‘Don’t let yesterday make too much of today’.
From the day I left village for Lagos with the hope of working as a clerk and save money to further my studies which turned out to be a mirage, I have never dwelt in my past. I kept looking ahead with hope. I woke up daily with optimism. My watchword have been progress and development. I worked hard to be better than the person I was the previous day but life didn’t give me reasons to smile most of the time.
At the Army training camp, I tried my best and everyone saw prospective army officer in me. I made up my mind to excel in the new path. But Nigeria happened to me. The DG of training and the King of my village connived together and my name was replaced with that of a man from my village, Adekunle Sunday Olokoya. He was popularly called Sunday like me. It was obvious my name was removed with a corrective fluid and he took my place!
The news of my ‘joining’ spread like wildfire in the village. Everyone thought I was the Sunday enlisted. Sadly, Sunday was a bad representative of my village. He wasted that slot because he didn’t deserve it. He committed lots of atrocities in the Army. He died as a Lance Corporal after 20years. He was a chain smoker and added no value to himself or the community at home.
I left Akure dejected, when my name was removed from the list. Back in the barrack, I started praying for God to give me direction.
I still wanted to go to university despite all the disappointments.
One day I decided to visit one of the diviners an army friend in the barrack introduced me to.
I left the house for Ipaja. That side of Lagos was still remote then. There were bush paths. When I alighted at the bus stop, I saw a mad man walking towards my direction. I was scared but I didn’t run. His dreads were so dirty and his clothes were torn. When he got to me, he looked at me in the eyes and said, “Stupid boy, go and learn a trade. Cann’t you see the enemy is using that to waste your time?” Terrified,I walked away from him and he suddenly disappeared. I ran when I discovered that the mad man had vanished.
I returned home, but was still afraid. I stayed indoors for 7days, asking God for direction on a trade I needed to learn. My uncle was on a study leave then. He left the barrack for Ibadan. The day my uncle returned from Ibadan was the day I received answer to my prayer.
Written by Awodiya Funke