This past Saturday was a busy and interesting day for me.
I was up as early as 7 am to attend two events in the Mississauga area. The 1st event was on financial literacy. A polite Nigerian gentleman I met at a previous Nigerian event works for the organizing company. He has been very dogged in trying to convince me to attend one of the classes. Yesterday morning he offered to drive me to the event venue and I obliged him. I arrived the event and disliked it on arrival. The reason? It had the smell of networking marketing. I know some people who have successfully made money from network marketing, but I know far more people who have lost a lot of cash and hated the journey. One of the people in the second category includes me. Some three years ago, in the oil city of Port Harcourt, I showed up at one of such events and over the course of a month invested some money in health products that didn’t go anywhere. These days I’ve become more wary of network marketers home or abroad.
I was able to still gather some positives from the event. The CEO for one of the strongest networking links in the business is… wait for it… a Nigerian. This man had the thickest Yoruba accent and struggled with his sentence structure throughout his speech, but the whole room of some 200 people was glued to every word he spoke. Every now and again, they’d break out cheering, and loudly exclaiming, ‘awesome!’ to the tips he loudly dished out. Another positive was the diversity of his audience- Nigerian, Ghanaian, Vietnamese, Asian, Latino and so on and so forth. Personally, I’m looking for financial literacy education on the Canadian economy, and how to invest in the right type of portfolio here.
My next stop was the Peel Multicultural Council for a newcomers event organized for Nigerians. The wonderful thing about how I learned of this event, was that it was through my twitter page. The convener reached out and asked me if I would be interested in attending the event, and I went a step further to say I would like to volunteer. Volunteering is very important in this part of the world and is a crucial approach to building your network. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at this meeting. In addition to me, there were 5 other volunteers, predominantly Punjabi. We were to work with our Co-convener- a confident, and very supportive Sikh. This guy did a great job of making us volunteers comfortable in the beginning, and assigning us work assignments for the day. For the meeting, we had a successful Nigerian/Canadian business entrepreneur called Mychopchop speak to us about starting a business as an entrepreneur, and then we had another Guinean/Canadian speaker talk about her project on HIV/AIDS with the black communities here.
In true Nigerian fashion, an event that was scheduled to begin at 4 pm didn’t kick off until 5.30pm. Some calls had to be put across to attendees before we could start. When we wrapped up the event at 7 pm, a few attendees still showed up at the door. smh…
All in all, it was an important way to make new friends, and of course feast on some Naija delicacy… so much for me wanting to get on the LIN meal plan.
I got back home at 8.30pm and spent most of Sunday sleeping it off, and lazying around in bed.