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Yesterday was officially my last day In KongaPay

This is quite unusual but I have promised myself to put up this article to remind myself of this phase in the journey of my life. Hmm…I tell you, this is “gonna” be a long piece.

I joined Konga when KongaPay started and it has been a great opportunity and privilege to be part of this lovely family. I want to thank Konga for the opportunity and love. Konga is a great family to be part of. I sincerely say, “Thank you for the opportunity. I am grateful”.

I got my first formal job as a software developer with a payment platform in Nigeria in 2009 and all through my years of working with the company I never saw any part of the code that makes up the engine of what I was employed to support. Ever since then, I had always been interested in anything related to payments. I remember writing an application that was meant to be used by Nigeria Aviation Industry for boarding pass and passenger onboarding. It involves a bit of hardware with the exact standard of what is achievable in civilized countries only with few localized flow.

I moved from the first company to several other companies; consulting for Telecommunications and actively writing about payments in Nigeria and electronic commerce with the little knowledge I had gathered during my years with the first company. I can never forget my interview with Andrew Mori and Collins after I had passed the Codility test. I felt so confident that I would get the job, though Andrew’s achievements were intimidating. I don’t know why I have this natural soft spot for people that study(ied) Physics. Andrew is currently pursuing his PHD in research that involves the use of micro-servers in novel ways with a focus on efficient parallel computation while actively keeping power consumption in mind.

I joined the team of programmers in Konga and everything changed for me. Konga has the best and the brightest minds you can ever think of and the working condition is unparalleled. At Konga, you are never at work; you are just at a place structured for you to do what you like doing without ever knowing you are doing so much.

While working at Konga, I was paired with Jacob Ayokunle (a great guy) in Nigeria, Deen and Ashley in South Africa and we worked on the building blocks of KongaPay code together. JR was our great Boss and Yinka managed the project. This was really a humbling moment for me because Konga allowed me to free my creativity and have that opportunity in my life time to put my knowledge to use. No doubt, we built a great product.

My Hall of Fame

I met so many fantastic guys, Konga wide and I promise to write a post on my encounter with them all. However, I will only be saying few words about my KongaPay people.

 Let me start with JR Kanu; the great leader. He can be ruthless but his leadership skills cannot be matched. I have written a book that documented everything he did when he lead the KongaPay team. It is a great book to effectively lead a team.

Jacob Ayokunle, the ‘Ex-boy’. Fantastic and great guy. A friend and a brother. A very smart engineer and so organized. I will never forget your 2 minutes rule. I love your passion.

Deen, the engineer on steroid. I learnt so many things from you and I appreciate all the moments we have had to discuss about our codes. All those moments have been inspiring. I thought I would have the opportunity to meet you in person if I was scheduled to travel to South Africa but it never happened. I am sure I will see you any time I come around.

 Ashley, I just want to say thank you. You have taught me so much in the period I worked with you. You made me look forward to your comments on my PR. You need to know how elated I was when my PR went through your vetting and you didn’t have to comment before approving. I miss that about you. You are a rare gem.

Mayowa Adegeye (MayoJava), a troublesome smart boy. I am not sure I told you this, you are one of the reasons I love coming to work every day. You are my buddy and more than brother. You know you can’t match my table tennis skills, right? Please keep slaying.

Zaga, the real guy. You are fantastic and a goal getter. I cherish every time you discuss algorithm problems with Mayowa and that has forced me to take my algorithm and data structure seriously. I remember the day you insisted we couldn’t push that code with O(n2) to production. Indeed, you are a blessing.

Darren, I miss your sarcasm so much. We made you our digital good guru and we still read your codes till I Ieft Konga. The few times you came to Lagos were filled with fun. Can you remember winning the game of identifying cities that we played on your PC? You are wonderful.

Gbenga, the cool headed guy. Greatest Akokite! A fantastic and smart engineer. I remember being your first set of friends when you joined KongaPay. You learnt so fast, anyway I shouldn’t expect less. I admire your fighting spirit and your resilience in the face of battle. I know I will miss you.

Yinka Akinwole, a great mother and project manager. Having you in our team is a blessing because you make everything achievable. Greatest Akokite!

Simi Osidele, my very good friend. You are very hardworking and courageous. I have learnt so many things from you and I won’t forget how much you told me God has done for you. God bless you.

Anthony, I will call you “the power house”. I see that your efforts are not well noticed as expected in the team but you are one in a million. You know the system we built even better than us. Your MySQL query knowledge is second to none. You are a great asset. If you say there is a problem, it means there is a problem for real. God bless you for me.

Chinenye, the meticulous tester. If she says it is not working, you don’t need to doubt her, just start fixing it. I love your patience; I appreciate your thorough and rigorous test. I need to let you know that you have a good heart. Keep slaying and please don’t allow those bugs creep into the system.

Azuka, my very good friend. Anytime I remember you, I remember those days that we were the only ones left at work. Even till that very night, you were still testing. I admire your attitude to work and I salute all your efforts to make KongaPay a good and reliable product. I feel blessed to have worked with you.

Olayemi Jinadu, my very open boss. If there is anything I appreciate about you, it is your openness and clear understanding of what you want. I so much admire your brilliancy and smartness. You are still the most experienced mobile payment guy I have ever worked with. Lol, I have featured so many of our discussions in my different articles. To be candid, you are exceptional.

Deji Kadri, the man with an intimidating view about everything. He seems to know something about everything. I always looked up to every ride home with you because it is so full of inspiration and things I have never known. I still don’t know how you know everything you know but I have taken the first step of also reading as much as you have read. I always crave to tap out of your wealth of knowledge. You are an embodiment of knowledge.

Adbulbaaki, Baaki Baba. The guy who came to Anthony’s rescue. You’ve got the great work skills and ethics as your boss, Anthony. You are a great and hardworking person. I used to think that you and Anthony are on a kind of steroids because the pace at which you guys operate is exceptional. I will miss your disturbance. You are a great and very smart guy.

Jide, you are a charismatic business man. I salute your work ethics and how you are calm even when fire is burning. You are a great asset to us because you help to make our deliverables look like child’s play. At least I am finally free from your troubles. On another note, please stop disturbing Chinenye.

Rasak, as you wish to have me as a mentor, I am publicly confirming I would gladly love to mentor you. I see your passion to learn and your focus. I can assure you, it is all you need to be the great guy that you always wish to be. Please let us connect.

Kayode, the terrific engineer. I am happy to have worked with you. You are good, smart and intelligent. I need to say this here; you are the second person that has ever surprised me in my life. You know what you did. My God will bless you and make you bigger. I am still looking for an opportunity to surprise you too. Keep focused, you can be the very best.

Ope, your parting words to me are really touching and I am not sure I am as smart as you presumed. I have learnt so much from you and your calmness. Your type is rare, how I wish I had the opportunity to work more directly with you. I can remember the mistake you made when you first pushed your code to Repo. Now you are pro, pulling and pushing anyhow. Stay strong and focused.

Ernest, our baddest graphics guy. I am happy I had the opportunity to meet you. You have shown me that someone can know what he/she does to the limit. You are a user experience god. I appreciate all the periods that you bailed me out of some CSS mess. You are the guy. Keep slaying.

Olamiji, I hail thee! Whenever Olamiji is around, no worries, he will just “miji” everything. Your view about everything is different and that is why I like you. I always want you to talk and your inputs are just golden. I will miss having conversations with you and your input in finance.

Olaide, our wife. I love your calmness and how you make it feel as if you are not doing anything while you are busy writing those power queries. Please extend my regards to your hubby; he used to be one of my favourite friends back then in Unilag. May God bless your union.

Ehis, Ehisoboss. You are the iOS boss. The one man Mopol. I salute your passion. Like you always say, you are the consumer, Lol. You are an intelligent and committed engineer. Please, keep the fire burning.

Segun, that Ekiti Boy. Smart and well composed. Segun is one Android Engineer that you will always want to have in your team. An intelligent and smart Android guy. He is always ready to share any information he has in his disposal. Segun, you will always be my guy.

Efe Money, the only money I know. I love your simplistic approach to life and discussions. I will miss you dearly. You have taught me that there is always a better way to look at things. I would like to work with you more. You are my guy. Do you still remember? Baba!

So, What Next?

I am going back home to rest for a long time then the kids I train will be the next big project and my priority. I have always wanted to have more time to train them and take this future building initiative, more to the street and schools; to kids in remote areas. I intend to create materials that would transform the kids to the future we envisage. I want to appreciate everyone that has supported and donated one way/thing or another. You guys made this vision real.

I have some interesting addons that I wish to have on my store http://store.akinyeleolubodun.com. I thank all my customers that have always been there. I owe you guys something. I am coming back strong and more organized. I will be more committed to serving you and making your experience worth your money. Thanks for your patronage all the way.

I will continue working on my abandoned open source project and make sure I complete it this year. I can’t wait to launch it to the community of users. Just stay tuned.

I will keep everyone posted on every little stride I make. I will create time to write more and I have a goal already for reading. I have so many tasks to accomplish but with little time.

Finally, I will have more time to play with my son. He is still the best on every game on his phone. I need to break that record.

Appreciation

I want to thank Shola, our ever-smiling CEO. I wish I got closer to you early enough. Thanks so much Andrew, you are a good leader and I envy your acumen. I have learnt so many things from you and your leadership skills.

Boss Chris, thanks for the love. Can you remember how you bailed us out during the merchant project? Your idea actually lit up the room. You have a big heart and you are very smart. One day, I want to be like you.

Thanks to Ife and Ike that made my stay at Konga pretty easy. I don’t know how to thank you.

I appreciate you Remi and the whole of Konga for the support during the period my brother was kidnapped. God bless you all.

 

I couldn’t mention everyone in this piece because it would have taken a whole book to do that. Konga is a home away from home. It is not just a work place. Konga is a place to be.

I love you all.

 


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