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.

**************************************

Read, like, suggest, submit, comment, share, retweet , follow @Dr_Gibsoon . Thanks.

Advertisements

61 thoughts on “The Irony Of Life

  1. Touching….indeed the bright future of dt young man was dimmed.all hopes lost.bt who wil whisper into d ears of these so called Government???

  2. Awwwwwww,,,this is soo touching!God Bless You 4this Write-Up Gideon! I do hope this message gets across to the GOVERNMENT!!They should listen to the voice of the Citizens..those who are in need…they should not kill the dreams of the young 1s coming behind…………..the leaders of tomorrow..:(

  3. This potrays the real scenarios in our society today…apparently we don’t have a government that cares. And Unfortunately, life does not serve us what we really deserve… Nice write up!

  4. This actually potrays the real scenario in our society. Apparently, we do not have a government that cares and unfortunately life doesn’t serve us with what we deserve. Nice one Dr_Gibson!

  5. Nice write up bro… God would help this country get better… Buh no matter what, some people would still get affected… Sad but true :(…

  6. I thought I won’t be able to read all but I was swayed by your line of thoughts which the story depicted. On point piece.

  7. i love reading… i walked for 5 minutes in Aniefon’s shoes … words cannot truly convey the extent of our emotions especially tragedies.

  8. Whoever wrote this should buzz me on twitter @princeoreshade. We can raise more than enough funds for this bro. And this story will trend. We will have changed a life. And a life can save a nation. Obama is a Life and so is Aniefon. Cheers!

  9. such a great write up. It really tell about the sufferings of a common man. How i wish the ‘government’ could see stuffs like this, perchance it can blow ‘some sense’ into ’em. Kudos Gid.

  10. “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” #deep

    Indeed a heart melting story.

  11. Wow am so shocked and at d point of tears, our govt is wasteful,inconsiderate,wicked and devilish… May God unleash on them all that come during elections wit lies and deceit fire and plagues of egypt.. All bcoz of 35 thousand a young doctor has been wasted coZ a wicked Gov came in and increased tuition fees… Plz is Aniefon’s admission still opened, so we can all rally round and support his dreams.. Gideon plz let’s know the state of Aniefon presently..

  12. This is soooo touching…so many people are just like Aniefon. Its sad that the ppl we vote into power deprive the average Nigerian access to Education. They keep increasing the fees yet their own kids enjoy education overseas. Great Job Doc

  13. This is really touching. There should be something we can do for him; please try to contact Aniefon… And I know God will deliver us from our ‘government’

  14. And the tears rolled down……very touching. I wish this can be read to the hearing of our leaders. If we could just have a meeting of all leaders and politicians and read this piece to them. Just this. I’m sure it will change some of them……May God save us all. Thanks Dr_gibsoon. God save Nigeria

  15. Awwwwwww,This is so touching ⌣̩_⌣ I’m almost in tears right now. If only he had known….. I keep wondering what has hapnd to dat guy nw,,,

  16. E!,the story was so smypathetic and heart touching.But we pray that God should give us leader who have feeling for lay man and understanding so that the vision,ambtion and destiny of many will not be cut off.despite the all odds we were not relent on them but God a failure today can be archeiver tomorrow keep on moving for things will get better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s