I am Kennedy J. Offor
A short story about myself
Hello, I am Kennedy John Offor, also called JohnMary. JohnMary was a popular name I was called during my university days at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria between 2007 and 2002.
I don’t know how to begin writing about myself. I will start by telling you a few stories about my early childhood that I can personally recall. Back in my primary school days at Uzoakwa Central School, Ihiala, Anambra State Nigeria. One incidence I would like to mention about my days in primary school is how we used to gather together during breaks to buy some food items and share among ourselves. After my primary school, I had the intention of learning how to repair radio and other electronic gadgets because, to me, those that went to school had no money to show for it. So, after my primary school, I went with a member of my village to learn a trade at the famous Onitsha main market. I could not stay long there because, to me, what the man had in the shop would not be enough to settle me when I became free. Hence, I had to leave after six months stay with him. When I returned to my village another of my kindred took me to Kaduna to assist him in his shop. I stayed only about three months there before I was sent home again. The reason being that I can’t bear intimidation from that my kindred and fought back each time I felt intimidated.
When I returned to the village, my eldest sister came back from Lagos in December of that year and said she was going to Lagos with me. When I got to Lagos, I told her I wanted to learn a skill, especially repair of electronic gadgets. She took me to the house of one of our cousins at Festac and I repeated the same thing to the man. With the help of that cousin, I was persuaded to enrol in a secondary school. When we returned to Oshodi where my sister was living, she secured admission for me at Mafoluku Grammar school, Oshodi. I attended Mafoluku Grammar school between 1991 and 1996.
After my WAEC in 1996, I took the first JAMB and chose Obafemi Awolowo as my choice institution and Electrical/Electronic Engineering as my choice of course. I also chose Chemistry Education as my second choice at the same university. I was offered admission to study chemistry because I did not score up to the cut off mark for the EEE. While in OAU, Ife, I wrote another JAMB and this time, I chose Nnamdi Azikiwe University and EEE as my first choice university and course, respectively. Luckily I was offered admission. I studied EEE at NAU from 1997 and 2002. While in NAU, I was involved in church activities and led the Catholic students in the hostel where I lived as their presidents two times. I did pretty well in my studies. I bought my first computer from the money I made during my 6 months industrial attachment and the scholarship award to indigent students which I got in my 4th year. The computer was Pentium 2 with N10GB HDD. The HDD crashed one day when there was a power cut from the utility provider. I had to buy a fairly used HDD of 500MB (yes, 500MB) and installed Windows 98 on it. Whenever I want to work on an Excel project, I would uninstall MS Word and instal the Excel, etc.
After my graduation in 2002, we could not be cleared for the compulsory National Youth Service Scheme because of the industrial action that was embarked upon during my final years. We were eventually cleared for NYSC in 2013, I was posted to Bayelsa State. While in the camp at Kaima, I was elected the president of Catholic Corps members in the state. This means that I will live in the family house.
After my NYSC, I secured a grant from one of our patrons in NACC to establish a computer training centre cum business centre in the state capital. I was also involved in the supply and repair of computer sets. I made several journeys between Bayelsa and Lagos to purchase the computer sets. While I was in the computer training/repair business, I was also joining the Nigerian Society of Engineers in their meetings. One incidence I would like to record when I was running the business was one referral I got to act as a consultant in ensuring that the computers supplied to the Ministry of Environment in the state were actually what was quoted. The contract sum was N18m and because of my lack of experience in consultancy, I was glad to charge the ministry a paltry N18,000 instead of the statutory 5% of the contract sum. When I learnt that one of our patrons during my university days was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the then Anambra State University, I went to him on several occasions to be given the contract of supplying the university computer sets. During one of such visits, the VC offered to employ me and I was subsequently issued with an appointment letter after I accepted the offer.
I resumed work at Anambra State University in April 2006 and was posted to the EEE department as a technologist. At the department, the Head of Department made me his personal assistant and gave a desk beside his table in his office. I was involved in the computation of the results of the graduating students to determine their CGPA. With my knowledge in Excel, which I obtained by personal study, I designed a worksheet program for automating the computation of the results.
More coming ….
The following are some of my achievements