Founder of Eden Life and cofounder of Andela, Nadayar Enegesi sits with host of #WithChude, Chude Jideonwo on the first episode of the #WithChude special series- Code Black.
On the show, he shared about returning to Nigeria to start Andela and starting Eden Life on his path of finding his reason for existence.
“I moved to Lagos to start a company called Andela. I was living in Toronto at that time. I like to say that it is like a spiritual experience for me because I left Nigeria to study on May 21st Canada in 2007, and exactly 7 years later I was on a one-way flight back to Nigeria to start Andela. And I have lived in Lagos ever since.”
Speaking on the reason he took the big leap to move to Lagos, he said, “I think everyone has a vision of what they want their world to look like. So, when an opportunity presents itself to make those things a reality, the only response is, ‘Why not’. By 2050, Africa is going to have 25% of the world’s population. That also means, that the number of talents we have is ridiculous. We could power the whole world with our talent, if we wanted to. Prior to that, my friends and I were working on an Edtech platform, Fora. We were going to host North American course content for Africans. We were doing that in Canada. Tech wasn’t really popping up in those times; the internet wasn’t that great. People were paying for online learning. People still do not pay for online learning, because at the end of the day, what they want is the real outcome. Then, we thought, ‘what if we could create direct outcomes?’ At that time, for every engineer in the US, there were 5 open software engineering jobs, and we had brilliant people. We decided that we were going to close that gap by training an army of software engineers here. And we had that realization, and we thought that if we could train more 100,000 software engineers the impact will be great”.
“My parents thought I had I lost my mind. For things that are a drastic change, but you really think that this is what you should be doing, the last place to go for advice is to friends and family. Because they will respond out of love and care, and all they can see is the downside. But only you really know the thing that is in your mind that needs to exist in the world”, he added.
Nadayar shared on how Eden Life started, “After I had the period where I was searching for my own reason for existence. At that same time, my sister (the only family I had in Lagos) decided she was relocating to the UK. Some of my friends and colleagues were also on the japa wave. What I decided was that I wanted Lagos to be a place people wanted to stay instead of wanting to leave. Andela had unlocked that resolve because it has shown me that it is possible to create some sort of access. It is possible to create access to the good life – that is what Eden Life is, like the garden of Eden. When I had that realization, I went to our team, I was like, ‘Guys, I really have to do this, because without this, I don’t think my life can function’. They were super supportive. In fact, our first backers at Eden life were the cofounders at Andela”.
Watch the excerpt here