‘To every thing there is a season’

Last year, at the end of March, the company I had worked with for 2 and half years packed up and left – so to speak.

If I’m being totally honest, I’d say it was a bittersweet experience. My optimistic side was excited for the break it brought – the quick guilt-free holiday of having no work waiting, heck, I was ecstatic. However, my rational side – which is my true self, by the way – had this crazy ticking sense of urgency like; ‘you have things to do, a life to build, a world to take over, you don’t need no break’…

I had seen it coming, so, I had put my things in order. Cash in hand, check. Cash in bank, check. Unreachable cash so I don’t become poor just in case, check. Next job to slide into, not quite check.

I felt like this break was an opportunity to actually figure out what I wanted and go for it. It was a much needed break to think about me in context of my short and long term goals before executing. I’d always felt like every time I saw a post or a tweet about “Doing what you love and never having to work a day in your life”, it was life trying to tell me I was on the wrong job and for the life of me, I wanted to get that nagging feeling off… so this was a good thing, yes? Yes.

Here’s the part optimism usually shuts out; we’re all WIPs figuring stuff out as we go along and pausing for an indefinite amount of time to “figure it out” is like digging deeper into the hole of our unknown. I can only say this in hindsight.

I spent my first month trying to get the one job I wanted and flunking it, then trying to learn of myself and what I really wanted by spending a lot of alone time while reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren – great book by the way. I wasn’t keeping up with reading a chapter a day as expected because I was sleeping a lot – all the sleep I had lost in those years of working – so it was only by the end of the second month that I fully realized that I had come to fit perfectly into the statistic of unemployed youths in Nigeria.

My realization only came when I had finished writing about it and couldn’t bring myself to hit publish. I felt so vulnerable. It was a level of vulnerability I wasn’t willing to share with anyone.


The months came and went, one after another, and I was counting them in days. I remember where I was on Day 100 and how I sat out there like; ‘wait, what happened to my life? How did I “hit rock bottom”?’

But, this is life. Or it was life, and “rock-bottom” was where I found the strength to start over, my seemingly silent resilience, peace and most importantly, myself. It was in that place I started to see me as the person that I was outside of the things I had or had acquired. I understood that everyday is really a good day to start over and learned all over again to introduce myself as me – Konko, not what I did or what I was proficient in. I recognized the value of having a support system and the ability to put my own problems aside and be there for people in the same crazy situation. Heck, I even realized that not every one comes up with a ground breaking idea or becomes an entrepreneur when they are unemployed!


I’d seen this post while scrolling through Instagram today, and the extent to which I could relate made me write all of this. I had an epiphany that perhaps if I had know this last year, I would have approached my life at the time differently? Or maybe it was all part of the process?

Nonetheless, I’m grateful for seasons that come with growth, because in those 6 long months of pruning; I learned patience, discernment, trust and humility. I learned – again – that we are on different journeys, creating our individual stories, therefore, our lives are not measures for anyone else’s and their lives will never be measures for ours.


Of Tyres and Death

A few weeks ago, on my way back home from work, I encountered a little fiasco afar off. People were gathered, chanting different things. Some were stuck on “Ole” – thief in yoruba – others on “Kill him” and a lot less begging – almost silently – for mercy. I asked some passerby what was stolen and he said gala. I walked away bewildered.


 I live pretty much at the end of Lagos and I work on the Island. On a day with minimal traffic, this commute would take about 3 hours if I left my house later than 6:30am. So, in order to spend less time commuting and get into work early enough, I leave my house at 5 a.m to catch the bus and spend the time sleeping.

This morning, I sat in the front of the bus, next to the driver – asleep as usual. Suddenly, the driver taps me and hands me money, I wake up, collect it, hold it and go back to sleep. He does this two more times before I realize he’s handing me passengers’ fares as they were passed from behind the bus so he could concentrate on driving.

After everyone had paid, he told me the expected total was 5,500 and asked me to count what I had. I had 5,400. With that, he shouted “Who never pay? Money never complete”… I drifted off to sleep again…

Suddenly, I’m awakened by angry shouting passengers and a parked bus. You see, from the 5,400 accumulated, two passengers still intended to  collect change summing up to 900! ONE WHOLE THOUSAND NAIRA WAS MISSING!

We spent the next twenty minutes trying to find four people who hadn’t paid. Everyone swore they had. The driver said he wouldn’t move an inch till he got his complete sum. They all continually screamed in frustration. I sat still, blank eyed, wondering why I woke up in the first place. Someone suggested we help the situation and contribute 50 each for the driver to make up for the lost amount. I dipped my hand in the side zip of my bag – where I put my change – to contribute my quota. I found a stray 1,000 naira note…

You know the rest of the story.


It’s not you, it’s me.

This is the part where you call me in.
This is the part where we sit, an air of discomfort swirling around us
This is the part where you look me in the eyes and say with a broken voice “What went wrong?”
This is the part when I look in your eyes with uncertainty and attempt to proceed


“It’s not you, it’s me
I’m bored. I’m jaded. I just can’t go on.
I’m in dire need of some new kinda activity. Something different. Something new.
I didn’t grow out of you. I just…”

My voice trails off when I see your look


“Don’t patronize me!” you scream


I look at you, rise from my chair and walk towards the door.
I take one more look at you
“Nothing went wrong.” I say
“It really isn’t you, it’s me.”


This is the part where I walk away
This is the part when I hope you call me back
This is the part when I hope we would have another conversation when you’ve cooled off
This is the part when I hold on to that hope.