Nigeria. In Tunisia, it was a fun eye opener to a country that could be. Educated, manufacturing giant at the tip of Africa. I enjoyed every bit of it. Engaged the tech ecosystem and visited farms, factories and fun places. As soon as we took off from Tunisia, we saw a news flash that they too discovered their first COVID-19 case. Then 2020 happened.

Very quickly, the world started to shut down. But not until I snuck a quick trip to Yola, the North East's answer to Abuja. Clean and very lovely city, I fell in love with it immediately I landed. COVID-19 seem distant away as we enjoyed the balmy warmth at the banks of River Benue, and the scorching heat as we toured the Nyarko Farm and Agric Export Zone, hardly did we know it was the last normal week in the year. I remembered jetting back into Abuja and everything literally shutting right behind us. And then we went into lockdown.

For us, it meant farming time. Every minute of those next three months were spent tilling, ploughing, herding and haggling with above ground issues. The rainfall was coming, so we took advantage of the lull to farm, farm, farm. It was helpful to be liquid when everyone else lacked funding, so we went in 200%.

The downsize of late 2019, also ensured the business at LoftyInc was better prepared to weather the storm even as we shared the pain and secured some useful win as the lockdown bit harder. As we got back to normal in July, we were set for a rapid fire second half which it has been: without, the travel.


This is what I consider the biggest lesson of 2020- without the expensive travels, our revenue is not worse off. With a phone call and zoom, deals get done a lot faster. We skipped the face to face and still left well off. We are grateful. For the till that got filled, and the hands that gave: thank you.

Human relationships also mattered the most in 2020. People called to give us things we never deserved. Some just called to say hello, that we mattered. We are grateful.

Grateful for Love and Family too, who won't be? Though the storm raged when we got hit by the virus in November, we are grateful to be alive and well. So grateful. For those who checked on us, thank you. To those who prayed for us, may you never be forgotten. 


A few of those. Fitness wise, could be better. I ate too much and exercised little in 2020. The lockdown feeding of madam did not help matters. For the first time, I failed my annual physical exam in the borderline cholesterol matter, and I agreed to start taking statins. It was a reminder that we are not getting younger. Oh well, the alternative to getting old is being dead. And Ol boy, are we grateful for life!

2020 was also a tough year for reading books. I'm current reading "Sapiens" after struggling to read "The Next Factory of the World" about China and Africa relations in business. I finished that, after 8 months! Phew! The psychological insecurity of the COVID era made reading much harder. Before March, I had finished two books. One, " The Gatekeepers" about USA Chief of Staff was such a pleasure read.

The Wins...

The year is ending up as a memorable one. Lots of wins and some disappointments in the entrepreneurial life. The business cases in farming is taking shape. We are on track to raise a $500k convertible, even as the construction/developer business is maturing with two key wins literally on the last business day and the VC business seem destined for a trajectory of greatness thanks to my friend, the Afropreneur..look at his head below :) Isn't he such a gorgeous guy? Read his blog on how far this awesome head has brought him and us here...we call him the Rain Maker, AKA Hush Uncle, the Connector.

The Losses...

Some got away. We lost some good people. My sister's grandmother in law was the most personal, thankfully. But the world lost some fine human beings in 2020. May their soul rest in Peace. Kobe was a shock. Ajimobi was needless for those of us who shared his progressive politics in Nigeria. Some young ones also flamed out. Mental health was a thing. May God heal our land.

What I'm stoked up the most about? I finally got this Classic! Yeah, it is an addition to the Beetle from last year. But Ol Boy did I always want one. 

Best thing that happened in 2020? Donald Trump Lost! Now my son can get back to loving American Presidents again! 

That is it. What a year! 


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