“Zuko? My guy give me more…”

“What do you mean? That’s literally my name. Z-U-K-O.”

I almost regretted walking into Starbucks. Besides the barrister questioning the truth of my name, I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders after the day I was having, so naturally I wanted coffee and a place to write in peace

I’m honestly not having the best of days, so I’ll hope after I’m done writing this a few a people will share with me how they usually deal with the tricky days, and curiously share their favourite coffee.

So, I’m generally a person who never gets beat down by the cheap-shots life throws my way.

Optimistic about most things, I’m always comforted by the fact that I’ve made it through some of my most trying times with a stern face and a further step forward, never back.

Also because I’m quite committed to impacting African lives on a grand-scale.

But yesterday and today though? Life definitely knocked me down harder than Apollo Creed did to Rocky Balboa. The odd thing is, unlike Rocky, I wasn’t expecting to be knocked down.

So, yesterday, I was late for an interview because I got stuck in traffic a km away from the company. An entire kilometre, folks. If it wasn’t so sad it’d be funny.

I should have just done what they do in movies, run out the car with my jacket and dramatically enter the office. But also, I was stuck on William Nicol Drive…and this is South Africa. Nobody has time for such dramatics.

I could literally see the turn heading to the companies headquarters. An entire 20 minutes swept by as I stressed and wondered why I didn’t wake up early.

But I did wake up early. 3-hours before the interview I was up and drinking coffee preparing to beat the traffic and get there on time. I don’t think I could have gotten up any earlier. Honestly. I’m not even a fan of early mornings.

Mind you, I spent half the night tossing and turning — that’s how nervous I was.

I got there and had to apologise. Bad first impression. Very bad first impression.

Now, I’m quite competitive. I just don’t show it much. Me and losing? Definitely not a good combination. I’m not a bad loser. I just don’t like losing.

So I get into the group interview, they give us group tasks and give instructions. I really enjoy business and tech-related content, so I sunk my teeth in and began to come up with creative ideas, solutions and opinions. Like, I’m really going in.

If I didn’t mention earlier, this was a tech-related scholarship. They needed people who could relatively code and stuff. I can’t code, but I can think and talk my way into a lot of things. Also I’m quite ambitious, I’m going to change and influence world one way or another.

Few hours later, the interview process is done. I’m super tired cause I didn’t even eat cereal. I just ran out the flat trying to beat traffic.

They tell us they’ll deliberate, and do call backs in a jiffy. Yes, I just said jiffy. I’m an old soul.

I felt rather confident. Hell, even the other interviewees were rooting for me. I’m just that type of person, you’ll love me or hate me — but you will acknowledge me.

Deliberating done. They call us in. I didn’t make it. Ooh black baby Jesus sitting in a manger, why not??? They liked me but I need more experience in tech, they said.

I lost out to a guy who works at Apple Support, and another guy who’s a former employee of IBM.

Both great gents, but also daaaaamn. I was honestly disappointed. Lowkey still am.

Why am I disappointed? Cause the opportunity would have allowed me to learn so much more about tech, business and finance. Knowledge I could have shared with so many people around me, and collaborated with many others to help other entrepreneurs from Rosebank up to Soweto.

That was done. Pity. Not that I still won’t do as above, but the exposure would have sped the process up.

So it was back to work on my current project right after. No time to be defeated, there’s an entire continent that needs it’s narrative to be a positive one for future generations, and I plan to be part of the solution — God be my witness.

I’ll stop there for now. Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on today. Let me recover.

Also, this over-priced caramel macchiato is going in. I’m officially broke but I had to vent a bit.

PS: The company asked me to consult on something. Silver-lining? 😊

I write mini-stories about life.