The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
I waited patiently as the phone loaded slowly due to the poor network. Believe me, network is always very slow whenever one wants to check result.
It was my third post UTME in the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University. My first and second post UTME result was 168 and 199 respectively, i could remember vividly that my mum (who gathered money from her petty trade of fruits) said to me having seen my second trial result “If only they were so nice to add one mark, you would have gotten 200″.
Well, she was very sad, but she still encouraged me (without even talking about the money with which she obtained the form for me). She just said that i should try more, she said ” ti esin ba da ni, a maan tun gun ni” which means that; when a horse makes one fall, we try climbing again. . .
I was so lost in thought, all i could think of was my mum who had been struggling to make me someone in life. She has been doing all these alone since i lost my father when i was ten in a fatal accident along Lagos-Ibadan express way (that was some 8 years back). Since I’m the only child, she has only shown me so much care and affection, and i can’t afford to fail post utme the third time. . .
All these was going through my mind, and my thoughts were too crowded to notice that the result has loaded, and is right on the screen staring at me. I snapped out of my thoughts to discover that ‘the bridegroom’ is here, all i needed to do was to ‘zoom’ on my outdated Blackberry tour that i bought (3000 Naira, UK used) with my life savings. Trembling with so much fear, i pressed the middle key, there came my result. I looked at it, and behold. . . .
The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
Trembling with so much fear, i pressed the middle key, there came my result. I looked at it, and behold, it was ‘255’.
I shouted so loud, that my mum heard my voice in the shop “Thank you Jesus” I couldn’t believe my eyes, with a JAMB score of 235, that is an aggregate (Jamb+postutme divided by 2) of 245 which is enough to study microbiology (my first choice) since the cutoff for microbiology the previous year was 240.
I started rolling on the floor with so much Joy. My mother (who had heard my voice earlier) came in. “Dapo what is it” she enquired. I just gave my phone to her, then she saw my result, no adjective can qualify the look on her face on that fateful day, she was just too happy as she didn’t know what to say. She opened her mouth, and what came out was “ose oko mi” as tears of joy started rolling down her both chicks. This means; “thank you my husband”. (This is how Yoruba mothers do when they are very happy with you, they call you “oko mi” which means “my husband”)
Well, I’m her husband, since she has lost her husband since 8 years and I’m the only one she has. “I knew you will make it”, she said to me, hugging me tight with so much Joy. She went to the market, bought life-chicken, killed and fried for me. I ate the chiken with garri, garnished with sugar and milk (that was the best meal i had that year). My mum was so happy, indeed that day was the happiest day of my life. All these happened August 12 2010, and by November, the admission list was out and as expected, i was given my course of choice- Microbiology.
For those in OAU, you will agree with me that OAU is a university that gives you admission today, and then you resume in ten years time (that’s just exaggeration o). I saw my admission status in November, and we were to resume June of the following year, because there was ASUU strike then which disrupted the school callendar. Well, it’s an advantage for me, since it would give my mum enough time to source for my fees.
So my mum did all she could, and got the fees, what a wonderful woman she is. Though that period appeared to be so slow, because i had waited for years at home and can’t wait to resume school. As long as it seems, the day drew near and it was just a month to resumption.
Behold, it was time for online registeration, i couldn’t do it on my phone because it includes uploading of scanned WAEC/NECO result, birth certificate, signature and the likes. So i had to go to the Cafe. So i went to ‘God’s Grace’ (A famous cafe in Apata, Ibadan) to upload my WAEC result which was full of C’s and just 2 B’s (It wasn’t bad anyway) and other documents. When i got there i discovered that there were 5 people already waiting to do that same online registration. That was where i met Sandra.
The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
Since they all came before me, i just had to wait till they are done with theirs.
I sat down with the other four people on a long bench. “How much is the registration?” I asked the young girl sitting next to me (who looked quite pretty), “good afternoon” she answered. “Please pardon my manners, that should have been my line.” I said to her. She answered and said, “No problem anyway, i didn’t mean it that way, i just greeted you because i felt i had to, there is no big deal. Anyway, the guy said the registration is 1000 naira with printing.”
The price seemed quite much, but i didn’t want to create a seen or be a nuisance since that’s what all others paid. So while we were waiting, i just enjoyed a conversation with that pretty young girl beside me.
Me: So you are here to do your registration too?
Girl: Obviously, what else would i be doing in a cafe?
Me: You could be trying to browse the internet or something.
Girl: So if that’s what I’m here for, will i be waiting for those guys to be through with their registration?
Me: That’s true (nodding my head in agreement ), since we started talking, you’ve only asked questions. So, should i call you miss question?
Girl: You don’t have to call me that, because i have a name (smiling).
Me: So with this your beauty, your name must be princess.
Girl: (Blushing) Don’t wine me joor.(now smiling like sobosobo) I’m not princess o, I’m Sandra. So what’s your name, Prince?
Me: Prince ke, my name is Dapo o. Its nice meeting you (stretching my hands to shake her)
Sandra: The pleasure is mine (shaking hands with me). .
We talked on and on, and she told me that she was admitted to study philosophy. I waited until it was my turn, then I did my registration. Sandra left and waved me, “see you in school” she said. i waved her back, and she smiled from afar. It was when i saw that smile that it occurred to me that i should have asked for her number. But it was too late, she had gone already. “I may never see her again.” I said to myself. I just forgot about her since we have more than 25,000 people in OAU.
I finished my registration and went back home, preparing for school.
What happened next? Find out in Episode 4.
The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
Preparation was in top gear for resumption. My mum surprised me when she bought ‘born-vita’ and peak milk. “I appreciate your efforts but we don’t even eat this at home maami, you don’t have to buy all this. We are not that rich and you know it, the money you used for this provision, you could have kept it for something else.” I humbly protested. She replied immediately ” If i don’t buy this for you who else will i buy it for? All my discomfort, is it not for your comfort, i toil day and night so that you dont have to do that. Over my dead body will you go to school without provisions. I want you to be alright, i want you to enjoy life, soo gbo oko mi, just try and understand me.”
When she had finished saying all these things, all i could see was a mother who was willing to sacrifice her life for her son, who was willing to sacrifice her happiness for her son’s. I was so touched, and didn’t even know what to say, than to say thank you ma. I drew closer to her gave her a hug, and with tears rolling down my chicks i said “I will never let you down maami.” She replied saying “I trust you son, i know you won’t.”
Though my mum was so happy that i finally gained the long awaited admission, but she still can’t believe that her one and only son will leave her to go to Ile-Ife. But what can the poor woman do, will she ask me not to go? Hell no! She won’t do that, she was as happy as i was as far as the admission is concerned. I thought for a while and then i started having mixed feelings as regards the admission. “Well it’s not like I’m going for life, i consoled myself.
The resumption date was clearly stated- 13th of June 2011. Well, i had less than a week to go and i was so ready to face the new life, meet new people, learn new things, unlearn some things, teach people stuffs, correct wrong impressions and become new.
People were giving me money from different angles. “Pele o, omo ile-iwe gba koo fi se owo oko.” They were always tipping me, and my mum won’t stop telling them about my going to school. “Omo yin n lo school ni next week o” which means: your child is going to school next week. Am i really their child? No I’m not, but Yoruba people have funny ways of talking e.g “se o ti ri aburo e.” This means: have you seen your younger sibling, when you are probably from Ibadan, and the person being referred to as your sibling is from Kaduna. But i actually enjoy the whole stuff, because once they call me someone’s child, that person must ‘shake body’ (meaning the person must give me money). Since my father is no more, “whoever gives me money is my father jare” i said, smiling.
The day finally came, and all i had to carry was my ‘2 by 6’ mattress, the few clothes i have, my provisions, and some food items (garri in particular). And i headed straight to the Bus-Stop.
What happened next? Find out in Episode 5.
The Painful Pleasure (TPP)
Since we lived in the outskirts of Ibadan, i had to board two different taxis to get to Iwo-Road (like the extreme end of the city, where you get buses going to other parts of the country). My mum followed me to Apata where i took a taxi going to challenge, she waved at me and smiled with tears (who does that). I waved at her and i rememberd the ‘ranti omo eni to nse’ speech. This means: remember the son of whom you are.
You guys know what I’m talking about, there is no one in Nigeria that won’t hear this speech from either or both parents when going to the university. These includes stuffs like:
1. Koju mowe e o: face your studies
2. Ma ko egbe kegbe o: Don’t keep bad company
3. Ma kobirin o: Don’t follow girls e.t.c.
But since my mum knew me to be someone that doesn’t really like ladies, since i don’t talk to girls in the area, only 1 and 2 above was applicable to me.
To cut the long story short, i got to Iwo road, and i gave a small boy 100 Naira to carry my load for me with his wheel barrow. I could have carried it myself, but i just felt that if everyone should think that way, how will the poor boy get his means of livelihood? “At least he is better than those guys with no physical disabilities who beg around.” I said to myself.
I went to the Bus, and seeing my load, the driver said briskly “E maaa sanwo eru o.” Which means i will have to pay extra for my luggage. I nodded my head in agreement, and asked him how much that was, he said 200 Naira, after so much bargaining, and so much chastisement by the other passengers, he agreed to take 100 Naira, so with 400 fare, that will be 500 all together. “Its not that bad.” I. said to myself.
So we were waiting for the bus to get filled. You know those guys now, they won’t move an inch until the bus is full. I sat at the third row as the bus has five rows. I would have sat at the second row but the driver had told us that three people will sit on a row, except the second row where four people will sit. Why he said that i didn’t know, and i don’t want to know. Because i wasn’t really used to traveling, i wouldn’t want anything that would cause me inconvenience.
On my row there was just one space left as we waited patiently. One baba with bald head was already on my left, “who will be my right hand traveling partner” I wondered. . . There she comes, my sitting partner. As i saw her, i knew she was also going to resume in OAU. . .