I had always looked at myself as a child of promise.
Even my mom use to say it; That when I was born, the
chief Iman of Ilorin came and prayed for me. He
prophesied into my life that I will do well and achieve
great things at a very young age. He also said that my
parents will be elevated. But now am wondering what
has gone wrong about those prophesies? What is
holding them back? Why has it not come to pass. The
worse part of it is that my dad died when I was 5. The
elevation prophesy sef, even if say e come, na only my
mama go come chop inside! Or maybe the gods are
punishing my family because we later converted from
Muslim to Christian religion!
All that were my thought. My heart was bitter. I just
dey regret. Na who send me go write JAMB! Na who
send me go even write the FUNAAB Post UTME! If I
had known I would have saved that money and use it
for better things as my mother had suggested. I no
hear. Na so I use the money go write JAMB. And that
would be the second time I was writing JAMB and
passing through, yet no money for tuition fees. No
money to further. I wrote one the previous year and
choose University of Ibadan. I passed the Jamb but
there was no common N3000 to process my Post
UTME. Chaiiii, poverty bad. I encouraged myself. My
mom had earlier said I should give up on going to
school, that there was no money to see me through.
Yes, I saw her point but I was hoping for a miracle to
happen. I was just believing that I would just see a tree
full of money and start plucking them. Or maybe
meeting a helper that would say, “Let me just train you
through your higher institution.”
I had saved up to N45, 000 the past year. I gave my
best at where I worked just to see I save money for my
school. My mom who was into Akara business. She
had been complaining about her eye problem. Out of
the N45,000, I gave her N12,000 to go for treatment.
Money don short nah. But I was determined that I
won’t lose that admission. I must enter university this
time. No going back, whether money dey or not.
That was how my mom nearly closed down her Akara
business that she was raising fund for me to go to
school. She borrowed N27, 000 from the cooperative
group she was. Plus the one I had. I went to Federal
University Of Agriculture Abeokuta (Funaab), paid my
admission acceptance fee, school fees and other fees.
We never even start to dey talk accommodation sef.
The guy I was squatting with had graduated and he
was leaving the room the next weekend. I had earlier
asked if he would leave some few things for me. He
said he couldn’t, that he needed money badly so he
wants to sell them. Even if the guy leave am for me,
how I wan take pay for accommodation sef! He has
really tried. I met him when I came to write my post
UTME. I didn’t even know anybody in Abeokuta. But he
was God sent. He harboured me for 4 days and I still
came back, he was still harbouring me. He said the
rent would be due the next two weeks.
So after paying the necessary fees, I had to go back
home to sort myself on accommodation and feeding,
refresh and come back to campus fully the next week
When I got home, things were not so good at all. My
mom was down with malaria. I know say she go don
dey think how she go take pay back the money wey
she borrow from cooperative. And even her crumbling
business, coupled with all the irony of life. I only had
N430 left with me at that moment inside my pocket. I
had to rush to the chemist shop to get my mom drugs.
I called one of our relatives in Offa and updated her on
what was happening to my mom.
3 days later, it seemed my mom was recovering
gradually. I withdrew the last N5, 000 in my account
and went to buy provisions and food stuffs. There was
nothing much at home. At least, even if say person
poor, that does not mean say we no go chop better
A day before travelling back to Abeokuta, I went to the
place I worked before leaving. My former Oga wey like
me wella. He gave me N2,000. I told him I was going
back to school. Some of my paddies still dash me small
money. I calculated everything and it amounted to N3,
“Gbadebo! Gbadebo!!” my mom called. I was outside
chatting with a friend when he called. I came into the
room. “Gbadebo,” she said. “Ma,” I answered. She
brought out some squeezed naira notes from the edge
of her wrapper were she tied it. She handed them over
to me. I counted them and It was N3, 500. “Kosi owo.
Manage elei.” She said I should manage it that there
was no money. Infact, she even tried. I couldn’t say
anything. As I took the money, I went to bed to sleep,
thinking of how my 4 year journey would look like in
Funaab with my poverty condition.
The next morning, I arranged my only travelling bag,
which doubles as my school bag. I only had few
clothes which I inserted into the bag, with the only foot
wear I had, my pam slippers, na im I go wear go back.
“I am going to school.” person wey see me go think
say I dey joke. Na only 2 trousers and 5 shirts wey I
get I put inside my bag. I didn’t have time to buy many
things because I was saving to go to school. The only
mobile phone we had, a small touchlight phone. I had
to leave it with my mom. I told her I would be calling
from a business center. It was better for me that way
so I could be reaching out to her rather than me taking
the phone to school.
I looked my mom into the eye as I was about leaving
for the park. She looked worried seeing me leave. “I
guessed she was worried how I would cope.” I hugged
her and left to the park where I would be boarding a
car to Ibadan. As I entered one of the cars going to
Ibadan, I wasn’t happy. My heart was filled with too
many weird thoughts that I didn’t even know when the
car got filled up, I paid and we left.
On the road to Ibadan, “I thought about my life.” After
paying for my transportation, I was only left with
N4,450. We never get to Ibadan ooo. I have not even
talked about my accommodation. Where will I even
stay? How will I feed sef? And I go even pay transport
go school. As all those thoughts were flipping through
my mind, tears ran down my eyes. The woman sitting
close to me was the one that even called my attention.
She asked what was wrong with me that I shed tears.
And we were sitting at the front seat opposite the
driver. I had to bring out my handkerchief from my
pocket and whipped my face. I don’t even know what
to tell the woman. I wished she was Jesus that could
just take my burden away. Well, I told her that it’s just
some family related issues that was making me shed
tears. “Family issues keh!” she said. She spoke in
Yoruba language. She asked what kind of family issue
was that. I no wan tell her. One don’t just go around
telling people their problems. I felt reluctant telling her.
“Part of me said I should open up to her while another
part of me said I should not. She seemed to be asking
genuinely but she’s just a random person. Even if I tell
her, will she adopt me or give me N1m.” I just told her
that the money I was giving to for my school was not
enough. Immediately I said that, almost every one
inside the car busted into laughter. Part of me was
like, “You see, you see wetin I tell you. You should have
not told her.” I began regretting saying it out. The
woman laughed uncontrollable in a mocking tone. “Is
that the family problem,” she asked. She said there are
some people their own case was worse so mine was
even not a case. By then, I just wished she knew more
about my own case. As other people in the car were
talking, some gisting and telling stories of how their
children survive in higher institution. I just ignored
them. “No be their own e dey me sef. I went back into
deep thoughts that I didn’t even know when we got to
Ibadan. The woman beside me called my attention
when she was alighting. She was kind enough to give
me N500. I accepted it graciously and thanked her as
she told me not to cry. She left. Well, N500 will
definitely go a long way.
Na so I take car wey dey enter Abeokuta. It dropped
me in a popular spot called “Camp,” a road leading to
Funaab. The place I am squatting.
to be continued…..
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