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Ikenna Ronald Nzimora @ronaldnzimora
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People ask me how I managed to overcome failure or how I "made it" or at what point did I know I was going to be a success. I always give a canned answer because frankly, I don't want to type so much. But I have gotten this question a lot so let me tell you guys a bit about me.
I was born in the 80s, in Zaria. We lived in Gusau, Zamfara State. My Dad was a very successful business man, imported goods from the UK, until Buhari happened in 1984. Within years, his business shut down, inflation shot up, the currency's value eroded, market prices were fixed
and people were imprisoned for speaking out (sound familiar? Oops Buhari is President now. Leopard and dark spots)

Growing up, I didnt know we lacked anything. Until around 1989. I was moved from my school to a cheaper school, Ideal Primary School, then to yet another cheaper...
Sarkin Kudu Primary School, where my Mum taught as a teacher.

We moved from the better side of town to the Federal Mortgage area. My Dad had started a new business, a Sporting goods shop, supplying equipment to Govt schools. And by God, they owed! For long periods!
I think my first inkling that something was amiss was when my Mum stopped dehusking our corn before grinding it. So now our Tuwo had a brown hue instead of pure white. We were not poor, but we were just a step above it.

For the first time, I and my sister @LeanaOge had to...
start hawking stuff on the street. We would sell Ogi, cubes of St. Louis sugar and fried Akara on Saturdays. I hated it. She excelled beautifully, always selling out hours before I did. Primarily because I had a permanent scowl on my face. And that isn't good for business.
Then Dad left for Lagos and eventually Ghana to try and pursue new business. And Mum while raising 5 kids, graduated NCE (she had started with just a Teacher's Training Certificate). Despite this, she didn't get a promotion for over 10 years. (Need me to tell you why? I don't.)
We got new clothes on our birthdays and at Christmas. As the first born child, I had to keep my school supplies safe and hand down my text books to my younger siblings.

For entertainment, we had a Sanyo Black & White TV. Every evening, after a compulsory siesta, we'd watch...
"Tales by Moonlight" and go to bed at exactly 10 P.M. In 1990 we got our first VCR, a Sharp product. By God, I mastered the remote control buttons in one day.

My parents did a great job sheltering us as much as they could. Our home was happy. My Dad unlike many other Dads...
didn't drink and didn't smoke. So you could say all his money whatever he made always came home.

Then the riots increased. Christians, and especially Igbos being targeted. Even when whatever caused said riot didn't involve them, somehow it circled back and they became victims.
I remember one time my Mum sent me to the market and a riot erupted while I was there. A man grabbed me and held me down as I kicked and screamed, bundled me into his car and drove off.

I thought I was Dead, then I heard his voice. It was Alhaji Abbas. My Mum taught his kids...
in Sarkin Kudu Primary School, and always helped them with extra classes when he asked for that favour, without asking for pay.

Alhaji Abbas told me to lie fat on the car follow of the back seat. Then drove me to his house, where I was fed by his fourth wife. That evening...
he drove me home to the welcome relief of a distraught mother who had been crying thinking I had been killed.

That was the last straw for my Mum. The following week, she pulled us out of school, packed every single stuff we had, hired a 911 truck, and we left Gusau for my...
home town, Ihiala. Think about it, uprooting yourself and your life and moving across the country to a home town you last visited 5 years ago, without a job and no money.

Luckily we had a house there, and she had her family. Also processing her transfer went without a hitch.
The Anambra State Education Ministry found it odd she hadn't been promoted in 10 years and brought her up to par. I got admitted into Seminary School in my hometown, my Sister into a convent in Imo State. My brothers into a primary school run by Nuns in my home town.
Things were cheaper, life was simple, but we still were one step above poverty. Moving back to Ihiala was pivotal. I met up with my Mum's cousin, Chief Victor Okafor (a.k.a. Ezego of Igboland) who had gotten into money. Visiting his house and riding in his many convertibles...
(he had over 100 cars at one time) made me see there was an other side to the world.

I experienced wealth for the first time - plush leather sofas, rich food, sexy cars. Have you ever had the thrilling experience of sitting in a car with the top down zipping along the road and..
air blowing through your hair? Try it. That's where I got my love for cars from. I still plan to have a fleet like he did.

I started wondering why we weren't at that level, why we didn't have money, why my Dad no longer had a car and my Mum had to drive around on a motorcycle.
Mother would tell me to stop thinking about it anytime I brought it up and to work hard, study and I could make as much money, and then I would have all those things. But I didn't want to wait. I wanted it now.

I concluded that maybe some people aren't that lucky, maybe God...
didn't bless them enough or maybe he blessed them differently. Then I wondered if God secretly hated us, our family. If he didnt why were we not rich?

When I was in JSS 3, my Mum had come to pick me up from school on her bike. We stopped by our village market so she could buy...
foodstuff to cook for us. A popular man, named Aranka (he was deranged) who always roamed the market walked to her and said, "Auntie, akpukwu gi a adizie mma oyiyi". Translation: Your shoes are no lober good enough to wear.

My heart stopped. My Mum smiled and said...
"Aranka, anu gom. Deeme.". Translation: "Aranka, I have heard you. Thanks." Then she said to me: Wait here. I am going to buy a new pair of shoes. If a mad person knows my shoes are bad, then God knows it looks awful and needs changing.

I was heartbroken.
I knew the reason she let her footwear stay that long was because she was stretching her money. My Dad was away in Ghana hustling for business and was away 11 months every year. It was hard sending money home. There was no internet, no phones. If someone wasn't coming back to...
Nigeria, we got nothing from him.

When she returned, she had a new pair of shoes on and we drove home. I hugged her and said, "Don't worry Mummy. I will make so much money in this world so I can buy you any kind of show you ever want, no matter the cost.
That day, I swore I would never let my Mother go through such humiliation again. I swore the moment I could, I would do everything I could to make her never want for anything ever again. I didn't know it as vividly as I do now, but that was the day I knew I was going to be rich.
To my regret, my Mum died in 2000. My promise and commitment carries over to my siblings and my Dad. To give them a better life, to give us, what we lacked as children, to make sure our children never have to wonder, that they have a cushion we didnt. To live life like we did not
And I tell you it has not been easy getting to this point. Its been many years of 3 hour sleep, staring into screens, working non-stop, pitching clients, getting rejected, failed relationships, scoring wins.

Being able to pay for a 3-Bedroom flat in Festac so my family could...
continue living there was a great turning point. That's when I knew I had turned the corner. That's when I knew I was going to make it.

Making my first million naira via an advert I placed in Success Digest (I checked the account multiple times, the customer service ladies...
were puzzled by my coming and going).

I have gone from selling ebooks burnt on CDs to co-managing a digital firm and now starting up a real estate company.

And I have been lucky. I have been fortunate to meet people who have helped me. People who have become family, people...
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