They say when life throws stones at you, pick them up and use them to build the strongest, firmest foundation that no one can ever destroy. The Covid-19 pandemic threw some stones at Williams Alamu, who picked the stones up and did just that. Williams started learning UI/UX design in November 2019 at the age of 16, while he was still in secondary school. He was in his final class, and was set to write his O Level exams the following year. He realized that learning UI/UX design required lots of attention, so he decided to suspend it.
In March 2020, his school asked the student to stay home because the government had declared a lockdown due to the raging spread of the pandemic. For the first two weeks of lockdown, Williams busied himself studying for his O Levels, but when he realized that the pandemic was getting worse, he decided to get back into his UI/UX tutorials by learning from resources on the Internet. He immersed himself in design practice in order to get really good at his game.
Sometimes, when there was no power supply, he would use a generator for a few hours. He kept practicing and also became friends with some UI/UX designers online. When he first posted one of his works on Instagram to check how people would react, he got positive feedback. That encouraged him to keep posting his work online.
One day, a lady in the United States reached out to him. She wanted him to handle a project for her. He was pleasantly surprised. He took the job, worked and delivered the finished project after about six weeks, and then got paid. It was his first paid job. After the project, he continued posting more of his work on Instagram and was contacted by another client in the US about two months later. The second project was a bigger one and he got paid after every milestone. He got a lot of job offers but could not accept them all because of the second project he was working on, and because of his final exams which he wrote between September and November 2020.
When the second project was halfway done, he started accepting the job offers coming his way and the rest is history. So far, he has worked with clients in the US, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Now that he is done with school, he has completed five successful projects in 2021, and has two other projects that are still in the works. When Williams began learning UI/UX design, he was using his dad’s laptop, but with the money he made, he was able to get a new PC to work with. He has also been able to assist his parents financially, although they still provide for his basic needs.
His friends that know what he does now address him as a “mini celebrity”, and he has encouraged them to learn as well. Because he is so good at what he does, people seek his opinion and he has held several online and in-person classes, trying his best to get people into the design world.
Williams will be a financially independent 18 year old by December 2021, in contrast to the financially dependent 16 year old he was at the beginning of the pandemic.