Mr. Kola Olugbodi, Managing Director of Background Check International, is a pioneer in his industry. The graduate of Demography and Statistics from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, recently wrote an inspiring book titled, “Through it All”, a 19-chapter book, which chronicles his life story of challenges and severe hardship, to encourage people to confront their challenges and triumph over them. In his interview with MARY NNAH, he also delved into how he founded Background Check International despite all odds
What motivated you to write the book, “Through It All”?
What motivated me is that I had gone through a lot of challenges and issues in life. Like I referred to them in the book, I have gone through a lot of woes. I had polio early in life which dictated and affected a lot of things in my life; school, way of living, feeding etc. When you have disabilities, you have several limitations. The biggest challenge for me is also getting a life partner as no one wanted to marry someone with disability.
Another hurdle was infertility as I had low sperm count and later zero sperm count. A major incident that also affected me was the fraud in a bank I worked. It was through divine intervention that I escaped. That lone incident put paid to my working for people. I later set up a business that seemed to be doing well but it went under suddenly which put me and my wife in a terrible circumstance. In all these challenges, I was able to triumph. The challenges of business not doing well I overcame as I have a thriving business now, I became fertile to father children and I have been able to live beyond disability as Polio did not define my life.
I just believe with what God has done for me, I owe people who go through challenges in life this encouragement. So, my new book,“Through it All”, is about encouragement, which chronicles how I overcame all my challenges in life. There is no situation in life that does not have solution. The Bible says they will come in one way and go in seven ways. My major inspiration is in 2nd Corinthians chapter 1 verse 3-4, which says thanks be to God who comforts us in all our troubles. These are all what motivated me to write the book.
What message does it communicate to readers?
The primary message is the fact that no matter what you go through, never give up. Never throw in the towel. One should know that no situation is not permanent in life especially the negative ones. No matter how it may linger, that is not the end. Like I wrote, it took us seven years to have our first child despite a medical examination about y my infertility and inability to father a child. However, because I believe in God. In my mind, I never accepted I was not going to have a child in life. For us to have our second child, it took another seven years to have our daughter.
The other message is that for every today, there is always a tomorrow. What happens today does not define your tomorrow. According to Psalm 30 verse 5, weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Never use what happened yesterday to conclude that your tomorrow is already dented. Your tomorrow is alright if you believe so. I had several yesterdays in my life and they were total departure from my today. What happened yesterday seemed like dreams with what happens today. We lost everything in our first business. We went from living in a palatial mansion to almost becoming homeless. It was the boys quarters of a friend that became our abode for five years. We didn’t have a source of livelihood, no clothing, no feeding etc.. There were several nights my wife and I went to sleep without food. Those situations looked like a dead end. It seemed we were doomed forever but the Bible says in Psalm 126, when GOD turned the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dreamed.
Now God used the same person I mean myself to start a new company and pioneer an industry in Nigeria. God gave me the grace to found Background Check International, BCI. No matter what your case may be, neither childlessness, failure, inability to secure admission or anything, regardless of what it is, that is not the end. Many of us when it seems things are not working out, committing suicide now becomes an option because of your challenges. Challenges do not change the situation. It only adds to it. You compound problems for your family. I contemplated suicide also but I thank God I didn’t go that way. Suicide is a cowardice way to sort things out. The bible says, if you fail in the days of adversity, your strength is small. Adversity helps you to develop strength and stamina. If you fail, you never had strength in the first place. It was what I went through and experienced. When everything looks hopeless, keep your hope intact.
‘Through it All’ is a book written to give hope to people even in the midst of their hopeless situation. It is mainly to let people know that death or suicide is not an option for running away from challenges. Confront your challenges. Do not runway. We all have the ability to confront every challenge that comes our way. The Bible says no matter what happened to us, every problem has an expiry date. All our temporary afflictions are working out for our eternal weight of glory. No pain, no glory. No test, no testimony.
What makes your life inspiring to others is that there were obstacles and you were able to surmount them. The circumstance you are is not death but the glory God has for your life can come out of it.
Sincerely, this not about motivational speaking or sweet tonguing, no the book is not about it. I passed through all of these things and the glory I am seeing in my life, the joy, blessings and God giving me a name that was not there before. All these things came out of my challenges.
The bible says all things work together for good for people in Romans chapter 12 verse 28. The barrenness, hopelessness, failure etc are working together for the glory you are created for.
How did you come about the idea to start Background Check International?
I started Background Check International, BCI through the idea from my younger brother, Yinka Olugbodi and I researched into the industry and there were no companies offering such services! It was tough as there was no company of such in existence in Nigeria at that time!
In December 2003, I decided to give myself to a business venture I knew nothing about. That was how BCI started and I became the CEO, the Secretary and office assistant. The general response I received from the proposals sent out to prospective companies was that background check will not thrive in Nigeria. Beyond the negative feelings and comments from people, we won our first account. This first account was the open door that we needed and led to the formal incorporation of the company in on July 21, 2004 and officially inaugurated April 1, 2005.The company that had 5 staff at inception now has over 100 staff.
There was no one to copy anything from because it was the first company of its kind in Nigeria. God made it happen that BCI came to thresh mountains and hills as we had multinationals and blue chip companies as our clients till today. At least 80 per cent of our clients come from these two areas.
No one should be afraid to start a new thing. If I had lost hope due to negative comments about the industry, there will be no BCI today. My advice is for people to be hopeful no matter the condition that confronts them. It may seem the night may not come to an end but it will give way to a new dawn.
People should not be discouraged to start a new business despite the challenges they may face. I never knew anything about the industry yet I ventured into it and it is a success story as BCI pioneered the background check industry in Nigeria. Weeping may come but people should be expectant of the morning that will bring them laughter, fresh sunlight and joy.
What’s your advice to young people?
For the youth, one message is that they should remember God in the days of their youth. Relationship with God is not religion but a way of life. One of the major things I enjoy so much through the challenges is the grace and ability of what God wants me to do. Being able to receive direction, hope and comfort were the basic ways that kept one going despite challenges.
My message to youths is that it is not when people are old that they need God but when they are in their youthful days. Psalm 32 verse 8 talks about gaining instructions and direction form God. If youths allow God, they will know the direction God wants for them. I never knew God had plans for me to do a new course that was just neing introduced in Obafemi Awolowo University,OAU, Ife. This is Demography and Statistics. I thought I wanted to read Medicine which I believe only brilliant people study. The course I studied help to start Background Check International, as Demography is all about collection, collating and analysisng data which is our major work in BCI.
For youths and adults, the ways of God are not our ways, God’s thoughts are far from our own.The best way to choose is always the way of God. This is also what is written in the book, “Through it All”.