To the Resilient Ones.

Celebrating the resilience and ambition of the Nigerian people.

You would be mistaken if you saw last night’s game and thought this was definitely the outlier and not the normal! Resilience and ambition are the name of the Nigerian game, and we bring the same sheer desire to win and the optimism to bring the best to life, our music and entertainment, career, business, you name it!

What happened on that pitch last night is the story of millions of everyday Nigerians fighting against unbelievable odds to win and to keep winning. We’ve done this so long; it’s like religion to us.

When you walk into Mama Ogechi’s native delicacies and beer parlour, you smell the multiple aromas fighting to make you happy. You see her customers happy to order another round and another one more, she doesn’t write it on her forehead the sheer will it takes to run this business and to keep thousands of mouths fed, bellies full and hearts warmed. All you see is the POS receipt at the end of the day, proof of your happiness.

When you stop by the roadside to buy Corn, 1 for N100, 6 for N500, you wonder where the discounts come from in this economy. Still, that smile as she wraps it in old newspapers and slides you one coconut to make the experience fun, you forget that she is planting the same seeds that drive repeat customers. They don’t teach this level of customer engagement at Harvard.

Ask the boys; they all know that the barber’s shop is a decompression chamber in disguise. So, when you walk into the long queues and vibrant conversations at the weekend, and your barber gives you that look that says, “I’ve got you. This may take a while, but I will give you the best cut that makes time feel like a blur”, you wait it out as you catch those game highlights from the week. You make a new friend here and there, and you feel like fighting another for their political views, but as that warm towel hits your scalp, all is well with the world again, and as you make that bank transfer, you know that this has been a love affair, you want it again.

It is your viewing centre guy doing multiple complex calculations to know just the right amount of fuel he needs to buy to ensure the big screens don’t go off mid-game; Einstein would be amazed. So, when he raises those viewing prices by N200, you know he has done the math through and through.

When he rolls in the consoles with football gaming to his line of business, Jerseys in one corner for your favourite clubs, and a POS (agency banking) business on the side to service your banking needs, if you are looking hard enough, you can see someone who is not doing just what he loves and showing up at it every day, but providing a 360º experience for his customers.

When next you go clothes shopping at Tejuosho or any of those big markets and Oga Uche tells you your favourite pair of sneakers is in his other store, you can’t fault that level of inventory management, and who doesn’t like a good markup without the added pressure of storage space. He hopes you see that he is someone you can depend on as he slips you his importer-exporter, general merchandise business card. It’s just business.

When your taxi driver engages you in a deep conversation and at the end of the trip calls 3 different banks you can send the transfer to because he is trying to save you N10 in fees, it is because he hopes that you enjoyed the ride enough to call him again.

When the IG fashion store owner tells you to DM for the price, I know you don’t like it, but she is banking on the fact that she can measure how you perceive value and adjust accordingly. It’s the hustle, she is creating personalised experiences if you choose to see differently.

When the salesgirl says, “make I call madam whether she don see alert”, they trust you implicitly, it's just fraud prevention, two-factor authentication if you may. You see, that money is what will go into stocking inventory, and the margins are quickly changing with every market cycle they run.

You see, it is for these millions of resilient businesses that we exist at Bloc, and for the millions of customers that they satisfy— to design pleasurable and locally relevant payment experiences that make it easy for businesses to create and capture value at the speed of thought, and the infrastructure that makes their customers delighted to reward them for patronizing these businesses.

We believe that seamless and enjoyable payment experiences foster growth, both for the businesses and their customers; we are the bridge that connects them, empowering a thriving ecosystem where everyone wins.

And to you, the millions of fans who are so loyal to all the shades of green and white, that’s how we are, rooting for the businesses around us to succeed.

Here’s to the resilient ones. Power your ambition at

Charles Isidi