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So, picture this: There I was, strutting my stuff as a security guard with Chogon Private Security Company. I felt like the mighty protector of the realm, or at least the realm of one woman’s house in Lekki. It wasn’t exactly a glamorous gig, but hey, a guard’s gotta guard!

Now, before we even set foot on the premises, our Patrol Supervisor pulled my friend (we’ll keep his name a mystery, just for kicks) and me aside. He gave us the lowdown on our client, Miss High-and-Mighty, who apparently had a knack for swapping security guards faster than a chameleon changes colors. Word on the street was, she suspected her staff of pilfering from her left, right, and center. And guess what? We later discovered she was right!

On top of our official duties, which included gate duty, water pumping expertise, and generator operation (sounds thrilling, right?), this woman decided to throw in a bunch of extra chores. Suddenly, we were expected to become car washers, flower whisperers, dog caretakers, and even teenage daughter escorts. I mean, seriously, I didn’t sign up for a security-guard-meets-Mary-Poppins crossover.

Naturally, my friend and I weren’t exactly thrilled about this lady’s excessive demands. My buddy took it as a personal affront, a Hausa man’s version of being treated like a doormat. His words echoed in my mind: “This is ‘raini,’ my friend. Pure raini.” And let me tell you, the raini vibes were strong.

But amidst the grumbling and frustration, I realized something important. Sure, we were both highly educated graduates, and the state of our country or the decisions of our leaders were downright infuriating. But here’s the thing: I couldn’t control any of that. What I could control was myself. So, I decided to see this whole ordeal as a learning experience. Every encounter, every absurd task taught me something valuable—like the art of humility and the joys of serving others in the most unexpected positions. Talk about character development!

And you know what? I saw it as an opportunity to expand my skillset too. I devoured books on personal finance, business ventures, and even brushed up on my tech skills. Fast forward a month, and our supervisor paid us a surprise visit. Lo and behold, he found me on duty, fully equipped with my trusty laptop, tinkering away with coding and all things tech. His eyebrows practically launched themselves into orbit as he bombarded me with questions.

“Whose laptop is this?” he demanded to know. With a sly grin, I replied, “Why, good sir, it is mine!” Turns out, I was a computer engineering graduate all along, a secret identity concealed by my guard uniform. Talk about a plot twist!

“You don’t belong here,” he stated matter-of-factly. I stood there, quiet as a mouse, unsure of what was unfolding. Change suddenly seemed both exciting and terrifying. I had my grand plan of saving up some money and leaving this woman’s employ, but destiny seemed to have other ideas.

He continued probing, asking me why I was even there. I shrugged and mumbled something about fate, trying not to give away my inner confusion. Then, he dropped the bombshell: “Do you know how to use Excel?” I nodded confidently, responding, “Very well, sir. I can rate myself a solid 9 on the Excel scale.” The supervisor’s eyes widened with surprise.

Without further ado, he handed me his office address and said, “I’m going to speak

to my boss about you. You’re definitely going places, my friend.” The following Monday, I found myself nervously walking into an interview. I had no clue what position I was even being considered for or much about the company itself. I was simply there, body and soul, ready to tackle whatever came my way.

The boss took one look at me, dressed in my finest “confused about life” attire, and asked, “Who are you? Give me the scoop on yourself.” I mustered up my courage and introduced myself as Daniel Zadva Jr., formerly known as Abednego Daniel. I proudly announced my status as a computer engineering graduate turned security guard extraordinaire at Chogon. And then I awkwardly stopped, realizing I had no idea what position they were interviewing me for.

The man, clearly intrigued, pressed on. “Do you know how to use Excel?” he inquired. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your Excel skills?” I confidently replied, “Very well, sir. A solid 9, without a doubt.” His eyes widened even further, if that was even possible.

Summoning his personal assistant, he requested a payroll template and a laptop. The challenge was on—I was to design, input sample data, and crunch some numbers right then and there. With a hint of nervous excitement, I dove into the task, all while the boss observed my every move.

After a few moments of silence, the man let out a long sigh. “We’ve already interviewed someone for the Admin Officer role,” he began. “But I must say, I like you. I like your spirit.” I couldn’t help but feel like a prized, well-fed cow at an auction. And just like that, an offer was extended to me on the spot, complete with a whopping 50% increase in salary. It was like I had become one of those dreamers whose dreams suddenly come true, you know?

Luck? Perhaps. But I like to think it was a combination of preparedness, a hunger for constant learning, and seizing the opportunities that came my way. If I were to give advice to my younger self, it would be this: Keep learning, keep growing, and above all, be a better human being.

Author: Daniel Zadva Jnr.

Chogon Security Services in Awka, Anambra, Nigeria

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