0n the 9th day of January, 1984, at hours between 12am and 12.30am, a child was delivered and was brought into mother earth. In his mother’s womb, he had suffered thirst and hunger; heat and cold; sour, bitter and sweet; tiredness, discomfort, indigestion and perhaps toxic illness. He was so fortunate that he did not complete his life span without ever setting foot into this world of rock and ether. This child, who was confirmed a boy, was coming with great ambitions, desires; above all to achieve greatness. He knew from his mother’s womb that greatness could be achieved either by being born great, being made great; or achieving greatness. He chose to achieve greatness because that’s the most important part of greatness.
He thought he was coming to world of comfort; a ritzy world; world full of roses. But he did not know his world would be full of cheats; backbites; miseries; disappointments; sorrows; man’s inhumanity to man; malevolence; what you’ve got!!! He was neither born great nor was made to be great; may be he knew of these, that was why he chose to achieve greatness.
His father was a great man in his own wisdom. He strived valiantly to break into the threshold of greatness, but his life was cut short by some unforeseen titanic forces of the evil. Even at the point his work was done, he believed and still believes in his immortality that his five “wannabe” great men and a “jewel” will achieve those he could not achieve.
He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth like other children. He toddled on a sandy soil full of rough and tiny stones; not on a rug or carpet. He has been much familiar with the rough side of life, that gives a clear picture of why he is never chagrined whenever he faces ugly situations; he is too familiar with them. Growing up as a kid was not easy at all. Though, his father was an average gentle man; he provided all the family needed and offset family bills at that time before the surface became rough. The rough side of life started after his father’s retirement from public service in 1989 and subsequent creation of states in 1991 which demanded that teachers should go back to their states of origin. His mother has been a teacher since early 1980’s and as a result of the circumstance, the family had to relocate to their state of origin, Onitsha to be precise, and thus started a new phase of life. The apartment they all kicked in to move up for was not really a nice place. You can imagine where a family of father, mother, five guys and a girl put up at a room apartment. Nobody had his or her own bed or closet, instead, they had a pile everyone respected for each other. They slept on the floor, sometimes on the corridor depending on when you got home because there was no enough space.
He cannot lose memories of being a 12-year-old lad, now living in a two-bedroom apartment, who had traded in various forms street peddle. He would come back from school and the next thing would be to put on his head his own portion of wares, sometimes with the school short on, to the market. You dare not ask for food before hitting the streets with the wares, of course you would be disappointment to hear that none had been prepared because what to eat depended on what was sold. He had much more confidence in peddling “Akara” (a round bean cake) and bread than in peddling Igbo cola nuts (Oji Igbo). He had as much doubt as confidence. Each time he went out with his wares, he always prayed his confidence would win over his doubts because if you eventually came back home without much sales, you would be ready to go bed with an empty stomach. That was just a motivation word in your ears!!!
His father left nothing but words full of wisdom. These words can make one successful if one abides and lives by them. This man lived all his life in Marxian principles; he lived as a Marxist. He believed that having the right people are more important than wealth ( onye nwelu mmadu ka onye nwelu ego). It was really awesome to have listened to his quiet moments. Of all his wise sayings, the one that touches me most is the one he said often whenever he became sour: “ I am hoping that I will find no Jews or Gentiles, Catholics or Protestants, Germans, Englishmen or Frenchmen- In short, no whites, no reds, no blacks and all that, when I shall have crossed the bar to the other side. I am hoping that I will find there only human souls, brothers and sisters all, unmarked by race, creed or colour, for I shall want to be done with intolerance so I may Rest in Peace throughout eternity. I am sure he is in peace in eternity now!!!