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Freddie Figgers: The millionaire tech inventor who was ‘thrown away’ as a baby

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Just one piece of advice 31-year-old entrepreneur Freddie Figgers would like to pass on to others.

When he was eight years old, he asked his father, Nathan, about the circumstances of his birth, and the reply was unforgettable.

“He said, ‘Listen I’m going to shoot it to you straight, Fred. Your biological mother, she threw you away, and me and Betty Mae, we didn’t want to send you through foster care and we adopted you, and you’re my son.'”

Freddie had been found abandoned as a newborn baby next to a dumpster (a large rubbish container) in rural Florida.

“When he told me that, I was like, ‘OK I’m trash,’ and I felt unwanted. But he grabbed my shoulder and he said, ‘Listen, don’t you ever let that bother you.'”

Nathan Figgers was a maintenance worker and handyman and Betty Mae Figgers, a farmworker. They lived in Quincy, a rural community of about 8,000 people in North Florida, and were in their 50s when Freddie was born in 1989.

“Kids used to bully me and call me, ‘Dumpster baby,’ ‘Trash can boy,’ ‘Nobody wants you,’ ‘You’re dirty,'” he says.

“I remember getting off the school bus sometimes and kids used to just come behind and grab me and throw me in a trash can and laugh at me.”

It reached a point where his father would wait for him at the bus stop and walk him home, but the children mocked Nathan too, Freddie remembers, “saying, ‘Haha, look at the old man with the cane.'”

So far as Freddie was concerned, Nathan and Betty Mae were heroes, and great role models.

“I saw my father always helping people, stopping on the side of the road helping strangers, feeding the homeless,” he says. “He was an incredible man, and for them to take me in and raise me, that’s the man I want to be like.”

At weekends Freddie and Nathan would drive around “dumpster diving” – looking for useful things that had been thrown away by their owners. Freddie particularly had his eye out for a computer.

“It’s an old saying, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,'” says Freddie, “and I was always fascinated by computers. I always wanted a Gateway computer, but at that time we couldn’t afford one.”

Finally, one day when Freddie was nine, they went to a second-hand shop called Goodwill, where they came across a broken Macintosh computer.

“We persuaded the sales associate,” says Freddie, “and he said, ‘Hey, I’ll give it to you for $24,’ (£17), so we took the computer home and I was just so ecstatic.”

He was already fond of tinkering with the collection of radios, alarm clocks or VCRs that Nathan had accumulated, and the broken Mac now became the focus of his attention.

“When I got it home and it wouldn’t come on, I took the computer apart,” says Freddie.

“As I was looking in it I saw capacitors that were broken. I had soldering guns there and I had radios and alarm clocks, so I took parts out of my father’s radio alarm clock and I soldered them into the circuit board.”

After about 50 attempts, he says, the computer finally switched on – and at this moment Freddie says he knew that he wanted to spend his life working with technology.

He was 12 when his skills became noticed by others. At an after-school club, while other children were playing in the playground, Freddie set to work repairing broken computers in the school’s computer lab.

“If the hard drive was corrupt I would swap it out. If it needed more memory I would add more RAM. If it needed a power supply, I would switch it out,” he says.

The director of the after-school program was Quincy’s mayor and when she saw that he was bringing broken computers back to life, she asked him to come to the city hall with his parents.

“When we get to city hall, she shows me all of these computers in the back, oh gosh, maybe 100 of them stacked up, and she says, ‘I need these computers repaired.'”

From then on, Freddie spent time every day after school mending this pile of computers, for $12 (£9) an hour.

“It wasn’t even really about the money,” he says. “I had an opportunity to do something that I loved to do and it was just so fun to me.”

A couple of years later, a coding opportunity arose. Quincy needed a system to check the city’s water pressure gauges, and a company had quoted $600,000 (£432,500) to develop a computer program.

Freddie remembers that the city manager called out, “Hey, Freddie’s a computer dork, he could probably help with this.”

“So I said, ‘Sir, listen, if you give me an opportunity, I could build the same program. So he gave me that opportunity and I built that program exactly to the specifications that they needed. I didn’t get paid $600,000, I got my regular paycheque and went home.”

It was a crucial turning point in Freddie’s life. He was only 15, but he now decided to leave school and start up his own computing business – much to his parent’s dismay.

“They believed in education, work, retirement, and I wanted to break that chain, I wanted to do something different,” he says.

Freddie’s business was going from strength to strength when a couple of years later, Nathan started rapidly developing Alzheimer’s disease.

One disturbing symptom was that he would wake up in the night and re-enact things he had seen on television earlier in the evening. This led to what Freddie calls “the most traumatizing thing that ever happened to me”.

He started out providing services in rural areas of north Florida and southern Georgia, not far from Quincy, and the company has steadily grown. In 2014, Freddie launched a smartphone, the Figgers F1, with a device that detects motion and switches to “safe mode” above 10mph, preventing people from texting while driving. The Figgers F3, which went on sale in 2019, contains a chip designed to enable wireless charging whenever the phone is within five meters of a “super base charger” – a device that has been awaiting approval by the FCC.

The marketing of the F3 caused controversy, with some bloggers arguing that not all of the first model’s features were as up-to-date as they said they had been led to believe. Freddie told the BBC: “Our goal is to provide honesty and transparency while we provide quality and advanced products at an affordable price.”

Freddie’s mother, 83, has now also begun to develop Alzheimer’s. He says she’s very proud of what he has achieved and realizes that the glucometer, which might have saved her uncle’s life, is “something special”.

Freddie married Natlie Figgers, an attorney, in 2015, and they have a little girl. As well as his businesses, he runs a foundation that invests in education and healthcare projects and helps disadvantaged children and families. Recent schemes have included donating bicycles to children in foster care, and PPE to people on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

Freddie says the most important advice he would give his little girl about life would be to “never give up, no matter how cold the world may look,” and try to make a positive impact on the life of every person you encounter. It’s a message Freddie’s father and number one supporter, Nathan, would have entirely agreed with.

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Get rid of smelly feet in these 6 easy steps

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The festive season is around the corner, and you are probably getting invited to people’s houses. Smelly feet will scare you to remove your shoes because you are uncomfortable.

Most of the time, you are too caught up with life, such that you will never know how the problem started.

The major leading cause is not enough ventilation for your feet, and with it having a lot of sweat glands that equals a lot of sweat, you know.

Then bacteria feeds off on it, resulting in acid that causes smelly feet, poor hygiene, and some diseases that cause your feet to start smelling.

Here are a few home remedies that can help stop your feet from smelling.

Good hygiene routines

An individual has to make an effort to invest in a good mild soap and a brush to clean your feet to get great excellent results, and you should do this every day.

You can also cut your nails as a cleanliness routine.

After cleaning your feet, use a nice clean, dry towel to dry them, and while at it, you can apply baby powder to keep your feet dry and avoid putting on the same shoes every day.

Invest in a good spray

You might opt to buy yourself an excellent deodorant or antiperspirant to do away with or make the smell appear mild when it makes you and people near you uncomfortable.

Wear clean socks

When it comes to wearing socks, ensure they are clean socks. Dirty socks worsen your situation, as they already stink.

Invest in soaks made with chemicals to reduce bacteria, which tends to bring about athlete’s foot, and that’s a guarantee your feet will stink.

Try wool socks that will pull away sweat from your feet as excess work is a cause of smelly sweat.

Watch your diet

Embrace a healthy balanced diet. Ensure that fruits and vegetables are half the meal you can serve carbohydrate ¼ and proteins ¼.

Ensure that your intake of red meat is reduced compared to your intake of white meat like fish or chicken because your body uses a lot of energy to break down red meat.

It equates to a lot of sweat all through your body, including your feet.

You can also do away with sulfur content foods like garlic, cabbage, and onions. And with processed foods, if you must take them, observe portion control.

Use Apple cider Vinegar.

Apple cider is a must-have vinegar in every household because it has many benefits, such as digestion and weight-loss regimes.

It’s cheap and readily available. Apple cider is a magical wonder with its ability to kill bacteria and excess dry sweat.

These two are the leading causes of smelly feet because apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, thus highly acidic.

Apple cider vinegar use is easy; you only take ½ a cup of it, mix it with like a jug of water and let your feet soak in it for around 20 minutes.

You can include this in your cleanliness routine depending on how smelly your feet are like twice per week.

Buy medicated insoles

One of the significant causes of smelly feet is wet feet as a result of sweating. Medicated insoles guarantee that feet wetness is controlled by absorbing excess moisture produced by your feet.

Sometimes you may try out these natural solutions, but the smell does not end.

You can check up with your professional doctor to prescribe for you medications to treat or manage your smelly feet problem, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up because of it.

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Business

Are you a job seeker?try these top websites

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Unemployment can be described as the biggest disaster our country Kenya is experiencing as of now. Many young people are finding it hard to transition from school to the job market. It’s not easy to find job opportunities as a youth.

As they are not the only jobseekers to get work. Companies and employers have been finding it difficult to get job seekers with extraordinary potential because they receive endless CVs.

The internet is the best thing that ever happened to the jobs sector as job websites allow job seekers to find their desired jobs. Gain new knowledge from job courses the websites offer and career advice.

It saves employers from going through a million CVs to find an employee with potential and skill.

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Here is a list of job websites in Kenya that one can use to find jobs that suit their skills and passion at no added cost.

Stars classifieds

 A product of the star newspaper. This job website allows one to look for work in Kenya and those who want to dare abroad.

The site requires that you sign In to access the jobs, but you can look for jobs without really signing in  .this website offers a great variety of jobs from sales marketing and many others

Campus biz

This is a website flocked with students and recently graduated comrades. They look for internships, attachments, and entry levels jobs as a start to grow their desired careers.

All you have to do is sign up and create an account with them. The good news is that they have a lot of categories one can choose from n regards to the one that will propel you to achieve your career goals, and it is free.

Brighter Monday

It’s among the leading East African job website and thus equals the highest number of job seekers and employers in its database .

Its origin of foundation is in Kenya and was founded by Ringier One Africa Media . You get the most out of this website when you sign up or create an account . Here job seekers benefit from CV training career planning, personality assessments, and even courses.

They get you equipped with skills that will get you a job depending on the industry, location in relation to country and city, and job activities . Ardent job seekers should subscribe to daily alerts of vacancies in their emails.

FUZU

When you want to search for work on this website, you should create an account or sign up using your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google accounts. Once logged in, job seekers are given a platform to learn and develop themselves.

FUZU offers free courses and insights on your career path from planning to growing it. This website has a wide variety of categories: job category, location, work experience, and many more.

It has partnerships with Accenture, thus offering a wide variety of courses to build you a job seeker with skills.

Ajira

 This is a website that prides itself on the association of the government. The government of Kenya it through the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Technology to empower the Kenyan youths to be able to access digital jobs.

This website does this by giving them free online training to help job seekers find their interest in online work.

Ajira can be termed the one-stop shop for amazing online job opportunities like local work in Kenya writing, engineering, architecture, software development, web, graphics creative work, and many more.

Jobs In Kenya .co.ke

Known to be the best site for jobs for the Kenyan people, it is from varied departments from the engineering department, HR medical, social media, and just basically any department.

All you have to do is send the job advert if you are a job seeker or employee, and it will be advertised for free. Their email is jobsinkenya@gmail .com.

When choosing to go to these websites and get interviews to ensure that you are not duped as there are cons on the website waiting to prey on innocent desperate job seekers.

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Entertainment

Starting out as a Podcaster, try these tips

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The creative and arts industry is slowly growing as many people are interested in producing content. The latest site is the podcast platform. A podcast platform is where you store and distribute your podcast, recordings, and audio files.

The platform also provides a podcast RSS feed; it states all the podcast episodes you will submit to other podcast directories.

The platform also provides analytics, web players, scheduling tools, and any other feature to publish your podcasts and make them grow. Here are the platforms that will increase your podcasts’ popularity, listening time and earn you subscribers.

Megaphone

It is a podcasting platform designed for more prominent enterprise-level podcasts. They serve as advertizers looking to reach popular podcasts.

Their suite feature for podcasts includes dynamic ad insertion, ad management, sales, and more. To get hosted on this platform, send them an email with an invite request.

Buzzasprout

It is a fantastic podcast hosting platform .they have a paid plan, but one can opt for their free plan; you can use it for as long as you want. Buzzsprout allows you to upload 2hours of audio per month, and the audios are hosted for 90 days.

Podcast.com

A known free hosting platform with unlimited everything from podcasts, storage, and bandwidth and has an extensive directory of shows.

Anchor

This is a podcast well known as a free podcast platform .this platform deals more with mobile podcasting, but you can use their web interface to edit and manage your episodes. The platform has an inbuilt ad platform, easy editing of your videos, and constantly updates new featured podcasts.

Soundcloud

It’s a paid but also a free podcast platform. Its downside is that their podcasting features are limited, but you get up to 3 hours o storage free with this.

If you are interested in unlimited hosting, you can pay $135per year, which allows you to upload 30 hours of podcasts per week. With other payment options, you can avoid them as their downsize is that you can only upload 6 hours of content.

Before choosing a podcast platform consider these

Podcast hosting platforms are not the same. They are divided into groups. It depends on the users.

Some platforms are designed for beginners, big brands, or enterprise customers, and each has its pricing. For a beginner, be ready to part with $19 per month.

Podcast hosting subscriptions

Pricing for podcast hosting ranges from $5to$50 per month .prices varies; this depends on the podcast hosting company, the number of episodes, and how many of your podcasts have been downloaded.

Dangers of using a free podcast platform

The main issue is with data privacy issues is that you are not guaranteed privacy of your data.

Free podcast platforms lack sustainability and hence tend to be shut down, resulting in losing your podcasts, audios, and recording.

Go ahead seize the opportunities till you are established. Try packages you can comfortably afford. Podcasting has great returns especially when you create amazing content.

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