Me: Good morning sir.

Blue Guard: Welcome, who do you want?

Me: Sorry, is this where the Trade and Investment Unit reside?

Blue Guard: Ehen! Who do you want?

(Now that looked like a memorized phrase)

Me: We are here to see Peter Stephenson

Blue Guard: Peter Stephenson? Are you on appointment?

Now he was totally dazed, you know what it feels like to be sized up, of course he didn’t see us come down from any big car, no protocol, just two young men walk to the gate and not just ask for the Trade and Investment Unit but also the Director (you are not serious he thinks). In the 4mins of sizing us up, I called him back to reality, by moving the gate and then got his attention. Well after explaining further he asked for my Name and where I came from, I simply gave my Paradigm Initiative Nigeria ID card and he disappeared behind other guards. I think he got the greater shock after putting a call through to the UKTI department because when he came out he had this look of – I wonder what they want here. For me, I had the feeling of fulfillment because the blue guard had an opportunity to have my preview before the main movie

Seriously, we did not go site seeing at the British Deputy High Commission Lagos neither did we go for visa activities. It was Friday August 31, 2007 the mentorship attachment as well as short orientation ceremony for the first Intern who will be attached to the UK Trade and Investment for a one month workplace experience. This is a major part of the UKTI support for the project. After the fourth security check we then wait for a few minutes in the lobby, and then comes the always alert Peter, smiling and announcing that one of his staff is celebrating her birthday, thus we came at the right time to grab a pizza bite.

Well laid office though a lot of renovations going on yet the place looked serene, like Matthew put it, “perfect working environment” I started imagining how he is feeling about his will be office for the next twenty six (26) days. Straight to the open office of the UKTI, we all got introduced, Valerie, Lara, Patricia and of course the Birthday Girl. During all these I just can’t help but imagine the look of satisfaction on Mathew’s face. By the way Matthew is one of the bright students that just graduated as the pioneer set of and was elected on merit after a rigorous interview session as the first grandaunt for the internship. One other final astonishment was Matthew’s would be mentor for the period; she is a combination beauty, strength and intelligence. Patricia Akpotoboro is the Assistant Trade Development Manager at the UK Trade and Investment, someone you want to work with, even a few minutes encounter revealed that to me.

In all I believe this is will be a live changing experience for these young entrepreneurs emerging form the ghetto (Ajegunle) as they go through this monthly ritual one after another. There will always be a selection process since the twenty-five(25) monthly trained cannot participate at the same time, and hoping we can also get other cooperate organisations to provide such opportunities.


One Response to “MATTHEW THE BRI-TERN”

  1. Felix Says:

    Lovely article, you shouldn’t stop writing?

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