Sabo

First time I got to Sabo, I took the wrong bus from Yaba to Obalende, thinking it was heading to my NYSC camp at Ijanikin. I was supposed to have taken the Oshodi bus. I was lucky to have realized my error after asking a lenient conductor. I came down, and looked around for a bus back to Yaba. I never knew “Sabo” would play a very important role in my life.

My very first proper job was my NYSC year at Mayo/PTC @ Sabo. Before then, I had washed poultries, sold home made “chin chin” snacks and canned tomatoes in the market. Those other experiences are for another post. All I can say now is that, I was “The King of The Street”.

The first time I ever used a computer was at Sabo. It was an IBM PC XT. It was abandoned at the office, so I fixed it up myself and learned MS DOS. My first experience with a PC was clearing the “Ping Pong Virus”. “Infosec hacking” was in my blood :)

The day I coined the name “Swifta” was after a Suzuki Swift car passed me at Sabo. I loved the name “Logica” but it was taken. I saw the car drive past, and I thought — “Why not Swifta?”.

First real crush and heartbreak I ever had was at Sabo. I wonder where she is now. My friend ‘Dipo Oke (from Ibadan) will laugh at this. He will also understand the joke about “Chief!, Chief!! Chief!!”.

The first time I really learned about business and took accountancy classes was at Sabo. My Uncle “Henry Imasekha”, had started “MAYO Associates”. “MAYO” was the first accountancy training school in Nigeria. He did so after he returned from England in the 80s.

Those who know and remember MAYO, know what it did for accountancy and banking in Nigeria. It was the first training institution of its kind fashioned after Emile Woolf in London, where my uncle had been the first ever black tutor. He partnered with BPP and revolutionized the entire finance industry in Nigeria by creating more local talent. They were the first “Andela”. I was “fortunate” to do my NYSC year there.

My initial job was organizing corporate training for banks, which we did with the subsidiary PTC (Professional Training Consultants). I ended up being the resident geek after acquiring my own personal computer that I had fixed. More of that too in another post.

First time I almost became a criminal was at Sabo. That is also “definitely” for another post.

Let’s just say I perfectly understand the dude on Techcabal Radar who said :

“Sabo to Anthony on foot is about 1.5 hours”

I had to do that hike and more a lot of times when broke and with nothing left but my dignity. My NYSC boots had patches on patches. It was all I had left after I was robbed at Ikeja.

Now, we see running and walking as ”exercise”. I had to do it daily at some point to survive.

I eventually started sleeping in the office when the shoes gave up and my room flooded because of a leaking roof.

I was not the only one sleeping there on the premises. A lot of ICAN examinations students at MAYO slept there as well. Sabo has always been the place for dreamers. It used to be finance and now it is tech. A lot of the leadership of financial institutions in Nigeria (including one Minister and a Governor) passed through MAYO.

If ICAN exams had 11 prizes, MAYO students won 10 of those. All Audit firms sent their guys there for training.

A lot of people still can’t understand why I opted out of that industry for tech. I had to do what I was passionate about. I was not passionate about Finance or Banking. My family was not too passionate about my choice.

Sherrif Shittu put that trekking experience quite aptly —

“When where you are going is what you see, the distance and pain disappear”

Sherrif has just described what “entrepreneurship” is really all about. It is about “Purpose”.

When I say that “I don’t like Lagos”, it is true. I however don’t dislike “Sabo”, I actually “love” Sabo. All my memories are still there. Memories of another time.

I eat Nigerian Jollof and I write things. That is what I do. Chief Fanatic @ Manchester United FC.

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