HELLO Steemians. I am glad to be participating in this contest. My first contest, actually.
About courage and persistence, and getting to the TOP! Let's begin by laying a ground work to build upon...
According to Merriam Webster, courage is the "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty." Source
Second, what is persistence? Persistence is "the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition." - according to the Oxford Dictionary.
What then is courage and persistence put together? From the above definitions, we can rightly say that courage and persistence, together, is "the mental strength to continue in a definite course of action, in spite of the danger, difficulty or opposition." From this unified definition, we can deduce that this is a combined process that begins on the inside - in the mind, first, before it can be translated to its physical equivalent in achieving a desired goal.
Let me share with us my personal experience of where and how courage and persistence pulled me through a rather difficult experience.
It was March of last year, 2020. And the corona virus was still in its very novel stage. Here in Nigeria, we had our own warped idea about what the COVID was, and wasn't. How it wouldn't survive the harsh African clime as against the cold conditions of the countries in the Western world. And the craziest, some even thought there was nothing that could make our country, Lagos especially, ever be shut down! But I, like millions of others were about to be dealt the painful blow of a harsh reality!
Step back a few months before March into the previous year, 2019, and poke around with me as my dilemma began.
Our rent had expired a couple months back. We'd been issued the required quit notice. Yet, it seemed like it was too sudden. By February of 2020, we were still in search of an apartment. COVID was doing the rounds. W.H.O was giving updates and, like some would say, propaganda. Still, we were not close to securing an accommodation. Meanwhile, I was still on my job, driving round town with Uber.
So, the Nigerian government had issued a directive in tandem with W.H.O. declaring a pandemic. We had a short time to grapple with the almost unacceptable reality of a lock down as a country. Already prices of commodities were going up like no one cared. Actually, no one did. In all this, we had less than a week's notice from the president to lock down.
What we're my options?
I could have left the state, travelled to imagined ease. I could have either driven thousands of miles by road, in the middle of the escalating tension in the country, with little or no security, or hoped to live in the car, for however long the lock down was going to be — not a great image. And none of these seemed like much of an option.
It felt like I was the only one without a home before the lock down, and without a hope of getting one. Luckily by March 2020, we'd gotten an apartment, doing some required renovation work, and moving in — all days before the lock down was to take effect. Did I mention how it all didn't seem feasible? Did I mention I was just about the nooks and crannies of Lagos State in my car, working and praying that I didn't get to be at nowhere when the latch was set over the state and country as a whole?
How did I handle all of these and other stuffs I had to deal with? Courage. I told myself that I couldn't run! That it couldn't get any worse than it already was. That somehow we (I, being just about the only one on ground from the lot of us) would find an accommodation, and it will end well. And it did. Truth is, all my hopes at the time looked bleak! But I continued with work like all was OK! Then, the house hunt was over. But the worse was yet to come. How to survive.
In the first national address by the president before effecting the lock down, he stated that it was going to be for two weeks. Little did most people realise it would turn out to be months! And, if you were like myself, you needed to work daily to meet your needs. Except you were stocked up and well. I wasn't.
Two weeks later and I was already out of supplies, hungry, and without hope. Then regretful thoughts came rushing at me. "I should have travelled", "Should have been better prepared for a longer wait," "Why didn't I go back to my family," etc. Now, it was, "What do I do? Who do I call?" Everyone seemed pretty tight at the time.
So here's my house. But no food. No money. No work. Nothing. But little did I know that in this cloud was hidden an opportunity for me to discover and explore my other skills. If I had backed out, given up, or taken the easy way out, which was travelling, I'd not have given birth to my online business, Time Tech - short for Time Technologies!
It was in the heat of this pressing challenges that I was compelled to look inwards, amidst persistent prayers, however involuntarily, and got my breakthrough.
What is Time Technologies?
#TimeTech https://www.facebook.com/TimeTechs/ is my brain child, from the labour pangs of the COVID-19 situation. Time Tech was born between a rock and a hard place. There had to be some other way out for me in the absence of e-hailing.
Time Technologies, https://timetechnologies.business.site/ was created to address some of the new challenges born in COVID-19, of business without borders, of the viability of soft skills. There were many people in similar home-stuck situation as I was, but with a desire to not win, no matter the odds.
Time Tech was designed to solve the following problems:
- Teach in demand skills that was needed for business/content promotion. Time Tech taught video animation.
- To address the high demand for affordable goods, were there could be business with minimum capital, Time Tech taught Mini Importation.
- To key into the high demand for Nigerian foods and farm products, Time Tech taught Mini Exportation.
Amongst other things, these were the three core areas that Time Technologies specialised. And all of these were done via online classes — with zero need for in-person or physical contact. Time Tech was a success, because it was able to teach over a hundred people how to achieve these and more.
Time Tech hosted two types of classes:
The free classes, which taught way more than many could imagine, including how to start a business with zero capital, etc - for free.
The paid classes, where special attention was given to the more serious and determined people who really wanted to succeed in any of the areas they chose.
There was also another baby that was birthed, The Drop Shop! #TDS Here I did my own Mini Importation and had people subscribe who were interested in the business but with little or no capital to kick off. All they needed to do was get people who needed these items, give them a fair price with their own little profit already added, while The Drop Shop handled the delivery of the goods.
By the time the lock down started to ease off, I'd learnt a lot from courage and persistence. I was able to get back on the road, but this time with a different a better vision and approach to business. I had started running Facebook ads, and seeking for jobs for Web development. It has been one roses-are-red type of poem, and that with thorns to teach me other valuable lessons of life - at the core was the spirit of never giving up!
With respect to Steemit, I did have my fare share of challenges making heads and tail of succeeding here. I must say one way those challenges were dealt with was by the SteemAlive Lagos Hangout hosted by our city coordinator @talktofaith on the 9th of May, 2021. In that meeting Steemit was demystified. We were taught some secrets of Steemit; that was where participating in contests such as this one was revealed to me, amongst others. Subsequently we have been taught in our special classes via Telegram about things such as the importance and benefits of powering up, joining curation trail, ensuring to complete our Achievement posts and others.
With all these and more, I have been able to draw a few other plans that God helping me, should be able to convert to several millions! Great things start small. According to Vince Lombardi; Winners never quit, and quitters never win!
AN ORIGINAL CONTEST I'D LIKE TO CREATE:
I'd like to create a contest for TOXIC AFRICAN BELIEFS AND THE WAY FORWARD! This contest idea is original and not plagiarised.
Here's what the contest will be about/look like:
There are several common and generally accepted practices in the African traditional system that, I believe, has negated the extent of our societal and cultural advancement.
It is unacceptable for a lady to be the one to approach a guy that she likes? If she's bold enough to make such move, she's regarded as loose and without standard. This ought not to be. She should have as much right of social and emotional expression as her male counterparts. When she's able to properly express herself, the society will be more healthy emotionally
A man is considered a failure if the wife is the bread winner of the home. Thus the man has to pretend to be the one providing, or, he antagonises the woman because his pride cannot bear it. Whoever wins the bread should not be a problem or something to loose face about. It should be a thing of pride and gratitude that a wife is capable of standing by her husband when he is financially low, however long that may last for. The wife will be able to do better when appreciated.
Male child, or another woman/wife. This is as old as Africa. The girl child is less appreciated when compared with a male child. A man is seen as unfulfilled if he has no male heir to "carry on his name" upon his demise. Even when he accepts the reality, the extended family would be unimaginable trouble to deal with. This mentality had birthed untold evil in homes.
In the three examples, I highlighted what the African narrative is, what drives it, the threat it poses and why it should not be so. Many other practices can be brought to light, which over time, if addressed, can become the bane of The New Africa.
Participants in the contest will be required to:
A. Highlight worthy causes.
B. Show how such causes are a threat to African advancement.
C. Proffer solutions.
Once again, I must say a big thank you to #SteemSchools, @steemitwarrior, @iykewatch @dobartim and @tatjanastan for this contest. Beyond the prize aimed at, this has given me an opportunity to share the experience of one of the best things to happen to me since last year. And it will be guiding me for more years to come...