The Covid pandemic and its effects were a lot on most of us and many of us have never been through a pandemic before. We also lost a lot of people during that period which is still heavy on us to this day.
My first child was born during the peak of the pandemic, which meant I wasn’t allowed to be present at the hospital when he arrived, an experience stolen. As is the case for many, my business died during the pandemic and my income was low but we survived, somehow.
Come 2022 I believed that year would be a year of recovery and restoration, I had no clue that it would be the worst year of my entire existence. I had unresolved issues with regard to my inheritance and to be honest, I really didn’t care much about it until my son was born. If I didn’t solve this while I’m alive it would fall on him, so I rolled up my sleeves and got into the ring. My brother and I are the only two males who carry my family’s bloodline and therefore can carry the family name forward.
I was not interested in owning everything but wanted things to be done the correct way and to be shared equally with everyone involved with the hope of building generational wealth. My grandparents had five children, therefore five families that need to split this inheritance.
Fast forward to Feb 2022 and I fall ill, numerous visits to medical practitioners with no clear diagnosis, tons of medication and rounds on rounds of tests, and still nothing more than just stress or food poisoning so I finally decided to check with a traditional healer who painted a grim picture and openly shared where they believe this sudden illness stemmed from and what the eventuality would be. At that point, I was between survival, the inheritance journey, western medicine, traditional medicine, and prayer.
During this period my health was deteriorating and with multiple hospital admissions that would later reveal that I lost both my kidneys and have essentially had six months to live, six. The doctors couldn’t tell what the cause of my kidney failure was, they ran all sorts of tests with the results more baffling with each round. I vividly recall a conversation with an Indian doctor who explicitly asked “ do you believe in black magic”? because nothing else made sense.
At death’s door, my life could have ended at any moment and that would probably have been better than the agony I was in but with the help of my wife, friends, and community I was able to get onto dialysis and attempt to preserve what is left of my life. This is when a new chapter began, I began to fight, to dream of better days and the possibility of a life beyond the 6-month mark indicated by the medical staff.
During dialysis, I lost a lot of weight because of the treatment, and one of the side effects was dead skin peeling with the usual skincare products I had used for years no longer effective so I began using my wife’s skincare products to get my skin back to normal.
This is when I realised that we as men don’t have many options when it comes to skincare products and thus the idea was born to develop a skincare range that is much more sophisticated and effective for men. I started making some calls and sending emails to find a supplier and I found one with SDK agency. We did our back and forth until we found the right formula for the products. Got the first batch of samples and I used them and then later got the samples in the actual packaging.
Last year was the most emotional year, and this was from a man who has lost both parents. I have had to build myself from the ground up, I had to build myself every day, and fight every day. My confidence was non-existent, my trust in the process was gone, and my passion is also gone. There is something about facing death that changes you – something in me died when death was at the door.
This is the first thing I’ve been passionate about since my sickness and I pray that my gamble pays off. For the last six months, I’ve been working on this, doing research, asking questions, and asking for favours for this final moment. I am here to dream again, I’m here to start again, and I hope that the universe is kinder to me this time around.