The other day I suppose to have a meeting with Morris Marah (the Founder of Sensi Tech Hub) about a project.
We had a very short meeting where he went through my portfolio and we had some chat, then he asked to postpone the meeting.
I tried to head back home few minutes after the meeting, however I was delayed because there were no taxi. Suddenly I received a phone call from an unknown number. The guy that called was from Sensi Tech hub, and he said “Bash, we have a program but the people that are on the program haven’t come yet, can you please come and do some presentation while we await them?”
I was like wow, okay, yeah I’m on my way back (Actually I did not want to go because I was very hungry as I have been busy the whole day and didn’t get a chance to eat) So yes, I headed back to Sensi Tech Hub to do a presentation about my innovations. I talked about various projects of mine and the presentation was great, as people love all of my works.
Finally the public were given an opportunity to ask me questions or do comment. I received positive questions and comments but I was asked one question that really touched me 😏.

The question goes, “What will you tell those youth that keep complaining that there are no opportunity”
Honestly I have no idea where my answer came from, it was unexpected and it just came out. So this was my answer, ” IF THERE ARE NO OPPORTUNITY, THAT’S AN OPPORTUNITY IN ITSELF.

I didn’t know what that means for awhile, I start to think where this actually came from, as I have never said this word before and have never heard someone say it, what could this possibly mean?
After few hours of over thinking, finally the answer came to my mind. Then I came to realise it all connected with my life, my entire belief system, my mindset, my philosophy and everything.

Back then in 2010 I was in high school, and a friend of mine took me to a public library (at NAS Office) in Kenema (my home town).
There were computers in the library that people will use to do research for an hour, then you log off.
I started going there often for a month or so before I finally made it a regular routine. I used to skip classes just to go to the library early so I can use the Internet when there are few people around, because the Internet will be faster then. Like I said earlier, they only allow people to use the computers for an hour. However, I have unlimited access because I use to help the guys with some of their problems when ever they encounter one. I spent more than half of my day at the library, while on the other hand I started getting bad grades, and bad remarks of skipping classes, not going to school etc.
It was actually not easy for me when my parents were informed about this, my father was angry and my mom was disappointed 😥.
That really mess me up for a while, especially the last word my father said, “Bashiru no matter how you know computer nobody will ever employ you if you don’t have the papers that will qualify you”

And that been said…
I said to myself, I am not going to look for an employment, I am going to employ people, and help other people to employ more people.

So to the question again, “What will you tell those youth that keep complaining that there are no opportunity”
You don’t wait for opportunities to come, if you can’t get one create one. That’s why we are here, to create opportunities for ourselves and everyone.
Everyone has a give and your purpose in life is to share that gift with the world.

Committing to the promise I made to myself, I Co-founded a tech company (iCANSL) and what we are doing at ICANSL is amazing, as we believe in young people because we are young people.

Now go out and work your a** off and do something while others are sitting on their hand complaining “There are no opportunities”

And don’t let failure stop you, because successful people never stop at one failure, or 10, 50, 100, or 1000 failures. Don’t let failure break you, let it make you.

From 2016 to present I have applied for more than 50 programs on Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Funding, Opportunities etc that have failed or unsuccessful.
Here are few of the popular program I have received unsuccessful emails from.

UNDP Summit 2016 (Third, Finalist)
TEF 2017 (Unsuccessful)
FSD Africa 2017 (Unsuccessful)
UNDP Summit 2017 (Unsuccessful)
Anzisha 2018 (Semifinals)
UN Young Leaders 2018 (Unsuccessful)
UNDP Summit 2018 (Unsuccessful) etc.
There was even a time I received 5 emails of unsuccessful applications in a day. I was broken in and out, it was painful, it hurts, but I keep going, because I’m not doing this for any material gain, it’s my purpose in life and I will forever live in it, nobody, no obstacle will ever stop me.

Just because people don’t believe in what you do doesn’t mean you should stop, it just not your right time yet, keep going and soon you will find that you will succeed. As Steve Jobs said, “Keep looking and don’t settle, as it all matters with the heart you will know when you find it”

Unlike these Unsuccessful applications I have done so many great things that I am proud of myself and people are proud of me, so I will forever be grateful.
I believe one day I am going to change lives, so to those that don’t believe in me now, thank you, I am using your negative as fuel to keep me going.

Don’t let anything or anyone stop you, failure love the place that produces greatness. “If you are failing and you are still alive, not yet dead, know that you are great” (Bashiru Mansaray).
Don’t worry about your peers that are successful before you. Life is like an express road, overtaking is allowed. It doesn’t mean because they get it first they got the best.

Enjoy the ride, enjoy the journey not just the destination. Because when you reach the destination you might not get a chance to ride again.


Author (Bashiru Mansaray)

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