When I completed my secondary school education, my father asked me to learn a trade because he was unable to fund I and my brother’s university education. I knew I didn’t want this for myself, I knew that there was so much more I could do than menial jobs.
I took a big decision to fund myself through University. I went ahead to apply for computer science at Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria. I was so excited when I got my admission. I felt like I was one step closer to my dreams. While I awaited school resumption, I started doing menial jobs to raise money for my tuition and other fees I had to pay. It was not an easy thing to do. I couldn’t get a decent job to do because I only had a secondary school certificate. I also reached out to friends and family members to help me financially but I didn’t get enough support.
Working menial jobs and schooling wasn’t easy at all. It was so difficult! I didn’t make a lot of money, I was living from hand to mouth and there were some days I didn’t even have enough to feed myself. I worked hard to survive! It was only a matter of time before my academics were affected so, a friend of mine advised to me learn a tech skill. She told me graphic design would be a good start so I started learning with free resources online. I soon started making some money from the designs I created for people. It could be flyers for a departmental event, school elections or any event. I have really supportive friends, they would often refer me for graphic design gigs. It was easier to make money from Graphic Design because my academics were not affected.
I eventually graduated but I knew I wanted to continue my career in design. I still made use of any free resource I could find online because I could not afford a paid course that would give me the knowledge I needed to upskill.
I was always on Twitter, this was one of the platforms I was able to gain information from. One day, I saw the I4GZuri scholarship program announcement. It was an opportunity I knew I needed so I applied for it. I was so excited when I got selected, I still remember the joy I felt that day.
At the time, I was serving as an NYSC corper at an engineering firm in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Training in the I4GZuri program and working was not easy for me but I had to juggle both because they were important. At some point, I had to speak to my employer about my work time. We agreed that I wouldn’t be at work everyday and a portion of my salary was deducted. The salary wasn’t much to be honest but I needed to prepare myself for life after my service year. I knew the I4GZuri training would be worth it so I gave it my very best.
I was the team lead during my project. I and my team members worked on wireframes, QR generators. We did so well and we learnt alot from the program. It was eye opening.
I love that I have learnt something valuable in this program. I now know more about creating designs that aren’t just aesthetically pleasing but also beneficial to the lives of the users. We learnt to research, design products that would improve the lives of users.
Since I graduated from the I4GZuri program, I have worked on 2 case studies (a library website and a fintech app). I did these on my own using the skill I have gained from the scholarship program
I have started applying for jobs too because I feel confident in my skills.
My life has become significantly better since I discovered I4G!