Everything was hot; we also faced it hot – My hultprize story


First, second and third times, we had meetings on an empty account. Those meetings were not promising, I wasn’t foreseeing success, and I didn’t even perceive any fragrance of eulogy at the end. Our first meeting was like thunder striking an unknown pole. It was like ordinary men walking on cracking soil. It was like a cameraman swiping off to take children playing in the mould and falling from a kernel tree. I thought I was stupid for joining the team.

Without asking anyone what it was about, I read the description for almost ten times. I saw Arabic in English, and I was unnecessarily winded into the thought of my action, “Seyi, you are supposed to be in class, are you daft?” I retorted. You see, responsibility is not what to accept with laughter – you have to shiver, think and freeze. If it really worth being called a responsibility, you would not be oiled with gladness afore because there is no Gilead that will save you when you race into debt. It is not like running into some activities where you can behave anyhow and whatever results is just fine.

I have engaged in activities and seen the differences in commitment and dedication to worth courses – here, there is no time for you to take praises for yourself or make people know that it was your idea or suggestion – there was no constitution but we were enough to control the moment. Hultprize was really hot, and I didn’t think we would come out without getting burnt – at least, get a scratch. I have never worked with anyone in my team, until then. We haven’t met by mistake, save very few, but when everything played on, it was like a script.

We wouldn’t believe in entrepreneurship planning prospective; we wouldn’t ordinarily believe that ideas can tarry until we can play the shot. We wouldn’t believe that many things are hidden in us, beyond the oven of the class – and this is why we wouldn’t think about being job providers, but instead, we feel okay with the penny we get after graduating with good results – from that freaking employer. It only came like a flash – I saw ideas flying, crawling and rolling out – ideas of how crazy we could be, idea of how to be mad against the run of procrastination, idea of how to trample on the mind of sponsors, ideas of how to grow up to be able to face challenges because we were new to it – we were too young for it? Maybe: but there was no money.

As the day towers, panic grew larger, we became a promising failure, and we became a shameful salt. We visited several places – from University of Ibadan Business School (UIBS) to Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) to Bode Akindele Yield Initiative (BAYI), we invited the spiritual realm to mix with the physical, we tried our best to never mind the arrogant fear that mixed with the storm that wanted us to turn turtle despite the perfect sailor we had. Then, we came back to our meeting point to take the stock of how stupid we’ve gone. At times, we got tearing replies, and instead for us to grow in hope, it was just receding. I, myself thought of complaining to my Campus Director and lie to him that I have MB Examination, even though I am in animal science department – it wasn’t even time for such examination. If you’ve never been afraid of a duty, it is not worth being called a responsibility – it is too cheap.

Fast forward to applications – I thought nobody would put in – I laughed, in short. As Head of Communications, I was afraid of UI students, for their booky habit – they would think that matters most. Most of them never have concern for any stain anymore – they read every cover, and the needless ones, at times, they are good at wasting time on what doesn’t count. Many of them were objective that those students’ involvements are meaningless and childish, but you would agree with me that having a room of classes matters most than having a classroom, which is where we get confused. When we received applications, we were surprised with the crowd, “Dimeji, where did we see 63 teams?” I soliloquized. At the end, 43 teams pitched perfectly and wonderfully. We successfully grounded a future promising project.

The journey of life, if travelled alone, can throw one into confusion, but walking that narrow wind with the right hands births a fresh soul and the heavens will even support it.

Nothing comes easy, but with a price – a portentous price that no one dares praise you for it at first – because they know nothing about it, but the result must speak. My Campus director is not just a director: he gave himself to the course, and most of us were stupid enough to sheep along with the shepherd we didn’t know. The women among us were womb men; they have this armor unnamed. I cannot quantify them enough; they stood behind, within and without. They are just two, but these are two women that it took God time to build.

Let me repeat what was said by my Director, that “may it not be heard that hultprize becomes a mediocre event on campus”. It was a success that even a record book cannot contain; we broke the record of silence on hultprize. I got to know that work won’t speak volume when you are loquacious. With the support of the school, we made it. Yes, we dared the wind and we split it.

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