And history was made!
I hit up my girl who was in the same space that I wanted to enter –story writing. I asked her how this went and what approach she recommended I took. She strongly disapproved of my starting a blog,
“Becky, you do not have following. Nobody is going to listen to you that way! In this space, you need to grow your following and fan base. My sincere advice is that you start with posting your stories across all social media platforms, grow fan base there, then proceed to starting your blog.”
That certainly wasn’t my plan, but I was new to the space and didn’t want to work amiss. So I started posting stories on the social media platforms I was on. My first story surprisingly did okay because even though I knew I wanted to write, I doubted that I had in me the writing capacity to attract people’s attention. However, not only get people reading, I also got two of them to comment! Bliss if you ask me.
The second story I posted was the breakthrough story. Oh my gosh! I got like 7 comments on how it owing to how touching and relatable the story was - then, 20 other people liked it. At this point I knew I could not hold back because I feared the unknown. I wanted something bigger than just getting people on social media platforms liking and commenting. I wanted to create a hub where people dealing with themselves can meet, relate with my stories, connect with me. We could share ideas amongst ourselves and sometime in future, I could look at people’s life and be happy I impacted their lives - merely posting on social media platforms just couldn’t do that for me.
About fan base, it didn’t matter to me again if I immediately got fans or not. What mattered more was to grow the platform to a point where people who were on the platform were people who connected the most to it. Oh I had dealt with so much in my life and spent a large part of my life finding my way out of it. Nobody should be left alone to do that and I was determined to lend a helping hand to anyone who was willing to take it.
So I met a beautiful soul, Emeka:
I went for a wedding with a friend of mine, some guy I kept waiting for to pop the "will-you-be-my-girlfriend" question but that never came. Anyway, as we got to the venue, we sat outside the hall, because you know how Yoruba weddings end up turning out to be carnivals that made everyone feel left out if even though they were present. The hall was packed full, hence our settling outside the venue.
In less than 5 minutes, my friend said he needed to go inside the hall and dance with the couple - more like find some other lady whom he would put on the long thing of waiting for the "will you be my girlfriend" question that would never come.
I did not mind, I had my mind busy with the confusion of starting a blog or sticking to posting on social media at least, till I grew a fan base.
Thirty minutes and my friend was still away. I had finished the sweet party jollof rice that went hand in hand with Yoruba weddings and now started to feel out of place. I didn’t know anyone at the party and I had never been one to fiddle with my phone all in the name of activity. Beside me was a guy who looked like he was on the 9th level of what I was experiencing.
“Hello, my name is Becky.”
“Oh, hi, I am Emeka.” Almost sounding like he couldn’t wrap his head around a lady being the first to start up a conversation with a guy. Would I blame him now? On a normal day, I wouldn’t dare, but this day wasn’t a normal day, this day, I wanted more than anything, not to look out of place and pitiable.
In thirty minutes, he knew all about my passion, drive, vision, everything. He called me "smart" for wanting to reach out to that space. Smart, would never have been a word I would describe this journey of mine with but smart sounded smart and I loved it. He told me he was a graphics designer and would like to invest in my dream.
Invest in my dream? Was this guy mad? I didn’t even have a dream. All I had was a strong will not be go back to a place I had spent a large chunk of my time in and was determined to take as many people as I could out of there. However, again "dream" sounded like a big thing and I loved it. So I smiled and said “thank you”.
Then he tilted his seat to face me directly and asked,
“So what will this blog of yours be called?”
Astonished, I replied, “Talk2urhommie.”
“Hmmm, I see what you are playing at. Talk to your homie right? People can come there to have life conversations with you, their homie right? Okay I am excited already. How soon do you want this blog ready?”
“Say ---“ before I could finish, I felt a tap on my shoulder,
“Did you miss me?” Miss who? Oh Lord, who was this guy? An enemy of progress? “Party is over; we should be leaving now.”
I looked at him, then back at Emeka. I didn’t know what to do. Emeka was about to invest in my dream. Hell! Emeka was the only person to have called what I thought was a rebellious spirit, a dream. This guy by my side was the perfect boyfriend - fiancé - husband material. Giving Emeka my number at this point, would make me look like a slut and I had put in so much into my reputation as the perfect girlfriend to fall this cheaply.
So I got up and walked with my friend. I saw a flash of disappointment in Emeka’s face, but he did not understand the struggle of being a lady, wanting a man and wanting to live your dream (like he generously called it) all at once.
When we got to the parking lot, I looked my friend boldly in the eye and said,
“Give me a minute, I have to go in there and wrap up something.” I was out already immediately the words left my mouth. I didn’t want to see what ever expression he wore on his face neither did I want to hear anything he had to say.
‘He would probably be gone when you get back’, was what I kept saying to myself as I walked my way through to Emeka.
“My friend must think the worst of me but I just could not let my very first investor go away, so let me have it. Your number.” I said as I stretched out my phone to him.
“You are the boldest lady I have met in my whole life.” Again, this guy had a thing for exaggerating things and at this point I am sure I do not have to mention to you that I loved to be called a bold person.
TALK2URHOMMIE Blog was born.
Emeka was not only my graphics guy, he was my editor, social media personnel and chief visionary of my dream. All at no cost. We became two young and hungry minds willing to do whatever it took to get each other out there. Which one of us would be first found, didn’t matter to us; we just wanted the world to see us.
Three months into it, the answer to a prayer I had overloaded God’s ears with came through. I was invited for an interview with an investment banking firm. Somehow, a career as an investment banker didn’t feel like the dream anymore. How could I have wanted something so badly and suddenly have no desire for it.
I went cold. I had no clue what to do. Leaving K & U foods was well desired but going into investment banking had left me with a huge question mark on my head.
“Sister, I got a mail inviting me for a job interview.” I finally resorted to speaking to my sister, Chioma, about it. Even though I knew what her response would be, I just needed to talk to someone more mature.
Sister Chioma and I had developed a working relationship and that was better than anything we had ever had. As long as I settled my own part of the bills: Contributing to mama and Nnamdi’s monthly allowance and the other miscellaneous expenses, we were fine.
The first and last time I spoke to her about my blog and the stories I had posted, she just said,
“And you look smart o, but you make the silliest decisions ever.”
It hurt but that was all I gave her comment room for - hurt. It would never stop my ‘dream’. I bet sometime in the future, when I have the talk2urhommie brand on the lips of people from different continents, she would figure out that it was not a silly decision after all.
“So, why are you telling me? You want me to help you with the outfit for the interview?”
“No, I just wanted your support. It is in two days from now.”
“Well you have it. Please make Pasta tomorrow morning before leaving the house.” She said then went back to her laptop.
Three stages of interview and I was mailed a letter of acceptance into the academy.
I had to pass through the academy first to gain full employment into the company. What this really meant was that I could resign from K & U Foods, spend three months at the academy, fail and be jobless or pass and have a money paying machine as a job.
The next day I sent out two important mails: the first, an acceptance mail and the other, a resignation mail.
This was the beginning of the end for me.
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