Decisions, Persistence, Focus and Belief

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A short story of how nHub’s founder, David Daser, became a “hardcore geek”

“MATHEMATICS HAS TAUGHT ME NOT JUST NUMBERS AND HOW TO MANIPULATE FORMULAS, IT FURNISHED ME WITH A BELIEVE SYSTEM THAT I CAN ALWAYS MAKE IT NO MATTER THE ADVERSITY. IT HAS TAUGHT ME RESILIENCE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING FOCUS TO MY GOALS.”

One of the prominent figures in Nigeria’s nascent technology space, Victor Asemota, described David Daser as a hardcore geek in his Guardian article titled “Nigeria’s technology sector: A coming of age?”

Asemota wasn’t lying. I’ve met the man and everything about him is code. What I didn’t know however was how he got to know so much about Computer Science concepts and coding in general, especially considering he studied Biochemistry in the university.

Few hours ago, he shared a post on Facebook which contained what I’ve been wanting to know. His story is about decisions, persistence, focus and belief. I’m replicating the article here so we all, especially those who are struggling with coding and life in general, can learn a thing or two and be inspired/encouraged, et al.

Enjoy!

“I almost made a decision back then in secondary school that would have ruined my life forever. I belonged to this group of friends that lived with the mantra and believe that mathematics was very difficult and therefore we should all forgo it in favour of non-maths related courses in the university. I took law to salvage the moment. I had a moment of silence and thought about how I should live differently. I took that maths book and did justice to it. Guess what? “It was easier than English.” I came out successful in every maths attempt I ever gave a shot to but it was too late, I ended up graduating as an art student getting set for law. I attempted JAMB twice but couldn’t make it.

“I remember this fateful day, I returned from the JAMB office feeling disappointed. I had scored below the cut-off mark on the second attempt to study law. I took a moment of silence to ponder on my life once again just like I did in secondary school. Yes!!! I could switch to science and consider a career in medicine. I can teach myself science just the way I did maths. I got to the market and purchased PN Okeke (Physics) and Ababio (Chemistry) and a new phase of my life began. I couldn’t tell anyone but I read 24 hours and had no life any more.

Inside nHub, Jos
Inside nHub, Jos

“Within a year, I had read the books back to back and went into another JAMB followed by GCE. I made all my papers and voila! I got admission into the university to study Biochemistry.

“A new life began for me and in the next four years I would not be seen in class for lectures but playing with computers. My love for mathematics and algorithm took another dimension just when I got into the university. I said to myself “Just the way no one ever taught me mathematics, I would pass Biochemistry”.

“I spent four years and left the university without looking back. I grew everyday understanding life and computers. I had a friend in the White House called Yuri who assisted in solving a lot of the computational problems I had. He taught me a new approach on problem solving. One day I took up the University of Manchester’s brochure and spent a year studying their computer science curriculum. I eventually got the satisfaction of completing a computer science degree in my room unofficially. It gave me a relief of fulfillment, after all “Who Certificate epp?”.

“Mathematics has taught me not just numbers and how to manipulate formulas, it furnished me with a believe system that I can always make it no matter the adversity. It has taught me resilience and the importance of staying focus to my goals.

“Two things are key to my story, one is the fact that truth is found in moments of silence. That moment when you are alone without any form of distraction. I call it “the moment of truth”, when you discover yourself more than you taught you knew. Secondly, the knowledge that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. No one ever taught me science and maths. I got into computing with the belief I could do it on my own.

“Fast forward today, few weeks from now after several months of sleep deprivation, I would be unofficially an artificial intelligent expert and would be delving into solving complex problems using diverse machine learning algorithms and I am setting up a team of young people who want to make their lives worthwhile and are interested in research. It is going to be called nHubV2 (version 2).”

Udoh N. Kelven in the Medium on Daser David: https://medium.com/@KelvMakanjuOla/decisions-persistence-focus-belief-a-short-story-of-how-nhubs-founder-david-daser-became-a-35629eb806cb


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