Barely 5 months after the launch of the much-anticipated Nigerian…
By Paul Confidence
Sometime in March this year, I wrote about the city of Port Harcourt. I had spent almost all of 2016 in Lagos but while there I kept my eyes on opportunities in Port Harcourt.
Here is the story behind this post.
In 2015, I just graduated from school and like majority of young Nigerians I was confused at what the next phase of my life was going to look like.
One thing I was sure of at that time was that I loved technology and wanted to build something big from it.
Having resided in Port Harcourt all my life at that time, I had not seen any possibility that the state could offer.
Trying to be relevant and not jump into the labour market I tried out some businesses in school, though I wasn’t completely successful in those endeavors I still stood remember being referred to as a successful student entrepreneur.
I am giving this background story so you understand where I came from and where it is headed.
After not seeing any opportunity in Port Harcourt all my life. I got an internship in Lagos in April 2016 and had three key goals. Learn social media marketing, website design and also discover business opportunities.
During my stay in Lagos, I embraced the uniqueness of Nigeria. This was all I ever dreamt of, a land of possibility and opportunities. I suddenly killed any craving to travel abroad.
Lagos taught me quite a lot of lessons from waking up very early to the hustle and also opened my eyes to the potentials Nigeria has as a country.
At first thought, I had already concluded Lagos was going to be my city of residence but for heaven’s sake I couldn’t cope with the energy it demanded being Port Harcourt bred.
The events unfolded and I suddenly found myself back in my birth city (Port Harcourt). The very first comparison I started puzzling with in my mind, was the fact that there almost seems like no hustle in Port Harcourt.
I also tried looking at the tech space since I was now proficient but could barely identify anything. What seemed to dominate at that time was the political struggle.
Sincerely, I gave up on the city.
At the peak of my lost hope and decision to head back to Lagos, I saw a post in a Facebook group that was more than an inspiration. Immediately I checked out the guy that posted it and discovered he lives in Port Harcourt and was doing remarkably well, I sent him a Facebook friend request almost immediately.
To cut the long story, I connected with the young guy and soon started noticing other young social media influencers in the city if Port Harcourt.
Just like the whole universe was supporting me, I saw a post about a meet-up of Nigerian Podcast Network (NPN) that was to hold in Port Harcourt. I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the meeting.
On the day of the meetup, I sincerely didn’t know what to expect but I had a plan which was to share the idea of starting a meetup for business owners, thought leaders, creative and skilled people in the city of Port Harcourt.
Before then, I had discussed with the guy I connected with about the idea and he was excited about it and we became partners. He also suggested the name to be called Ignite Meetup.
So after the NPN meeting with some awesome Port Harcourt minds, I shared the idea with attendees and they loved it and promised to attend.
Just like a dream we had the first Ignite Meetup on the 29th of April, 2017 with 7 persons in attendance. We didn’t know what to expect after that but I and my friend wanted this to last. Our mission was simply to create synergy amongst great minds in the city of Port Harcourt to foster collaboration. Neither I nor my friend had any sort of personal interest.
What gave us a glimpse of what we had just started was a business coach that attended our first meeting and was amongst the first 7 persons.
After the meeting, we took pictures and flooded our different social media platforms with stories from the event.
Before long, we started planning for the next meetup, surprisingly we had one of Port Harcourt most exceptional thought leader Emeka Nobis at the meeting. This was our big break.
To cut the long story, everything started happening so fast that we had folks from different cities within Nigeria telling us to come and have the meetup in their city.
We grew from 7 persons to a mind blowing active 70persons in less than 5 months. Just like that wasn’t enough, different conferences that were held in Port Harcourt were like it was hosted by Ignite because we always dominated everywhere. That after every conference people craved to join the meetup.
Back to myself, I soon became an influencer; the goal of connecting with 5 influencers was well over achieved as I now have connected to almost all of Port Harcourt city influencers.
In conclusion, the essence of this article is to awake every young person to know that we are all part of something bigger than us. It just requires you being passionate to add value in your smallest sphere.
If the quest for influence and relevance was very easy, everyone will be kings and queens. There is a price to pay.
- Give value like your existence depends on it
- Connect with people
- Embrace where very you are, you never can tell if the liberation of that city or village rest on your shoulder (Merlin Story)
- Never stop trying! Once you are on the right course the universe and God will back you up to achieve your desire.
START WHAT YOU CAN, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, WHERE YOU ARE!