Adeleke Abdulwasiu Abiodun, software developer, and founder of Abango Technologies Limited, has a remarkable story with several intriguing plotlines. Let’s take two. There’s how he moved from earning ₦7,500/month to over ₦3m in less than a decade.
There’s also his holding on to life after getting close to suicide a few years ago. In a recent interview, he told us how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) connects both of these subplots in his fascinating life.
How did Adeleke Abdulwasiu Abiodun get into computers?
It’s a very long and rough story o!
LOL. Tell me.
In the early 2000s, when I was about 11 or 12, my father took me to a cybercafe and asked them to teach me how it all worked. I tried but it wasn’t really working out; I couldn’t understand a lot of things. Then around six years later, I started learning graphic design.
Why graphic design?
I just liked it. For some reason, it just appealed to me.
So when did software development come into your life?
In 2012, I got admission to study Business Administration in Kwara State Polytechnic. I am the first child, so I had to find something to bring in money. In school, someone said I should learn website development and software development.
With the help of computer science students, I started learning HTML. Then during my IT, I got a job with a company in Allen, and that was where I learned web design. They trained us and then we started working for them.
What were you earning at this point?
LOL. I earn a lot o. I earn a lot. I am not even a salary person. I have people working for me.
Give me a figure, sir.
Hmmm. My company, Abango Technologies Limited, is into software development and consultancy and does very well financially. Personally, my average earning is over ₦3m monthly.
[Laughs] Thank you. I even just bought a car recently.
Congratulations. So, what happened in between in salary terms?
From ₦7,500, it went to ₦15,000, then ₦25,000, then ₦30,000. It was around then I left. I went for my HND and would come to Lagos every Friday to hustle and work for my clients. Lagos was the main centre for what I did at the time.
I’d leave Ilorin by around 1PM and reach Lagos by 6PM. I was working from my father’s house in Lagos.
What were you earning at the time?
Around ₦100k to ₦200k.
What followed that period?
I went to serve in Plateau state and lost all my customers. I became depressed and was on the verge of taking my own life.
I’m really sorry about that.
I had been earning around a million before I went to serve, but all my customers had moved on by the time I came back. I wasn’t getting jobs. It was a very low moment for me. It felt like the end of the road.
I decided to give myself five years of hustling hard. In those five years, I planned to tell everybody about what I did and push my brand everywhere I could. If there was no change after five years, I planned to end it all.
I was the first of five and then I lost my mum. My father got remarried and had two children, so I became the first of seven. My father was not pressuring me or anything, but I am a regular Nigerian man: there are just things we think we should do.
So, I put myself everywhere online, talking about my work. Then the EFCC posted me one day as “YoungNLegit”. I was the first person they posted.
EFCC? Strange and wonderful. How did they find you?
They posted a Yahoo boy they had caught and I commented that, “Make una dey post we sef wey legit na.” Then the handler said to check my DM. They said I should send past projects. They did background checks and then later posted me.
That was the beginning of a new era.
People who were looking for legit tech people found me.
How long after you had suicidal thoughts did this happen?
I think I had those bad thoughts in February of 2019. This EFCC thing happened in October of the same year.
Man, looks like na God o!
Exactly, exactly. If I had killed myself, I for too vex.
See. So how did this affect your rates?
Very well o! A lot. I capitalised on the endorsement. A lot of people reached out to me. Even in the diaspora. Nigerians were like, “You when EFCC don praise, you no fit run with my money.”
I was grateful. And I don’t collect jobs that I cannot deliver.
Technically, what else have you added to your technical skill since your time in Allen?
I do project management. But technically, I added to my web development and now do mobile development using Flutter and Dart.
Which has proven more lucrative?
Both equally. I started my company with a friend last year, but we have been working unofficially for a long time.
So, what advice would you have for someone going into software development? Which area should they focus on?
It’s gradual. There’s nothing like making it the fastest in software development. I always say people should do research and figure out which they like.
So, you won’t give a specific area for someone looking for money?
No o. I don’t like to recommend one thing to people. People like to run away from researching.
But people reading this to hear from you will consider this research.
Hmm. I cannot say one thing sha. You just have to know the kind of person you are. Pick one and be consistent with learning it.
What about business advice?
You need to know how to sell and how to negotiate. It’s not just about the skill. You need to know the people that need the skill you have. And when you find them, you need to know how to convince them.
You also need to know how to sell other parts of the business because people will reach out to you about parts of tech that are not your core focus. You can have your niche, but you should also be able to sell other things.
Lastly, don’t do fraud. Be legit 100 percent. There is nothing you can’t achieve or enjoy with earning legitimately. Even when I was down, I had people telling me to go into fraud. But through the help of my dad and other people around me, I was able to remain legit. Glory to God, everything worked out well!