So what is ‘MoveBackToNigeria’, or as they are commonly known, MBTN? In 2012, MoveBackToNigeria was founded by Adabara Abdullahi and has become the foremost and fastest growing network of Nigerian professionals in the diaspora. Their objective is to connect Nigerian professionals, businesses and investors with the various opportunities in Nigeria (and the diaspora), ranging from strategic recruitment drives to investor outreach programmes, relocation information, financial advice, real estate and more.
When I was in Lagos last December, I attended one of their networking functions. The event had been advertised as a means for Nigerians abroad, who were interested in relocating to come together and network. MBTN had also arranged for guest speakers to attend, which consisted of people who had successfully transitioned into their current jobs in Nigeria, as well as recruiters and an accommodation agency.
But here’s the thing- I know a SpeedDating event when I see one! A bunch of eligible men rounded up in an event who at the very least would have schooled in top schools abroad, thrown in with an MBA for good measure???!!! That’s the kind of ‘Good On Paper’ credentials Mama likes to read! So what do I do in the days leading up to the D-Day? I buy a new dress and book a Make Up session of course, in the words of TuPac, ‘Mama didn’t raise no fool…’!!
Fast forward to the evening of the function, and as I predicted, the initial few seconds weren’t easy: I remember opening the door hesitantly and meeting a sea of unfamiliar faces sat down on various tables all staring at me…but as the night went on, I really had such a good time. It was great to perfect my networking skills (which is an art form indeed!) and hear about other people’s success stories weaved in with horrific tales, that are typical of Nigeria/Nigerians! For instance, a man regaled us with the incident of how he had his deposit and rent money stolen by his landlord!!
At the end of the night, I was chatting with the CEO & Founder of MBTN and upon hearing my story he asked me whether MBTN could interview me. I was very surprised and had replied, ‘You do know that I live and work in Nigeria, but I also spend few months in the year working abroad as well. Do I still qualify?’
He replied in the affirmative, and without further ado here is the interview.
Do let me know what you think!
Thanks MBTN, I have come to treat your online resource as an important survival and learning guide, so to be featured and share my experience with others is an honour.