The alarm on all three devices went off at 4:30 am.
I stretched my hands to silence them but I had placed them too far away from my reach. Unable to stand the annoying nose, I got up to have a quick devotion, shower, and prepare for the early morning routine at the camp. . . then I realized I was home, and I could sleep in for another hour before preparing for Covenant Hour of Prayer at Church. It was my first day after the Lagos Boot Camp. Sleep would not come regardless of how hard I tried to force it so I let my mind wander. . .
I remember that evening – just like it was yesterday. A member of my Service Unit at church had walked in with a strange “breaking news” he read on Facebook and the news source was a previous Connak beneficiary, The young man who came with this info had tried TEF three years in a row and never got up to the Pitching stage. Just like any other person with a similar experience, he was discouraged.
He said the “Connak” thingy was owned by one Christian from Abia State and that got my attention. I searched for them online (I am always in front of a PC anyway). I do not remember what exactly I found that got me but I applied and didn’t give it another thought until I received the “Welcome to CoFEI” email. The date was June 4, 2022, and the mail was an invitation to attend “a mandatory onboarding session” and onboarding program on Saturday, June 4th, 2022 at 12:00 pm. The event was to hold on the Connak official Facebook page.
We received login details to our individual dashboards and on Monday, June 13th, 2022, the online training began in earnest. Module 1 dealt with Mindset Re-Orientation and Entrepreneurial Thinking. When it started addressing Business Acumen, I started typing out my notes. There were live classes every Saturday and weekly tests on the modules every week, By August 27, 2022, we had gone through 12 modules of training and the CEO announced a Boot camp for successful applicants.
On September 4, 2022, the Umuahia camp kicked off. The rumor mill was agog and it was hard to sieve the truth from the half-truths and outright lies. Then followed the pictures and the Live events broadcast via Facebook LIVE on the CoFEI page. The church member who brought the link to church actually said he ate “correct rice” with beef accompanied with a chilled bottle of coke to drink on his first night, chai!
I followed the one-week event on the CoFEI Facebook page.
Yours truly was at the Lagos Boot Camp.
I have never been a foodie so I was not looking forward to any kind of dining experience but the entire week in camp was a dining experience to remember.
The CEO and GM reminded me of my first day at the Toronto Western Hospital in 2005. . .
I remember how difficult it was for my tiny little brain to differentiate between the cleaners, the nurses, and the doctors because every single one of them wore a “scrub” as an official uniform. The two of them caught me off guard. Simple, humble, professional, and motherly.
With women like this at the helm of affairs for the Connak Foundation, I fully understand why Dede Ken Nnamdi Ukeagu goes to bed every night with his two eyes closed.
The Lead facilitator – Dr. Emeka Unachuwkwu is in a class of his own. Professional, Ethical and more, Unchiwkwu made me believe that a new Nigeria is POSSIBLE.
Did I forget the Camp Commandant? Mba!!! I will call him Mr. UNFORGETTABLE!
. . . Memories from the Lagos Boot Camp
But that wasn’t all for Lagos State.
– From the inventor of the KERO Gas to the Lawyer turned nutritionist, The Lagos camp was loaded with talents.
– There was a teacher who resigned from her teaching job to pursue her passion after she discovered a gold mine in the cassava business.
– There were tons of business ideas that were birthed out of what should have been a “disappointing” experience and much more.
Talents that may have remained untapped, undiscovered, and (God help Nigeria); BURIED if there was no Connak Foundation.
The Lagos Camp accommodated a mix of talents from all ages, tribes, and religions and for the first time in 20 years, I was glad to identify myself as a Nigerian.
– I pray that God will bless Nigeria with more Carole Sundays, Rosemary Etsiames, and Emeka Unachukwus;.
– I pray that a lot more people will emulate the Connak example and be intentional about making an impact than making a name;
– I pray that there will be a replication of the Connak Foundation Prototypes in every state of the federation;
This morning, as I lay in bed,
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity CONNAK gave me
and l am praying a prayer that MUST be answered
Today, I join my faith with Dr. Unachukwu
believing that a NEW Nigeria is possiblle
. . . and while I wait, and hope, and pray,
I remain WHOLEHEARTEDLY OBIdient!
Aniema Ntia is a Canadian-trained Multimedia Specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications (Public Relations/Advertising) from the University of Uyo, She studied Interactive Multimedia at Algonquin, in Ottawa, Canada, and Advanced Web Development for eCommerce Business and Internet Management at Humber in Toronto, Canada-