It all began with an inspiration from God; I got an idea in 2019 which I penned down in my notebook. The idea is centred on how to improve security levels in Nigeria and also increase accountability on the part of the Nigerian Police Force.
I tweeted about the idea and to my greatest surprise, that tweet had over 16,000 retweets. Among the 500,000 people that the tweet reached, I got a call from a sweet lady named Azeezat, requesting that she would love to work with me on the application.
We started working together and making plans for the future of the Application, she was very smart and so I immediately brought her on board. On the 18th of October she sent me a flyer for the SDG16 Innovation challenge, requesting I apply for it, and I did.
A month later, I got a call from one of the facilitators at accountability lab, informing me that I had been selected and asking if I would be available to come for a 3-day training in Abuja, I immediately said yes (what am I doing with my life before? I must be trained jareeee)
I received an official mail the next day with all the necessary details. I was overwhelmed with joy.
I got to the venue where I met other social entrepreneurs that made it pass the first stage of the challenge; we all waited in the conference room to begin the training. Some minutes later, one of the facilitators, Mr. Mnenga Shiiwua addressed us, he told us about accountability lab and what we should expect, then we proceeded to eat breakfast (yes o, real food, in fact, after all the amazing meals we ate daily, I concluded that wahala for who no innovate ooo).
After breakfast, another facilitator trained us for a few hours, we interacted amongst ourselves and the bonding began. I made friends with Samson and Deborah on the first day, they looked brilliant and smart, I went to meet them, and it turned out that they actually are brilliant and smart.
More facilitators came to train us, Zigwai Tagwai spoke about “Building Effective, Accountable and Transparent Institutions at all levels in Nigeria” after which Prince Chimaroke Chukwuka spoke extensively on “Pitching”, he taught us strategies that would help us with our elevator pitches, he patiently listened to each and every one of us give a pitch and corrected us where necessary. The Country Director Mr. Odeh Friday also addressed us and ensured everything was going on as planned.
Judgment Day!!! We have been receiving lectures together and having great meals, but at the end of the day, this is a competition, a challenge and the best two social entrepreneurs would be inducted into the accountability lab incubator.
We were given five minutes each to pitch our various ideas. For me, my preparation for this day did not just start when I received the email, but almost 6 years ago, just like Les Brown always says” it is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared”. I have been reading, I have read over 50 books on business, public speaking and entrepreneurship and I was going to give my best at this challenge. I rehearsed my pitch from 3am – 5am, when I felt comfortable with my pitch; I continued listening to Abule by Patoranking.
I was the fifth person to pitch, I did my best and I could feel my audience concentrating and hanging on to every word I said, a skill I learnt from Michelle Obama and Lisa Nichols. After the pitch, the results were released, and one of the Judges, Mr. Obinna took to the podium to announce the results. He stated that the total point obtainable was 90 and the first runner up had a total of 74 points, which was my friend, Deborah. He then announced that I won with a total of 80 points.
I am so grateful for this platform and I thank Accountability Lab for everything they do for young social entrepreneurs. It was an amazing experience and I look forward to working with them on this great project that will change Nigeria.
For more updates, you can follow me on Instagram @dilianney.