Once again, my plan to escape Nigeria has been foiled. I appealed the Tech Nation decision but the Home Office wasn’t convinced.

The candidate is clearly well regarded by his colleagues and has been present at Paystack throughout their journey from the start-up to acquisition. However, he has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate how he fulfils the mandatory criteria. He must show extraordinary ability by sustained international recognition or demonstrate a level of expertise which places him at the forefront of his field in the sector. While he has substantial remuneration and recognition that he is part of the Paystack management, he has not detailed his work, the products he has individually developed and their specific impact. More information is required to show this.

I get it. But also, na wa!

I didn’t enjoy getting rejected, but I really liked doing this myself i.e. putting my story together with a few friends. I also don’t feel too bad about it. I wasn’t too confident in my evidence, but I thought the essays, references and work history would make up for it. I guess not.

The thing about applying for stuff is that even if you learn not to take it personal, it doesn’t stop you from wanting to knock someone for wasting your time and money, especially when it’s on a technicality like “we believe you but we need more detail”.

It’s funny though. I once casually argued with Justin that I could get into a FAANG without an interview and now see. 😭

But anyway, things are playing out better than my aspirations yet again.

I found a sanctuary in Nairobi, and between there and Lagos, I have enough time and space to flesh out what next. People say it’s a transition city, but who knows, it may be something more.

And now I can put a face to the angst. Space, order, stimulating environment, access to nature, multicultural experiences, a community of makers, living alone: that’s why I wanted to leave. Slowly it also became about getting a new passport, but it didn’t start out that way.

Anyway, my passport stays green. I could re-apply to the UK, but it was never my best option, and now I have good reason to reconsider. Even if I did choose to try again, it’s a good idea to give it some space.

I hope to float between both cities for another year until I establish base and figure out a sustainable plan for travel.

But you know what they say; man proposes…

A kernel of all meditation traditions is the idea that, whenever you find yourself hijacked by thought and distracted by story during meditation, you can “begin again.” It is what saves a practice. It is also, when applied to the practice of living, what can save a life.

Commence again.

Any day.



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