I was an emotional wreck, growing up, and it got worse when I gained admission into the university. Luckily, I had devised a means to channel my antisocial energy into other areas, especially my studies and spiritual life. I was always the first to settle down in class, church or any other event that required no form of chattering or fun, and as you would expect, when it was time to choose leaders, I would be considered, and no matter how hard I objected, I always found myself caving in not long after.
My results were good, always good. In fact, I could count the number of times I scored below 85 in any of my exams. And then early one Monday morning in my final year, the unexpected happened. I got a call from my lecturer informing me there was an impromptu quiz competition holding at the University of Ibadan later that day. He had been sent the memo long ago but forgot. He had other engagements and wouldn’t be able to go with me but then, go I must.
Alone, because I had no close friend, I left Ile-Ife for Ibadan a few hours after. Throughout the 45-minute journey, I was on my phone browsing to learn as much as I could about the competition. A lady had won the previous edition and she was in the race again to defend her title.
This lady would one day end up being my wife and best friend forever. How did it happen?
That day turned out to be a hellish day. Robbers had chosen it to be their field day. They laid siege and held over 25 buses captive, taking time to rob each bus one after the other, depriving every passenger of their belongings. The episode lasted for about 4 hours and by the time, they were done, 12 people had been killed, 25 wounded, and the rest, penniless and sad, including me. Trust the Nigerian Police to always arrive late, they arrived 30 minutes after the robbers had escaped, and did all they could. They conveyed us to the nearest police station and had us take turns to give our statements. I endured the crazy experience.
The day had been a mess already, nothing more could be done. I waited patiently till it was my turn, and as I sat in front of the officer to account for what happened, I remembered Professor Olowe’s words that morning, ‘Come back home a victor or don’t come back at all’. At that point, I lost it, I began to sob and soon burst into tears. I couldn’t explain why I had to embarrass myself that much, perhaps because I feared I was going to disappoint my Professor, someone who throughout my stay at the University had been a father-figure. I had longed for a day to make it up to him, and sadly, lost out on the chance he presented me.
Click here if you missed episode 1.