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Story Of My Life: John Obidi

Story Of My Life: John Obidi
In 2012, I was a Web Development and Programming instructor in Benin City, Nigeria. My personal circumstances weren't as ideal as I would've liked - and that's putting it lightly.

My complexion was so dark, you would've thought I was born that way. There's nothing wrong with being naturally dark-skinned, but trust me, it's easy to know when it was caused by the ultraviolet, angry Benin City sun.
Story Of My Life: John Obidi
The hustle was real, but I did it from my heart. I made sure I left an indelible mark on the heart of every single student who went through my class. I answered any and every question whether or not it was a part of my job.

In 2013, I left that behind and bulldozed my way into a career in Social Media Strategy. I was already setting my plans in motion to make a big move to Lagos when I received a call from someone.

It was one of my students from my teaching days. I'd always considered him to be the most promising in the class, but I never expressed that to him or the other students. He asked if he could come and see me in person, that he had some issues he needed to discuss. I was really busy packing my things and preparing for my journey to 'The Promised Land', but I sent him my address and said he could come over.

He did come over and told me about his troubles. He was in a bind. Life was closing in on him and he desperately needed a lifeline. I listened to him, emotionless.

He was approximately 19 years old and this was his last bus stop. If I didn't show up for him, the systems of this world would.

I'd just been recently burned by a previous protege and the wounds were still smarting, but I considered him on his own merit.

There was a silence. I didn't blink, smile or frown. My virtues needed a minute to win the battle in my mind. And then I called him into my study and opened up my internet money experiments to him. I taught him everything I knew, showed him all my research and showed him the revenue in all my accounts. I held nothing back.

He was over the moon. Grateful.
After my move to Lagos, he kept in touch. He was excitedly updating me on when he made his first 100k and 500k. I was glad.

My father was ill and his monthly treatment would cost me a lot. It was about
75% of my monthly income, but I dismissed the thought and did the necessary. I focused on creative ways to grow my
income because in reality, he was one treatment session away
from death. December while I was in Brazil on vacation, he called me and thanked me for keeping him alive and he prayed for me. A week later on 28th December 2015, he died. I came back to Nigeriafor the funeral.

In 2016, my finances were over-committed due to the aftermath of my father's passing. I was in a bind. I urgently needed some money to seal my spot in an investment worth many millions of Naira and I had 48 hours to make it happen or I was out. My international partners would move on without me.

In my mind, that opportunity was already forfeited. A few hours to the deadline, I sat at my desk to do some reading when I got a Facebook Message from a familiar name. It was my student asking how I was doing. He apologised for taking so long to 'show appreciation' for all I'd done for him and asked if my account details with him were still valid. I confirmed it and he thanked me again and said he wanted to just 'send me small tin for groundnut'.

And then the alert came. My eyes widened. It was the exact sum I needed for my juicy deal. With barely an hour left, I made some calls and sealed my place, thanking God all the way. This was unbelievable.

That's not all. At Christmas, he sent me a message telling me that he'd bought a piece of land and was building his own house. He wanted to know if it was okay to send me a return flight ticket to come and 'launch' the house and that he remained forever grateful.

 He's barely 24!

This was my most valuable Christmas present. I would've cried if I knew how. My uncle has requested that I or any of my cousins should name one of our children "Onyemalechi". It's an Igbo name meaning, "Who knows tomorrow?"


John Obidi
Social Media Guru

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