Throwback/Throw forward (We all have our stories)…
Who remembers how emotional mothers prayers and advices sound whenever we are embarking on a journey. Today, I remember how my mum, amidst tears and mixed feelings escorted me to the bus stop to grab a bus to Abeokuta to start fighting for my life, all alone. I was 17 at the time. After deferring my first admission, I wasn’t going to let this second one slip away. The line she repeated most, Mary, remember the daughter of who you are, remember the daughter of who you her, you know how your father and I are laboring to give you this education, please remember the daughter of who you are. Don’t do follow follow o. I learnt there are a lot of bad people inside the campus. Please don’t disgrace me. Ahaha, those words were entering my ears and sitting. I cried. I have always been used to this home-love and I feared I would just come back the next day.
I got to Abeokuta, pulling my excess luggage that were like my necessary burdens. Ahhaa, what did I not carry na (you may be surprised to find matches in my box). In fact ehn, I can’t even believe I was the one dragging all those bags on the road, aha, but wait, wetin concern me na? All on my mind was to get a place to lay my head for the night. I was too tired. I remembered standing at a particular bus stop, I didn’t even know what or who I was waiting for, but apparently, my steps were being orders. I didn’t have a space, night was falling already. While standing and looking so stranded, another Jambito came to me. Bukky and I were in the choir back at home, I recognized her immediately I saw her. She came pulling her bags too (ahaha, girls and loads ehnnnn, its natural). We got a fellowship sister to assist us that with accommodation while we kept sorting ours. We ended up renting an apartment together, with Helen Omoye.
First day in a class of over 1,500( yes, I mean this), we needed an orientation as per freshers and JJC’s. I saw the man, lanky in stature, mount the podium and began his speech. Little did I even know he would be our lecturer for Advertising. The only thing I remember from that his speech was how he told us not to even bother to graduate with an upper credit or distinction. I still couldn’t understand why a lecturer would give us such terrible news as orientation for new students.
Him: “See, you people should not even think of leaving this school with an upper credit, talk more of distinction (laughing). This is Mass Communication department, just do your best and get your lower credit or whatever” (paraphrased)
Ssshuuuu!!!I couldn’t even bring myself to understand that statement. Trust me that was the centre of discussion as we all journeyed back home. Bukky and I kept wondering, what kind of department this was. So, we decided to find out for ourselves.
School started and money stopped coming from home 😥😥😥😥😥😥See, I can’t count the number of time I skipped meals, not because I wasn’t feeling hungry, but because there was nothing to cook and no money to buy. (Double wahala for deadi body). Garri was my regular lunch. Breakfast was usually tea and biscuit. You won’t understand this except I explain to you. So journey with me. That time ehn, I had a regular bowl for my tea. Yorubas call it “congo”. Ehnn…that very metal one. My congo was always full. Then I’ll throw in one Lipton bag and one sachet of dano milk. Babe, na coloured water I dey drink. My regular biscuit was Pako. (How many knows that hard square shaped biscuit), ahahha. 2 sachet is okay. The method is either to pour my pako biscuit into my river tea or sip my hot tea as I chew. My roommates were also in similar shoes, so it wasn’t as if any of us was enjoying. By the time we are done with the breakfast, my whole body is alert. I mean, what else do you expect na, after a session of hot tea and Pako bicuit, smh. Then we set out for the day. Any day I cooked Indomie, see, you don’t want to imagine the miracle of 2small indomies filling the pot o. Just add enough water and grounded pepper. It automatically becomes Indomie pepper soup. You don’t eat that kind with a fork, you scoop it as e dey hot.
Those familiar with Mapoly would know the sap route (it’s an alternative path for those with legwagons) The distance between my house and the school is about 45mins- 1hour using the sap route and this was what we did almost every morning. Well, the tfare to school was just 30naira, but hey, I couldn’t even afford to spend that money because I would prefer to buy waterleaf with that money. Plus, my friends were my encouragement, so together, we plied sap route to and fro. Lecture starts at about 8.00am and so we had to leave the house very early to meet up.
Now, see the part of hanging around good people. I wasn’t an extremely brilliant girl. All I know is I don’t fail exams. I am not used to reading daily. I don’t mind starting my reading 3 or 2 weeks to the exam time, I will still catch up. Bukky on the other hand was a daily reader. She spoke better than I do at that time. She reads everything readable. We were in the same department and I wasn’t surprised she hit a distinction after our first semester. The news went round the entire school. It was unbelievable, that a year one student could have a distinction. Wow. At that time, I didn’t have a choice but buckle up. We both graduated with upper credits (near distinction). While in school, we didn’t have time for frivolities. We knew why we were in school and we faced it. We gave it all it took. Ours was the triangle life. School, Church, Home. That was the model. Nahh, it wasn’t boring, maybe because we really had a lot on our plates.
Let’s conclude this long story. After grabbing my diploma certificate, I got a job with a financial institution and enrolled for my BSc. immediately. I was working round the clock, and schooling, yet I didn’t fail (maybe there will be another discussion around this some other day).
WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS PART OF MY STORY?
My darling, you don’t have any excuse for failing. Just forget about those reasons you give to console yourself for not meeting up. You know that line they- your future is in your hands? It’s very true. But then, let me complete it. Your future is in your hands to write the story you want with it. You can afford to read from me today because by God’s grace, I am not a failure. The story is not ended yet, because every day, I am becoming. I am learning daily to be at my best. I am doing all I can to create a better version of me daily. For me, the sky is the starting point because I am striving at reaching beyond the moon, stamping my foot on it and going far beyond. Everyone has their stories. Write yours so well, so we can learn from you tomorrow. The pains or struggles do not last forever. They are only there for the mean time to build you, so tomorrow, you can look back and be grateful to God for your growth.
Till you read from me again, please, don’t be limited by anything. Become everything you want to become and watch your story be an inspiration to someone tomorrow. Don’t forget to comment down below. Share your story with me, I’ll love to read from you.
Your girl, Mary.