Starting Early: Emails

This is the first installment in a new series I started called “Starting Early”. It’s going to be a chronicle of my early and first interaction with some of the things that come to define me today and how they have influenced me greatly. I would share stories of my first contact with Emails, Books, Music, Girls, Internet, Computers, etc. Enjoy!


I created my first ever email address in 2002, I was only 8 years old then. The email was “”. The first email I tried was “” but it was already taken, I had tried several variations of my first name before I decided to use my initials. “imo” are the initials of my first name arranged in no particular order. The first email exchange I had was with an Uncle who lived in “America”, and then subsequent email exchanges with people I met in chat rooms (more on that later)

The actual word “imo4real98” was suggested by the cybercafé receptionist where I sat. I didn’t think too much about it, I was just happy to finally get an email that was not taken, and I wasn’t born in 1998 neither, but maybe she felt I was; I was definitely so small as an eight year old, I must have passed as a four year old in her sight, or maybe it was just random. “for real” sounded like the mark of authenticity in those days (akin to “official” and “real” these days). It’s fifteen years now and I still have that email (although not really really active, prefer Gmail these days). There was a period when it became redundant for over three years, but I was able to recover it. After being used to the world of emails, I switched to “”, the inspiration came from my obsession with the name “Kenneth” as a kid, I loved the name “Kenneth”, I’m struggling to remember the source of my obsession right now.

I also created an AOL account and a Hotmail account but I used Yahoo! more than the rest because of Yahoo! Messenger. I also used Hotmail often too because I loved their light blue background, and because of one other feature that I can’t remember now. Oh, and I also had to falsify my eight on numerous occasions because I could find my year of birth on the dropdown list.

I’ve lost “kenspaco”, and it didn’t fly as a nickname neither because my classmates as at that time were either dunces who knew nothing about emails or they were just being annoying and would rather stick to calling me “mmiri oku” (an Igbo variation of my name meaning hot water).

Because I didn’t have a computer then, I was always at the Cybercafé. I would always rush to the cyber café after school and stay there till dawn. One of my early obsession was Yahoo Messenger. I was told there was a chat room where you could chat with people from other countries, and because the person I watched using Yahoo Messenger always went to the “Romance” Chat room, that was where I always went. Back then, I didn’t know it was odd for an eight-year-old to be in a romance chatroom, neither did I understand what “Romance” really meant. I had thought that was just the only chat room, in hindsight I now understand how and why everyone was always shocked whenever they came to my computer screen. I did meet so many people from that Chat Room, most of them would send me vulgar and explicit private messages which I didn’t understand but I would play along with them in a bid to sound smart. Most of those friends are nowhere to be found now anyways.

That early introduction led me into a decade old obsession with Yahoo! The Yahoo homepage was an invaluable news source for me as it covered every segment and category. It would be another thirteen years before I would create a Gmail account. Even as a full-fledged adult now, I cringe from time to time whenever I remember Yahoo!’s demise, really sad stuff.

I shared the story of my early introduction to emails because my initiation into the world of emails has had a great influence on how I like to conduct my businesses these days. I love emails, I’d prefer you send me an email even if it’s a one liner. I also love closing my emails with a remark. My strong affinity for emails certainly has roots in my being introduced to it at an early age. That was the first thing I knew I could do with the internet — send emails, before the other things. It also tells a great lesson in loyalty and efficiency, I remained with Yahoo! despite the mass exodus to Gmail, but the minute I used Gmail and saw how effective it was, I didn’t think twice.

In a nutshell, most of the things we have become strongly attached to these days all have roots in our mode of initial contact with them.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Roch; the Lad who refused to grow up

My name is Miracle Roch. This is just an inch of my story. The story of the lad who didn’t have a childhood. The lack of unseriousness which generally characterizes infancy I have sorely lacked. I should have what people call a comfortable life now, I mean; I’m in a Federal University, will be graduating soon, I’m still young, I’m very tall, dark, handsome, I can speak very well, I’m eloquent, I’m brilliant, I know too much, I know the girls, I make people happy, I play football, I wear good clothes, I use a good phone, I have a laptop, I have good grades, I mean, what else qualifies a good life? I’m a Christian, I’ve got God.
I like writing about myself because my life as a whole is a degree. After the first paragraph, one could say my life is blissful eh? Many look at my life now and want to be like me…they see a perfect life but what they don’t know is that I’m not really better than that guy you see hawking things around motor parks, I’m not better than any of those Lagos area boys who loiter around, seems funny but that’s the truth. I didn’t plan for any of these, I can’t even say I’ve been fortunate enough sadly so I can’t even attribute it to fortune. I’m not better than anyone, that’s the sad truth. What I presumably have is a “working mind”. I have just been blessed with the right kind of mind – the one which continually longs for form, for completeness.
Yes, I may have had a mixed childhood, one where I was the prince and then quickly turned into the pawn. Maybe that’s why I will never rest until I find out if my value as it were came as a result of a lack of competitors(competition) or as a result of my true worth. It’s a question I still ask…am I really all that? Am I as good as people portray me to be? Parents tell their children to follow me but am I worth following? Everyone see me as some perfect article and I keep asking…Are they following me because there is no one else or because I’m really that good? Some fork and knife to ponder on.
I’m proud of my history, what have I not experienced? Why did life become more than just a fairy tale at the tender age of 4? I never watched cartoons as a kid maybe that helped me see life as something more serious than phantom aliens and magical wands. Most of the things other children had the chance of seeing, I didn’t see even with the same chance. How can my earliest memories of watching the TV be vivid images of NTA’s network news? That can’t be right, can it? How can the rare visits to the beach not even spring to mind? How can the swimming pool visits not feature prominently on my thoughts? Something’s gotta be wrong!
I remember going to a different area from where I was living and I went to a field around to watch some boys play football, somehow I ended up as a goalkeeper and at the end of the match, everyone was hailing me, I was new to the area so no one knew me, they saw me as one kinda whiz kid, I think I still have vivid images of me flinging myself to the far right and making one save that even Oliver Kahn would be proud of. It’s no surprise really that I have not forgotten that particular incident, it wasn’t the praise or anything but the fact that I really felt I deserved this one. Right from when I was a fetus, sycophants have always praised me, and because I struggled most often than not to really understand what I did, I was oblivious of it so you could imagine my joy that day.
As a kid, I already knew how to configure a phone, how to configure a television set, I was into many technological things, I was a guru, doing well in school; that was heaven. I basked in the euphoria of being a genius. At that age, I had begun to take responsibility for many of the things happening around me. The things I had to take care of and learn as a young man was too much that in hindsight I always ask myself in surprise how I could carry those thing on those tender shoulders of mine.
But like I said, this is just an inch of my childhood story…that of a young lad who refused to grow up and grappled with adulthood even when childhood was at his beck and call.
Will there be a follow up piece to this one? Let’s see how it goes.

Stay True!
Miracle Roch

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