Present Past #1

‘You wan buy, you wan sell’

Somewhere in Computer Village, can you spot me?

Just like the present future, we can define the present past as the events that have occurred in the past and have made you who you are today. A lot of things have made us who we are today and a lot more will make us who will become in the future. Somethings have lifted me up and made me a better person and some other things have become challenges that I have to overcome in my life today. There’s one place that I cannot forget to mention in the things that have both made me and marred me at the same time; Computer Village, Ikeja-Lagos state, Nigeria.

Quite a popular place in Nigeria where buying and selling happens mostly of electronics and technology related products. CV (Computer village) is almost always busy, from early in the morning to late in the night. When I was in high school, my mother was managing a shop at CV, Otigba street and in that place, I made so many memories, many I will never forget. From my second year in junior high, I joined my mother at work during the holidays and every Saturdays. On one fateful day, I was going through the old store at the back of the shop and I found an old Samsung R220 phone with ‘antenna’ (;D), and it immediately became a finder’s keeper. At this time, a lot of people didn’t have phone, especially people in my age group, my elder sister, and even my teachers. Wait! Did you hear that? My elder sister didn’t have a phone and I did. Was she going to let that happen? Definitely not! She took it from me (I know I’m not the only one with such experience;).

Using the phone a while did not leave me without noticing the opportunities in buying phones in CV and selling to those around me that needed it. This I did. How I got the capital is something I may not be proud of and If you’re interested, I’ll let you know. I started buying phones on the weekend to sell it during the school week. I became a phone merchant in my school which had a ‘no phone in school policy’. I sold phones to my school mates, class teachers and even to my principal. The phones I sold, I first used for some days or weeks depending on the time I could sell it. I bought the phones from guys walking on the streets calling…’you wan buy, you wan sell’ which means, do you have a phone you want to buy or you want to sell, and boy, was I known among them. I did some dangerous deals and at one time I was misled and one of the guys took my phone (Nokia Express Music 5330 that I got new for N14,500 with my profits) right in my presence and I could not do anything (If you see his eyes and body and hear the way he talks, you’ll most likely do nothing also, don’t judge me quickly). Yes, I know, what was I doing with someone like that, well, those are the kind of guys you get cheaper stuffs from, even though I may not have known where they got their phones from. There were few other bad experiences but there were much more very good experiences through my 6-year adventure in Computer village.

Why do I love doing business so much? Is it because of my early exposure into business at CV? Even if it isn’t, I’m sure that it must boosted my confidence in doing business that I continued immediately I got to college which got me the money I used in paying my sophomore year tuition fee. Our experiences make or mar us, and I’m sure some people have had more marring than making by the set of experiences they have lived through. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t matter what got you here as much as what will get you where you are going. The past is behind us, most people say forget the past, but I say don’t forget the past, just acknowledge it. Without the past, there will be no present and definitely no future. Your thoughts or imaginations of your future has its roots in your past, which is the reason you must be conscious of your past, since you refer to it subconsciously to make your decisions.

How did this experience in Computer village mar me? See Present Past #2

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Kelvin Umechukwu

Kelvin Umechukwu

Community. STEM. Startups.

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