The Irony Of Life

To a genius, a great friend.

NB:- This is a true life story. Read it with passion.


I first saw him at the state government university clinic, we were the new in-takes. “Freshers” as we were called then, we have been offered admission and we were directed there to do our medicals as part of our registration. His course was medicine and surgery, he was lucky to be given the “Almighty MBBS” on merit, that was my first choice course too but instead I was offered MCB. It came as a huge blow to me, a difficult pill to swallow, but I had to accept my fate, some others did not meet the cut off mark on merit but they wriggled their way through because of their wealthy parents, I was qualified enough too, but that is my country for you, after all I waited, I tried for 3years before I could finally manage to get this.

Most of the students, could not stop staring at him, some were even mocking him, the reason was clear -amongst the crowd he was the only one that appeared awkwardly different. With his locally made “adire” shirt, well ironed khaki trouser and a red colored shoe, his combinations were odd, obviously he came from a remote village some where, but to him, it did not matter. The most captivating thing about him was that, he ignored the prying eyes, he did not care, his self-confidence was admirable, he wore the clothes so proudly, so graciously. After our 100levels, he came out top in his department and over-all best in our faculty, he was the only one that made a first-class in his CGPA at that level, this was a shock to all. He is supposed to be a village man, have we misjudged his capabilities? or how then could he be so intelligent? I felt challenged. I told my friends and we got closer to him, even though our departments differ, we got to know him better and the revelations we unraveled were quite shocking.


His name was Aniefon Nsima, 21, he hailed from a village, very far away, in a part of the country where civilization was a myth. He had 3 younger siblings, his aging father was a peasant farmer, his mother a primary school teacher, her take home was a paltry 3 thousand Naira monthly- they were very poor. After his secondary school at community high school, he had to do all kinds of menial jobs to raise funds, from farming, to selling farm produce, to palm oil processing and even bricklaying to support the family, before he could further his education. So when ultimately, he gained admission into our university two years later to study medicine, the whole village went agog, ecstatic, joyous, he was the first in he history of the village to achieve that remarkable feat. But there was a draw-back, his parents could not afford the 7thousand Naira tuition fee, 2thousand Naira acceptance fee and 3 thousand Naira registration fee (12 thousand Naira) all needed for him to take off. The village chiefs had to hold an emergency meeting, the opportunity must not go to waste, they agreed that there will be a token donation every semester, specially for Aniefon to support his education, after all the village will benefit from him when he becomes a qualified medical doctor.

**Till date, I still find it hard to believe that in this country of ours, a group of people can be that poor, so helpless, it is so sad, so pathetic**

Every semester, when most of the students brought provisions, new clothes, new phones, laptops to school. Aniefon will trudge in a big sack containing:- cocoa-yam, garri, plantain, fruits and other farm produce that each villager could give him, the entire village practically sponsored his education. I helped him in any way I could, I pitied him. He was humble, unbiased about any religion, after lectures we shared ideas under the palm tree shade, he had no close friends, he could not afford a phone, no parties, his only sport was football which he played once in a while, he avoided distractions. Looking at him, you could feel the weight of the responsibilities on his shoulders, his family was all he muttered consistently, his village was all he thought of passionately. I can recall he told me on several occasions: “Gideon, they are the reason why I am here”.

During free periods, he was always in the library or in his off- campus abode in town, close to the locals, the indigenes. It was very far from school, he could not afford the luxury of the exorbitant hostel fees- so he trekked the long distance to school everyday. He was industrious, his future was assuredly bright, everything looked perfect, until something unpredictable happened,a misfortune that changed everything.

It was the national general elections. The atmosphere was charged, the polity heated up, even the state gubernatorial was to be keenly contested, tension was really in the air. So the Federal government directed all institutions in the country to strictly comply with the compulsory 2 weeks break, for security reasons. Most students traveled home to vote for the president or governor of their choice. I and my friends stayed back, so I informed my parents that I won’t be coming home. Things were cheaper when most students traveled, school will be fun, we thought. Moreover, we had lost faith in the government, they are our enemies, after all most of them were corrupt politicians, we did not plan to vote, but Aniefon in his charismatic and ever patriotic manner told us that we will be breaking the law if we do not vote, “that is what my father taught me, to be a true patriot” he said. He persuaded us to vote that april, in the end, reluctantly we all did, we voted in school.

If only he knew that would turn out to be the greatest mistake of his life.


Three months after the same governor we voted in to power assumed office, he increased our tuition fee from 7thousand to a whopping 45 thousand Naira! More than 6 times the previous fee. Most students went on rampage, unleashing mayhem, destroying school properties, showing total disgust, the news was repugnant to all, others went to the governor’s office to make known their grievances, 3 students died in the ensuing melee as trigger-happy policemen discharged shots sporadically, the S.U.G flared up, even the local news media took it up, strike commenced indefinitely, this time all the students were forced to go home, the town suddenly went dry, the school was shut down.


The dust gradually settled 3 weeks later, school
resumed slowly for our second year final exams, but only 10 thousand Naira was deducted from the fee, it was now 35 thousand Naira per semester. Rumors were flying around that the S.U.G president had been bribed by the governor to stop the protests- it was true. Aniefon was sorrowful after the final 200level exams, it was glaring, I knew why. When he traveled home during the strike, he told his parents and village kindred the unfortunate news of the tuition increment, they broke down, they tried to sought for other means to raise more cash but there was none. They used to struggle to pay the 7thousand through contributions, now it is 35thousand, they just couldn’t afford it, the implication was grave, the decision unanimously sad but obvious- Aniefon was to withdraw from the university. On our part, we rallied round for support and various ideas to raise money and contribute for him to continue, but for how long? Medicine was a 6years course and the fees will only keep increasing as he goes on, most students in my school came from average families. The H.O.D, Dean and even lecturers were our last resort, but they too will have none of it, they could not even give him preference as the best student, we were frustrated. For Aniefon, there was no way back now, it was game over, his road will be terminated untimely, just like some other students who withdrew, his journey had ended prematurely.


As the rickety bus halted and parked. An old frail looking man, the driver began to load, the waiting passengers rushed in a flurry. Aniefon packed what was left of his short, unfortunate but memorable 2years stay inside the miniature vehicle; a mat, food sacks, box of books, old clothes and other things, I was too shocked to help him. I stood there, speechless as the bus drove slowly down the bumpy slope, Aniefon waved with tears in eyes, I could not move, my gaze became hazy, my mouth agape, a far cry from what I imagined, like someone in a trance, now a shadow of my real self, I was transfixed.

The bus disappeared from sight, that was when reality dawned on me. It was all over, this life is an irony, it felt like a dream, the most intelligent student in the university was gone forever, undone by the same government he sacrificed for, by the same man he vouched for at the polls, his bright future dimmed, his destiny distorted, his pedigree trampled upon, his reputation soiled, the dream of his family botched, the hopes of his village dashed! A generation thrown into oblivion.


A year later, reminiscing under the palm tree shade opposite the faculty building where we used to study together, I saw a crowd gathering, focusing on the notice board, I arose to see what was happening. The 300 level results had just been released, 47 students were expelled, some for exam malpractice, some for secret cult activities, some for poor performance and others for gross misconduct, amongst them were students from wealthy homes who paid their way into the university by crook, during our 100levels. I went cold, sober, it sent shivers down my spine, I turned to leave, but I saw Mariam crying, she was his course mate. I tried to console her as she said amidst tears; “If only Aniefon was here, he would never have wasted the golden opportunities that these expelled students had”. My heart was weeping heavily, bitterly, I could feel the hot liquid boiling, threatening desperately to gush out of my eyes, but I controlled myself, I am the man here I thought, I must not cry too, at least not here, not now. I held her tight and said: sorry.


*PS:- ”In the corridors of hope, lies the remains of those that worked, hoped, wished and waited patiently for a better day, but in waiting, they died”. Dr_Gibsoon.

We need a Government that cares consciously
for the plight of the common man and appreciate their votes, people that are willing to help each other and co-operate in peace to achieve their collective dreams, finally, a nation that sees as well as treats every ordinary man, both rich and poor as equals.


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The Significance Of Valentine.

Standing over my window, over looking the wet mist fumes of the early morning dew evaporate into the morning light, I wished for a great day. It was february 13th valentine’s eve, I was hoping that for once this val will be better. For years now my valentine’s day have all ended on a solemn note, a sober mood, with nothing to celebrate except a fulfilled heart.
I was returning from the well, 3 houses away where I went to fetch water when a little voice greeted me.”Good morning sir”, I turned and replied, good morning boy.”You are always in a hurry to the lecture room, this is the first time you are replying my greeting in over a year now, it means the end is near”. I was stunned, what do u mean?I asked him. Will you be my val? he said. I smiled but, just then the father of the boy came out of the house- He turned out to be my “MCB” Lecturer! What a co-incidence! He was surprised to see me too, we greeted and he told me a little about his son, TIMI–“He is an SS(Sickle Cell anaemia patient), his mother my wife died from the same illness some years Ago”: he said sadly. I stood there in bewilderment, at how such an intelligent boy will soon die at such a young age.

I came back early from lectures that day, the thought of the dying boy did not make me concentrate, my memory was clouded. In school, my friends reminded me of the faculty party coming up the next day february 14th, my girlfriend had also been planning big for our most romantic date ever, also on Valentine, for me I was not sure anymore. I went straight to Timi’s house, there I found the doctor battling to save his life, his condition had worsened. I held his hands, he opened his eyes and smiled. It was 1pm, we talked about his late mum, his school, his ambitions and my family till 10pm that night. When I rose to leave, he gave me a book titled “Flying with the Angels” and asked me to read it soonest. I was tired when I reached my hostel so I went straight To bed..At exactly 5am a loud voice resonated in my room, I jolted from Sleep but saw no one except the book Timi gave me. I opened the first chapter, it read; “My own valentine ended on february 13th”. I turned to the back page: “Thanks for the love,GOODBYE”. When I checked the Author, it was him! The 7yr old Timi wrote it! Like someone deranged, I bolted out of the room, running carelessly towards his house, hoping I will salvage whatever is left , but I halted in my tracks midway through, there I could see Timi’s father my lecturer sitted outside, crying profusely, weeping uncontrollably, I did not bother to go closer Or ask, it was crystal clear, obvious. The worst had happened, at exactly [11:58pm February 13th] 2mins to valentine’s day; Timi had died.
Now mentally imbalanced, I wandered into the woods that valentine, wondering If timi is truly flying with the angels as he had written in his book, maybe if I knew him earlier and showed him love he would have lived a little longer, his brilliance, his dreams, his hopes all gone, his father was always too busy to have time for him, I thought of others like him that needed love on their death bed but had none, tears flowed freely from my eyes. My girlfriend and my friends called me 43times that valentine, all to no avail.
The next day I apologised to my friends but I refused to tell them what happend the previous day. My girlfriend was in tears, the best thing to do was break up, I remember she told me I just can’t love a girl, it didn’t matter, I was getting used to these kind of unstable relationships -comittment is a big Issue I thought .I was at fault so I pleaded with her to forgive me, she said nothing. Late Timi was still on my mind, so I left. I determined there and then, that my next valentine’s day must be a happy one, away from sadness, to more fun, but I was wrong. The next two valentine saw me and others sharing The Holy Bible to prison inmates, donating to an orphanage and trying to give hope to the hopeless. It wasn’t all fun but it was fulfilling.

*PS :- Valentine is NOT only a time to show love to those closest to you because you will always have Them. It is also a period to show love to those who need love the most but have no one to love them, for you may not have them for long. Finally, It’s a time to sacrifice, to love those who can never love you back. For me, everyday is a valentine. The circle continues.
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“What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies
within us” ~~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Welcome to…TRUE LIFE STORIES BLOG. I am your humble host. whew! blogging with a pen feels so 1720! *drops pen* *picks up device* phew! This is a whole lot better. Before you continue, may I kindly advice that you should never expect too much else, you will be disappointed, never expect too little either for you will be overwhelmed. Rather, be Optimistic, have a blank but positive mind-set and as you read on, it gradually fills Up.

After years of online blogging experience, all that matters now is the truth at its best, reality at its peak, imagination at the Apex Point, great soulful lessons from the heart, laughter and tears flowing, fun and fairy tales in droves, with every other thing you can dream of, plus it’s right here! We put in our best and hopefully we won’t let you down. It is not about me, it is also about you, it is not about you alone but about us, not totally about us but about TRUE LIFE STORIES BLOG.

*NB :- Posts in this blog are 100% TRUE LIFE STORIES.


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