Monday, September 29, 2014

On Oga Jason Njoku..

Ola Dolls,

Been a minute I know but I will not abandon ship. It is important to me that I document this journey. My audience might be small but it very important to me. I want(NEED) for my daughter to one day read this blog and know that her mother fought. Valiantly.
 So it's official, am running a tech startup. Never in the world did I think I would. It has all happened by accident. But in re-thinkng my business and getting a business model that would work for just little old me, I've stumbled onto something. No details, I am not giving the keys to kingdom away. This town is rife with copy cats.

The Oga!

Back to Oga Jason, tech giant n Lagos, Nigeria (scratch that,the world), been reading his blog and his story is nothing short of remarkable. To say am inspired is an understatement. The man is a visionary. I am bereft of what to say. If you are a player in the tech scene in Africa,I  recommend you go read his blog (the entire thing). He is launching(or has already) Irokotv in East Africa. A friend and I were debating that we(East Africans especially Ugandans) are not ready for that yet. Data is still expensive. Yes, there are 6.5m Ugandans online but what are they doing. Facebook, Porn and Sports betting. No one is willing to spend 100mb(2500ugx) on watching videos. Even I don't download videos when they are sent to me via watsapp, I ask the content of the video and if it's useful, I download. And I never ever download anything larger than 5mb. So streaming movies seems like a far fetched idea. We both agreed that this man has not done enough research and is just stumbling into this region.

Well, soon after that, this friend went to buy a battery for his phone at one of the malls in town. A few minutes to 7pm, the shop attendant went out to buy airtime and proceeded to load a data bundle worth 100mb. His reason, he was going to watch the NTV news bulletin live via the recently launched app. Mind blown!We checked later that evening and the app had already been downloaded more than 5000 times. In 3 days! Oga Jason is onto something.

For the longest time ever, I have wanted to meet Dangote. Not to ask for a handout mind you but to know how he could turn a small retail firm into the amorphous conglomerate it is today. I believe in enterprise yes but there is no need to reinvent the wheel,copy, edit and paste works just fine.I actually asked Robert Kabushenga to host him for the next Pakasa forum. (He responded that he would try). I have a new request. I want   need to meet Jason. As if I needed another reason to go to Lagos.Tsk tsk. Saving up for that ticket money is on! I leave you with this snippet from one of his articles;

"Ecommerce was another naked opportunity a year ago, today that opportunity has disappeared. Done. Between Jumia and Konga, I speculate they have raised $50Mn+ in the last 10 months. All of the future funding will be absorbed by those two as they duke out to be the number 1 in Nigeria and Africa. Everyone else, the 60+ guys racing around attempting ecommerce should polish off their resumes or go niche. I would rather go niche. There are big businesses within the cracks of the big bland consumables. Search there for your alpha. 
Today is today. Stop the delusions of grandeur of a successful future. Some distant alignment of events which will connect to make you the next Dangote. The future is 5mins in front. What can you do today to own your market tomorrow and thus control your future." 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Progress Report Numero Cinq..

Ola Dolls,

I hope all of you are as happy and sunshinny(not a word but it should be) as I am. So it's been 21 days of the site being up and so far so good. More than good infact. Excellent! I have hit 1000 page views. I have 30 site members (people who actually signed up) and most of the reviews I've received have been positive.
I'd set a revenue target for 30 days. Some days looked really bleak and I started to think I wouldn't hit my target. I really needed to hit that target cause am obsessed with numbers but mainly because it would determine how I'd go about the business and whether it was even viable. I hit that target yesterday. On day 20!

Going back to the drawing board to further refine the process, tweak a few things here and there and set even higher targets. I have a couple of meetings with key people this week and excited does not even begin to cover how I feel. Yes, there will be pitfalls but I am ready. Bring it on,Bitch!

PS:This is a fabulous song to listen to when you're up late at night on the grind.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Current State of Mind...

Ola dolls,

For the past two years, I've been walking around in a haze of dreams with brief spirited break throughs but alas none that lasted long enough. I have longed earnestly to get back into this mental head space that I am getting into right now.

I want that old Barbie back. Barbie who got on a bus and went to Kenya to ask in person for an internship at Google. Barbie who landed an interview to Ericsson by head hunting for the head engineer from LinkedIn. Barbie who jumped on a plane and went to seek out suppliers in Istanbul. Barbie who would ask for doors to open and if they did not, she broke them down.I feel like am getting there.

Right now, this is how I feel. FIERCE!

Mrs. Carter. Oh so articulate!!


Friday, September 12, 2014

On Marriage...

Ola Dolls,

Been sitting on this post for a while. Was finally irked by a facebook post enough to blog about it. Offending post below;

Alot of the comments were that it is preposterous not to be married by age 30! What's she been doing this entire time?!

Most of the advice given to her was in the direction of prayer; the holy ghost fire kind! Apparently she has ancestral spiritual ties that are binding her husband from appearing. She needs to be running to a Prayer Warrior/Sangoma/Healer/Oprah/ Anybody.


*How some people’s minds work! Bangs head on table*

My problem with this is that madame over yonder aspires to marriage. The big shebang! Why? How is this even logical anymore? How can you aspire to something that is solely dependent on a variable(another person) that is not constant. You aspire to wealth (and hence work your ass off). You aspire to fitness and health (and again, work your ass). You aspire to be a religious person( working your ass off; all those hours being good, reading the word e.t.c). See a trend here? 

Then comes Marriage? How does one work hard in this regard? I know y’all are going to say, the same working your ass off applies i.e get fit, get religious, get wealthy to attract a potential spouse. But this is where the problem is. You are essentially turning into a fraud. For example, You’re not a skinny bitch. But you’re starving/exercising yourself down to skinny bitch status to attract a man who likes skinny bitches. Man who likes skinny bitches marries you and since your aspiration ergo Marriage has been attained, there’s no need to maintain status quo of working hard. Then previously skinny bitch balloons to fat bitch! Man who likes skinny bitches is then in shock and distraught. He finds out he’s been lied to. Hoodwinked into a sham of a marriage! Man who likes skinny bitches goes back into active hunter mode looking for an actual skinny bitch. Fat bitch is distraught and due to all the stress eating grows fatter. Man who likes skinny bitches hunts harder. This carefully placed pack of card falls. This is marriage today.

After only 72 days!
 Marriage is a BIG deal here Everywhere, making things like this happen;

But why is this holy grail of matrimony failing? Are we focusing too much on the wedding and not the marriage? We need to rethink this whole institution. Listen to this talk by Chimamanda. I hope it blows your mind as it did mine in this regard.

 I never thought I’d say this (on a blog moreover) but I am now firmly in camp Kourtney Kardashian. The get together, have kids, buy property together and never marry camp. I really see no reason why one must put undue societal,legal and religious pressure on the already fragile state of a human relationship. The End.

PS: I am not teaching my daughter to aspire to marriage. Instead, I shall teach her to aspire to be the best possible version of her that ever was for HERSELF. This way she will attract the best possible people to walk this journey of life with her. If this is a husband, Great.  But this can also be a friend(s), a sister/brother from another mother. Alas, Man is a highly social being and cannot be alone.

PPS: My advise for madam in distress on Facebook. Have your babies! AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! You are already a prime candidate for a high risk pregnancy. 


Saturday, September 6, 2014

On the first week of business...

Ola dolls,

Hope y'all are OK. It's still so cold, so so cold (Mother Nature, what have we done? How can we appease you?)
Anyhow, this week I launched my online store. This was a huge leap of faith given there's very few Africans let alone Ugandans online. Refer to the internet traffic map below;

Africa; Always winning as the dark continent!
There's been a surprising amount of traffic on the site so far so am hopeful. The reaction of my mother when I told her I hope to make money off a website;

I love you baby but that shit's hella funny.
She composed herself thereafter and called upon Jesus and the ancestors to help me prosper. I love my mother. She's a rare species of person. 

The project has been sanctioned by the tree of life so it's full speed ahead. World, here I come.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Progress Report Numero Quatre

Ola Dolls,

Cold weather this side of the tropics. It actually snowed (I think, not really sure about the authenticity of the picture on which am basing these assumptions. See below)

Climate Change!

I figure it is time for another progress report seeing as that was the reason for the starting of this blog. Enough with the foolery! Serious things people! I remember when I started out as IT Barbie, I wanted to take over the IT world (still do, but now I want the WHOLE world. Greed!) I was going to be the best Network/System Engineer there ever was. I don't even know why, I just felt this was what I had and needed to do. After a baby, change in Job title and a few financial talks along the way, I started hawking baby clothes to supplement my income and finally opened a shop. I was happy, delirious even but I was torn.This love story about my career was not going according to plan. I think I now understand people who cheat.

I met Jake in high school, we flirted a little but never got serious. We maintained communication and met again in college. Things got serious with Jake. He completed me. He excited me. I could see, feel and touch the future we could have. I saw our babies. Named them. Jake was the one.I would do anything for Jake. I swore my life to Jake. Till death do us part. I married Jake.

Unbeknownst to Jake, I had a little dalliance on the side. I'd met Edward 4 years after I'd met Jake. Edward set me on fire. Ed turned me inside out but Ed was not reliable. Ed was the proverbial bad boy. Ed was flighty and uncouth. Delicious highs, excruciating lows. Ed was not going to give me the world. Ed was with me one day and gone the next, leaving terrible wounds, burning holes into my soul. Every encounter with Ed left me scarred.

So I married Jake. Had his baby. And I got bored. I was bored out of my mind. I begun to loathe going home. I wanted to be anywhere but near Jake. Inspite of this, Jake's love grew as if to entrap me even further. He threw love at my face and beat me with it. He showered me with gifts. He'd raise our child on his own. He'd heal whatever was broken in me. He'd never leave. So I talked myself back into loving Jake. I promised to go to counselling. I was going to fix this. Jake deserved better.

Then I met Ed again.Lord knows I tried to run away but I couldn't. Ed sang a song my heart could hear. Ed knew me. I was his fiddle. And he played me well, oh so well. Before I knew it, I was running around with Ed. Crossing seas and oceans, creepy little hotel rooms in Nairobi and Mumbai, Lavish suites in Instabul. Ed was my life and I had returned to him. Jake raised our baby. 

And as fate would have it, Jake got tired. of giving and receiving nothing in return. Jake complained but I would not budge. Jake threatened to leave but I only laughed at his gimmicks, dared him. Told him he needed me more than I did he. Finally, Jake left. 

I was terrified. Distraught. Running after Jake. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. One night, during what had become a ritual of searching for Jake online, Ed came to me. He would stay. He would be good. He would not leave. Whatever happened, he would give me the world or at least he'd die trying.

So here we are;Ed and I Redefined. Come take a looksee;

For those still lost, Jake is my IT career and Ed is my Business Career. Jake and Ed are twilight references. Team Jake Vs Team Edward. Get it?! No! Am judging myself already, like that 50 shades of grey chic.
This is how y'all are.

So that's the report, am doing business full time. It's been upgraded from side chic to main chic status. So more writing, more baby time, more me time.