The Search For Greener Pastures By Seun Akioye - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Search For Greener Pastures By Seun Akioye

                                          
 • Akioye


 I pity young people who abandon their education saying ‘I will continue my schooling abroad’ and they have visiting visas. I pity the young men who dropped promising career here thinking their celebrity status here automatically translates to work in “the abroad of the London or in the America.”
One day, I woke up with what I believed was the solution to all my money, love and career problems. Just one masterpiece of an idea that would level every mountain in my life. Armed with this, I went to my editor at The Source Hon Victor Afam Ogene and told him I was resigning.  My colleagues @ Edward Dibianaand Olukorede Yishau felt I was mad. “You this boy, what is wrong with you? My editor cried.  
I could not be bothered. I pitied Korede and Eddy, they would end up as veteran journalists if care is not taken. I didn’t want that at all. That week, I had been promoted from a reporter to senior reporter and my salary doubled to a whopping N12,000. The letter read in part: “your performance has pleased the management”- yea, darn right.  I was a fairly good journalist and was acquiring a reputation for getting the story no matter how horrible the situation, you could say I had prospects.
My plan was simple. I would relocate to London and make it big. A year before, I had taken a fancy to reading all of London’s best writers and I felt I could do as well if not better. I was adamant my life will not move forward if I do not travel out. If I stayed in Lagos, I would grind out in poverty and frustration with N12,000 salary. That was 2003.
I arrived in London in the winter, no jacket, no money save 20 pounds. I was armed with the book 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene -it actually belonged to Adeola Akinremi.   I reckoned, by the time I had practiced at least 20 of the laws on the white people, I would be rich and famous. As I struggled inside the cold on my way to Woolwich, I was planning which law I would deploy on the editor of The London Telegraph newspaper. I must get a job with that paper and I would start the next day.
I began about a week later, I drafted a fine application letter. My gang in Lagos led by @ Tosin Orogun had created high tech CVs and fantastic way of writing applications. For instance, we would say: Dear Editor, I hereby forward to you, the basic pre-requisite as regards my suitability for the above mentioned position. I have had four years of increasingly progressive experience in the print media…..”
I also photocopied some of my ‘greatest’ writings in The Source magazine, I did them in A3 so the Telegraph editor won’t have to squint to read them and posted the bulky envelope. Two weeks later, I received no response, I wrote another letter, nothing. 
Time was going, I had bills to pay. So I went to a bus stop and copied the addresses of all the leading London newspapers. I would bombard them with my applications after all 48 Laws of Power said we should never give up.
I wrote flowery applications to The Times, Guardian and The Independent. No response. I was getting desperate, these people are joking with me, do they know what I can do for them. Then I started calling them, the operator would ask why I wanted to talk to the editor, reluctantly, I would say it has to do with a job. “Sorry, there is no vacancy at the moment.”
At the moment? So when will there be vacancy. “Sorry there is no vacancy at the moment.”
I decided to go lower, to the Daily mail, the Mirror, Sun, Daily Express, papers I don’t like. It was the same. I felt this people must be racist, it is because I am black.
I went even lower, I applied to local newspapers like the free Evening Standard, then Borough papers with barely 8 pages long. I went to the headquarters of The Mail somewhere in Kensington and I was not admitted to see the editor.
In desperation, I penned a last letter to the Telegraph editor with the title: I AM ONE OF A KIND, TOO GOOD AN OPPORTUNITY TO IGNORE.
I was ignored.
I decided to do something with my talents. I trekked to Old Kent road where I had a complementary card (see photo) printed with my last money. The card read: JOURNALIST AND MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER.
I took out all the notes from my Pastor, Sam Adeyemi and crammed all the seven steps to success and all such things as the Parable of Dollars, Success Tips, Dream Seed. I would stand at the bus stop and begin to distribute my card.
“Oi mate” I would call to people and begin to introduce myself as a motivational speaker and a journalist, I wasn’t sure if I would get anyone willing to engage an unemployed and hungry motivational speaker.
Nobody hired me, no church called me back to speak to their youths, I did not see the light at the end of the tunnel, so one day, I went to Amour security company, owned by one rich Nigerian man called Chief Bala and begged them to get me a job as a security guard.

 Seun Akioye is a media personality

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