Stévy Wallace, a few years ago, no one would have bet on you.
Because I was looking for myself, a lot. I wasn’t living back then? My life did not exist until I turned 22 years old. I did not know what I wanted to do with my life. I was not decided. To follow a path, to do something relevant or useful. I wandered. It was not reassuring. I woke up, I went and I came. There was no specific purpose in my days. Even if I had the will, I did not believe in myself. No one wouldn’t believe in me either.
How were you wandering ?
First, I failed my A level. I had messed up my father’s name for whom it was a shame. I went to school because the parents liked it and would leave you alone. When my father asked me what I wanted to become, I said “Bof, we’ll see.” I used to do the minimum at school. But no more. I liked to feel free. I was hanging out with a lot of girls, with a group of friends. We were playing the 7 Musketeers in the town of Porto-Novo, where I lived. I had a love affair in the neighborhood and my father was against it. All this contributed to my failure.
I had been dismissed from Notre-Dame school for misconduct after patent of undergraduate study. My father sent me in a vocational high school. He was fed up. He told me to leave the house and I begged him. In high school, they sold us the dream of a training in metal construction, where I could learn to build planes, stadiums. I found it very good! But, in truth, it was just welding my brother … (laughs)
I did not know what I was going to do but I was not imagining myself a welder. I had a great year, I made good friends and I burned my eyes. We had to buy glasses to protect our eyes. I had asked my father for money and when he gave it, I used it to pay a Valentine’s gift to my girlfriend at the time. At a practical session, the professor refused that I borrow glasses because everyone had to have his glasses. That day, I flamed the torch and since then I have been tearing and I have drosophila red eyes, as my friend JR says.
After that year, I asked my father to trust me. That I was going back on the right path and to get my certificate of professional competence. He told me to sign a pledge, that he did not want to pay for my bullshits. I signed the pledge and went back to the normal high school. I got my CPC and he he set me loose a little. And Bam, I started misbehaving again. I would go home late. I would wait for my father to sleep, climb the wall and walk around with my friends. I would come back home at dawn. I was wandering again.
So I failed at the my A level. My father was disappointed. I passed it a second time, and I was the best of my promo.
And it continued after the BAC ?
After my A level, I did at the request of my father a training in computer maintenance. Then I got some heart problems. I converted by love, I became a Muslim for a while. My name was Waliou. My father saw me at the mosque once and he went crazy. He did not understand the delirium. I did it because I was in love. But that was not going well and I decided to flee this girl and this city. I went to Cotonou. I still had no goal. I did a BTS and a degree in marketing and communication. I used to wake up just out of politeness, to go to class. In the evening I would walk around. Sometimes just to walk around. I wasn’t doing anything. I had no money. I had nothing. When my mother asked me to collect the rent from the tenants for shopping, I would spend it. I was squandering. When I think about it, I had not been doing anything serious. Only nonsenses.I used to wake up just out of politeness, to go to class. Click To Tweet
So, you came to Cotonou, you met Fabrice Cossi and some things changed.
I met Fabrice at a birthday, and the feeling was good. He told me he was doing a little bit of everything. I said to him, “Oh cool, I’m here,” if he needs anything, to just let me know. My desire was to make myself useful. I wanted to feel that I was serving something, that I was not just a burned-up head. Because my father had been looking at me from afar, saying to himself : “this child has no ambition, he does not resemble me.”
Fabrice worked at Aureole, a communication agency. I started working with him. Quickly, he put me in charge of organizing the communication of Aureole after months of collaboration. We were working on events, concerts with Ardiess, Zeynab, H20, Fool Faya. I was with Merel, Alviral, we all worked as a team. This is how I experienced the actors of the Beninese showbiz.
The first artist I managed was Daron. I met K-Mal. And it began to please me. Fabrice was going so fast. We were working all the time. He spunned me notions as an event and show manager. I was starting to network. I was less in girls. I was busy, I stopped wandering. “It worked”.
Was it because of your dare-devil past that the desire to make yourself useful made sense ?
That’s it. When I started working with Fabrice, I was complimented. I was told “Oh yes, Stevy is speed. Yes, Stevy works well “. It gave me a feeling of satisfaction. Because before, they used to say more about me “Stevy knows how to party, he knows how to go out. He likes to dance. Stevy is spoiled “. It was paradoxical. As much as I worked at school, so much was I in the thug life. Indeed, it changed me to hear something else about me. “Not bad” or “If Stevy was there he would have settled this“. The fact of falling asleep telling myself that I had done something good, that I had been useful to people today, was enough for me. I did not even think about money.
And when did you start to know what you wanted to do with your life ? What was the trigger ?
It was in 2010 that I realized that it was necessary to have a goal in life. It is necessary to draw a path, to follow it with one’s convictions and ideals. When you feel the trigger, engage and do the thing. Everything that I had begun to do allowed me to better know where I was going. It was nice to work.
But the big trigger, that was the conversation I had with my best buddy Jean-Richard, who had just moved to the United States. I was depressed for a year after he left because we used to do everything together. I sat down and said to myself, “Well, Steve, what good for are you in life? Don’t you want to dream big? “. He called me one morning and he said, “I swear, Stevy, it’s hot in here. These people are ahead. They are in 2060 while we are in 2010. Yet they have nothing more than us apart from the organization and the mind. ” I do not even know why it triggered me.
That’s where the No Limit Generation started. We wanted to start doing things right, without necessarily waiting for the state. The state is us. But we did not have any money.When you feel the trigger, engage and do the thing. Click To Tweet
The No Limit Generation was born from this conversation but more so in a restaurant. Tell us.
The restaurant was called La Mandarine. After having the idea, we decided to regroup the best young people of Cotonou, all those who was doing something interesting. With the money of my mother and thanks to Morel Kpodanho. we made thirty black tee-shirts “No Limit Generation, Committed African Youth “. I called on Michèle Chidiac, Rodoutan, Elvis Sanya, Hinson Lewis, Gyovanni and many others. It was a Sunday morning. I spoke to them about the ambition. It was not about money but about change. They said yes.
What were the actions of the No Limit Generation ?
As each of us was on many events, we decided to show up with our T-shirts. That day, everyone took a T-shirt and went to Espace Tchif that very evening. The first action we wanted to do was “A Spectator, a Ticket”. It was noticed that when the artists organize concerts, their whole family came for free on the pretext that it was their brother who organized, and the artists ended up with nothing at all. So, we set up a group “The raincoats of the NLG” with some big guys and we stood at the entrance of the concerts. We made arguments so that each spectator pays his ticket.
We used to pick a problem in any area, and we wondered what we could do to have impact. For road safety, we did the campaign “Casque toi ou casse toi” (Put your Helmet on or Get lost). We wanted to do more, but when we asked the CNSR for a hearing, they did not take us seriously. For the “Un verre de trop” (don’t get drunk) campaign, we went to see the CNSR to help us spread the documentary to save young people who were doing Zewé (unsafe biking), were driving drunk and were dying at nightclubs but they did not help us.
We made a request for broadcasting to the TV channels since we had already realized the audio and video commercial but they refused: “Who are you? We do not know you. You are not registered “. Nobody saw the relevance of the stuff so we invaded the internet. We also paid some DJs to play the audio spot in nightclubs. But we were told that we were preventing young people from drinking and that we were making the clubs lose money.
I still was not making money. I invested all the money from my parents in our activities. It’s the T-shirts that made us known. We started to have audience and credibility. Then we started to sell T-shirts and finally, we produced the video “Assume your youth” with K-Mal. All my life changed at once.
How were you living since you had no money ?
I do not even know how. There was a lady who used to sell me Kom on credit and another lady who used to sell me rice. I had a choice between Kom and rice. When it’s not Kom today, it’s rice and I walked to go to both. I had no choice at the time. Motorcycles cost between 400,000-500,000 CFA francs. It was too expensive. So I walked and I ate on trust and voila. I preferred to be useful. I would not even think about money.
What was the impact of this revolution on T-shirts and spots ?
We worked on a lot of concerts with Jay Killah, Shamir, Akon, the HKH (hip hop festival) with Ardiess, Espace Tchif. People knew that they could not come in for free because the guys of the NLG were on most events. It became a trend. With the broadcast of the commercials, when people went in club in groups, they would choose someone who had not drunk to drive. There was some change in youth behavior on some of the problems identified. At a time, there were many accidents involving young people. It had diminished even if it had not disappeared. The spot was violent and the messages were strong. We put them on the networks and the audio in clubs.
There were other groups with greater credibility than the NLG, but lots of people wanted to join us. We were not getting together for money, but for impact. It was a social commitment. And it was getting effective. We participated in the Beninese Youth Day with “Diamand Noir” and the Town Hall of Cotonou. It was good, especially after of K-Mal’s album and the CCF that we filled with a concert of Slam. It was awesome.
Did you find a meaning to your life with the No Limit Generation ?
The slogan of the NLG is “To make possible today the impossible of yesterday”. And that’s really what characterizes me today. For me, that means it all. There are things we do today that nobody would have bet on yesterday. It is the leitmotiv: pushing the limits and bringing something more. No Limit Generation is my essence. This is what shaped my head and forged my mind. This is the movement for which I gave a lot and wich made me proud. The entire team: Bob, Kebo, Abdoul, Leconte, Armand, Judicael, Nevis, Lewis, Léandre, all these NLG members young have created something for Cotonou and for Benin and elsewhere. It’s a pleasure. There was a craze and a fever. We left prints.
People who knew me in the world of the night, who used to call me “Anaconda” started calling me “the Immortal” because I was not sleeping, I was working without rest, I was tireless. We were hungry, we had rage. We wanted to move the lines as young people, conquer the world! We were craving to knock things down. To do something and do it without the help of the state. It was only social, but we shone, it’s priceless. The NLG is a way of life. A philosophy. The NLG was my all. I lived by that.We were craving to knock things down. Click To Tweet
And yet, you quit all this to go live the European dream.
It was a tough decision. It is often said that we do not know how strong we are until it becomes the only solution. I had to go somewhere else to get out of my comfort zone. I was too frightened but to succeed in accomplishing something, you have to face it. I was sure it was not the right time because NLG was starting to grow fast. We were invited to the radio, to tv broadcasts. When I announced to the friends of the NLG my departure, it was the earthquake.
- Guys, I’m leaving, I have to leave.
- No, you can not leave now.
- If I dive into all this I will not be able to get out of it. Either I stay and I give myself thoroughly and I forget my life, either I leave I learn new things and I come back hoping that the return will be easy.
There are trials that make us stronger and that we can only meet outside the comfort zone. If one wants to go to heaven, one must accept to die. It was like a death to me. I wanted to leave what I knew to know what I did not know.
I went to Italy, against the will of my father, to find my mother with whom I had never lived. Above all, I wanted to understand, to learn from another system, to discover, to see why others were ahead when we all have the same head and blood. I was very passionate about internet even though the connection was not super good. For me it was the future. I wanted to do a training in digital. I had found a school in Paris.
How did you leave Benin for France when you had no sub ?
My mom paid the plane ticket. I had no money to pay for it. I had taken all the money she sent me and also the money I was trying to steal from the old man to invest in No Limit Generation for t-shirts, campaigns and spots we were doing. I was penniless. It was crazy. I was investing a lot in the NLG because no one was sponsoring us other than a few showbiz friends who were helping us with the videos and sounds: Sam Seed, Don Kem, Adekunle, Nick and the artists who believed in us and wouldn’t take any fee. I had like 8000 F CFA (~13$) in my pocket when I left Benin.
And once in Italy, what happened ?
I arrived in Italy, but I could not go to France. I did not have a Student Visa and I could only settle in Italy and make my papers. I also had to manage to pay close to 20,000 euros of schooling. My father had not allowed me to leave, so I could not ask him anything. I was told, “It’s suicide, Stevy.” But as long as one has the will, as long as one believes in it, one must be dedicated. I had a goal. And it was only a matter of time for me. I’m going to get there. I have given myself the means to do it.
I spent 8 months in Italy. There, there are not many blacks so we used to greet each other. But the real shock was to stay in my room all day. I had nothing to do since I had just arrived and my mother was going to work. I had just left the NLG where I found myself in concerts, with friends. And here I was locked up in a cubbyhole. Life in Europe, frankly, is not simple. Loneliness, it eats up, it ruins, it kills. I was going crazy. I asked myself: “What f****** is this life ? Was that Europe? You turn on your computer, you go on Facebook “. I was no longer active. The guys wrote me a lot. I replied that I was fine but that I was stepping aside a bit.Loneliness, it eats up, it ruins, it kills. I was going crazy. Click To Tweet
Terminus, Stevy finally arrived in France.
I was hosted by my fiancee. My Italian papers happened to allow me to reside in France. But I could not work there. And therefore I could not make any money. I could not pay school and study. I had to find money. I touched the black. I was on the edge of the illegal.
You’re gone, you can not look back. You have to be something before you go home. Even if you have to hustle for 20 years. It is almost a bitter failure to return home without being accomplished. The friends in the country were saying “Stevy left, he will be back.“
How did you take up the challenge of paying for your education without job ?
I started looking for small jobs. I deposited everywhere: McDO, KFC, all the fast foods, gas stations but I found nothing. One day, I deposited in an agency of interim and they called me back for a position of commercial at Orange. We had to sell optic fiber solutions to individuals and so go door to door, get into the buildings. I did not even know Paris. We were in 2013. I had only one pair of trousers and two shirts. I bought two pants and a shoe. My girlfriend Ines supported me. She was my pillar. She believed in me.
I’m black. When people looked at me from the peephole, they saw a big black man. One evening, during a Classíco, I rang. The man shouted from the living room. I introduced myself. I said I was selling Orange deals. He looked at me through the peephole and told me he was coming back. He came back, opened the door and aimed a gun on my forehead. “Never knock on my door again, you dirty nigger! “. He told me to disappear, otherwise he was going to shot me. I ran. I went down the stairs at full speed. I sat down the building and there I started crying. I could not take it any more.
I was tired because every day I had to follow a circuit, win some deals and report to my manager. I used to walk tremendously to prospect. I would walk all over Paris. I had blisters on my foot. When I got home, I told my girlfriend that I could not take it anymore, that I wanted to change jobs. I gave up. I sent an email the next day to my team leader. I told him that the job exhausted me and that i wasn’t earning enough cash.
I started looking for a job with one more line in my CV, anyway. I could not find anything. I even wanted to do “night driver” but i found no opportunity. I could not leave Paris. At least there I had a roof. When my friends from France called me, I would cheer them up, even though I was in the same trouble. One day, I was contacted by the EDF for a position of tele-adviser. I was 2 hours drive far from work but I was motivated. I always arrived on time. I earned 1500 euros, it was well paid. I was able to save money to pay for my school. I lived almost a year and a half in Paris, before I could regularize my situation.He came back, opened the door and pointed a gun on my forehead. Click To Tweet
Today, you walk the streets of Paris as the head of the digital communication of the Presidency of Benin.
Paris is symbolic. My big sacrifices for my future, my studies were made here, the difficulty to integrate, having to live in the skin of another. It’s a city I love, although I have a lot of emotion going back there. But it’s part of the normal things that had to happen for me to reach my goals. I was a student. I became an employee. Today, I am CDO of the Presidency. I had promised to return to serve in the country. What made me hold on was my goal and motivation. I listened a lot to Diamond Noir, Apouké, Afafa; Songs like “Nés pour briller” (Born to Shine), “Retour au bled” (Return to the Bled) used to motivate a lot. It would boost me. That’s what kept me alive. Even if it was on a small scale, I was progressing despite everything. The night is not eternal. The day finally arise. So I wanted to mark the story and be immortal. I lived in fear, stress, loneliness and struggle. I went to school without a penny. But I got my diploma.The night is not eternal. The day finally arises. Click To Tweet
What would have happened if you had not succeeded ?
I would have succeed. I know it because I would have done everything to succeed. I am not sure what would have happened but I know I would have succeeded. That’s all.
How did you become the Chief Digital officer of the presidency ?
I had to find an internship to validate my year. I finally found one in WIMI France. But I couldn’t get an alternation. I had to give up the job to go back to the second grade, still penniless. I had not finished paying for the schooling. We also had to find an internship to validate the second year. I found one in an E-commerce business. I came back to home after that in Cotonou, in 2015. I organized in Cotonou the Benin Digital Day, a training on the techniques of research, methods and monitoring tools on the Internet.
One day I read a ranking done by “Jeune Afrique” on the countries where the rulers were on social networks and listening to the people there. Benin was ranked 4th in the list in Francophone Africa. I had made a Facebook status ” I Have a dream ” where I hoped that one day Benin would be the first on the list.
During that holidays, my boss at WIMI called to tell me that he wanted me back, that the one who had replaced me was not competent enough, that he would pass an arrangement with the company where I had found an internship. I told him that I would only return for a permanent contract. He said no problem and this is how I went from trainee to employee. It was really the first time he gave me the opportunity to do digital Marketing thoroughly.
On my return to France, I launched with some friends the “Programme de Gouvernance concertée” (Concerted governance program) during the election period to collect online contributions from citizens and submit them to the newly to-be-formed government. More than 600 contributions were collected online between February 1 and March 5, 2016.
After the election, I was invited as consultant and actor, to EnnovBenin2021 on the digital strategy of Benin. The urgency was to set up a digital communication team in Benin and the PR wanted it to be a local team unlike other countries where it is foreign digital agencies.
One day, a relative of the president approached me and told me that they identified me on social networks and the Internet, that they heard about me, and that they wanted me to take care of the digital communication of the Presidency and the Government. It fell out of the sky. Overnight, I left my post at WIMI, I seized the opportunity and I returned to Benin.
When you look at yourstory, what message do you retain ?
People do not need to believe in your dreams, in your place. One dreams alone and one fights alone to achieve its objectives. I was told not to return. I was told not to go to France. I was told it was suicide to think I could pay for my school. As long as there is a 1% chance, you have to try. We do not have to wait for people to believe in our dreams in order to implement them. There are people in whom no one believed and who today sign autographs. This is because they have proven themselves over time. When you believe in it, it’s noticeable.
Did you fulfill the dream you had when you left Benin ?
I have got my MBA and I leveled up in proficiency. I had discovered the world. I got back having reached my goal. I also told myself that the important thing is not to work in Africa but to work for Africa. No matter where I am, I must be able to contribute to the development of my country, my continent. I came back earlier. But it was a challenge. The position I occupied did not exist. It was created on the vision of the head of state. It’s a challenge because I’m young. We young people, we like make demands but at work, we must be blameless.
The Immortal, the one who wanted to do “Without the State” entered politics.
It’s not a job to be in politics. I am not in the presidency for a political job but for a specific mission. Politics is a tool for development. One can not want changes at the highest level and be afraid to enter politics if necessary. It is true that in our countries the way it is managed is full of opacity and unhealthy practices.
But initially, politics is not something negative. This environment deserves a better image and it will only be done with people who have a vision. At one point, we need to activate political levers to change the situation and have a greater impact. My mother was very worried for me. I was told, “You’re young, they’re going to kill you, it’s politics.” Young people must be able to go to decision-making offices, to rub shoulders with adults and to learn from them. There are things you can not learn until you are in a certain environment. It empowers and disciplines you enormously.
What have been the most memorable moments since you took the reins of digital communication ?
Last year, during the president’s speech to the National Assembly, the head of state set foot on the red carpet at the exact time of the start of the ceremony. In accordance with the Protocol, some parliamentarian found themselves outdoors because they were not accustomed to the president coming on time. It may be trivial but it proves the dynamics in which our country is going.The whole COM team was praying for a rest. Click To Tweet
Once, we returned from a mission to India after 15h of flight. We arrived at 5 am and the head of State had an appointment scheduled at 8:00. The whole COM team was praying for a rest. But at 8:00, he was at work. We are at such a level of rigour and excellence that we no longer have time to sleep. If the boss himself impulse this dynamic, the employees are forced to keep pace. These two little things marked me and they showed me that I was back to really work. And that step by step, the challenges will be taken.
Private jet, luxury hotels, in the 4 corners of the world with the Head of State or at the Palace of the presidency! It’s impressive anyway.
Lol. This is not life at the palace at all. It would be very vain to make people believe that. For example, it’s been 3 days we had a sleep in the Com team because in the day, we follow the President to take all the necessary content and at night we move on to post production to feed all digital channels and classic press.
It’s totally different from the inside. The responsibility of the rulers is so great that it is not easy to be in their place. Managing a couple or a single-parent family is far from simple, imagine an entire nation? It’s exciting but there is a lot, a lot of stress in this job. The slightest mistake is prejudicial.
Many Africans expect more from their nation rather than giving more to their nation. At the slightest polemic on the net, people write to me for information but I can not always talk because we do not know who is who and that I am in a position of responsibility which i have to honor and deserve.
But it’s still more bearable when you are in a private jet.
Being in the palace does not mean that you access to everything, that your life is easy and that you have no more problems. I’m personally under a lot of pressure especially from the people around me. I still have problems but I can not get closer to some people to talk about it. I can not talk about it without being told “You are in the jails of power, in good graces.” It’s very complicated. It isolates. It is a mission that isolates a lot. There are many prejudices. People are automatically like: “Ah we do not have the same problems anymore.” It is much more the pressure that is not easy to bear.
I don’t want people to think that being at the palace is the end of the road or an ultimate accomplishment. It is true that in terms of professional experience and relationship, it is top. But there are still more prestigious functions on the continental or international level.
I am one of those who think that development is mental then individual before being collective. So let everyone do his job on his scale and we can die tomorrow saying, “Yes, I had an impact. Yes, I’ve moved lines. ” As minimal as they are.
The Digital Com service has nevertheless received a lot of criticism.
No human work is perfect. There have been a few hot cases, but in the back office, there are too many things happening. We’re still seasoned. If the President and his government never respond to attacks, we will not do it either. As he said recently, it gives life a little spice.
I did not come back because of the financial proposal. I was very well paid with my CDI in France. Here I am on a fixed term for one mandate. This is clearly not the best stability. The challenge is great. My service is writing history because it is the first of our Republic and it will make us immortal. I’m proud of it.
People follow us assiduously. It is true that those who congratulate are fewer than those who criticize. But it’s not bad. It is a manifestation of interest and in customer relations, they are good leads to conquer.
It’s good to be a pioneer. But what’s the revolution ?
In the digital team of Burkina, they are seven and only take care of the communication of the president. Were are 3, and people are amazed by the amount of work we do for the presidency, the President and the government. It’s the will of the big boss to tighten the belt. We tighen as long as it does not become a tourniquet.
With my team, we are not perfect and it is very stressful all that but today, the results are there. In the subregion and internationally, Benin is beginning to enjoy good E-Reputation thanks to the leadership imposed by the current government. People get information and know where to find official information. We have segmented the channels: there is a Facebook, a Flickr, a Soundcloud, two twitter accounts for the government and the presidency that centralize all the contents. In an instant, we feed the channels with everything that happens at the Presidency and in the government. When we launched the Flickr which centralizes all the official photos of the Republic, it was said that we did not need it. Today it’s a reflex for people to go and get good quality pictures there.
New digital habits have been adopted. We are working on the image of Benin, providing qualitative content so that everything that is positive goes up in search engines. Every time we have an athlete, an artist who succeeds somewhere, we produce content to promote him.
It is on the basis of talents that people will know more about Benin. The specifications are tremendous and the hierarchy relies heavily on us. We’ll do our best.
Does experience matter more than getting money? What should one focus on in order to succeed ?
Is it not a bit paradoxical that we are underdeveloped and yet there are no jobs in the country? We are behind the world but there are no jobs. The needs are latent throughout the country. For example, some Zemidjans (taxi-moto) sleep out at night on their motorcycles. Someone can think of creating a hostel for the Zems, where they pay on time, can sleep, shower and go back to work when they want. Another thing is that we can’t make identity pictures at night or at dawn. Everything is closed, even the only photomaton of Cotonou located at Erevan.
There are many problems and needs in our countries. Whenever you identify a need and explore it, you need to be able to find the best way to meet that need depending on your know-how. We must also work with passion. No one will tell you to wake up in the morning to do your job. When you work with passion, it is noticeable in what you do. There are many people who make clothes but not everybody buys clothes from everybody. You must be passionate about it to increase your level and have a long-term view of things. I worked for 80% of the actors of the showbiz in Benin. I do not recall taking money from any of them. All i cared about was to learn, to discover and to show what I knew. It’s great to be small. We must give in order to receive. Sometimes we forget to die a little to reach a paradise. All those who succeeded had moments of sacrifice and struggle. We cannot expect outstanding results by doing normal things.We cannot expect outstanding results by doing normal things. Click To Tweet
Not everyone has the chance to stumble upon good triggers, good opportunities and the right environment.
Opportunities are available to everyone. We have the same fingers, but we don’t succeed all the same. You have to provoke luck, provoke things. To have my internship, I had filed CVs in several agencies whose contacts I had kept to recall them 1 month later based on their answer. There is a company where the lady had answered the consecrated formula “I keep your file under the elbow. I’ll call you back.” I called them again a month later. But it is another person who has stalled.
- I would like to speak to Mrs So-and-so
- Sorry, she doesn’t work here anymore.
- Oh It’s serious! I replied
- But why?
- well, because she told me that she had found an internship contract for me in a company on Paris that works in digital. I have made my arrangements. How can she leave like that, it’s not normal.
- Apologies. Would you mind waiting a bit? I’ll talk to my supervisor.
It was a bluff. I wanted a job. A few minutes later, the superior picks up the phone and apologizes again. He promises to look into his wallet to find something for me.
- I already told my school that I had found an internship. It would be a pity to tell me that there is nothing in the end.
Three days later, I received an interview email. I might not have been pugnacious and missed this opportunity. I might have not found the right arguments. Similarly, when the opportunity for the presidency came up, I dropped my permanent contract and my consultant contracts. It was a gamble. Sometimes you have to provoke fate. Prove yourself. Show that you believe in yourself and that you can be trusted. It is not a question of youth but of responsibility.Sometimes you have to provoke fate. Click To Tweet
You said one do not need to be in Africa to work for Africa. As a repat, with this job at the presidency, how do you look at all this ?
The reinsertion of repats is a complex problem but it is a matter of how you address the subject and especially a matter of personal choices.
There are people who, whatever the conditions they are provided with, will not succeed while others with the minimum, they produce the maximum. We can not force people to return to work in their countries of origin after having studied elsewhere under the pretext that they must be nationalistic or patriotic. Man wants to be happy. Many are even better off from home than at home.
I believe that I have understood. The difference is in the mentality and the way of doing things.
Every African wherever he is must be committed to developing our continent. Africa needs us. Akon reminded this again, not long ago. We need to invest in solving each problem in Africa. It is about finding one’s mission, filling it or betraying it.
It was not because I was from the diaspora that I deserved this post. Since other colleagues in the country are equally competent. It may be destiny. My mission right now. I did not think twice when the opportunity presented itself, I came in direct. I did not want to be too far from my family and especially my father who is getting old.
What’s your dream today ?
My dream has not changed. I dream that we can catch up with other countries. It is no longer a matter of color but of mentality. It is a question of skilled and competent human resources. That is why the campaign “Allume ton cerveau” (Light your brain up”) will remain eternal. We will soon restart the NLG in an even more operational form.
We just have to wake up and fight, each in his field. The best pastry-maker, the best bricklayer, getting better and changing things. That is why I do not hesitate to share the success stories of my countrymen. That’s my motto.
After my mission, I have to go to the conquest of private and public customers on the continental level and why not beyond. I dream of investing in new media, social and entertainment. Be able to surround myself with the best in the field in Africa and perhaps prepare the next generation.
I dream that together we can change things and have an impact on the community. The goal has not changed. The dream is to make possible today the impossible of yesterday.
It is in the night that the stars shine the most. The story of Stevy Wallace is a story in which we all find ourselves a little too much. It is a story of all possibilities. It’s a story that says the only whistle that matters is the one at the end. It is an ode to determination. I am the master of my destiny, I am the captain of my soul, “Nelson Mandela repeated tirelessly. Invictus. Like a generation of miracles, like a generation without limits.
Between the time that runs away and that hunger to win wich does not find its fight, one long seeks the famous way The-purpose-of-all-this. Sometimes it hides in our fears, the most anchored or somewhere in those things that make us alive. Sometimes, we find The-purpose-of-all-this at the intersection of the Why-not, between the Rise-and-Tear-everything and the You-will-do-it.
It is also a spark that only asks to find a fire. And other times, vlam! The-purpose-of-all-this can also strike us in the face. This way is a door. But one day a friend said to me: If you do not knock, the doors remain closed.
Knock ! Knock ! Knock. It was the story of Steve Wallace, the immortal. Share it all over the four corners of the world.