I remember when I’d I learnt how to make a source
of light from battery and bulb along with the wires.
Mehn. It was such a nice thing. I felt like a hero. My dad said I will be a great engineer.
I wanted to be an engineer and so I wanted to know
how to be an engineer. I wanted to be a hero and so
I wanted to know how to reach the hero’s world.
Luckily, my uncle came from Lagos and hearing all
that’s said about me, he decided to take me to
Lagos. I was just 7 year old and to me, I was
already a man.
Uncle is a business man, uncle had a shop in Alaba,
uncle had a fine house along with a fine wife. Yes a
fine wife. Uncles wife was a very fine sombori. For
a small boy of my age, I found it hard to understand
the mystery of angels and how they came to the
world let alone understand how one could be living
in my uncles house.
To me, uncle’s wife is from Angel country. And so I
was enrolled in Agege Grammar school. I’m my
very first day in school, I was thought about
careers and the teacher explained the different
careers she knew.
I never knew engineering is a career till she finally
mentioned it and so, when the question “What would
you like as a career when you grow up” finally
came, I was among the first 23 persons to stand up
and when she pointed at me, I said “Anty I wan to
be an engineer”
Oh clap for Emeka, my teacher said….
Everybody clapped and later on, we were given
some take home assignment. I looked at the boxes
and the number, I think it was a quantitative
reasoning assignment and since I could not
understand it, I took to my angelic aunty.
My aunty instead of helping me after showing her
the questions looked at me with her angelic eye. Na that day I know say angel still dey WOR WOR oo.
and see the big eye. I looked at her with my
little eyes too. and suddenly, a very heavy but
impatient load landed on my hair. koi, koi.
So you do not know how to answer this simple
questions eh? That day I cried sha. Instantly, my
eyes dazzled me, it was an assignment to be
submitted the next day, my teacher had a very long
cane for those who didn’t do their assignments and
she would cane us on the feet, back and
sometimes, she will put some jara as she whipped
the cane on our head.
Scared and in pains, I went out, sat at the balcony,
cried my eyes out, I after crying bitterly, his my
faces against a nearby column and suddenly, a
hand that God will bless tapped me.
Wetin dey do you? Okon asked me
I explained my ordeal and after this he invited me to
Uncle okon is the security man of my uncle, he is
very funny and so he taught me very well. Come
and see how he was explaining everything to me.
“Why didn’t my aunty teach me”, its probably
because she’s an itibolibo. Iti or itibolibo is an IBO
word for Olodo. And so we laughed.
Months passed, years passed, uncle Okon became
my favorite uncle and source of encouragement, he
became my best friend. And I would always run to
him each time I have an assignment. We shared
stories and he’ll always tell me to never give up on
years later, Uncle Okon got married and moved
away from our house, I had become a graduate and
worked with one of the popular oil companies in
Nigeria. I had 2 cars and a house of my own.
So I decided to visit uncle Okon, I saw his living
condition, he’s not bad, but I felt he needed more,
his son is not 10 years old, his other son is about 7
and his daughter is still in pre-nursey 1.
Remembering what uncle Okon had done for me
years back, I suddenly saw how much I need to
touch his life too.
Uncle, this is a check of #350,000, I want you to be
using this to take care of your children’s school
fees. You’re getting old and so I’ve had a savings
account created in your name, you’ll get a monthly
#50,000 for your upkeep and this is a mobile phone
with which you can reach me anytime you need
Uncle okon prayed for me in Yoruba, Calabar
language and he even surprised me when he
prayed for me in IBO language.
My aunty, yes the fine aunty actually didn’t go to
school and so, she didn’t understand those things
from back in the days.
I understood her reason for that monk that day but
she would have just said “I don’t know it oo”. On
the other hand, if she hadn’t knocked my head, if I
hadn’t cried because of the big konk she placed on
my head, I wouldn’t have been touched by my kind
uncle Okon and who knows what would have
become of my love for engineering.
The little things you’re able to do for a young chap,
never complain doing them, do them with all
happiness because they never go for waste.
The memory of a young child always grows with
him and those in that memory, he’ll always
You have that child in your class as a teacher, he’s
not so good in maths, do you push him aside and go for the intelligent ones? That’s wrong, draw him
close, if he doesn’t reward you later, your Chi will
reward you, if his Chi forget,l to reward you, your
own Chi will definitely not forget.
Even if you’re not a teacher, seek out the younger
ones around you, make them smile, tend to their
needs and when they grow up, you’ll always be the
one they’ll remember. You’ll always be the reason
they smile no matter what they’re going through.