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Buchi Ubani is a writer, storyteller and a reporter at Thisday Newspaper in Nigeria.
He is the founder of Ultimate Storytelling Podcast, a platform that shares the stories of creatives in the digital space.
Buchi Ubani is also the founder of Skillrise Africa Community, a Facebook group of more six hundred member that is assisting people to hone different high-income skills and also grow in influence and impact.
As a journalist, Buchi Ubani shares social impact stories and also writes about community development activities, alongside digital literacy and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Buchi Ubani is a volunteer educator at Paradigm Initiative AbaLIFE Digital Inclusion centre, Google Developer Group Aba, Google Business Group, and TeenHack Inclusive Project.
Currently, Buchi Ubani is a YALI fellow and an ambassador at World Literacy Foundation.
When the Covid-19 Coronavirus started in Nigeria, I was leaving Kano State with my dad. We had gone for his eye treatment at ECWA Hospital, and spent more than two weeks there. Few days after we left, Kano State experienced an unprecedented increase in the number of Covid-19 cases across the State. The hospital we left had to shut their doors, so as not to risk the well-being of patients that came for their eye checkup. In fact, States across Nigeria closed down their borders few days after we made it back home. It was a mayhem. Most times, when I think about our " lucky escape", and the turnout of events, I just know that we were really lucky and fortunate. Back home, we had to engage in all the precautionary measures as directed by the health authorities. Dad was recovering, and so it was a very sensitive time for everyone. All hands were on deck. Yes, we were keeping safe for ourselves. But more importantly, we were doing it for my father. And the reason was quite obvious. His health wasn't a hundred percent, and that means that any contact with the Coronavirus will have a devastating effect on him. On my part, I had to reduce my outdoor activities and work from home. It was quite challenging for me, because as a journalist, most of my work was done outside the house. But just like everyone else, I had to improvise. Thank goodness for the internet, I had to leverage the online space to conduct interviews, research, have meetings and even publish my articles. I even got to meet more people and engaging leads to work on after the stay at home experience. The whole stay at home experience gave me the ample opportunity to appreciate the little things of life and also to read more and watch what I eat. I had to look at my vision board and projections for the year, and even had to work on my podcast more. It just seems as if I was given a grand opportunity to get my house in order. Meanwhile, the virus was still ravaging different States across Nigeria, and people were dying in numbers. Most of us had to stay indoors because people were not following the precautionary measures by health authorities, and also, most States across the country lacked the equipment to test residents. So, it was far better to be safe than sorry. Many people refused to follow the figures by the national health authorities because for some of them, they are yet to see anyone killed by the Coronavirus. I lost an uncle to the virus. He was buried on June 26, 2020. He was a spectacular person, and I miss the way he genuinely listens to you when you're speaking to him. In fact, I miss his positive outlook on life. When he took ill, everyone thought it was the usual Malaria or typhoid. It was not until he started showing symptoms of the virus that everyone became genuinely concerned. Before his death, his lungs collapsed, and he was practically gasping for his last breath. These days, when I think about him, all I can remember is his warm smile and his positive energy towards life, living and spreading happiness. He once told me to live very intentionally and make an impact, even if it's just in the life of one person. I guess he was indirectly talking to himself, because his life is an inspiration to me, and I got to learn a lot from him. These days, when I look at how fast the year is running, I also remember that I have lit up the path for others to find their way. The Virus may have made all of us stay in doors at some point, but then again, it didn't stop media professionals from doing the needful. One of the proud moments I had during the lockdown was when I worked with a lady who is into digital literacy in her community. Due to the pandemic, her work became very important because people began to depend on the online space to get gigs, have meetings and even make sales. It was a humbling experience for me to share her stories, experiences and knowledge. In fact, my work with her renewed my faith in humanity and our ability to keep pushing, even in the midst of challenges. I may not know when this pandemic will come to an end. But just like everything else humans have faced over the years, we shall overcome. Impossible is nothing.
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