Toast to a state at 50
By Oluwole Sheriff Olusanya
I made my first One Million Naira cash at the age of —- in Lagos. – Oluwole Olusanya #LagosMillionaire.
Lagos is unlike any other state in the country in so many ways. It is the only state in Nigeria with a Portuguese name. Part of what is today’s Lagos State once existed outside what eventually became Nigeria before 1906, but no sooner was Nigeria amalgamated than was it named as the capital in January, 1914. Actually, the debate among the British colonial rulers was whether it was Calabar or Lagos that should be the capital and Lagos won the argument. I sometimes wonder what would have been the story of Nigeria today if Calabar had been chosen. My guess is that Lagos, because of its great coastal resources, it would still have been a major economic and commercial Centre but not at the level that it is today. Much of what Lagos is today in terms of foundational structures owed mainly to its former status as the capital of Nigeria for 76 years, during which the resources of the nation and the sweat of its people from all across were invested in building up a national commonwealth.
Lagos State was one of the 12 states created on 27th May, 1967 by General Yakubu Gowon, which is why the state is celebrating its 50th anniversary in grand style, being the only one that was never split in subsequent state creation exercises. The state government led by Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is rolling out the drums of celebration. It is also rolling out something else – posters of people who, according to those organizing the celebration, have contributed to the success of Lagos in the past 50 years. (Lagos at 50 controversies – Ochereome Nnanna, April 27th, 2017)
Culled from Vanguard News – //www.vanguardngr.com/2017/04/lagos-50-controversies/
Interestingly, one of the major highlights of the event is the rolling out of posters of accomplished/established individuals who have contributed to the success of the state and vice versa. I was thrilled with the innovative idea when I first slumbered on some posters on Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way along Maryland – Ikeja axis sometimes in March, 2017. I immediately concluded that it can only be Lagos. In the same vein, I am particularly fascinated that it has also inspired every concerned/interested Lagosian to share their own unique Lagos success story on social media and everywhere else. This is my Lagos success story.
For obvious reasons, I do not believe that I can start my autobiography without attributing my achievements in life to God, my parents, other members of my family, friends and the energy, courage and the go-and-get-it attitude that the streets of Lagos has naturally deposited in every Lagosian. My parents met and got married in the early ’80s in Lagos, my mother came to Lagos to look for a job from Ibadan, Oyo State after she graduated from the tertiary institution she attended in Oyo State where she spent most of her childhood. My father was born and raised in Isale-Eko, Lagos Island. I was born in the ’90s to these loving and caring parents in Lagos and I have lived in Lagos all my life. I have never spent a complete week outside Lagos. My family lineage is the Olusanya Family in Itumoja, Ikorodu, Lagos State. My parents presently work with the Lagos State Government in various capacities, I attended a Lagos State owned tertiary institution and I also got my first ever job with the Lagos State Government Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives before I moved to my present employment. However, I still work with the Lagos State Government on consultancy basis in tax revenue collection. My uncle – Ashipa Kaoli Olusanya, the former Commissioner of Agriculture – was the only Commissioner in the administration of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu to last the entire two year-tenure of Jagaban’s eight years rule.
My Lagos Success Story in Figures
19 – My first ever article; “Life of Ants” was sent to the Punch Newspapers when I was 19 and it was published on my 20th birthday. I have written for about five media outlets after the Punch’s publication.
22 – I founded ‘Swaggzs Curse Records’, a record label at the age of 22. I signed myself and 5 other rappers. Swaggzs Curse died because of lack of adequate funds and sponsorship.
23 – I brought my first car – a Honda Automatic Gear Mini bus some weeks after my 23rd Birthday, it was the first car I ever drove in my life.
25 – I won a scholarship to study a post graduate course in a United Kingdom university some months after my 25th birthday.
100 – I have written close to 100 article and like Lagos, it is still counting. I am also working on a book project. Details later.
1,000 – I celebrated ‘1,000 views’ on my blog the same week Trump celebrated 100 days in office.
1,000,000 – I joined the Millionaires’ club some months after my ——- birthday. I am still chasing more millions.
1,000,000,000 – I am working very hard to become a billionaire by the age of 30.
Most importantly, I would totally sound out of place if I state that it has been rosy from the first day. No, I have encountered a number of challenges that seem insurmountable at some point in life and it is a constant and unavoidable part of life but the streets of Lagos somehow prepares you for the daily hustle and the roller coaster that life is all about. Lagos is the Land of Hustle, “If you are not lazy in Lagos, you too will make it”. – ANIFOWOSE ADEYEMI.
God Bless Us All
Olusanya, Oluwole Sheriff is a Relationship Officer with Sterling Bank Plc