It was in Nov 2013…
I had left the financial institution I was working for and was looking to find another job especially in the sector of my interest or go stronger on my brand.
It was tough, very tough!
I had to do a lot of freelancing and volunteer jobs in order not to stay idle. I would ask older friends who I admire to come help around their office with say letters and minutes.
Accompany them to meetings. Go everyday to work for them even when there was no pay attached. Sometimes, I got rewarded and at other times it was just a thank you.
I always tell myself something, “staying at home and idling away can’t and won’t solve any problem, go out and show the world what you can do, that is the only way people get to know you are capable and not by saying it”…
It continued for a while, I was applying for jobs but not just any job.
I don’t see a vacancy and just apply because it’s a vacancy and I need a job, nope!
I made sure it was something that I wanted to do…
So I was. Selective in applying for a job.
Oma is a love and passion driven person. These values are what make me be at my best. Dabbling into something I don’t love is like punishment to me. Even if I do it, put in all my best and excel, I will be seen constantly complaining because it’s not my thing.
Let me go back to the main story,
One day I was on Facebook and had lots of inbox messages as always. I went through them most being the usual “xup babe”, “u r sexy babe”, “can I ve ur num” etc which I never reply.
One of the emails caught my attention that day. It was from a man who I later learnt is so much respected on the social media. An Igbo activist and a media person.
He complimented my writing skills and said I would go far. I replied and a conversation started. I later called him on the phone and he was thrilled at my eloquence.
I made him understand what I wanted to do and how tough it has been trying to do so.
He tried to talk me into paper journalism or print media but I told him I didn’t like journalism especially in Nigeria.
He asked what I had done at the time, I told him about a program I had anchored in the past on NTA International and most of the public speaking I have done and people I had interviewed at the time.
He spoke about a TV show or station that would soon commence and I was so thrilled. Why won’t I be? I didn’t have any reason to doubt a middle aged man who wears a red cap that is supposed to be the symbol of dignity in IGBOLAND.
I thought to myself, “Oma you have found a worthy mentor”
He was always in and out of Abuja but we scheduled to meet on a particular day which was a Saturday.
I prayed for a great and favourable meeting (laughs out loud)
When he called, I explained to him that I didn’t have enough money to pay for my fare to and fro.
I was broke and he promised to pay my transportation cost back.
I dressed up and took a cab from Gwarinpa to the said address.
I remember vividly what I was wearing that day. It was a carton colour and black bold stripped maxi dress with long sleeve.
On getting there, it was a hotel and I had never been there. It was in Garki.
As soon as I got there, I called him and informed him I was at the reception.
Soon he came down and he was looking very responsible.
He came down with a young lady about my age, saw her off and came to where I was and said
I replied “yes sir”! (With a smile)
He went on; “you look better in real life”
I replied ; “thanks sir, I hear that often”.
He came and sat down, he started talking, talked about how talented and serious minded I am on Facebook. Etc.
Along the line, he said we should go up to his room to which I refused calmly but vehemently.
“Sir, all we want to discuss can be done here , I don’t think we should take pains going up to your room” I said!
“Oh ok dear, I mean no harm just wanted you to be more comfortable” he said!
We talked on and this man started deviating o. Marilyn you are a fine girl, you know? You look sexy, you know? You are tempting, you know?π π π π
In my mind I knew there was trouble already. Worst part is no transport fareπ’π’π’π’
He started persuading me the more to come upstairs.
I refused and was eager to go.
I said sir, I don’t want to go upstairs. We don’t have any reason to go upstairs together.
About the job sir, when will it start?
He became angry, “what job?”
Listen, I cannot work with someone I don’t know… I need to know you to work with you!
“Sir, but I just told you where I am from, You can call my dad”. I replied now sobbing
He went on; ” I need to know you not your dad” when you are ready to work let me know!
I decided to be brave and I stopped sobbing
Then I said; “ok sir, I want to leave now, you promised to give me transport fare”
He looked at me angrily! Do I look like a money making machine?
I was startled though I expected it, ” can anyone be this low and mean?”
Wow! Sir you made me come out of my house. I told you…
He intruded and cut me half way… “Young lady, I am going up to rest, I don’t like wasting my time” and he left.
I didn’t have more than 150naira in my purse. Didn’t know what to do but I was not afraid.
I stopped the first taxi, he was so impatient I let him go. I walked down a bit. Saw another taxi, stopped it, the driver was an elderly man. I explained everything to him and begged him to take me home that I had just 150naira. He accepted and all through the drive he kept talking to me like a daughter. You see, you are a good child and you will not regret it in life.
I was even very hungry too!
This same man is a man who does a post and gets over 200 likes.
He is a big time propagandist.
He brags about supporting people and when ever I see pictures of girls and ladies he puts on here with complimenting captions, I just know he has taken them up to his hotel room and taken time to know them!
I got home safe and sound and the taxi man gave me 1000naira to feed.
It was on the 30th of April.
I had returned from Lagos with one of my staff and I told her to take a day off to rest because we had spent 7 hectic days in Lagos.
I decided to go to the office early that same day because I needed to pick something.
Along the line, a thought came to me…
“Oma, just sit a while and meditate… It’s quiet here”
I sat down in the studio and prayed and started going through the main thing that brought me to the office that early especially after a tiring trip.
When I entered the office, I locked it up again such that anyone who comes after me will not know someone had come or is already in the office.
At almost 8:30am, the 1st person came and I was alarmed at the lateness.
Others came at 9am or so.
(Note: the office opens at 8am)
I was sobbing in the studio.
So this is the actual time the office opens I thought to myself.
I waited a while to see if work would start going on. But sadly, they had gathered in the in room gisting while some were playing “candy crush”.
We had a project which was supposed to be in a week, so wiling time away was my least expectation from any member of my team at that time.
They didn’t know I was in the office.
I put my phones on silence, thought of what to do then I decided to send a text.
“HELLO, good morning, why are you all seated in the office chatting away dear when you should be working or out on follow up for the project at hand.”
I heard her phone beep, meaning she just received the message.
And then her voice “imagine this Oma o, that why are we chatting away, do I even blame her ? Nonsense!! Mtschew.
One of them asked, but wait o, how did she know we are chatting away?
Another said, but we should be out working though.
I wrote another text “so this is what I am getting in my absence? Was that really you?
Confused, I could hear her footsteps, she ran outside to check the office premises. She was sure that a spy was around.
She was confused.
She has sent another one, who is the informant?
They all became quiet and in like 10 minutes, they left the office for the day’s business.
After they had gone, I walked out in pains. I cried.
This happened in April and I overlooked it…
Went on as if nothing happened!
Because of my large heart!
Folks, the signs are always there.
You may see them or just feel them and just ignore!
Most times, we are carried away by emotions.
People will speak to you because they see what you don’t see and you quarrel with them instead of listening.
Who and who are in your boat?
Who is that person who sings your praise in your presence, do they do same in your absence?
On 24th of October 2015 at the Congress Hall of The Transcorp Hilton Hotels Abuja, JASMINE MMESOMA ANONA was crowned the FACE OF DEMOCRACY WEST AFRICA/ADVOCACY 2015/2016. It was a well deserved victory and everyone present at the event can attest to it.
JASMINE MMESOMA ANONA is a final year student of the university of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is a native of ABAGANA in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra state. She is the last girl and the 2nd to the last child in her home.
Jasmine, who is only 20 years old is a young Nigerian woman who is burning with great passion and enthusias to showcase her multiple talent and skills to the world.
Talking about her upbringing, she has this to say, ” I come from an a background where everyone believes in Academics and as such, my parents are very particular about school and education. My mum of blessed memory was a teacher by training and profession and my dad was a seasoned banker who later became a lecturer. My upbringing was interesting but very domestic. We were not allowed to go downstairs, go out or even play with other kids. I have overly over protective parents but I am grateful for the kind of upbringing they gave I and my siblings because it helped to shape us, such that we stand out amongst our peers.
Talking about her position as a beauty queen she has this to say. ” growing up , I was always referred to as a beauty queen. Most people will say to my parents, she is so fine. My sisters are all beautiful though but I am the fairest and the tallest. I had people always tell me, you should contest for this or that. I have tried in some occasions but you know how Nigeria is without having to say it out. I was discouraged at some point but I didn’t relent. I persevered and here I am today. The face of Democracy West Africa/Advocacy. Now, the victory has come and I know I have lots of responsibilities as this isn’t mere title. I want to be a queen with a difference , making impact in the society and putting myself to good use. I will try to be the voice of the youths as far as DEMOCRACY is concerned and there are other projects that I am going to embark on to ensure that I contribute my quota to the development of our country Nigeria.
The journey has only started, I can’t work alone, I will try and gather young, energetic and passionate people like me to work in the selected area which I am not unveiling just yet. Right now, I want to concentrate on my final project and graduate successfully and then I can take the world.
On who her role models are, ” luckily, I had a very good mother though she is gone now but the seeds she deposited in me are still growing and even in death, she is my role model still, my elder sisters are my role models. I hold my family so strong, they are all I have got. Outside my home, I have role models like Agbani Darego, Angelina Jolie etc.
On her words to youths, ” to the youths, it starts with a step. You must make a move. And when you make a move and it doesn’t work, don’t relent. Success comes from trying and trying and trying again. Failing should not discourage you, it doesn’t mean you are not good enough. Don’t relent. Quit excuses, be optimistic. Stop wishing, get busy because even the Bible says ” God will bless the works of our hands” it means you must be doing something for him to bless you.
Thanks for this.