- A Nigerian man and popular LinkedIn influencer, Wilfred Asuquo, has shared the story behind his viral photo of him pushing a wheelbarrow
- Asuquo, who recently got his US citizenship, is popular on LinkedIn for inspiring people with his life experience
- The man had left home in 1996 to seek greener pastures when he was a teenager; he said the photo was taken when he worked as an errand boy in the Egbeda area of Lagos
A Nigerian man identified as Wilfred Asuquo has once again inspired social media users after sharing the story behind a viral photo of him pushing a wheelbarrow.
Asuquo is a popular LinkedIn influencer whose life experience is used to inspire people on the platform that giving up shouldn't be an option.
How it all started
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Asuquo's dad was a University of Wales trained scholar who returned to Nigeria to support the building of his country while his mother was an NCE trained teacher.
The government didn't make things easy
Asuquo's parents were government employees who never got paid on time. They were usually owed three to five months salaries.
"We were left to the mercy of “I owe you & survival of the fittest due to unpaid salaries. My father was an honorable man who would not succumb to bribery and corruption and as a result, he was victimized which potentially led him to voluntarily go on an early retirement in 1993.
"At that time, I was in JSS3, the year our woes and suffering started in full fletch. Having a decent meal was a big deal, let alone to pay college fees after I secured my admission."
Leaving home in November 1996
Asuquo took his destiny into his hands and left home in November 1996 to seek greener pastures after things got worse.
Recalling the event of that year, the Nigerian-American said:
"My mum cried, she was worried, I didn’t have her approval and I wasn’t ready to listen to dad. My action was a huge risk and I recalled watching my mother weep as I bid her goodbye. I didn’t know the odds that were ahead of me."
He arrived in Lagos
Asuquo didn't have a place to stay when he arrived in Lagos and he had to seek shelter at a security post with kinsmen in Oba Akran.
According to Asuquo, the landlord sent them packing and he moved to Victoria to be with another family who was residing in a temporary structure built with woods.
In his words:
"Again, I was sent out of that structure where I used to sleep on the sand with a mat as I was accused of stealing toilet soap. Hence, I was asked to leave, then I took my little bag and went to the bar-beach where I slept for nights on those local recliner chairs."
Searching for a job
Day after day, Asuquo would intensify his push for a job. He eventually got a cleaning job at John Julian Cleaning Services in Ajose Adeogun that earned him N1,200 monthly.
In his words:
"That was a lot for me and I was good to go. I usually slept on the 12th floor of that building at night, taking showers like everyone else in that building. In all this, my mind was fixated on returning back to college, but I wasn't sure how. All I needed was to sit for Jamb."
God sent an angel
Asuquo said an NNPC staff member who had been seeing him in the building felt he was too young to be working.
Describing the man as an angel, Asuquo said he offered him the N1,200 he was earning if he came to live with him.
The inspiring photograph was taken
It was in the man's house in the Egbeda area of Lagos that the viral photograph of Asuquo was taken.
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In his words:
"This was in May 97 and I was still yet to be 17. It was in his apartment yard that this picture was taken by the photographer who came by to cover a birthday party in another apartment.
"So, that’s how I got my first decent home to live in Egbeda Lagos and worked as an errand boy. There is no doubt that he was nice to me, but I didn’t live there for so long when I moved to another safe haven and the stories keep unfolding. Let me leave it here for another day."
Nigerian man who sold okrika shares success story
Legit.ng previously reported that a Nigerian politician and businessman, Eghosa Asemota Agbonifo, took to social media to inspire people that they can achieve success in life through hard work and dedication.
Eghosa, who hails from Benin City, the Edo state capital, is the founder of Etek Luxury.
Taking to his Instagram page to share his story, the businessman said life was hard for him at a young age and he had to struggle to get to where he is today.