Fola (@LitaofLagos) is one of my favourite people online, and late last year we had the good fortune of meeting and working together on a project for Heinrich Boll, the first Book Sprint in Nigeria. Basically we were holed up in a house/hotel somewhere in Maitama, and in seven days went from nothing, to a full book, printed! It was a most amazing experience, and a privilege for me to share time, space, and energy with the wonderful people I worked with on that project.
Fola is lovely, loads of fun, and very REAL. Yep, she’s one of those people I know who are without airs, and what you see is literally what you get! I’m more than thankful she got the all-clear, and I hope you enjoy her entry!
My name is Fola Lawal, and friends call me Lita. I live in Doha by day and Lagos at night. I work as a Senior Project Analyst at my Qatar organization; I also run a personal business as a social media brand-integration marketer and manager for companies and individuals, helping to design effective social media campaigns. Also, I manage a book-publishing business while also developing ideas for, and encouraging my social media folks in, saving the world—one tweet at a time.
2015 started slowly note for me, but picked up pace gradually. I had to decide, with my partner (who, on the other hand, was resigning from the corporate legal sector), whether to go back into paid employment after my few months as a full-time entrepreneur. Eventually, I was able to secure a paying job that still allowed me time to focus on my businesses.
But I was to have a more worrisome time in the course of the year. During a routine medical checkup, my doctor advised me to go for an immediate mammogram as she could feel lumps in both my breasts. Although the scan results were reassuring, my experience during that scary period improved my attitude to, and outlook on, life.
I spent a part of 2015 sulking at how my world didn’t seem to appreciate my merits; and fuming at the challenges that prevented my plans from materializing. I was also faced with the challenges of settling into a new work environment and, sometimes all of these piled on hard on my psyche—but the Egba woman in me stayed relentless.
And so, I’m grateful.
I’m grateful for my partner, Ayo: who is always there through thick and thin, to share battles and celebrate wins.
I’m grateful for my family: because I couldn’t have had a better support system.
I’m grateful for my friends: all of whom came through when I least expected.
What did I learn in 2015?
- I learned that, in Nigeria, hard work is not enough to strategically position me for success.
- I learned that what will be sometimes, will never be.
- I learned to be unapologetically ME, that no matter how much I try to please others, people are wired to see what they want to see.
- I learned that some people, trips, lies, books, or parties aren’t just worth their stress value.
- And I learned that the key to material success is selfishness.
And what will I do in 2016?
- Sleep less.
- Love more.
- Worry less.
- Communicate better.
Yes o! I’m totally with you on communicating better, it’s something I have to learn; very necessary! Here’s to living the baby girl life in 2016!