2017 has been one of my most exciting years in recent times. Even though the year started on a somewhat difficult note, I still enjoyed quite a number of novel experiences and the year went by in a whiff! Professionally I was supposed to begin the year saddled with a new responsibility.
Late 2016, I had been drafted to come and lead the charge of my company to grow the territory In Abuja and Northern Nigeria. It was a role that would see me taking a lead in deciding what had to be done in the region, organizing interesting and high impact activities and meeting with amazing individuals and clusters of them, as I sought to improve the knowledge of folks up in the region about our business and industry. So well I was to start the year with that charge. But as things played out, I actually started the year in crutches! On the Christmas of 2016 I had come to lagos(from Abuja) to spend a few days with my folks. By the evening of that same day, while coming out of the bathroom in my place (still kept my rented place in lagos), I slipped , fell and twisted my ankle. I sustained a fracture in the process. It was the second fracture around my ankle that I would have in less than three years!( I had had a similar slip and fall type occurrence in January 2014) I still shudder as I remember that fall that day. The moment I hit the ground and looked at my leg I knew it was going to be bad. Gosh, the pain!
Next day I was in Igbobi and it was like re-living a nightmare. Or some twisted déjà vu. I had been there before and knew the processes. From needing to get registered to seeing the first doctor, to getting a scan, paying bills and seeing the other doctors and paying some more bills, I knew it all! The last time I had had to undergo surgery so this time all I kept praying for was “God please no surgery this time”. The scan results came in, doctors checked (funny look they gave me when some of them recognized me, bet it was like de ja vu for them as well) and declared that all I had to do was wear a cast. So there began the need for cruches again. I was looking to return to Abuja on the first week of January because of work, but my plans were dashed as I was told that I had to come in on the second week(of janaury) to run another scan to see how the bones were coming together.
With what must have been a silly piece of faith, I booked my ticket to Abuja for the end of that same second week(post the review scans) , and literarily hoped on the plane, crutches and all. I know I wasn’t a pretty sight. Doctors had told me that I had to wear the casts till at least end of March, or April to be safer. Well, from the next day I got to Abuja I started going to work, crutches and all again.
I lived on the second floor of my building so you only need to imagine how with my crutches I would decend and ascend those stairs everyday as I went and returned from work.I would do this for first three months of the year.
I really was determined to not let that hold me back, so I kept up with as much activities as I would have had I not been on crutches. I joined a church and started getting very active in the scheme of things there. Started writing a book. Couldn’t continue my weekly swim but I continued attending rotary meetings that I had begun to late 2016 when I came to Abuja. Around this period, crutches and all, I got inducted as the youngest member of the most vibrant(surely the biggest) rotary club in Abuja and maybe even in Nigeria. The personalities that I met, are fabulously inspiring. They certainly added colour to my year.
The entire rotary experience in itself certainly would add spice to anybody’s year. From weekly club meetings to service projects and other equally exciting activities, I had a year full of rotary tales. One experience that stood out for me was partaking in the service activities for our adopted village, a little village called Sauka on the outskirts of Abuja. With the efforts of Rotarians( that’s what rotary members call ourselves) such infrastructures as a health center, a bore hole and a school were built in that community. I directly partook (amongst others) in the adult literacy scheme that had a group of around thirty or so people, mostly women, being trained on basic literacy skills.
The rotary experience wasn’t just service. On account of this organization, I made a friend out of a senator! I made friends out of people whom sometimes I had to pinch myself to remind me of whom they were. I think I must have made some friends for life too. To give an idea of the warmth I got here: One day, a very elderly and amiable Rotarian(who also happened to be former chief medical director of National Hospital Abuja, and Presidents personal physician) sent me a WhatsApp message, telling me that he had my Agbada. I didn’t know what he was talking about. But with these Rotarians, you never know.
As my name is Alagbada, which in Yoruba means “The one that owns an Agbada”, It was already a common joke in the club that I was the Alagbada who always wore a suit and tie.
So well on that day, I got to Sheraton hotel where we have our weekly meetings, and this man handed me a bag. It was an Agbada! People that know told me it would have set me back like N80k had I paid for it.
Professionally as the year wore on, it was very rewarding that under my stewardship in the region, my company had the best period its ever had. You know when you walk into the room and every body gives you that look like dude, how do you do it? Got that look when I went to the Lagos office. Super rewarding. One thing many folks didn’t know was that I was scared about the region and the task. My boss actually told me, “David you are going into a desert”. Well, out of deserts the lord can spring up an oasis, He is God!
I remember I would have everyone pray at the office as the week starts especially in those early months. One thing I would commonly say is that, because we are here as children of God, things must work! I would say the ark of the lord brought untold blessings to the house of Obedidum the Gittite. So I represent an ark up in this company. Things must work!
Beyond all this, I got tokens of blessings that I must mention, because tough though things might appear to be, God still hands them down and he needs credit for it. I changed cars and secured a place that I like in Abuja.
I still had some other not so cool moments too. I got involved in a terrible auto crash that would cost me a lot of money to fix, and entered “one chance” for the first time in my life. I got robbed at gun point, my iphone 6 was taken from me( they even asked me to input my pin and gave me N150 for transport fare). Probably most embarrassing was that my shoes were taken too! I got home like I was just getting out of an IDP camp.
This year I also progressively got less hurried about the the idea of marriage. I only hope I am not getting too comfortable with being single! I see friends getting married all around, and you would think that I would feel like I was missing out on something but I frankly don’t feel that way. At least by measure I feel less that way than I have at any point in my adult life. I guess i could consider it growth because now I know that good on paper isn’t necessarily good enough. I know that I must experience a deep enough connection and “peace” to think about doing the forever. A few dates here and there, some interesting, some gross, one very interesting. What I can say is that I now appreciate the idea of the “getting to know” part in dating than I ever have in my life. I realize that the getting to know thing isn’t just meant so that you can evaluate the other party’s suitability, but perhaps even more critically, it to helps reveal things to us about our own selves.
2017 taught me I can do anything so long as I set my mind to it. It taught me to dream big and act now. It taught me to not forget that there are ways to win in this world. One of it is prayers.
In 2018, I plan to dare unusual things and to acquire them by faith through prayer first.
There are territories to be taken over. I have plans for politics. And its important to begin to act on them now. I am looking to launch my NGO with more ferocity than the norm. I hope to make it the number one youth service club in Nigeria. Positioning is critical. I figure, if I can, why not?
On the soft side, rotary goes to Canada next year. I missed not going to Atlanta this year. I hear its very difficult to get the Canadian visa. I so hope to be on that trip. I also would love to visit Dubai for the first time before 2018 ends.
Professionally, 2018, I hope for more achievements.
Well nough said. 2018 c’mon. I’m ready.
Happy new year guys! May the lord grant all the desires of your hearts. Pray hard and work harder!
Seasons Greetings from Perry’s Tots.🎄🎁
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