Goodbye Mubarak !
To be honest, I was not expecting anything special in the design — the hotels.ng website isn’t focused on being a looker. I was more focused on Mark’s usual interesting thought process and in giving my guy feedback.
Then this smallish “not looking like a designer” black dude came in and began his presentation.
“Na this small boy know design like this?” I said to myself.
Like one who is planning to steal someone’s babe, I didn’t exhibit too much excitement in front of Mark. We went back and forth on a few things criticizing the website and all the while I was thinking “so asides Namzo, Fathermerry and Kene another person dey??? No be God?!!!”
I immediately told Mubarak that we had to do something together soon. My scouring of Dribbble was over!!!
~6 months later, one small moni enter our hand and we were ready to begin the redesign of Callbase. I called Muarak and we were on!!
My God with all due respect to everyone I have worked with, this was my BEST experience working with ANY freelance person!!!
I’ll tell you for free, working with Oo is a pain. Even Oo wonders how he works with Oo. But with Mubarak the professionalism, the delivery and the attitude were 10/10. We were like 3 days in when I told him he had to accept to redesign writerack.com.
Lead Designer, Nigerian Techosystem
It was during our project I got to realise that this “boy” was more of a man machine. Mubarak was designing for practically everyone in our ecosystem at ridiculous rates! With typical talent and economics, once demand is high, the rates have to go up! “common sense”. Not with my man Mubarak. It was then he began to add more to his table. he began teaching and volunteering. Doing more for less and free! Even paying to do more as he sponsored activities in CASH too.
Mubarak single handedly at least DOUBLED the GDP of great design work in Nigerian tech.
Before Mubarak went to teach at SWITCH he had countless offers. EVERYONE wanted him for themselves and codedly too. But the man wanted more than to make money with his talent. He saw it as a responsibility to share the love and knowledge. So he decided to teach the upcoming ones in addition to his unlimited responsibilities.
It is no surprise although he designed for half of the community, he was more of an open secret. No one wanted to share too much!
What a fella!!!
While working with Mubarak, I began to feel guilty, I knew he would have plans other than serving us forever freelancing. So I prodded him on what he wanted to do and tried to encourage him to go far beyond “our level”. It was then I learned about his fashion inclined startup Haute — CRM and Project management for tailors.
Mubarak also wanted to go into product design he wanted to expand his talent. While I was conceptualizing on reworking on bringing back an old abandoned project, he was already offering to expand his skills using it. asking to do the front-end development work.
Mubarak told me he wanted to learn Arabic and he was starting classes in Lagos. I told him he deserved to aim for the best. I gave him the assignment to find the best place nearby as he deserved and had the ability to go for the best. It was Morocco “we” decided on. I told him it was definitely going to happen this year.
Mubarak the sounding board
Shola of Paystack is usually the one to experience the misfortune of hearing my one day one idea punishment. That was until Mubarak.
I cannot remember the number of times I called him and told him about one new idea or the other. We would go over a few details and the next day we would be doing another. He seemed to like it though because as my credit would finish, he’d call back and we’ll spend another 30 mins talking random projects.
He was factored in all my future projects. The terms were up to him.
Now he’s gone, I just realize that I was one of many! Or was there more than one Mubarak? How was he able to juggle so much in such little time? He was in my 3 Slack rooms! We actively worked on 3 big design projects without any delays. I wonder how many other slack rooms he was in?!
My man also had time to prod me about my bride to be.
I remember my last conversation with him. I wanted us to meet up because it had been a long while. I wanted him to be much greater! I also wanted to intro him to an SF design fella I had worked with and told about Mubarak. Our conversation “hung” because I had sent an answer before he asked the question so as we always did, we were to continue from where we stopped.
I was just one guy he worked with for the past 8 months. I cannot imagine the loss his close friends are feeling. Those who worked with him in person everyday.
I do not want to think about the loss his immediate family is feeling in losing such a great son and brother.
I can only take solace in the saying that states it isn’t how long a person lives but how well.
Mubarak lived well. May Allah receive his soul.
I wrote this before the tribute session we had for him last night. My God! We lost a giant! I hope there is video I can update this with.