How Meeting Attah Samson Igoche Inspired Me

Attah Igoche at his Office As my taxi rolled to a stop in front of the building that housed Aiivon Innovation hub, I was a bit nervous. I was supposed to be meeting – for the first time – someone I had been chatting with on Facebook. I wondered what first impression I would be giving and more than that, what impression I would be getting. I was also nervous because I hadn’t done an interview in a long time and I hoped I still had my wits about me. As I entered the building, I was awed by the sheer beauty of the place. My inhibitions began to ebb away as excitement swept over me. I suddenly became my old, fun and bubbly self. I was twirling around, taking selfies and being generally being goofy. I forgot that I was supposed to be professional and well put together. In my excitement, I didn’t know he had come up behind me. My only clue was the look his front desk officer sent past me. I turned and there he was.   Attah Samson Igoche. Dressed in dark jeans, a black shirt emblazoned with ‘Aiivon’and a navy blue blazer, he was the picture of calm sophistication. I smiled, my nervousness returning. He propelled me to follow him and we went into his office. Again, I was blown away. The floor-to-ceiling wallpaper that graced the reception and other areas of the office was replicated in his office.   I had to ask.   ‘Did you get these wallpapers like this?’   He smiled. Satisfied.   ‘We designed it.’   I was tempted to think he was showing off but his matter-of-fact tone showed he wasn’t; just stating the fact.   I asked that he give me a tour and he obliged. I was ‘oohh’ing and ‘aahh’ing as we went from offices spaces for prospective clients to conference rooms for hackathons/tech brainstorming sessions to private spaces for quieter work. Everything seemed so well put together! Even the game corner and selfie wall had me feeling like home. It was the perfect nerd pad! I could imagine getting major ideas just because of the ambience, playing World of Warcraft when I was tired – though I am more of a word game person – and generally being around creatives like myself. To cover it in one sentence, I was impressed!   I turned my attention to the man behind the idea; or in front. I wanted to know what he was like beneath the veneer of sophistication, the choices that led him to being the man he is today and what plans he had for the future of his business.   We returned to his office and I switched personalities. It was time to be professional and serious. He offered me a nice cupcake and a drink. I smiled. I knew I was going to like this interview.   The answer I got when I asked about his family threw me off. I totally didn’t expect to have tears in my eyes as he relayed his childhood. And it all started with his mother discovering that her pregnancy was high risk and could cost her life.   ‘My mum kinda knew that she may not make it. She had complications three months into the pregnancy and had the choice of aborting me. Thing is, she was told the abortion may result in her never having another child. The pregnancy on the other hand presented a 50-50 chance of survival. She died on the day she gave birth to me. She chose to keep me, knowing that she was not assured of life if she carried me to term. So she wrote me a letter that I got to read a couple of years later and it showed me, even though I never got to meet her, the kind of person she was and everything that she stood for. The day I read the letter was one of the most emotional days for me. She is one reason I respect ladies a lot. I don’t know which man would do that.’   He should have had the teary eyes but he was calm about it. I on the other was about to disgrace my family. I breathed deeply, blinked back a couple of times and got myself together. Then I asked about his father.   ‘I was with my grandma until my father died. I was fifteen at the time and in Senior Secondary School (SSS) 1. I had truly become an orphan.’   And things went south for Igoche after that. He knew that he had to take the direction of his life into his own hands if he was survive. Getting school fees had become a problem and even though his aunties were willing to step in and take care of his fees, Igoche knew things could get harder eventually. So, he wrote his General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations.   ‘I finished my secondary school in Special Science, Makurdi though I was there for just one year. For some reason, I wrote my GSCE in SS1 and the results were good so I had to bust the rest of secondary school. The results came out in SS2 first term and when I saw it was good, I knew I was done with school. I felt like, going to school was no longer necessary. Dad and Mum were dead and having to go about looking for school fees was not something I wanted to do. So when I saw that the result was good, I decided there was no point to it.’   For someone who was fifteen, it must have taken a lot of courage to make that decision. And a lot of pride too. The death of his parents quickly matured him. A bit too soon I would say. Turned out that plan was not properly thought out.   ‘I didn’t write the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) then.

Quick Links

Find Us:

Beaufort Court Estate,

Lugbe, Abuja.

Call Us: