To move ahead in life you need to surround yourself with motivated people. I learned early in life that there are good and bad people everywhere you go but when you’re fortunate to meet good people appreciate them. When Sunday my namesake turned out to be a bad influence I became more careful in the Barrack where I live most time I stay alone in the apartment because of the nature of my Uncle’s job. Admission into the University became so hard for me but I didn’t give up trying my efforts to write exams. My Uncle suggested different trade but I didn’t find any of them fascinating. Staying at home gave me another friend, he owned a bike and I learned how to ride. Gradually, it became a trade for me. I wear hood or sometimes mask so that people will not identify me. The bike riding business popularly known as Okada was not a bad business in the mid 1990s in Lagos. Few people are into the business around the State capital where I reside. My Uncle was not comfortable but he realized that business kept me busy and out of trouble.
Every salary earner needs extra income. Some military officers own bikes too which they give to riders who remits money daily or weekly to them depending on the agreement. I worked for such men and I save the pay thinking of when I will be admitted into my University of choice.
During my days as an Okada rider I saw one of my seniors in secondary school. I was masked and he couldn’t recognize me. I work hard and ride with caution daily because I could see a brighter future ahead of me. The men who owned the bikes are nice to me. Some of them give me extra support. I remember one of them invited me to prayer houses and diviners because of them I started visiting places to pray and inquire about why and how my journey is rough and the solutions.
On the day fate slapped me hard. I woke on the hospital bed not having an idea of what happened to me and how I got there. A soilder was standing by my bed side.A good Samaritan who brought me to the hospital when I was crushed by a moving vehicle after I fell down from my bike when I tried to avoid a toddler who strolled carelessly into the road without any adult’s guidance. I avoided knocking the little girl down but I almost paid with my own life.
The officer identified my unconscious body and he took me to the hospital. According to his report passersby thought I was dead and they avoided getting involved in my case. He knew me and my Uncle in the Barrack and he rescued me . The bike became scrap, it’s mine so I didn’t incure debt but I could not continue the Okada riding business again. My Uncle forbids me from riding and the wait at home became a weight on my weary soul and I started a journey of rediscovery via prayers asking for direction on what to do next.
Written by Awodiya Funke