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The Amazing Story of Adeshola Cole – The CEO of the London-based Tritek Consulting Limited

Adeshola Cole is the CEO of the London-based Tritek Consulting Limited, a multi-award-winning project management and business analyst training company. In this interview, the Lagos State University graduate of English and Literature told an amazing story of her life’s odyssey.

Born in Hackney, London, she was raised in a foster home in Birmingham where she endured racial and emotional abuse. She also encountered ‘weird’ culture shocks during the transition to Agege suburb in Lagos, where pupils mocked her cockney accent before returning to London where the journey began. The 40 years old mother of three narrated her existential struggles and triumph. Today, she sits atop a thriving company that is helping hundreds rediscover new career path in a digital age.

The Managing Editor and CEO of The Harmattan News, Sylvester Atere and his crew put this together for your enjoyment. Please, sit back and enjoy it.

THN: Good morning

Tritek CEO: Hi good morning

THN: We are here to meet and interact with you. This is The Harmattan News. Who is Adeshola Cole?

Tritek CEO:
My name is Adeshola Cole. I am married with three children. I am the CEO of Tritek Consulting Limited, which is a multi-award-winning project management and business analyst training company. I had my university in education in Nigeria. I went to Lagos State University and my primary education here in the UK. I was born in Hackney to be precise to Nigerian parents. So, that’s me in a nutshell.

THN: Alright. I’ll start by asking, are you familiar with the phrase ‘Mondays are for setting the scene for the rest of the week. If affirmative, how does that define you as a person?

Tritek CEO:
Absolutely! Mondays are very important for setting the scene because I feel like if you have a good Monday then it sets the tone for the rest of the week. I know ultimately a lot of us don’t like Mondays after you’ve had a long weekend etc. But I think for me, Monday is all about getting yourself mentally prepared on what you want to achieve for the week and how you’re going to get there. And the moment you have a fantastic Monday the chances are the rest of the week are going to be seamless.

THN: That’s interesting. For you what is the key success factor needed to succeed in life?

Tritek CEO:
You have to have confidence in yourself. Sometimes you get rejected for many reasons. And you use that rejection to come back and bounce back 10 times better. You have to be determined; determined to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve. You have to believe in yourself. You have to be passionate in whatever you put your mind into. what decisions you want to make you have to be passionate about wanting to achieve what you want to achieve.

THN: This one you have actually addressed in a way but I want to talk more about it. How would you react to description of you as a multi-award-winning tech-entrepreneur and mentor?

Tritek CEO:
I am very honoured. I am very humbled. I never in a million years thought that I would get such recognitions and the awards. But that I guess it is a testament to how I helped in the community. It is a testament to be recognised for helping our community to secure high paying roles within the IT industry. I am very proud and I think that award is not just for me but also for my team, my staff and the candidates themselves who have gone on to secure roles.

THN: Would you like to speak more about the mentorship side of what you do?

Tritek CEO:
Yes. Absolutely! So, I discovered my passion in mentorship in my latter years. It was not something that I discovered earlier in my career. But to mentor people in instilling confidence in themselves and giving them that push is the best feeling ever. When you’re mentoring someone, to me it’s a blessing because your mentoring someone to at achieve that career and the goals they want to achieve, and ultimately is a fulfilment for me as well.

THN:
I listened to your Podcast. For me it appears to be a testimony of your life’s odyssey. It was full of suspense and dramatic twist of the good, the bad and the ugly. It combines a little element of Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations and Charlottes Bronte’s Jane Eyre. It depicts the grim and the gloom of hopelessness, the abuse, the bullying and racial slur. And coming to terms with your paternal reality are enough to breakdown even someone with a heart of stone. Yet, you overcame. How did you do it? How did you re-invent yourself?

Tritek CEO:
It’s been an amazing journey. I think I have to give credit to my family; my mother for making that decision to make sure that I went back home to have a turn-around in my life. I think with every negativity, or with every challenge that you go through, it’s important to come back or bounce back 10 times better. I will properly say that at that time my entire family lacked any belief in me because of the person that I was at the time. So ultimately, I had to come back and bounce back and prove to myself and to them that they made the right decision. I know that my mother’s very proud of the woman that I have now become. And also my grandmother because I lived with my grandmother when I in Nigeria. But if I look back at the life that I went through and the abuse that I went through and the racial abuse that I went through and look at me now, I think that is a testament to everybody out there that you might be going through one thing or another, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

THN: Is your foster mum still alive?

Tritek CEO:
When I left she was in her 80’s. So I guess that she’s probably passed away now. But I think for a closure for myself I would one day would like to go there with my children. I think for me that would be a closure. That’s because the way that I left was very abrupt. Which I guessed was the best decision at that time. But I want to go there with my kids; just closure. I think that’s needed.

THN:
Do you want to speak more about the experience of moving to Nigeria at 11. Looking back today, how was would you describe the transition from England to Nigeria; especially, living in Agege neighbourhood in Lagos with mosquitos and all of that?

Tritek CEO:
It was a massive culture shock. I wasn’t even living in London at the time. I was living in Birmingham; speaking proper Cockney; you know very strong Cockney accent. Obviously, to get me to Nigeria my parents had to lie that I was going to France. So, mentally I wasn’t prepared for anything related to Africa because at that time the way the Africa was depicted in the news wasn’t very great. And getting to Africa and living with my grandfather. He was a polygamist. There were so there were so many wives and children coming in and out. That was confusing in itself. I think the biggest challenge for me was getting into school. So I had to start in a secondary school. I went to Ifako International. The punishments, the cane, the wipping was weird to me. Then my accent was also so strong because I had a broomy accent. And I remembered sometimes, my grandmother had to follow me to school and complained. It was weird. That in itself was a culture shock. And then, gradually, I began to get accustomed to the education there and the culture there. Then I went to the Lagos State University (LASU). LASU itself was another culture shock. So, I was able to adapt. I think eventually I had to go with the flow. And my family did not allow me to come back to the UK till they were absolutely sure that I was a change human being. I think, all in all, um wow some things. I remember the first time I got to Nigeria and it was pitch back and I could see candles. It didn’t make sense to me. And all these women who later turned out to be my grandmother and my mum’s sisters just running and hugging all of us in wrappers. It was a weird scenario. But hey! Here I am now. And I embraced the Nigerian culture totally.

THN:
Going to LASU you said was another issue entirely? What informed your choice of the course that you pursued there?

Tritek CEO:
I think at the time I wanted to be a politician. So, I actually wanted to study political science. But you know how it is getting into a university in Nigeria. I think literature in English was the only option that I had. But to be honest, I’ve always been a writer. In my prime years here in the UK, I used to win awards for writing stories and poems and things like. So, I think English Language and Literature for me is who I am. Even though it was a coincidence, I think that was best suited for me. I don’t think I would have gone very far being a politician in Nigeria.

THN:
What about being a politician in the UK? Is that a possibility?

Tritek CEO:
Who knows? Who knows? I think that I would actually be very good.

THN:
Now, you studied English Language and Literature at the Lagos State University like you rightly said, but ended up in the financial sector in the UK. What motivated you? Or was it just by accident or by chance?

Tritek CEO:
It was by chance. I came back when I was allowed to come back for holidays before coming back finally. I was doing odd jobs in hotels doing cleaning and in bakeries and bars. And when I came back finally I got a job in a betting company. To be honest it was just to make ends meet and then from there I found myself in the bank. Again, just to make ends meet. But I think ultimately, what I’m doing in Tritek is a true reflection of me. Loving to write because I love to write articles. So, in a way I think I am using that degree to some extent.

THN:
Tell us about Tritek. How did it happen?

Tritek CEO:
Waoh! Umm…Tritek came about when I was pregnant with baby number three. That was in 2017. And honestly speaking, and I say this every single time it was just created as something get me by; to pay my bills and just do something as hobby. I never in a million years thought or believed that Tritek would expand or grow the way that it has. So, when I created it, I remember very vividly, there were just two candidates. And now we’ve gone over 1000 candidates on the platform. Tritek is a multi-award-winning company and I think that is because of the amount of success stories that we have amassed over the years. As at the moment we have over 300 success stories since Tritek has been established. And even till now I still refer to Tritek as my little baby. I think in hindsight I know it’s a lot bigger than what I think it is. But I still refer to it as my little baby. I guess not facing reality, it’s actually getting bigger. It’s amazing to see what we’ve done. It’s amazing to see the amount of success stories that we’ve had and how we are making an impact. Especially, within the African community.

THN:
Like how many have trained altogether between 2017 and now?

Tritek CEO:
Over 1000. Yes.

THN:
With regards to the success stories, I know the COVID-19 came last year, how was the impact on business?

Tritek CEO:
Do you what? I was very very very apprehensive. As a business owner, you would be; fear of the unknown. But if I must be honest with you, COVID has been very good to the business. Having to move everything online, the introduction of virtual training, these are things that we would never ever thought of doing. Prior to COVID, everybody would travel down to our venue in Enfield for training. And what meant was that people in Scotland or Ireland or even abroad would not be able to join the training. But now we have a global presence because anybody in the world can join the platform. I think for me COVID has been very good to us because it moves everything online and now everybody can attend.

So, it’s been fantastic. And not just that we are also able to employ people back home as well which is very fantastic.

THN:
What are the challenges of this venture?

Tritek CEO:

Waoh! Keeping people happy. I am human at the end of the day. I think because it’s not so busy especially after COVID, been able to keep on top of everything because our numbers are increasing. You cannot please everyone. This is why I am very firm that I would never guarantee that I would somebody a job.

So when some people come to the and they don’t get what they want it can be a bit disheartening for me as well because at the end of the day I care for everybody’s development. Staff challenges; again you just make sure that you employ people that will carry your vision of what Tritek is all about. Many challenges. Mentally, not having rest because you are constantly working around the clock. Yeah! Lots of challenges.

THN:
Respect, respect, respect. You said give respect, get respect because respect is reciprocal. How are you managing the human side of the business, because the greatest asset is the human capital. How are you getting on top of that?

Tritek CEO:
Everybody is different. So the way I will handle one candidate will be different to the way that I will handle another one. I think is important to have governance processes in place and that is something I will continue to enforce. I think just being strict around what is accepted and what is not accepted. For example, WhatsApp for me is limited. If you want to reach me or you have a grievance or complaint, just put it in an email. We are just ensuring that we are displaying professionalism at all times. It is hard. But I always ensure that the candidates understand that you’re not just joining the platform to get the IT experience. You are also joining to work on your soft skills. Your communication skills, your professionalism and how you relate to each other. So that when you do get your jobs you won’t find it a challenge in the real world.

THN:
What are the plans for the future in terms of expansion?

Tritek CEO:
Prior to the COVID, we were planning to go to Nigeria. We probably don’t need to do that any longer. I have started to introduce new courses so recently we relaunched data analysis. And just last week we introduced DevOps and cloud computing. I think for me it’s baby steps because I do not want to move away from what Tritek is ultimately about. But I think more courses and eventually, I will like to work on leadership training as well after people who have they don’t just wanna be a project manager. They want to manage and lead people. So, that is something that I’m looking into. Who knows, maybe building or launching an IT company in Nigeria or a training company in Nigeria for people that just want to have that training. Again, so many things going on in my head right now. But I always like to take baby steps.

THN:
You are a wife, a mother, a daughter and a businesswoman. How do you juggle all that?

Tritek CEO:
Wow, um, it is a challenge because I have three children. The oldest is 12. She understands that mummy is busy and mummy is working hard. And I think, in a way that will help her when she’s older because she’s already saying ‘mum you know, I wanna set up my own business when I’m old. And I’m like waoh! That is good to see. It’s a challenge because I feel 90 per cent of what I do is around Tritek to be totally honest with you. But I do make time for family time when I can. I’ll be staying with my hobby and the children. This is why sometimes I have days off in the week where I just switch off completely and give them the time that they need as a mother and as a wife and as a daughter as well.

THN:
You mentioned offshore sourcing and recruiting the skills needed to be part of the dream and vision of Tritek. Can you tell us more about the plans to get that done?

Tritek CEO:
Absolutely! I am open to anywhere in the world. But I think the reason why my main focus is Nigeria is that I just feel that there is so much level of intelligence especially on the youth of today. And certainly, I don’t think that is being utilised. And I think since the onset of COVID, I have employed all of my software developers from Nigeria. The youngest is just 18 years old.

THN:
I was about to ask for the details of the developers, especially those on board Project Triface and Project Emporium.

Tritek CEO:
Yes. That’s Eyimofe and Orimolade. Orimolade is 20. He was onboard a few weeks ago and he worked on Project Timporium. Rayola is just 18 years old. He just recently completed the first facial recognition project. And yes, they are all getting paid. For me, I feel like I’m giving back. These guys are so young but when I interviewed them and realise what they could bring to the table I was blown away.

Not just that, my social media marketers is also from Nigeria. Again a very young guy, a guy that does all my designs on my content. Again and not a very young guy in Nigeria. I have just taken on a team leader who is absolutely fantastic, Chidera. I was blown away when I interviewed her and I’m so excited to see what she can bring to Tritek. And I have just taken another project coordinator, David Aina, from Nigeria as well. I interviewed them, again, I was blown away with the amount of intelligence and the skillset back home. And for me, I want to utilise them a lot more.

THN:
Is there any other thing you would want the public to know about Tritek?

Tritek CEO:
Yeah, I’m enjoying Tritek. I have a look at what we do I think this is just the beginning for us. I think there will be a lot more success stories and many more opportunities to come. If you listen to my story, I use every rejection and every negativity to take one step farther to get to where you need to be and don’t let anybody tell you that you cannot do it. I heard that so many times. Especially, where I was working previously. Before I made that decision to do what I wanted to do. If it feels right, just do it.

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The notice also comes three days ahead of the January 31 deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes in circulation.

Jumia, in its notice, said that only the new notes would be collected from January 30, 2023, or payments could be made through other means.

“From Monday 30th January 2023, Jumia delivery associates will not be able to accept the old notes of N200, N500, and N1,000 sequel to the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” the statement reads.

“Should you wish to pay by cash, our delivery associates will only accept the new series of notes. Alternatively, you can find details here on how to prepay on Jumia using JumiaPay or call us on 01 888 1106 if there are any further questions.

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He said majority of Nigerians who live in remote areas where banks do not exist were yet to access the new Naira notes.

“We have tried to respond officially by writing to the CBN governor. We also wrote to the President to say that this new policy of changing our Naira needs to be revisited.

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Wabba said the was haunting the people, and therefore called on the Federal Government to look at the issue carefully before it snowballs into a major crisis in the country.

He said the new notes were not easily available. “There are only few in circulation. It is worse in rural areas as most of the rural areas don’t have banks.

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Wabba said government must think through the new Naira policy in order for the people not to suffer the consequences of the policy.

”It is the poor masses and even the working class that will feel the pinch of this policy. Because how will you not withdrawal the old currencies when the new one is not even available.

”The policy, certainly, will also impact negatively on our economy, because the notes are not available and people are now rejecting the old notes.

”The policy certainly is not a policy that is making people to believe that the policy is meant to address the fundamental issues.

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Professor Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of the Authority, made this known in Ado-Ekiti during a courtesy visit to Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji on Thursday.

The NEPZA boss said the establishment of the economic zone would boost the economy of the state and increase its internally generated revenue as well as reduce over-reliance on federal allocation.

Prof. Adesugba commended the Governor for been proactive and for his ideas of creating Education and Knowledge zone, describing it as novel. He assured the state of the support of the authority and prompt completion of the project.

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While using the opportunity to flaunt the intellectual resources of the state, the Governor stated that it is not wise for any state to drive its economy on monthly federal allocation as it cannot be used for effective wealth creation.

“On the need to fast-track declaration on Ekiti Knowledge Zone, we campaign on a mantra of shared prosperity and you know that a people cannot prosper if they are not productive and we don’t believe that FAAC can drive prosperity, so whether FAAC comes or not, if a society is productive, there will be wealth creation. And we are also aware of the fact that the only thing we have in Ekiti is our intellectual resources.

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“We have invested a lot in infrastructure to drive that zone, I am pleading on behalf of my people to please do this for us. He stated.

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