This post is 1 year late but for the right reasons. 2022 was a challenging year. I’m going to break the year into 4 quarters and recollect as much as I can.


I left Koa for a few reasons. Firstly, I had peaked. The work wasn’t producing enough dopamine. My health was also in shambles. High BP, temporal visual impairment? Yeah been there, done that. More importantly, I had a very different opinion on how I should be managed. Dan Cook set the standard high. So I closed that chapter of my life.

Mid-quarter, I applied for a passport. Not because I was about to travel; I just wanted a passport. I also didn’t like the shape of the home I grew up in, so I made the big-boy decision to renovate my dad’s house. The galamsey money was itching to be spent.

To deal with some of life’s stress, my friends and I visited Shai Hills. A good month, I can’t lie.


I made several trips to the passport office because they kept messing up with my application and printing my name wrongly. It’s insane how incompetent Ghanaian institutions are.

On the work front, I was just contracting to keep the ship afloat. By working on the core team at Karhoo, I amassed a lot of technical and product experience. We operated a relatively large platform (14 million requests per day). I had the chance to lead some initiatives, which forced me to interface with about 5 other product teams. Overall, I managed to deliver a couple of design docs, led a platform-wide gRPC migration, and was later tasked with extending the algorithm for creating an identifier that was used widely across hundreds of services. It’s easily the best company I’ve worked for; the growth there was massive.

I met (on Twitter) Senyo in this quarter. Senyo is a great guy. I was super interested in systems engineering at the time, and I think he was co-incidentally working on some low-level networking stuff at around the same time, so he convinced me to look into networking & rust. The first day I had a face-to-face convo with him over meets, I was on the Aburi mountains with the boys getting some fufu. I learn by building real stuff, so I set out to build a VPN (the plan was to eventually sell it).

Work on the house continued. The scar left by the price of tiles is still fresh in my heart, but it had to be done. Cement prices kept increasing by the week, so I had to buy them in bulk and store them somewhere. Adulthood was doing me from behind; I won’t recommend it. But there was another component to all of this: the management required to ensure a successful renovation.

All I have to say is; avoid Ghanaian artisans. Why? Well, they’re super unprofessional and just batshit stupid. The clocks in their heads tick in the opposite direction.


VC’s did their thing. The company wasn’t making a profit, so a massive restructuring was conducted. Some C-level execs were fired. The last time we heard from our CEO, he was the ex-CEO. Everything happened so fast. The aftermath was worse. In about 1 month, the identity and culture of the company had changed completely. Some principal engineers left, some lead product people left, and the rest were fired. I wasn’t feeling completely safe, so I started mapping out an exit plan.

I interviewed at a few places, including I remember going to bed immediately after the rejection letter came. I wanted that job, but the universe had other plans. Eventually, I did get a relocation opportunity, which was very much in tune with the Ghanaian dream. But I had a few ongoing projects that I wanted to drive to completion, so I just coordinated the VISA stuff and decided to travel next year.

Remember that passport I mentioned in Q1? Yeah,  I think I got it around this time. This was after my name was printed wrongly 3 different times, and as if that wasn’t enough, I had to wait several months for “booklets to be available.” When I picked it up, the guy told me, “wo fiefo) y3 hard paa oo”. In Ghana, we blame dysfunctional systems on housewitches.

I continued working hard on the VPN. I would spend hours on it. After months of research & several packets lost, I eventually ended up with subway, a layer 3 networking software that can route your traffic through any exit node of your choice. I learned a shit ton about network namespaces, ip tables, policy-based routing, virtual interfaces, bridges, packet manipulation, & tracing in general. I ran into a very interesting bug that also taught me a lot about async programming in rust/tokio. I was a systems engineer!! ;)

Life was good, but then something very bad happened to me, which changed me forever. The incident left me with panic attacks. I couldn’t sleep. It also exposed me to the nature of the public healthcare system in Ghana. This is where my year ended, but I had to recover for the sake of all who depended on me.

My recovery strategy was simple: run as long as you can. I come from a family of chronic runners, so I just did what we knew how to do best. I ran so much that I wore out the soles of my Nike shoes. That was the only way to escape the frequent dissociations & bad thoughts.

Running saved me. The Villain I Never Was saved me. Reggae saved me. My family saved me.


For most of q4, I was practically useless. I would experience like 20 panic attacks over a day. What I was experiencing was very new to me, so I couldn’t explain it properly. The people around me didn’t understand either because I couldn’t explain it properly. But you see, Zara understood. She even showed me ways to deal. I vividly remember feeling happier every time we spoke. I wasn’t feeling alone anymore. The support I got from my immediate family and circle kept me running. I recovered, but slowly.

After several months of dealing with incompetent artisans, we completed the renovation of the house. I’m proud of how I managed the renovation. I took a very hands-on approach. Before the workers would come in, I would have returned from my mandatory morning run and would be all geared up, ready to work with them. Uprooting trees, buying sand & cement, buying tiles, inspecting work, I was there.

I think my favorite moment was when I layed in the gutter when we were arranging the “corvettes?” for the bridge that comes into the house. I was lying chest flat in the gutter to ensure everything was well aligned & my gutter wasn’t going to leak water. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of time to reflect on what I had done because I left Ghana shortly after the project was completed. I can count the number of times I played the PS5 before I traveled. The boys enjoyed the fruits of my labor. #jealous

Somehow, amid all these bad things happening, I managed to migrate a 6-year-old monorepo (Go, Python, Protobuf, Java) to a new version of Bazel. It’s important to note that during these bad times, there were these small periods where I felt a little bit smarter than usual. So I kept making the most of these periods.

I couldn’t sit behind my machine for more than 10 minutes without a panic attack. I couldn’t rest either, because not being “useful” was practically torturing me to death.

I still don’t know how I pulled it off, but my work on the monorepo took ci time from >= 45 minutes to ~5 minutes. I had no prior experience with Bazel, and the build system of the monorepo hadn’t been touched in like 5 years. In hindsight, I should have rested my brain a bit more.

I was sick, but I stood on business.

Maybe forcing myself to work was what helped me recover. Maybe I did myself more harm by pushing through. I would never know, but my sickness made me realize how fickle my life was. It rewired my perspective. I started living very differently. There’s no time; buy yourself that gift today.

To finish the year, me and a few friends did a road trip to the western region. For the New Year crossover, we lit a bonfire, sat around it, and vibed to some music. I remember being chest-naked & ensuring our bonfire didn’t die before us. I used all my camping skills to keep that fire alive. We sat around the fire as a group, so people started departing as the hours went by.

Fiagbor and I were the last two left; everyone had gone to bed. The bonfire was almost dead. The entire year just flashed infront of my eyes again. It had been a long year, so we cleaned up a bit & went to bed.