Saturday, March 13, 2010

Station Hell

“Prof,”called the female officer to my Dad, “I’m sorry but we will need to take Timothy with us to the CID office to throw more light on this case”.  My dad didn’t hesitate. He got up and got dressed. I was already dressed in my school uniform. I didn’t change. Mum came along to with my elder brother behind the wheel.

I sat still through the ride, looking out the window like I hadn’t seen my hometown before. I held on to my mum as the sole source of strength around. She seemed strong and somehow her strength seemed to rub off on me. With her by my side I knew I would be just fine. I had to be. As we drove past my school, I wondered when next I would be in those small classrooms sketching insects in biology class. From what I could overhear the cops telling my Dad, it wouldn’t be long before i found myself back home. It was just one of those in and out cases, just a simple routine that didn’t really mean much. Really. Part of a bigger picture. A formality of sorts. Nothing to really get bothered about. From that point I started to get a bit excited. I would be at school the next day with a story to tell. I would be the guy that got picked by the cops but somehow came out without a scratch. I could twist the story in any manner I chose to and I would be the hero. Boy! The things teenagers find exciting. What in the world is heroic about being arrested by the cops! That’s just horrible. Scary even.

We arrived at the state police command at about 9am that morning. Uniformed police men with Guns and helmets were stationed all over the premises. The place looked like a war camp out of the CNN. Not a place for a kid really. A few sad looking women sat on the floor outside. Obviously relations to someone on the inside. They didn’t look very optimistic though.

“Prof,”called the female officer to my Dad, “I’m sorry but we will need to take Timothy with us to the CID office to throw more light on this case”.  My dad didn’t hesitate. He got up and got dressed. I was already dressed in my school uniform. I didn’t change. Mum came along to with my elder brother behind the wheel.

I sat still through the ride, looking out the window like I hadn’t seen my hometown before. I held on to my mum as the sole source of strength around. She seemed strong and somehow her strength seemed to rub off on me. With her by my side I knew I would be just fine. I had to be. As we drove past my school, I wondered when next I would be in those small classrooms sketching insects in biology class. From what I could overhear the cops telling my Dad, it wouldn’t be long before i found myself back home. It was just one of those in and out cases, just a simple routine that didn’t really mean much. Really. Part of a bigger picture. A formality of sorts. Nothing to really get bothered about. From that point I started to get a bit excited. I would be at school the next day with a story to tell. I would be the guy that got picked by the cops but somehow came out without a scratch. I could twist the story in any manner I chose to and I would be the hero. Boy! The things teenagers find exciting. What in the world is heroic about being arrested by the cops! That’s just horrible. Scary even.

We arrived at the state police command at about 9am that morning. Uniformed police men with Guns and helmets were stationed all over the premises. The place looked like a war camp out of the CNN. Not a place for a kid really. A few sad looking women sat on the floor outside. Obviously relations to someone on the inside. They didn’t look very optimistic though.

Notebook please?

I got ready for school the next morning with bags under my eyes and a feverish feeling. I was nervous and expectedly so. I was a 17 year old wanted for questioning by the authorities. This was no ordinary morning. This was one of those days that would need me to be at my best behavior. At exactly 7:30am, just after having a breakfast that was extremely difficult to swallow and would probably be more difficult to digest, we heard a knock on the gate outside. I ran to the window to peep. Sure enough, it was them. Three dark shapes loomed tall above my younger brother as he opened the gate for the cops. They looked menacing. As they stepped into the sitting room, I had a clear picture of what they looked like. They were three in number; two inspectors and a corporal. Scariest of them all was the man on the left. He was big. Very big. He had on an air of authority that made my stomach curl. To his right was the less menacing lady. I could smell some sort of trickery in her smile though, but she looked more appealing to me as trickery was much more welcome than pure evil to a teenager. The last was the copral. He seemed overshadowed by the presence of the other two and didn’t say much throughout the visit. The officers introduced themselves and asked to see my Dad. Dad stepped out with confidence to meet them. He hadn’t done anything wrong and neither did his son. He had a clean record and was a great father. His integrity could not be faltered so why wouldn’t he stand up to these invaders of his home? After the introductions, I was called to meet the officers. They asked me my name, age and if I knew any Charlie. I told them I did. For a what seemed like an eternity, the big officer stared me in the eye. Apparently, he was trying to unnerve me into saying something more. I didn’t. there was nothing more to say. For a moment, I felt I was off the hook. I had been let loose. The noose was off and I had stood my ground. I was wrong. The next question threw me off balance. The cops wanted to see a copy of my notebook. My notebook? Were the cops interested in biology or were they trying to figure out which days I had been in school and which days I hadn’t? it just didn’t make much sense. I went in to get my very best notebook, my biology note. It was well wrapped in calendar paper and had my name boldly written on the cover page. Mom walked in with me. She had been quiet the whole time. Holding my hand and my sisters hand, she stopped me from going out. “lets pray” she said. I could feel her grip tighten as she called on God to see us through this experience quickly. Our family had never been involved with the police. This was a first time. It was going to be swift, painless and a lesson to learn from. I consented in prayer and kissed her goodbye before heading back into the living room with the note. The smile on the inspectors face after going through my note told me that they had found what it was they were looking for.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 5th 1997

I woke up that morning with a feverish feeling. I was nervous. My palms were sweaty and I could hear myself breathe. The visit of the police to GTA the day before with inquiries about my whereabouts unnerved me. I had been sitting in the Math class, going through the motions of quadrilateral equations when the vice principal, Mrs. Oluwatoyin, walked in and had me pulled out. she had unpleasant news. The Police were outside the school premises asking for me. She said it had to do with the death of one young boy at the university secondary school. One Charles. I told her all that I knew and even re-assured her that all would be well as I hadn’t heard from Charlie in a while. I didn’t know where he lived and I definitely had no idea why anyone would even think I had something to do with his murder. Most likely, this was just a routine questioning of students close to Charlie. I would be fine. She disagreed. The wisdom of elders can only continue to outstand kids. At the time, I didn’t see any reason why she wouldn’t want me to see the cops. I didn’t do anything wrong. She however insisted that rather being picked up from school, I should go home and get picked up by the cops where my parents would be involved. It was a wise move that would probably save my life. So she sent me home through the back gate and after about 15 minutes informed the cops that I wasn’t in school today. I had been feeling slightly feverish the day before and so I was probably at home sick. She asked them to give her a few more minutes while she dug up my house address.

I got home early that day and explained to Mom what had happened. Dad returned from a business trip at Lagos a few hours later. When Mom broke the news to him, I noticed his countenance fall. He wasn’t happy. He had moved me out of University secondary school to ensure I didn’t get influenced by its ‘’dirt’’. A few hours later, he called me into the bedroom and asked me a few questions. Staring deep into my eyes, he asked me what I knew about the death of Charlie. I told him everything I knew. I didn’t even know where the kid lived. I had spoken to him in a long while and it was totally out of place for me to want to harm him in any way. I know my dad believed me, but I could still tell he was worried. What he couldn’t figure out was why his son would even be picked up at all in relation to this murder case. What was that all about? He had pulled his son out of that school before the incident happened. What was the relationship between him and the dead kid. Something was wrong and he knew it. He racked his academic brain for hours but couldn’t think it up. So we waited for the cops to arrive. A few hours had elapsed since I had gotten home, so we reckoned that they wouldn’t make it that day. I slept that night with a strange feeling in my Gut. I guess it was contagious and I had picked it up from my Dad. Something was wrong somewhere. Tossing and turning in my bed, I got reminded of the grim circumstances of Charles disappearance and death. I felt spent. Why did I have to be reminded of this all over again? Why did I have to face the pain all over again? More importantly, what did the cops want with me?


I heard the news from Sam first. Charlie had been missing for 2 days and counting. His parents must have been distraught and they promised the world all they had if anyone could give information that would lead to the recovery of their son.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t really worried when I heard. I don’t know why I just felt that Charlie had absconded with a couple of mates and was going to return in a few days, slightly drunk but reliving the experience of fun and booze in their heads for a long time. I was confident that he would return and make everyone look really stupid for worrying. I was wrong.

Charlie was declared dead on the 13th of February 1997. His battered body had been found in an uncompleted building not far from his home. He had only been found because the stench of his decaying body had drawn attention. The police were called in and Charlie was identified. He had been stabbed repeatedly all over his body. The coroner’s report painted a very grim incident that involved at least two assailants. One grabbed him from behind with a wire, strangling him, while another stabbed him at really vital locations. It was a gory picture and the whole city stood still at the level of violence inflicted on the kid.

I heard the news soon enough. Firstly, Sam whispered it to me at school, then my brother who was still a student of my former high school brought the news home with a note from nick. It was true. Charlie was dead. I ran into the room and didn’t come out till in the evening. I cried for hours and couldn’t eat anything. It was my first loss and it felt even more bitter than repeating the 5th grade. It was painful and I couldn’t bring myself to understand why anyone would want to do this to Charlie. It just didn’t make much sense. It just didn’t fit. He had so much to look forward to. All of a sudden, things changed. My posse was broken. One of our crew had been deleted. For a 17 year old, the pain was just too much.

My parents and siblings did what they could to cheer me up. With each condolence whisper I received, a fresh well of tears would build up in my eyes and I would run back into the room. I wasn’t sure I could go to school for a while. It would take a long time, a very long time to heal. Even right now, as I write this book, I can almost feel the same piercing pain that tore through my stomach that day. It’s a feeling that sticks with a teenager for a long time. Death is inevitable yes, but I think for children who have gotten old enough to understand what death meant, it was important that a failsafe system be set in motion to make the realities easier. The effects that the passing away of a loved one has on a child are numerous. Depression, mental and physical exhaustion are but a few of the challenges a kid must cope with when a loved one is lost. I took it hard. Very hard.  My mom reacted when the weight loss came in. she made me eat! Of course she would know how to do that. She was a nurse. Dad did his thing by making me understand my loss and re-building my confidence. My siblings did their best in encouraging me. Everyone tried hard. It worked. A few days later I was back on my feet. I was even more committed to life, after all, it could be taken from you at any instant. So why not give it your best shot! I did. Soon the incident was behind me. I was going to make it through. I was going to see Charlie someday in heaven, and I would tell him how much I missed him. For now, I was on earth and I had to go on living. My mind was made up I was sure I would still shine. The dark cloud of Charlie’s death could only slow me down. It couldn’t stop me. Nothing could stop me….or so I thought.


I tore open the envelope with Charlie’s reply the next morning. I was so excited. A note from my man! A reply to mine. How cool. Charlie said hi to myself and Calvin, commented on the teachers, students, posse and all. On the issue of the movie, he simply wrote. ‘’C’mon Tim, you know I don’t have Mortal combat. But if I see a copy, I’ll send it through Sam to you…’’

Charlie was right. He didn’t have the movie I asked for. It was pretty scarce at the time. I had asked for it because I knew it would draw a comment from him. He ended the letter by sending his regards to my parents and that was it. 

The reply meant so much to me. I had connected with my man. It made me feel alive and hopeful for the future. I felt a renewed strength in me as I folded up the letter and put it….now that was exactly the problem. I didn’t and still do not remember where I put that note. I guess i just carelessly threw it away. Or maybe I kept it so safely somewhere at school that I didn’t know where. Charlie’s reply was lost but I wasn’t too hurt when I found out. I had heard from him anyway so it didn’t matter much. Or so I thought. What Charlie forgot to tell me in his reply was the fact that he had changed slightly. He had new friends. He had left the posse and was now somehow involved with a different crop of friends.  I guess Dad was pretty smart to move me out of that school on time. Unfortunately, Charlie didn’t have such a luxury.

In early February of 1997, Charlie was declared missing by his parents. A state wide search was embarked upon by the security forces. Kids were interviewed at my former school and teachers asked to explain what they knew. They knew very little. Downtown, in the small community where Charlie lived, young boys were picked on randomly. All was being done to figure out what exactly happened to the promising young man. He was last sighted one evening, when he walked out of the house, informing his family that he was going to get a few kegs of fresh water for house use. Yes, water. Most households did not have the luxury of privately owned boreholes at the time and the state water service could not be relied upon. So most kids spent their evenings at designated pumps, collecting water for their families. Usually, they would carry these on their heads or push it on a wheel barrow. Either way, it was hard work, but it was hard work that the kids had gotten used to. Charlie went foraging for water, but unfortunately he never came back.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


It was in one of these many English class reviews between myself, sam and a few others that I was asked why I left my other school. Of course I bent the truth. I wasn’t proud of my past so why should I spill it. I told my peers that I had problems with a couple of students and teachers and so my dad felt it was best I left. I even painted a very pretty picture of my former school, convincing my peers that we were all rich kids who had thousands of naira to throw around and didn’t give a hoot what anyone said. Not even the principal. Everyone in the room felt that this was nothing but sheer paradise and wished that they had attended that school and not GTA. Up on till this time though, sam had no idea what school I had attended before now. when he asked, I proudly told him. This was the beginning of my problem. A link was established to a past that ought to have been forgotten. I was too young and stuck up to realize this though and I found myself getting excited when he told me that he was next door neighbors to one Charlie who attended my former school. I couldn’t hold back my excitement and sure enough, my excitement was well watered. It was my Charlie! He lived right next to Sam! Imagine that! What a pleasant coincidence. This was my opportunity to keep a really dear link open. I was going to be re-united, one way or the other, with my friend and former classmate. Without wasting a second, I tore of a sheet from my treasured biology  notebook and started scribbling a note to Charlie. A note that would affect my life and the life of so many others. A note that would change the way I saw life. A note that would bring me close to the brink of death. It was such important note, written in all innocence but which was about to be dangerously misinterpreted.

I wrote with a speedy frenzy, saying hi to my old pal and asking about everyone back at our former school. I inquired about teachers, our friends, our enemies, our posse and even his girlfriend. Somewhere in the middle of my composition, I ran out of what to say. Looking up, my gaze fell on a smiling face. His name was Calvin, a sweet kid with a bright future. Always punctual and carried a soft smile on his face at all times. Calvin told me that he had overheard what myself and Sam had discussed and that he was familiar with my friend Charlie. They lived about a block away and occasionally ran into each other. Inspiration. I had more to write. I sent unsolicited greeting to Charlie from Calvin and added a line meant to spark memories from the past. It read; ‘’Charlie, you better send my mortal combat film through Sam to me or I will kill you’’. It was such a dumb line, so uncalled for, so unnecessary. Looking back now, I can’t believe I was actually that stupid. I mean, how could I have even written that down? What drug was I on, and how potent was it. A written threat, though drafted in innocence but clearly stating that I intended to harm Charlie. I folded up my note and gave it to Sam with explicit instructions; deliver to Charlie tonight. He did.


I loved  my new school. It offered me an opportunity to express myself amongst my peers and teachers. I became the new kid at school but not in a negative sort of way. I was actually the talk of the school. I was noticed, I was recognized. Though I kept the reason for leaving my former high school to myself, I never failed to intrigue my new admirers on different experiences at my former high school. If there was a ladder here, I never noticed it. Even if I did , I was bound to be at the top. After all, I had a stronger educational background than most here, and I came from a relatively well to do family. The tuition here wasn't as high as my parents were used to, and so the students here represented average families of relatively low income levels.  I was a little king.

I wasn't going to let it get to my head though. I had a lot of proving to do. I needed to prove to Dad that I was capable and that I could never let him down again. I needed to prove to the staff of my former school, as if they cared, that I could do it without them. Most importantly, I needed to prove to myself that I was someone. I needed to start making those dreams come true. Breaking those barriers and forging ahead. This was my time to shine and I was going to make the best of it. So I took to my studies like a ravenous plague, delving into every topic with passion and a flare to excel. In a short period, teachers began to know my name, asking me questions intermittently to make the class even more lively. I would chip in a line of humor here and there, backing it up with knowledge and understanding. Once in a while, a couple of my peers would need attention as they were having problems understanding one or two things in biology or geography.(still my strong points). I would explain to them sometimes with the patience that the teacher didn’t have, making sure they got the message and were able to do it for themselves next time. My ability to draw also helped a lot. My notebooks were amongst the neatest and my diagrams, so big and attractive that teachers used them as points of reference sometimes. Life was at its best and I was at the centre of it all.

Until I met Sampson.

Sampson was huge for a high school kid.  Towering above most of us and our teachers, sampson was a huge hunk of a guy with a charming smile. Contrary to expectations, he was a very gentle kid, who though not very strong at class, seemed very appealing to us 6th year students. Maybe it was his charm. He was the kind of guy you just wanted to be with. Funny enough, he didn’t really know how to say much. His diction wasn’t the best so pidgin English came in handy when it was time to communicate but we liked him that way, and GTA was one school that ensured that everyone was accepted for who they were. Im not really sure if that was what was encouraged by the school authorities or just something that grew out of the fact that we came from diverse backgrounds with varying experiences. Whichever the case though, it worked well for us and we were happy.  His role as an un appointed counselor and confidant soon made him the envy of a few. But even those few accepted the fact that he was doing something they couldn’t-he was a friend to everyone. Whenever you had a challenge at school, all you needed to do was to tell it to sampson. Somehow, your problems were just a lot less that way.  In return, we did what we could for sampson. He never lacked advice or assistance when it came to school work. He was free to spend his time counseling others with the knowledge that someone else was doing his homework. I drew out a lot of his biology diagrams and whenever we could, we assisted him in tests and examinations. This was against the law by the way, but what did we care. We were a family and that’s what brothers and sisters do for one another. The Nigerian educational system is a funny one. Competition is so fierce amongst students that trickery and cheating has become quite a norm. students engage in all sorts of illegal practices to get by. Who could blame them really. Thousands were vying for a chance to get into one of the few reliable universities. A first degree didn’t really mean much, but it was a start. Students were taught to understand that without a formal education, there was no way for them to drive the flashy cars they saw on their streets. Little did they know though, that majority of these flashy cars were not a product of hardwork but of corruption and theft in the corridors of government and power. That didn’t matter to us at the time. What did was that we needed to get into the university to become anything at all. Little did it matter that the universities were interrupted with months of industrial actions by the labour congress and teachers association. What mattered was to get in, and by whatever means possible. Examination questions leaked ahead of time and school leavers who had distinctions in English language couldn’t write the most basic and simplest forms of informal letters. Occasionally, parents, I a bid to see their kids outshine others actually paid for these exam scripts themselves yet we cry today about how corrupt the country has become. 

A new dawn

Dad was a smart man. He sensed that the environment in my high school was not very appropriate for his kid so gave me another chance in a different environment. He sent me to another school to complete my last year. I was as excited as any 16 year old could be. I went into the new school year with unparalleled  joy. A second chance! Who would have thought? New friends, a different ladder and a couple of new subjects too! As part of the emancipation of timothy, I was a given a shot at registering a few art courses. Technically, this switched me from being a pure science student to a social science student. Maybe my calling did not have much to do with physics and chemistry, so though I still registered those courses, I had the option of switching to the art side of things if I didn’t do well. The idea to send me to another school was supported by my Mom, though Emmanuel, my elder brother seemed to have a few reservations. To him it would be better for me to work my way through the same class and learn from my mistakes.  He felt life was about learning. I was yet to learn the valuable lessons required for the next phase of my life. He was probably right, but Dad had the final say, I was simply loving this final say.  

The uniform was different, this time I was dressed in all white and I would have to take the bus to school. So much fun! On the first day, I dragged Mom out insisting that I did not want to be late. I stepped through the gates and I knew things were going to be different. I was going to make a difference that counted for something. I would make those good grades, I would stand out and if there was a ladder, I was bound to be at the top of it. After clearing up my tuition at the accounts department, The principal asked for my name and I told him. He smiled and offered me a warm hand shake to welcome me to the new experience. ‘’Welcome to GTA’’ he said, ‘’this is where world shifters are trained and from the looks of things, you are one of those world shifters”. With a shy smile on my face, I took his hand and shook it confidently. Now I’m not sure if the world shifting speech was just good PR meant to impress my Mom who was standing behind me in the principal’s office, or just a line that he gave to encourage his new students. Whatever it was though, it worked. I believed him. Everything was going to be different from now on. Very different. I was going to be a world shifter. I was going to make a difference. I was still free to do what I loved the most. I was still free to dream.


So there we were. A group of four. With no name…yes. Groups had names then. It was kind of cool to belong to the flash bangs for example. Where FLASH was an acronym for Folusho, Larry,Ahmed,Segun and Harry. Some of the schools biggest bullies. I would say the name flash bangs was pretty appropriate, though I’m quite sure they didn’t come up with that name themselves. 

We met only at school and valued our lecture breaks because it gave us time to talk about our big dreams, comics and what cartoons were burning airwaves. Our parents and guardians never really felt it safe to allow 16 and 17 year olds to go about visiting each other at different ends of town. So after school, we would stroll home together. Nick would stop at his aunts office within the university compound, Tony would take public transport home, Charles got picked up by his Dad or Mum, while I would walk all the way home. I lived relatively close to the school which was situated within the university community.  For a 16 year old though, the distance seemed so long. Especially when walking it alone. 

My educational challenges started when the comic books and movies became much more important than the geography. Then I knew I was in trouble. When I saw my third term result and figured that I was going to have to repeat the grade, I simply froze. I couldn’t walk home that day. My mom, a hardworking nurse at the university health center had to come round and pick me up. I held back my tears for as long as I could that day. When mom arrived, I simply broke down in the car, a blue Volkswagen bug. The shame was way too much for me. How would I survive the agony of seeing my posse step up to the next grade while I struggled with my juniors in the same four walled classroom.?This was besides the teasing and anticipated laughter that would be done in my face by the cool kids who incidentally seemed to easily cross over to the next grade. At that point it seemed the whole world had crumbled. I was headed for a pit hole and no one was holding me back. Mom felt my pain but didn’t spare me the ‘’I told you so’’ look. According to her, I was way too playful and that cost me my future. She was right, but something else was partly responsible. I wasn’t a very strong science student. My dreams to be a medical doctor, encouraged by my dad, found me struggling with the physical sciences. Chemistry was horrible! A work over for Nick. Physics was a plaything for Tony but a nightmare for me. Math was a pain for me but pretty easy for Charlie. My strongest science subject was biology but it just wasn’t enough.  I did very poorly and my dad was very disappointed. In the evening of that sad day, we had one of those father to son conversations that I would never forget. Looking back now, I wish I had recorded each and every one of those conversations. They always stood as a guiding light whenever I was in a fix and still do today. At the end of the little chat I had resolved to face my fears with the courage of a 16 year old…which isn’t much courage at all. I made up my mind to see the whole encounter through not minding what my colleagues may say or think of me. What was the worst that could happen? I would be laughed at, sidelined. I would probably be ignored by my own friends, but I knew I could come back and get it right this time. It was only a matter of time and I still had lots of it. I was only 16 and the world hadn’t come to an end, so what was all the fuss about. I was just going to spend my time pressing the reset button over the period I was given, preparing myself psychologically for the pressures to come. The pressures never came.

the crew

Unfortunately for me at the time I wasn't considered viable material for that posse. My pants didn’t sag low enough, my shoes weren't ankle length and my bag wasn’t the type you carried on your back! Besides, I walked home! What sort of cool kid wouldn’t have a chauffeur driven air conditioned Mercedes pick him up from school? That was just wrong. I didn’t belong. So I took option number two and found my type. Part nerd, part geek, I found my group of followers. Young men who believed in their ability to change the future, like batman did in his most recent DC comic, but were never crazy enough to think that they would blend into the upper echelons of our high school. How ironic. What we didn’t know at the time was that our role models were frauds. They were kids just like us, but they had somewhere in there hunger for elevation and a higher level of appreciation, made themselves believe that they were different.

My subsistent crew consisted of 3 young men about my age, with interestingly different personalities. Personalities that made us almost immediately inseparable.

Nick, was the stronger of the four, physically and psychologically. He seemed to have very few barriers ahead of him. He had this air of defiance about him that made me wonder why he would even decide to hang out with a crew like mine, when he could easily be swimming with the big fish. I met nick in primary school and we kicked it off from day one. An ardent fan of soccer, he had big dreams of playing it big in one the world’s major soccer leagues. At an early age, he would spend time reading about football icons and dreaming about the day when he would be in the lime light, with the crowd cheering.  He grew up with his mom and siblings and was one pretty stubborn kilogram of flesh. Like most kids his age, time was too precious to spend doing nothing. So he spent it wisely ; cartoons, comic books, wrestling and yes of course, soccer. His strongest subject was geography. A passion I shared with him, though probably for different reasons. I simply thought drawing maps and describing rock pedestals was easier, he, on the other hand felt geography connected him to the rest of the world. Uncharted lands that needed to be explored and taken over….

Tony came from a rich home with brothers outside the country. He was used to wealth, and being born in the united kingdom, there was very little that could impress him. He spoke with a slightly British accent and had on a set of very ugly very uncool reading spectacles that made him look 5 times his real age. A slender kid with a strong tendency to slip and fall very often, Tony was good at charming parents. He was so good in the physical sciences that sometimes, teachers asked him for his opinion on things. I remember once when he explained the difference between conduction, convection and radiation in a class of about 38 students. The students were amazed. From that day forward, even the cool kids wanted tony around. At least to help with math.

Charles was the quiet one. His dad, a university professor, groomed him much like my dad raised me. With an understanding that not everything we desire is available to us, so contentment was key. A fan of movies, games and the first one amongst us to have a girlfriend, Charles was really admirable and cool headed. Highly flammable ideas brought up by nick were quickly doused by brother Charlie. I didn’t know much about Charlie really. He mainly kept to himself and wasn’t easily carried away by shinning things. Thinking back now, I believe he was a bit too focused for a 17 year old kid. He got off better with Nick though, maybe because he seemed to compliment Nicks occasional rashness.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In the beginning

Someone once said, we are what we dream. Dream big; end up big. Dream small and remain a small fish in a big pond. Well if you lived in the small community where I grew up, then that would be, a small fish in a small pond. As a kid, I couldn’t boast of the most affluent beginnings. Growing in an average home where everything was just enough. I had food to eat, lots of books to read and a whole lot of wonderful siblings to look up to. Contentment, a virtue so common, yet so difficult to attain, was my watchword.. Some believe that being content meant you were small minded. I felt it was the key to happiness. If I’m okay with what I have, then I wouldn’t go looking for something else which probably already belonged to someone else. However, history is studded with cases of individuals who were not content and their quests for a greener, brighter and ultimately different future, caused them to be the mavericks they are today. So is contentment restrictive and a dream killer? I wonder. Did I mention that everything I had was just enough? Well that would exclude love, because I had too much of that particular essential mineral. Way too much. With parents that thought the world of me, built around me a wall of protection and showered me with tons and tons of biblical scripture, I was the prototype for the perfect man. Groomed to be strong willed, God fearing and ready to take on any challenge the world threw at me. I remember my Mom telling my why hard work was good for me. “ it can’t kill you’’, she would say. It only makes you stronger. She was right. I became strong. Between being bullied by my elder brother once in a while, (something he referred to as training) and working the poultry with sweat and perseverance, I really felt I was well equipped to tackle the challenges of the world. I suppose it’s a characteristic of most 17 year old African males. There seems to be this innate sense of endless possibilities that makes a young man believe that he could do anything and was prepared for everything.
I wasn’t prepared for what was coming though.
Having done poorly in my 5th year at high school, Dad decided that it was time to change my environment. I was way too comfortable at school, hanging around, rich kids with affluent parents and all sorts of covetable toys. I never had a video game of my own and here I was being told what it was like to deliver a three hit combo on mortal combat! Sounded like fun, but fun that I wasn’t rich enough to afford. So in a bid to keep up, I spent most of my time being the playful kid, rather likeable but mostly shy. Striving to be noticed in a jungle full of much more presentable and marketable material-my peers.
My high school, like most others was a ladder. Those at the top, also known as the cool ones, strived to stay there. Those at the bottom did one of two things; either they made up their minds to get to the top of the ladder at whatever cost or just found individuals who were like them in a way and made do with these seemingly mediocre and inconsequential relationships. Let me take out time to define cool by the way. To be cool meant to be a member of a group of well dressed, (tell me how well dressed you could possibly be when all the students wore the same pink and purple uniform?) from a rich home and to speak with a funny accent attributed to only the high class. Thinking back now, I clearly understand how classes are formed in the world today.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Six Weeks

Hello and welcome to the web page of Timothy Igbinosun, Author of Six weeks. Six weeks, a fast spreading E-book on the travails and trials of the Author, pushes the mind beyond limits and encourages success by simply believing in ones inner strengths. 
Around the world today, lots of people have settled for less. This blog has been put up to ensure that you do just the opposite.

You are welcome to new a experience of strength and extraordinary achievements. Do enjoy yourself and be ready to make a huge difference.