Enactus 101: How Covenant University Killed The Enactus 2016 National Competition

Well almost. We almost killed it.

The boys.

When I joined Enactus in March, I was fascinated by the opportunity to change lives by teaching people to make money using what they have around them. I hoped to do this using software, but it wasn’t to be (story for another day).


One of the songs immediately sang to us was, we had only four months (Three at the time) to:

  • Execute our life-changing projects,
  • Capture everything,
  • Write a script,
  • Prepare our slides and,
  • Not implode as a team ’cause of stress.
  • Be ready to compete.

All this would’ve been normal, except all the 40 teams we were coming up against were at least five years old, and had a whole year to execute their projects (some even had projects they had been running for up to five years). At this point, some people jumped off the Enactus CU band-wagon. They said it wasn’t possible for us to even pass the first stage.

But i stayed on, because I wasn’t in it for the competition. To be honest, i didn’t care about the competition at that time. My own was just:

Software to change lives,
Software to change lives,
Announce Nigeria to the world,
Hazzah.

So we started, and it was awesome. Six groups, and i was in research. My group was the most promising (read: serious) and we had a lot of ideas flowing in (Monetary parking system in Ota, Re-structuring a nearby market, Electricity from milk and the likes).


Because, ladies’ man ni mi.

Then we were asked to stay back for a month when our mates were going home to eat proper jollof. I won’t lie, it was painful watching everyone go home, and i really wanted to after spending four months in Hebron.

Long story short, the bootcamp started and my group was dissolved, and our projects cancelled (All in 10 seconds, FYI). We had to focus on only two projects because no time, Palm Wealth and Ecobag. I took all this like the big boy I am, and soldiered on.

I was just there making my own little contributions, building websites, making logos and listening to Snarky Puppy.

Towards the end, I was pulled off the main team and placed in the newly-formed tech team. My job was to create the slides for the Palm wealth project, and I was elated.

I finally got to sit in front of my beautiful laptop all day, my ultimate comfort zone. Hazzah.

And then the time came. After all the sleepless nights working on the slides (A particularly frustrating one, where non-designers made me super-impose one picture over another on Powerpoint. Meh.), I just wanted the competition to come and go. Wasn’t aware yet that it would be one i’d never forget.


National Competition 2016

On the sidelines, taking pics like the dead guy I am.

The competition was scheduled to run from Monday (25th of July) to Thursday (28th of July), and it started with the cultural fair. All the universities were to rep their home town.

It was really cool, and as the newest team, we didn’t really bring our A-game. We just danced with other teams and famzed them.

Enter, Kaduna Polytechnic

They were the team to beat. If this were the UEFA Champions League, they were Barcelona and we were Michyland (I mispell, the team that beat/drew with United).

And it was evident. The swag was too mush. Their team lead was dressed as an Emir and they were treating him like a king. It was tooo mad. I went over and danced with them.

I became a famzer. Just like that.

He famzed me, I lie not.

Opening ceremony

Large hall, with about 18 universities trying to rep. The coolest part was the live Twitter feed, where my name showed about 5 times (cool kid, ‘member?).

And the songs. Ohh the songs.

When I get ol-dah,
I will be strong-ah,
They’ll call me freee-dom,
Just like ah-waving flag.

I sang along. Fine, quiet boy went out the window.

When started balloting, almost all teams were avoiding Kaduna Polytechnic’s league. Luckily for us, we weren’t placed in their league. It was all God really. We went to the hotel happy with our chances.

League Two, Our First Presentation

Early that day, we had a major scare. For some reason, the technical team in Civic centre decided to use equipment that could only run on VGA chords. And all our systems were HDMI. Bleh.

And I had finally fallen sick. My whole body was shutting down, and I was to control the slides.

God fixed it sha, while I was asleep at the back of our bus.

Our presentation began, and it was AWESOME. The maddest parts were the slides, designed by yours truly. When our intro finished and one girl pulled out her phone to record our slides, my head grew to the largest it has ever been.

For a team no one expected to produce much, we surprised them. We were soo happy.

And we made it into the semi-finals from that league.

League Four, Semi Final Presentation

Nerves of steel?

The whole team was nervous for this one. And i fell sick once again (Some people began to come up with theories). The presentation was just alright. I preferred the first one tbh. And then there was University of Uyo, whose presentation was cool, and who had a particular member that had hit on me the day before using my comb. I was genuinely afraid of them.

And then there was OOU, who were incredible dancers in the cultural fair but who everyone wondered how they qualified for the semis. Their English was well, meh.

And then we waited for the results. I had accepted any result they were going to announce and when our name was announced, I lost it.

But it couldn’t last because we had three minutes to present in the finals, in front of everyone.

Finals

There was no time to even be afraid, we just went there and started. I was dazed and it just flew by. The judges asked some tough questions and some of our answers weren’t good enough. Got back to the team, and they were looking sad.

Then the other teams presented after us. ABU’s was cool, and Idah presented our project.

But Kaduna Polytechnic mehn. Those guys killed everyone. Their project was on another level and they even had a video testimony from a Commissioner. A COMMISSIONER.

But we still dared to dream. We got back to the bus, sang worship, praise and prayed. We still believed that the Almighty God that brought us that far was going to grant us the cup, and an automatic ticket to Canada.

Final Announcement

Up to this point, we had already gotten one trophy for semi-finals and one certificate for participating. But we dared to dream.

They were wasting time with speeches and presenting trophies for mini-competitions and I got so bored i slept at a point.

And the final announcement came. The first name was ours.

Third place.

Ahmadu Bello University, Second place.

Surprise-surprise, Kaduna Polytechnic, First place.

We were really grateful and we celebrated. The underdogs had conquered and beaten everyone’s expectations. Our Vice-chancellor had already called us for reaching the finals and now we had gotten another trophy to add to our growing collection.

And we owed it all to God.

Celebrations

This big boy could dance small. Just small.

The celebrations were really cool. We carried our mentors, danced upandan and I took more pictures than I normally would.

Mr Dabs, the fresh mentor.
I found this one particularly odd.
Mr. Lekan, trained our presenters to near perfection. Respect.
Ask ’em who the coolest kid on the bus was. Just ask.

We went to take a group picture with the winning team, where one of their members complained to me that we got our project from the Internet. I didn’t bother to defend because, who arguing don epp?

All in all, the Enactus National Competition 2016 was a life-changing experience and I’m really glad I got to meet these amazing people I can now call my teammates and friends (No time to talk about them, unfortunately).

Now we have a whole year to prepare for the next one, no more excuses. More lives, more projects, more impact and more sustainable development.

But when we all compete to change lives, we all win.

Hotter dan fire?
Thank you for reading! There is so much I left out, but most attention spans can’t carry it.
If you’re interested in seeing the slides, send me an e-mail at opeyemionikute@yahoo.com, as i’ve not gotten around to uploading on Youtube/slideshare yet.