My TEF journey started in 2016, one year after the launch of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme. I had applied for the programme 5 times including the 2018 August supplementary application.
I submitted my first application in 2016 but I was not selected. When I look back at that application, I was not surprised that I did not make the list. I studied it and asked myself what I needed to do to improve my next application. Immediately, I started putting things into action.
I applied again in 2017 but to my surprise, I was not picked! I traced my steps again, looked into it my application and spotted one or two deficiency areas. 2018 is another year!
Come 2018, I put in my application again but my application was rejected a third time! At this point, I thought of changing my business idea and people around me agreed that I should change it. Perhaps, that is why my application was not going through. However, one thing kept holding me back. I was so passionate about my business idea that no amount of frustration could make me change it.
Fast forward to 2019, I dusted the same idea once more and applied for the Programme. March 22 came, the d-day, the day I get to find out if I would make it. The tension was so much so I that I had to ease off by watching the Nigeria Vs Seychelles match. I had to cool off the anxiety.
Later in the evening I decided to check the list. I scrolled past the entire Nigeria shortlist and my name was not on the list. At this point my heart was about jumping out. I checked the Nigeria shortlist again. A little flicker of hope lit up in me. All of a sudden, right there, almost at the bottom of the Nigeria section was my name, “Oyeghe Dielamo Miederi!”
I screamed for joy.
With persistency, courage and determination, no amount of times and trials can deny you your dream.