‘I had countless reasons to give up, but I didn’t’
I am the first of five kids, three girls, two boys. Growing up wasn’t rosy in anyway, but l have survived it all.
I was born and brought up in Ota, Ogun State. My parents were practically living from hands to mouth. There were days we went to bed on empty stomach.
Daddy had no good job, while mum was the one helping with the little she could from frying yams, akara, plantains and potatoes. At least then, business was booming, we were fed.
Things got worse sometime, there were times l didn’t go to school for a whole session.
No means to pay school fees, l would stayed back since the “Jele osinmi” were for kids and I was way far older for such lessons. I would take my two kid brothers there, wait till they close and we would come back together. So no one knew l didn’t go to school myself, l was always wearing my uniforms.
There were days dad would only afford N10 from his workshop. He would rush home to us, we would buy half derica of garri for N5, bought cooked beans 5 naira, matched the beans and eat with the eba. And that was it, we are happy again!
There were times when we would wait to see dad, and he won’t show up. We would get “ata rodo” pepper, added salt, ate and drank water. Sometimes, there would be garri, and maybe palm oil. We would make eba, mixed the palm oil with little salt and eat.
Schooling was a problem. If dad can afford a term fee, l would go, but the following term, na to siddon ooo. I borrowed books from my late friend, Joy, and when they were solving their assignments, I would sit by and watched them do it. After, I would rush home, picked my books, gave myself some exercises, solved them and that was it.
Finally, primary education was done, time for secondary education. My father had me try for common entrance at the age of 9 and I passed.
He got me school uniforms which were as big as a house, yet no school sandals. I remembered how I would wear my white canvass to school, once at the gate, I would pull them into my bag, and walk with bare feet.
I was insulted, bullied and all that, but I wasn’t moved. Shebi I knew where I was coming from.
I finished secondary school at 14, that was 2013, wrote several JAMB examinations. At the end of the day, I couldn’t make the 250 cut off for University of Lagos, so I opted for a polytechnic, Moshood Abiola, Abeokuta.
Things turned around for my father during my National Diploma. Infact, I was very fine financially, he made sure I had everything, fees paid, cloths, just name it.
Then, I met this guy who had been on my matter since l finished secondary school. Hhe didn’t give up despite all my numerous shakara. He waited for me, and when I was almost done with my ND, I decided to give in. We had our first introduction, he was just a very great person.
I had started planning my life with him when tragedy struck, he died! That was few days to my Higher National Diploma 1, first semester examinations. And by that time too, my daddy’s business wasn’t booming again and to make matters worst, Ojere, as we fondly call my polytechnic decided to increase school fees so high! Who would support me?
Somehow, I spoke to a friend, (who I believe would rather prefer being anonymous), he gave me 10k and encouraged me to speak with one of my lecturers, Mr Ashade.
Ohh, such a wonderful soul and I called him my second daddy. I did, even though I was very scared and shy, yet l did.
He helped, connected me to another great man who gave and an offer to work on holidays with a salary of N20, 000.
Another friend also made sure I had all my books. He gave me all his books, and also made sure he paid for the ones that were mandatory for “marks”.
Infact, I became comfortable. He asked me to always give him a call whenever I needed money or anything.
My friends were also there for me. Oh my Anike! She was practically with me all through when I was down with ulcer. I had previously had a very bad bleeding in school before the ulcer showed up. It was later discovered I had a little mini fibroid growing outside my womb, hence the heavy bleeding.
My coursemates thought I just had an abortion, and were even blaming me for coming to school after an abortion 😂😂😂😂. But abeg, who would miss Mr Sina Aina’s class? Tell me, my favorite lecturer fa! Lols.
I decided to do something for myself, I enrolled in a studio to learn cinematography and video editing. I would resume there daily after school, no time to rest. I did promo jobs too after studio jobs, would come home as late as 11pm, ate, read, slept and woke by 4:30am to prepare for school.
I finished school, got two job offers immediately after NYSC, and all this time, I was doing my cinematography jobs once the opportunity surfaced.
One thing I have learnt so far from my story is that, in all situations, I should never regret anything. Because one thing is sure, God has a way of taking us through certain life journeys. I pushed myself to read on my own when dad had financial challenges.If not, I would have been one very stark illiterate, married to my type and probably had 6 kids by now. 😂😂😂😂
If my bobo then hadn’t die, I wouldn’t appreciate what love and forgiveness was. I used to be extremely stubborn, I took him for granted countless times. Any small mistake from him, I would do shakara, and call it quit. But today, I forgive so easily and I no longer keep malice.
Today, I appreciate every penny that comes my way, I manage whatever I have.
Just the reason why I am often moved to help whenever I can, the reason pictures of starving kids breaks my heart, I had been hungry before, I know what hunger is….
I am sharing my story today because I want to encourage you. You may be in a situation where you are giving up already, like you want to do something out of place, do crime, prostitution or even commit suicide. Hey! Stop dearie, life is beautiful and life is sweet. Yours may be worse, but mine was worse too, at least to me. I know how you feel. You can still be that great person you envisioned yourself to be.
If as young as I was I could read on my own and passed my common entrance exam at 9, how much more you? The very man I knew first loved me with all his life died when I needed him the most. Hey, it shattered my life, it caused me ulcer, serious one, yet I didn’t die, no, life is sweet. I will never give up on life.
I am not there yet, but today, I can boldly say, I fought my wars, I am a warrior. You too can!
Send me your success stories, marital challenges, academics, down times, let me help you share, to encourage someone out there.