Hello People, enjoy this interesting true life story ! Am sure you will be encouraged.
I am KUSIMO OLUSOLA JOHNSON, a graduate of computer science from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago – Iwoye, Ogun state.
After my youth service in March 2011, as was the usual custom, I set out every day in the city of Lagos, submitting my Curriculum Vitae and filling job applications online. I went around the streets of Lagos, writing different tests and attending various types of interviews in search of a job. With high hopes of getting a permanent job very soon, with different promises from family and friends, I added the vigor of praying and fasting for God to intervene in my unpalatable predicament.
At various times, it would look like I was close to getting a job, only for my hopes to be dashed again and again, with different stories. Finally, I received a text message to come for a brief test and interview at Victoria Island, Lagos, with a new generation bank. I remember waking very early after being barely able to sleep a wink through massive amounts of anxiety. I also arrived very early. At that point, I had surprisingly become very calm within myself, hoping for the best. On arrival, we were asked to register our names as we came in. Thankfully, it was a very calm and peaceful atmosphere. Sitting down that day, I remember praying to God to grant me favor in the tests and interview. Finally, I wrote the test, went through the interview, and passed.
Immediately, we were put through the orientation process on our job descriptions. We were given a target of 10 million per month, placed on a six-month probationary period, and a car provided to take us around for marketing. We were also informed that, failure to meet the set target after the probationary six months, would mean instant termination of job. Considering the uphill, and to be honest,nigh impossible task set before us, I realized it was best if I sacked myself before the evil day came upon me. It would be best to accept the inevitable, seeing how I had no working idea on how to raise 10 million Naira within 30 days, save for indulging in ignoble acts which had no guarantees of success, anyway.
With this running through my head, another thought struck me: what if I could raise 10million Naira for a bank every month, what then stopped me from raising that same amount to start a business for myself? With that on my mind as well, I immediately packed all of my credentials, and left the place.
On my way, I began praying and asking God different questions, asking, what exactly did He want me to do? It was indeed frustrating and deterring when I examined all the scenarios before me. However, in spite of my predicament, I found I was calm and joyous. When I arrived home that day, everyone was waiting to hear the good news of my employment. I was asked how the test and interview went, and I quickly replied that it was fine, with a smile too. I added that I was expecting to be called to resume work. Once away from the piercing questions, I went on with my life, putting together a Plan B to rescue myself from unemployment. I also remembered that while still an undergraduate, I usually said to myself, I would never want to work for anyone. It appeared like I had been preparing ahead, for what I was going through.
In that same year, I saw an advert in the Punch Newspaper, advertising the planting of cassava,as initiated by the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA).
I quickly picked up the information and made several enquiries to ascertain the process of involvement. Eventually, I applied to become a member of the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria, an association full of old men above the age of fifty. At the time, I was the only young person among a gathering of old men. On the day of our first meeting, a guest came to speak to the association, and after the meeting, one of the members of the association called me behind and asked to know what I was doing in their midst? To him, I was too young to be in farming, with the advice that I should go look for a job in the banking industry. Suffice it to say, coming from a failed bank job trial, that statement had a demoralizing effect on my spirit, but my vision to change the mindset that people have about farming in Nigeria, remained so clear within me. That day, I went on my knees and asked God to give me a clearer vision for my life. I had this strong conviction in my spirit that I was on the right track.
Consequently, I began attending the meetings for more information on what I had to do,traveling from Lagos to Abeokuta using my meager savings, but kept on through the fire of my passion and perseverance. After some weeks, I got a call from one of the members of the association, that he wanted us to work together, and we fixed a meeting for the following week.We finally met up, and discussed our individual visions and passions for farming. After the meeting, we both agreed to work together. Afterwards, we both went to the Ogun/Osun River Basin, and leased about 50 hectares of land to kick-start the project. During this period, there was NO SALARY of whatever form, but I was enjoying my passion. At certain points something would question me if I was really on the right track or was just wasting my time? For every time I had these kind of feelings, I would go to God a question for solace and strength.
To confirm God answers to my questions, I received a cheque of fifty thousand Naira to support my vision from a person I never expected it from. Right then, I knew for certain that, that was what was called to do, and kept on moving with perseverance. After some years farming cassava root tubers, which could take months or even a year , I started asking: what could I plant that could grow within a month? The answer to that question didn’t come until after a year. During that period, I was busy doing research, attending trainings, government seminars on agriculture and many more. Before long, I had exposed myself to various different information on farming in Ogun State.
Finally, a family friend came to me that she was interested in the farming business. Then, she was gainfully employed in one of the top banks in Nigeria. Some months later, she resigned from her banking job and took up farming as a full-time job. With the experiences and information at my disposal, I was able to share my knowledge and experience about farming in Ogun state. So, she bought some lands and we began the clearing after which we started planting cassava root tubers.
After, a year her husband resigned from his law firm and joined as a farmer. At that point, I knew God was with me, and the time I had spent going around, doing research hadn’t been a waste.
In 2014, I was sent for more trainings, and everything I needed was also provided for me, but still, NO SALARY. I enjoyed what I was doing. At the end of 2014, I was sent on vacation outside the shores of Nigeria for the first time in my life.At that point, I eventually discovered what I had been praying for in 2014 – the plant which grew within 6 weeks, was the Cucumber. I took my time to learn about the trade, from growing to harvesting and selling. This happened through September 2015.
After then, I heard a call to establish my own farm. I was given 5 acres of land for free, with all the facilities I needed. By November 2015, I was ready to take charge, and I started training my friends for free, in cucumber farming. My vision was, and still is, to help and reduce employment, by encouraging people to follow their passions despite the difficulties and stumbling blocks on their way.
In March 2016, I was out of Nigeria again to consult for a friend, still through the platform of this farming job.
Indeed, I remain utterly grateful to God and those who supported me all the way. To those who criticized me, I am still grateful to you, because you gave me that push that allowed this vision of mine, come to fruition.
Hmm m!what an interesting story.Like i always say ” Never look down on your passion ! ” Anyways, would you love to get in touch with the young man?Please find below his details