In April this year, one of the South East Asian countries was terribly hot when arrived there for a programme. But on top of that, a little surprise was added to it….! The teaming Buddhist youth lined up on the streets with water cannons or buckets of water. The purpose? To pond you! It was a Water Festival time throughout all the Buddhist nations.
So in order to avoid being ponded or baptized, I went into hiding for two weeks. This two weeks of hiding offered me reflections on my life.
From my step-mother’s kenkey business in my okra-village to the carpentry workshop of my elder brother in the city, journeying through schools and having excelled in various subjects including English language, Accounting, and Corporate Finance at various levels, then followed a business failure that killed a number of people. But my failure didn’t kill me…. because God was in the missing middle! Then the Lord launched me into the international markets ….! International moves that took me through the USA, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Zambia, Malawi, Sierra Leone and some South East Asian countries. Who really has the cause to thank God more than I?
After my ACCA and Executive MBA, a friend advised me to pursue a Ph.D. But I told him that I have seen some grey hairs in my beard and therefore I would not dare a 3-year programme. We laughed it off. But I embarked on another project, a one-year research-based Master of Science with a focus on Microfinance. My research project focused on reviving failing microfinance institutions. This offered me a further grounding in the subject area.
What then should I leave as a legacy to the youth in my sector; a sector of fighting poverty? A poverty of which some of us were born into but we have escaped with His Grace? When I made a vow to God in 1997 to prosper me in the area of accounting and finance and if He does, I shall use my skills to help the poor, little did I know that there is something called microfinance and little did I know that I shall be called to the nations to fulfil my vow to God. Oh yes, He did and He continues to do.
And therefore my legacy is a Microfinance Textbook. A tool for fighting poverty, a tool adopted by the World Bank and other development organizations. But a subject area that is difficult for students in colleges and universities. This is because the concept is new and the topics are narrowly explored by researchers who normally become parochial in their analyses and write-ups. More often than not, the average business and social science students have to seethe through a sea of information just to get a fresh water to drink. In other words, materials are lacking despite extensive research since the advent of Professor Muhammed Yunus, the father of microfinance.
A 66,000 – words book, of about 300 pages, and breaking all the grounds in microfinance into simpler smaller stages for even the average student to grasp the concepts. A legacy which is worth the sacrifice in the night, on the weekends and other self-denials. A legacy worthy of praise. A gift soon to be announced!