By Oluseyi Dasilva
She continued her speech stressing how her mother guided her through life: “Till we got promoted to form five, I maintained the first position in my class and second overall among six arms of the set, including arts and commercial, but Gbolagade noticeably remains a back bencher. He never attempted any question put forward by a teacher in class. Some time, the teachers tell him that he ought to have gone to learn a trade rather than wasting his time being a student. There was even a time when the school counselor advised him to withdraw and learn a trade but his parents said that they want him to at least have a secondary school certificate. Gbolagade remains the handsome, neatly dressed young man, a toast of all the girls in the school, many of us want to be seen around him. Its now that I realize our adolescent stupidity. We often forget that who you walk with can influence your morals and eventually, your academic capability, thank God for my mother’s early guide; I would have been led astray. She always tell me that a Sheep that befriends a Dog will someday eat what Dogs eat, feces.”
“Soon it was time to sit for final examination and we took our West African School Certificate Examinations. I attacked the examination with the inbuilt confidence that my mother gave me. She said ‘the school examinations are will be marked by people that you never met before, just make sure you do your best and support hard work with prayers, I am certain you shall come in in flying colours.” This alone removed fear from my heart and I knew that success will not be a difficulty. Three months later, results came out and I cleared all my papers at one sitting, with C4 in my only weak subject, Mathematics. As soon as I got my results, I became eager to see whether mummy was right or wrong, tried hard to know Gbolagade’s result. Sad enough, the young man only managed to secure P8 in Commerce and F9 in all other subjects. Then it dawned on me that mummy was one hundred percent right in her projection about him. It was then that I stopped seeing any reason to get close to Gbolagade and my blindness for his handsome and decent look faded out. What is the value of a handsome man, dull brain? When Jiont Admissions and Matriculations Board result too released their results, I scored 340 marks and was given admissions to study Medicine at Obafemi Awolowo University. Again, Gbolagade just managed to score 39 marks out of the JAMB’s 400 obtainable marks. It was in the next academic session that I resumed to Ife and left Osogbo, so I lost contacts with Gbolagade and most other friends.”
“When I was going to school, my mother told me about some categories of young men and boys, whom she described as spoilers. She said” ‘these category of people have a relationship or are married but will chase after you as if they intend a serious relationship. If you fall a prey, they sleep with you once or twice and run away. They are spoilers. Sad enough, other serious males who are truly interested would be blocked from you, so you lose on both sides. This is how to know these idiots. They will spoil you silly with money and material things, make unimaginable promises and even tell you several things, be careful about them.’ “She also warned me about my academics. She said that whatever grade I wanted at graduation starts from my first day in school, precisely, first term, hundred level. She warned me about lecturers who take advantage of female students, taking advantage of their low performance in their papers. She said that such girls naturally think that they cannot pass well so they prefer to sleep with lecturers to make it up for their lapses. She said:” ‘Adediwura, those girls who sleep with their lecturers to make up for marks are no graduates even if they pass out of school with best grades, they are no better than people who paid money to buy certificates; they cannot make it far in life. Success comes from hard work and God’s blessing. Any other success that is not of God is a fluke; it puts such people to shame later in life.’ Beating at her chest, she said “My mother told me that if a lecturer tampers with my result, I should be bold to report such to the Senate, recall my paper and seek redress. Throughout my school days, the words of my mother recurs in my thinking that ‘Eagles don’t mingle, only Bats fly together in their thousands, mischievous thousands, adding no value to life or themselves.’ I had a roommate, Joke Afuwape, Phamacology student. Until I met her, I never believed a girl like me can be more brilliant than I am. We took courses together and she beats me in all courses that we took together. Joke is something else, you can never see her reading but she flips through books like someone just glancing. One day, I asked her, what she was doing, reading or flipping through pages and she replied that she is capturing the letters into her brain. Out of curiosity, I tried to put her to test, gave her a book, and after twenty minutes, I took the book away from her and asked her to tell me about the book, fear gripped me when Joke poured out all that was in the book and even explaining some of the diagrams. I looked into her eyes and called her a witch, it beats my imagination. She was among the department’s Scholars as a best grade student but sad enough, Joke is a sickler, mere looking at her, you will see a frail looking but beautiful damsel.
One day, out of a deep thought I spoke out and told her that I envy her brilliance but her reply made me shed tears. Joke said: ‘Don’t envy me, my mum’s uncontrolled love made her marry an AS person, my father and they gave birth to me, SS. Our family physician already told me that I cannot go beyond the age of twenty and I know that also in my studies as a Pharmacologist in making. Now I am nineteen, I am counting days and months, but I know God can keep me alive, longer than doctors said projected. Its one thing for physician to say something from experience but what God says is the final.’ I knew from my training as a medical student that she might not make it and it’s my reason for weeping as she spoke about the knowledge of her death sorrowfully. I imagined such a brilliant damsel, walking a cliff edge in life. “When I was twenty, in my final year in school, my mother told me that it’s getting to time she wants to know my boy friend. At first when she mentioned that, fear gripped me again; I thought to myself, why should I do something that could kill my mother. I make friends in school but never gave room for any discussions about relationship. My slogan was ‘that is not my primary assignment, I am here to read.’ “It was time to start a relationship, all the men had run away from me and I was celebrating friends’ wedding but I didn’t even have a suitor. Apprehension started coming in. I started feeling desperate. Three years after I had become a Medical Doctor, practicing at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, yet no man came for me, I told maami that I am feeling desperate for a future partner. I had made money and my prospect was high, haven gone for international conferences as a consultant Ophthalmologist. Again, maami said: ‘desperation is a very bad thing. Who is your standard other than God? If you keep eyes on him, it can never be too late for him to give your own husband. What matter is I have placed all that I have in his hands and I will see his hands on everything that he gave to me.’ “She held my hands and prayed for me. After the prayers, she warned me again;” ‘Do not search for a husband in desperation, wait on God, Your own husband is very much around. When you feel confused about situation of life, please, stay, be still, doing nothing. Let God be the one doing something. Learn not to try any unknown step or thread an unknown route. Since God knows best, let him move while you follow. ’
“Few weeks after that prayer, a young man, Diran Ibuowo came to meet me saying he wants to marry me, I took him home to my mother. His father is actually one of these Ijebu money magnates, Ibuowo family that owns Intercontenental Hotels Plaza. His father calls me every now and then, promising that if I marry his son, he would start a standard hospital for me here in Nigeria and any other country of my choice. That is the dream of every doctor but to my dismay, Maami said in a low but scary tone that she doesn’t like the boy and what his father said to me on phone about building hospitals for me. In no time, I ended relationship with that guy but had secret grudges against my mum. Several others came, I still didn’t find one satisfactory to my mum. At a point I decided to follow my own way, never took any one to Maami again about an affair. I met another guy, Makinde Pedro and we started dating. His father is also a close associate of Chief M.K.O. Abiola and his business consultant. He has several houses, cars and even an airline, Pedro Airlines. Makinde deflowered me and made several promises to me about building hospital for me, so I thought that what I lost in Diran Ibuowo has come back in the Pedros. I put my whole heart in the affairs and all hopes on Makinde. One day, he said that he would need to be in India for a business meet and wants me to be with him in India, I quickly tidied up my schedules and cancelled calls for two weeks, I never told my mum about him and all seemed a success without mum. On our third day in New Delhi, I slept that night and I saw my mother in a dream warning me that I would be invited to a dinner later tonight, a particular food will be served, I cannot but eat the food but it will initiate me into the cult which the Pedro family belongs and that three years into our wedding, I would be donated in their rituals.” ‘My daughter, don’t eat that food and if possible, don’t go to that dinner, escape from danger!’ “When I woke up, truly, Makinde told me about a dinner later in the night and that we must be there together. I reluctantly turned it down but he didn’t hear me well. When it was around 10.00pm, he came in again asking me to dress up for the dinner and I told him that I am not going. Makinde became wild, saying, ‘If you don’t go with me to that dinner, we might not be able to go on with our marriage plans because it means you want to be controlling me.’ “When it was time to go, he came in with two other ladies and they tried to encourage me but I never yielded and Makinde became more angry and said I should vacate the hotel room else he would beat hell out of me.”
Continued on Monday