Jude - An adventure into Earth!

 

(Memoirs)

"Show me a hero, and I will write you a tragedy" - F. Scot Fitzgerald

"It has done me good to be somewhat parched by the heat and drenched by the rains of life" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged..." - William Palmer, quoted in David O McKay, 'Pioneer Women,' Relief Society Magazine, Jan. 1948, 8.

PART II  PART III  PART IV  PART V   PART VI   PART VII   PART VIII 

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PART I

VERY EARLY REMINISCENCES

        They call me Jude and this has been my name since form four until now. Only my childhood friends call me 'Debo. How I came about that name is my secret, I woke up one day and I thought, how nice for me to be called Jude. Yes, my name is Jude. Please call me by no other name.

        Oftentimes I wonder about my personality, especially my memory, I seem to get to understand sound and sight more than most people I meet. The faintest I could remember about my childhood was when I was a kid and my stepmother came around to my paternal grandma's house. The joy I felt on seeing her and the happiness I perceived she felt on seeing me was such that I hugged her with fondness but she hugged me just for a few seconds, her face turned stern and quickly went to greet Mama Eleni(Comfort Talabi Ogunade) inside the house. I happened to be outside at the time playing with other kids in the neighbourhood. I wondered what was wrong (only God knows how little I was when I started dialoguing in my mind with myself)

        This stepmother was to play a major role and hitherto had played a major role in the life of everyone who and were connected with my childhood within my nuclear family and even in my extended family.

        I was born Adebo Adeleye Ogunade and since I was born on Sunday, my father seldom called me Sunday.

        The house I remember I grew up in belonged to my grandfather of whom much had been told me as I grew up, No. 6 Apebi street , Ijebu - Ode. The six that time was written in white with a black circle background. Standing tall in front of the house was the Igi - Ose a big tree at that time, not as big as Iroko, but big to a child's mind. I was forbidden to play with its leaves. Many at times had I tried to play with its leaves and at every occasion was I met with serious disparaging from Mama Eleni. It was on a fateful day that I was playing with its leaves that she came disparaging again and I quickly reminded her that other kids do play with its leaves to which she replied: "they may play with the leaves but you cannot play with its leaves, you are Omo Apebi (Apebi's Son). That tree is the tree whose leaves are use to install Chiefs and Kings of Ijebu and as your grandfather was a custodian of the rites of chieftaincy and kingship, you must not play with its leaves" to which I answered; "I hear mama, I won't do that again." That settled it, I never played with its leaves again, but then, cardboard paper took the place of the leaves. That was how I learnt my first lesson of the traditional importance of leaves to the Ijebus.

        The fan game, how did we play it, Or should I say propeller game? Get a leaf that is not dry, tear of one end until it reached the midpoint, turn it over and tear off the opposite end until that one also reached the midpoint so that you have adjacent leafy and adjacent stalky sides. Punch a hole on the leafy side close to the midpoint with a strong broomstick and face the direction of the wind. You can then run with the wind rushing at your face then you will feel the bracing effect that comes from the wind rushing at your face and the propeller on your two fingers dancing in a circular motion to the silent tune of the wind. It was a one - boy show that I enjoyed a lot.

        Mama Eleni, that was the name of the woman I grew up to know as my mother, but she was my paternal grandmother. More or less the reason I mentioned house in the preceding lines and not home, I had never lived in a home, never loved in a home, I was never brought up in a home, in fact, no one really brought me up, I and my eleda mi, brought me up.

        Although Mama Eleni as I knew her was a down-to-earth sincere and candid personage, she never for once, as much as I knew, said any unkind words to any person unless she was outrageously and repeatedly provoked. It was one of those experiences that made me know that I am not her direct child and that my mother "abandoned" me when I was just five months old. Actually, my elder brother 'Dapo, Adedapo Ogunade, did something sinister that made Mama to be so angry such that she told him such disparaging words to the extent that she mentioned that our mother left me ('Debo) when I was just five months old and it was she who brought us up.

        My brother 'Dapo, my eldest brother is 'Bunmi. Adebunmi Ogunade, was such hero of mine that his disappearance has left me empty ever since. 'Bunmi was purported to have left the shores of Nigeria, when he was under the custody and a worker in a distant uncle's (Uncle Kunle Ogunade) factory in Aguda, Lagos State Nigeria, to Belgium or Germany wherever since 1986, in fact two weeks after I gained admission to the Ogun State University, and up till now, that I am writing this book, 2005, I've not heard any word from 'Bunmi!.

        'Dapo, at the time was someone who had little patience, he wanted things done immediately, that is to say, he wanted to eat at the time he was hungry and was not ready to hear that the food was not ready and might go to any extent to initiate force in order for Mama to bring out food immediately.

        Mama Eleni, really suffered at the hands of Dapo at the time. One particular incidence that is still very fresh in my memory was when Mama Eleni was eating and Dapo had to throw a palmful of sand into her food to the extent that Mama Eleni wept and ate the food as she wept like that, I was shocked! Was Mama Eleni being punished for her part in ensuring the sending out of my mother from my father's house or was it childhood exuberance on the part of 'DapoThe readers will be left to judge themselves as this story unfolds.

        My mother "abandoned" me when I was five months old (that was what I was told from as early as age four or five). However, the events that unfolded in my life said otherwise: my mother did not abandon me but was forced to abandon me, my mother lost both her parents when she was just in primary school and when they perpetuated such wickedness against her, she really did not have anyone to come to her aid, advise her or rescue her.

        Well, my mother not only "abandoned" me but also two other children and went away with one. The eldest one at the time was only five years old - Adebunmi Ogunade; the next was four years old - Adedapo Ogunade; she went away with the third - a girl of two years old - Adewunmi Ogunade.

        Adewunmi Ogunade - may the peace of God be upon her and the foetus of her womb - was purported to have died during childbirth when I was doing part-time assistant lectureship at Yaba College of Technology, in 1998. She was taken to Kunle Ogunade for assistance, the same person under whose custody my eldest brother disappeared without trace since 1986.    When the news was broken to me that my sister died during childbirth, I asked to see the burial ground or the dead body of both the baby and the mother, but my brother 'Dapo told me that even he was not shown any and in fact they could not! Well, nobody advised me to flee Nigeria few months afterwards and I, the baby that was "abandoned" at five months old, the biographer!

        My elder sister, the one I followed directly and whose name has already been mentioned was allowed to go with my mother! One may be tempted to ask; but why did his mother abandon him? Well, according to what I gleaned from my father's correspondences: there was a divorce in a law court which gave the custody of a five month old baby to an ageing grandmother and the same court allowing the woman to take a two year old baby along with her as she packed out of her matrimonial home. Definitely, that was not justice; this to me was a clear case of miscarried justice.

        Actually, my mother is an Egin, for you to be an Egin, you must have probably come from the Eastern Yoruba Area, from Ondo State specifically. My mother's father (my maternal grandfather was an Akure man) actually hailed from Oke Aro, whilst my maternal grandmother was from Ondo town.

        In those days it was actually rare to see marriages between extreme locations of people of the same ethnic group succeeding, such was my mother's. My paternal grandmother had preferred someone close to home ' Ijebu - Ode' but according to her, that person was still schooling when my father was ready to get married and since my father was equally interested in Caroline Adelanke (my mum) a marriage was arranged.

        This marriage (according to the story my mum told me when I searched and found her some sixteen years later), was greatly desired by my paternal grandfather.     Baba Apebi, wanted my father to marry a virgin. My mother was one before she married my father and that my father showed great commitments and that when she wanted to give birth to 'Bunmi there was great pain on account of her virginity and he (Baba Apebi) was enraged to have learnt that the western doctors had performed some operations. Baba Apebi, could have recited some incantations and the baby would have come out easily without any problem.

        In fact, according to my mum, my father showed great commitments whilst Baba Apebi was alive, but Baba Apebi died in 1966, about a month after Adewunmi, my elder sister was born. Immediately after the burial ceremony at which my would be step mother (Felicia Taiwo Akinyemi- Onasanya) was also present, my father had the freedom and now the opportunity to start seeing other women for no one dared disobey Baba Apebi.

        One of those jaunts landed him in the hands of his former girlfriend who his mother (Mama Eleni) preferred to my mother in the first instance anyway.

        There was an instance several years later afterwards when I was in the secondary school, (I had actually done some fasting and prayers for myself, friends, family members, my country etc.; I used to attend Deeper Life Christian Ministry in those days and being the Chapel Prefect of my secondary school - Ijebu Ode Grammar School - I had to make sure that the place of worship was kept neat. Forget the junior students they rarely worked. In fact, I used to sweep the former school mosque that used to be the place of worship for Deeper Life Christian Ministry, myself; for according to the students it was not within their rosters. I, being the chapel prefect must make sure that the visitors did not come to meet the place dirty. Moreover, I just joined them that time) a disagreement ensued somehow between my father and step-mother. It was in such exchange of word that I overheard my step-mother saying: "was it not you?" "I didn't know what you a married man wanted from me when you were married with children but always came calling at my windows at night". I then was alarmed to hear this, being just in my teen years, a Christian and inexperienced. Well, those words still ring in my ears till today.

        I should think that the relationship between the two of them started immediately after the burial of Baba Apebi. It was then that, as I perceived that Mama Eleni started plotting for my father to take a second wife (in those days marrying many wives was the usual thing, Mama Eleni herself, was the third or so wife of Baba Apebi, I should think). Perhaps, my father, being the last-born was her choicest child. She could not bear the thought of her dearest child being persuaded away to a far away place as Eginland. In those days, vehicular transportation was not as rampart and journeys to such places as Ondo, Akure, etc were made on foot, canoe or long lorries that you need to roll the engines in front before they could start and sometimes take several hours and even days, or weeks to complete.

        Invariably, a marriage was arranged! Why? I believe Caroline Adelanke was just cheated out of her matrimonial home by evil forces. Moreover, no one could come to her help she lost both her parents when she was in primary school. I do wonder now how she is still able to retain her sanity after so many woes befell her and I'm forced to think that she has one of the most stable minds around, in fact, she is a miracle, and I admire her greatly.

        My father got married but the woman must live in our house. In my mother's house? In an Egin woman's house? Egin, according to what I learnt from various people the Egins are natural trouble makers, don't dare oppose them or obstruct them, and no Egin woman will allow her husband to bring another woman to the house. An Egin woman cannot and will not share her husband with another woman; such was the case with my mother. Fighting or I should say, battles ensued, real battles, physical and spiritual.

        The court decided that there should be a divorce and that my mother should pack out of her home and that she should not be allowed to take her five months old baby boy along but could take the two-year old girl and that the suckling five-months old baby should be left under the care of an ageing Mama Eleni.

        Well, she left and came back several times afterwards according to what I was told, to check how her children were faring and whenever she came fighting usually ensued between my mother on one side and my step mother and father on the other side. It was during one of such fights, that my eldest brother (-Bunmi) who was yet to be six years old could not take his mother plights, beatings, and humiliation again, said: "Mummy please don't come to our house again if they will be beating you all the time." According to my mum an old woman in the neighbourhood told her to listen to what her little son said. That was how I did not know who my mother was until I was sixteen plus, when I decided to go out in search of her to be really sure I had a mother and when I knew her I was surprised to find her mentally strong and happy. When I asked her why her parents could not come to help her, she said she lost them both when she was in primary school!

        That is the story of Adelanke Caroline. What still baffles me till today is why should my father marry someone who already had a baby for another person out of wedlock? From the little analysis, I made up my mind to believe that since Felicia (my step-mother) could not contain the shame and the ridicule associated with her not being able to find a father for her unborn child, she made up her mind to snatch whatever man came her way. Considering the fact that there was only a year difference between the child, and me I'm forced to believe till this day, that my father was and perhaps still, under a kind of spell. There is no attention to love here. Love was between my father and mother before and after they were wedded. This love produced four children. Afterwards, Felicia came to our house or my father's life and for me, our lives, to destroy the joy and love of a family just because a man somewhere whom she had conceived for was not ready to accept the pregnancy. Therefore, Felicia to cover the shame of bringing forth an illegitimate child had to find a way to father her child. It was whilst I was in secondary school that I got to know this man, whom one day 'Femi Olanrenwaju (Felicia's son) took me to see his dad and I was surprised to know that the mum knew the whereabouts of 'Femi's father all along. All this whilst everybody thought Felicia's father was the father of 'Femi.

        It was later when ruminating on the pros and cons of my life that I realised the import and the impact of Dapo's behaviour on Mama Eleni. I wonder what my mum had told a four year old boy - that was the age of Dapo when our mother was forced out of her matrimonial home - to the extent of creating so much hatred in his heart towards Mama Eleni. I used to believe Mama Eleni was my mother until she started poking me with the fact that my mother "abandoned" me when I was five months old.

        The fact still remains in life that almost every human being stands to justify his or her actions and in situations where something went wrong between two partners, either is always quick to blame another for the wrong doings and inadequacies.

        Thank goodness that I had the courage to venture out to look for my mother and thank goodness that the situation I met her was enough to squash and put to lies the numerous falsehoods perpetuated against her whilst I had not met her.

        Nevertheless, the question still hassles my mind: What if my mother had died before I was old enough to have the courage to go out in search of her. Well, my father's family story about her would have held in my mind and perhaps I would have grown up with bitterness misplaced!

        Dapo really showed Mama Eleni. At the age Dapo was doing all these, I was too small to understand the reasons for his actions. I am not sure whether his bad behaviours towards Mama Eleni was a result of what our mother told them ('Bunmi and Dapo) or natural course of justice was just using him to make Mama Eleni see the consequences of her part in her son's wrong choices and decisions.

 PART II

UP

EARLY EDUCATION AND THE ITALUPE YEARS

        I started the normal lesson that everybody in my area at the time attended before starting primary school. I started Baba Olopa's lesson; a light in complexion, pot bellied and moderately fat man. Well, Baba Olopa, may his soul rest in perfect peace was invariably my first teacher. Olopa is the Yoruba word for Policeman - name derived from the stick, characteristically carried by every policeman in those days - in those days, Policemen were disciplined and that man instilled such discipline in his pupils, as he was a retired police officer who decided to set up a lesson to teach kids around his area. He had a large class at the time and we were divided into groups and I was at the ABD class (A, B, D.) the beginning class of learning, we were first taught the Yoruba alphabet and the numbers before moving to the English Alphabets and the numbers, the class, the beginning class was referred to as ABD. Well, Baba Olopa was a good teacher, he made us at that very early age (I started this school when I was barely four years old!) to read and memorise all the alphabets and the 123 both in English and Yoruba. I was one of his favourite pupils. He specifically called Mama Eleni one day when she was passing to the market - our school was not far from the main night market called Oja Ale (Night market - Oja means market in Yoruba and Ale means night) but had people who sold things even during the day. (I wonder whether the Ijebus with their knack for trading and business will ever allow the market some day sleep since its night has been converted to trades!) - to talk to him that she should try and enrol me in school as soon as possible because according to Baba Olopa, I was an exceptionally gifted child.

        The next school year found me at Italupe Primary School (Owned by the Anglicans). I was not there to attend school but to be tested for admission. I was tested academically and I passed, but when I was told to put my hand over my head to see whether my hand can reach the other ear, I tried and tried but was only able to reach the tip of my ear, well, I have a small one anyway. So she was advised to come next year, so I was not happy, I felt discouraged but Mama told me that next year I would be able to attend school and I asked when is next year, she replied: "when we sleep and wake up several times". Well, that settled my mind.

        The next year, I was six years old and I started school. My days at Italupe Primary school were very interesting ones. I was usually pleased with all the 100/100 that showed up regularly on my report card and thanks to - Bunmi, my eldest brother (although not so academically endowed) who was always pleased and happy whenever I collected my report card and there were hundred, hundred all over! 'Bunmi thus became my first inspiration! I grew up to love academic records and 'Bunmi loved it whenever I am noticed, recognised or awarded a prize for my academic performances. The brotherly bond between 'Bunmi and me was stronger than the bond between me and the rest of my siblings.

        There was this boy about my age whose name I've forgotten now, but whose brother is 'Soji Mebude a close pal of 'Bunmi. This boy had a birthday bash and Mama Eleni allowed us to attend. I was four years old at the time and I had just recuperated from a bout of sickness. After the party and on our way home, I started vomiting and considering the fact that I felt like passing out faeces at the same time, 'Bunmi and 'Dapo took me somewhere. I started vomiting and passing out faeces at the same time, and as I was doing this, 'Dapo moved away, it was only 'Bunmi who stood by me, and 'Dapo even moved farther away when he noticed that I was struggling with a particular worm that was struggling between my anus and the outside world. I was enthused when 'Bunmi moved closer and used his hand to physically remove the worm - a long one at that - from my anus. I felt relieved and that act etched itself on my memory till today. I wish 'Bunmi is here right now, to really see that I am appreciative of that long time favour! To see how honestly and greatly I am becoming despite all the vultures, crows and bats flying over my head day and night and despite all the hardships and trials I go through day by day (Thanks, Jesus Christ.).

        - Bunmi was usually proud of me, in fact 'Dapo, Yemisi (my first cousin) who attended the same school with me, but who were of higher classes used and 'Bunmi used to call me to read to their mates who could not and who were five or four classes ahead. I should believe it was a form of motivation for them in those days I should think, at the time because what would you think of yourself when a six year old boy came to read things to you whilst you were about to write a common entrance. That, I think, gingered them to achieve. Well thanks to Baba Olopa!

        I moved to the next class, primary 2 and I had about three teachers, the last of them Mr. Adebanjo was very good to me. He was a student - teacher and I was lucky to have him as my class teacher, always telling us to memorise poems, and now when I think about the wordings of those poems they are such that inspire. He really inspired us.

        I was sitting quietly in the class one day whilst having classes with Mr. Adebanjo that I saw a white double cabin Volkswagen kombi bus drove into the school with a characteristically hooting of horn as it approached my class, it stopped in front of my class and lo and behold I saw my dad descending from the car. I ran out of the class and went straight to his waiting arms. We went inside the class, had a chat with my class teacher, paid my levies and left.

        That was the first time I would see my dad with a car! I was so proud of him. He left and promised to come back for me at the close of the day. Well, I was disappointed that I could not ride in his car, his promise of coming back was taking lightly because he had told me several times that he would come back and never showed up until after three or so months when he came to give money to Mama Eleni, I was sceptical. As the school was about to close for the day, I saw my father's car entered the school compound I leapt up for joy and my class teacher forbade me from going out until the bell rang. Well, shortly afterwards the bell rang and I jumped out to meet my father in his car. I was proud that day, I felt very happy, and I asked him to allow me play with its horn.

        I became about the third or the second child in the school whose parent came to look for with a car. I felt I was in a class of my own. We drove off to Mama Eleni's and prayers were said for the new car and its owner (my dad) then we went to Mama Nta ntebo's place. Prayers were also said, and Mama nta ntebo was somehow richer than Mama Eleni but I think younger too. As I learnt, Mama Nta ntebo was my grandfather's cousin. And many of my uncles and including my father spent time living with her when she was in Kano and Kaduna. In fact, almost all the older generations of the Ogunades speak Hausa, only few of the new generation speak Hausa, but I have gone international adding English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Japanese, for now, to my fleet of languages.

        The next time my father came to school was with my brother 'Bunmi and 'Dapo, he brought them to take their common entrance exams! 'Bunmi and 'Dapo did not start secondary school as I thought, they were made to repeat their classes, 'Bunmi was actually supposed to continue to the secondary school level, but was made to repeat primary six so that he could go with 'Dapo. Well, the reason as I found out later was to help my step mum in her drug store and her mineral and beer off and on licence business. The fact that brother Jelili who was supposed to be our houseboy and Kole and Adeolu my father's apprentices were around was not enough to take care of Felicia's businesses, she used everybody to the fullest! In fact, Brother Jelili worked hard in those days.

        My father slept at Mama Nta ntebo's place and on Saturday, he came to take my brothers and me who had slept at Mama Eleni's to the venue of the exams. The exams lasted several hours with a break in between; that was my first time of eating slice bread and taking tonic fanta. Whilst they take exams, I was in the car waiting for them and at the same time praying for their success (I started praying on my own since I was four years old). The examination ended successfully, my father dropped me off at Mama Eleni's where I lived and drove off in his car with 'Bunmi and - Dapo to Ibadan where they lived.

        I continued school as usual and the attendant respect I earned from my mates and teachers since my father came to the school in his car even made me more ready to excel academically. One thing that had engraved on my mind at that early age was my knack for acting.

        I was a fine actor. There was this teacher called Aiki Soja. A very great man who was always inspiring his pupils, I was initially not his direct pupil, but when my class teacher, Mr. Adebanjo left after his teaching practice, we were added to his class and he immediately saw something unusual about me. At that time, I don't know if it still exists now, at the end of every school year, there were prizes for good pupils who had excelled in academics and also the time for end of year entertainment.

        This entertainment included play-acting and for primary 2 pupils, Aiki Soja (not his real name, but an alias) was in charge. We were asked to perform the play about the Biblical story of David and Goliath. Several primary 2 pupils were put forward to act this play and out of those chosen to act as David, Aiki Soja believed my performance was best. Also, acting plays in those days involve memorising passages, songs and even poems and I never knew about prompt in plays until I entered the university and at that time we were made to memorise passages, songs and poems, many of which I still remembered till today. It was during the rehearsals for that play that I so much pleased Aiki Soja with my performance. He swooped me up and carried me high up in his hands and down unto his shoulders and cried and shouted and sang carrying me around on his shoulder saying: - Omo nla ni ele yi - (This is a great child). That day I could see joyful gladness written on his face. It was no doubt during the main play I received so much applause form the audience that many of them threw money at me on the stage and were very much pleased with my performance.  I received so much accolades and handshakes after the play than the rest of the classes and pupils in the school. One thing that impressed me was that Mama Eleni was all smiles that day and she was proud of me and of course when I got home, I ate one of the most sumptuous meals I had ever tasted and throughout the week my wrongdoings and pranks were seen with eyes wide shut!

        'Bunmi and 'Dapo left for the secondary school when I got to Primary 2, I became the only child of my father living with Mama Eleni and they did not come to No. 6 Apebi Street during the holidays, they had to go to my father and step mum at Ibadan. In those days and in an environment as Ijebu - Ode it was common to see children coming around to play in the evenings. In fact, most evenings children of surrounding households would come around to play. This is usually after the pots and plates of the evening had been washed and most evening meals are often eaten with you inviting your friends to dinner or your friends inviting you to dinner and when the supper are served at different intervals, you ended up eating or tasting two to three different meals per night. One such friend is Ahmed.       

        Ahmed was my friend at the time, he was my playmate, although we attended different schools, he had to attend a Muslim primary school whilst I attended an Anglican primary school. After school hours we played together, I did not start an afternoon coaching class until I was in primary 3 at Italupe Primary School in Ijebu - Ode, so I was usually very free to do whatever I wanted to do after school. (I had to repeat this class when I got to Ibadan, as I started the Baptist Primary School, Oke Ado, Ibadan, from primary 3).

        Ahmed's mother was a good cook and at the time very light in complexion and was beautiful but one thing I disliked about Ahmed's father in those days was the incessant beatings she gave to Ahmed's mother. Ahmed's mother really suffered from Uncle Ganiyu. This was spouse abuse to the fullest, real beatings with good cane, the woman would plead, would beg but the man would not listen but was always beating Ahmed's mother. For what reason, I really did not know all I know is that most times in the afternoon, he would come home with his Vespa motorcycle and the next thing is the shout of agony from Ahmed's mother! On one of  such occasions I asked Baba Kaduna, my eldest uncle and a very wise man, in fact, my friend, about these beatings and he told me it is to beat out madness from her, and I asked again, what madness?

        Baba Kaduna told me that women, especially beautiful women are prone to abuse by men who are powerful and rich. When these men had sex with them, they at the same time put in them a medicine (juju or talisman) that will make them collect good lucks from other people and give these good lucks to those who had put the medicine in them. Baba Kaduna went on to tell me that most of the time, some of these people whose good lucks had been stolen by adulterous women to give to other men become mad. That some of the mad people on the streets are people whose psyches and souls are being used to make some people rich and therefore it is proper sometimes to use a cain, a special cain he said, to remove the madness from her before the husband have sex with her. "Won ni lati fi egba gbon were to wa lara re kuro" "it is proper to use a cain to remove the cobweb of madness from her body.

        Children in those days, both boys and girls would form circle on the floor, would tell tales, jokes, would recite poems and memory verses, and act plays they had been taught at schools. It was usually a thing of nice pleasure to hear different stories, as Ananse (the Twi word for Spider) is to the Ashanti and the Twi speaking people of Ghana so is Ijapa (the Yoruba word for Tortoise) to the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria. All the clever, smart and cunning tricks and manoeuvre is attributed to Ijapa and most stories that were told wound themselves on the legendary adventures of Ijapa.      Also physical plays were enacted and most nightly entertainments were done usually when the moon was high up in the sky, the full moon was usually our favourite choice for it beamed its radiance and we, like her wards played under her watchful eyes.

        Gbadigbadi was usually one of the most likeable plays in those days. Its song was like this: - Gbadigbadi, idi po, bi mo ri-idi ma gba" - etc. This means "slapping of buttock, sounding of buttocks, if I see a buttock, I will slap" Well, children formed circles, sitting with legs crossed as in Yoga postures most times or in any other posture as was individually convenient. A person would sit in the middle or even among us and lead the song whilst others sang in unison after him/her. A small stone was usually held by who would be going about the circle singing (he sometimes led the chorus) and would try to cleverly and stealthily leave the stone at the back of anybody in the circle. You had to be very alert so that you would know when he left the stone behind you and immediately stood up so that he would not slap you on his next round to you or you may end up having a good slap on your buttock. Woe betide you if you have grudged him earlier in the day or refused to favour him in one thing or the other earlier on in the day, he would just make sure that the slap was more unpalatable for you. The person slapped must then take up the stone and start the next round of the gbadigbadi play. This would be done until we were all tired or when it was time for bed.

        Very interesting, is it not? One particular story I really liked in those days and which had so much impression on me and which I used to think about a lot even when I was in my teenage years is the story of the tortoise, the dog and the other animals of the Animal Kingdom. It goes like this:

        Once upon a time, there was a great famine in the land; the famine became so severe that there was no food to eat! Then the younger animals had a meeting and the council of young animals decided to kill their parents for food! For the parents found it difficult to provide them with food. All the animals agreed and subsequently killed their parents one by one. The dog however, had a better idea, he refused to kill his mother and instead, climbed up the skies and hid his mother there. After the young animals had all killed their sources of livelihood and were later dying of hunger, the tortoise somehow noticed that the dog was putting on weight and looking well fed and wondered how the dog was coping. He decided then to investigate and study the dog's secret. He soon found out that the dog disappeared into the forest every evening, tortoise then decided to investigate further and went ahead of dog's path in the forest the next day to wait for the dog and find out his secrets. The dog not being in the know that he was being followed and spied on, got to the spot where he usually called his mother. He called the mother, the mother came down from the skies and gave him food and went back. The tortoise was enraged and said to himself, after all, this dog did not kill his mother as we all agreed to do. Sensing that he might not be able to eat since he had killed his mother, and that he might even die of hunger, he surprisingly appeared to the dog whilst the dog was savouring his meal. He then threatened the dog that unless, from then on, they shared the food until the famine is abated; he would expose the dog. Well, the dog not wanting to be exposed decided to allow the tortoise part of the meal and subsequently, the dog and the tortoise went smoothly through the famine period whilst many other animals perished. There are many important lessons to be learnt from this story but the one that I really thought out for myself was that I should not rush to do what most young people do because of needs, wants, youthful exuberances or the fact that they want to measure up to their peers or impress them.

        Now, I have come to the conclusion that many decisions made by young persons are really affected by the body chemistry - emotions and many of the decisions even though are intelligent ones, may not necessarily be wise ones and may lead to bad choices, fatal perhaps and may lead to unhappiness in later years. For the future may then ask the youth how it has extravagantly expended its energies and resources.

        Well, I passed to primary three, my primary three was very hectic for me, my position in class dwindled to about 16th of 27 pupils in my class. Before I got to Primary three, I won academic prizes at the last speech and prize given day and the reason my position dwindled then would be explained. I had this class teacher in primary three whose only interest was in getting his pupils to pay the school levies and he did it by intimidating, abusing, and insulting them. There were no school fees in those days because, UPE (Universal Primary Education) had been introduced years before (a frontline Nigerian politician, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whilst Governor and Minister of the Western Region of Nigeria, introduced it), thus, all other monies paid in the school were levies and not fees.         This teacher could not understand why, someone like me, whose father had come to the school to pick up in his new vehicle could be lagging in paying levies, and not only did he make a great deal of fun of us especially me, who could not pay fees on time, but also bared us from coming to school.

        Mama Eleni had no money save the ones given to her by her children for her upkeep and as such could not afford to use the money to pay school levies. I had to wait till the end of the month if my father would show up to ask him for the money and sometimes, if he should do two months without showing up, I would be coming in and out of schools for the levies.

        It was during this period too that I had trying times as a growing little boy I was very adventurous like most other boys, always wanting to jump gutters, barriers, play football and wander into surrounding bushes and sometimes forests, all these left me with wounds that would not heal easily.

        Mama Eleni had to spend most evenings tending my wounds. The wounds that I hated most were the ones on the ankles, the knees and the toes (they became sores most times). The subsequent mending with rags soaked in hot water usually made me scream, well, 'Debowale (an elder cousin of mine) and her sisters were usually at hand to hold me tight so I would not struggle or run away whilst Mama Eleni mended the wounds.         All these made me become disinterested in school. There was one day I drifted away from school to play. Mama Eleni got to know and she gave me a severe beating I never forgot. It was later in the night that day that I told her the reason I refused to go to school. That the teacher usually made fun of me that I could not pay my levies whilst other pupils whose father could not afford bicycle paid fees whilst me whose father own a car and sometimes drop on Monday morning in school could not pay and because I could not afford another poking at me, I drifted away to play.   Well, the next day saw Mama Eleni in the school to chat with my class teacher, afterwards my father also came after finding out that my result after the end of the second term of primary three was a far cry from my result in the previous class. He then paid all the levies, and enrolled me in my class teacher private lessons. Well, I passed the third term coming third in my class and 22 out of 121 in the whole arm. Well, that year, I did not win any prize and was my last year at Italupe Primary School.

 PART III

UP

NO. 6 APEBI STREET

        Enough of the story on academics and now to my cousins, those who lived with me whilst I was at No. 6 Apebi Street, Ijebu - Ode. To them I was a darling, the kind of attention, care and love showed me then by particularly Anti Sade and Anti Yemisi was such that whenever I was away from them I felt sometimes depressed.

        Afolasade particularly liked me so much that whenever I was sick, she would somehow be uneasy. Most times, when she came home meeting me asleep, she would not mind feeding me whilst I was asleep. Many at times I had woken up with the taste and the smell of Suya. (Suya is a barbecue sort of delicacy, but I bet, better than the barbecues) Afolashade was not only beautiful inside but very beautiful outside, up till the time I left secondary school, and having lost contact with Afolashade for years, I still used her beauty as a yardstick for most girls that I came across. I could not count how many number of times she had proudly taken me on her back in her numerous jaunts. Talking about escapades, I vividly remember this guy called 'Se popo meme, Oko Sade.' This guy could not leave Anti Sade alone, he could come even in the night and coming to think of it, he was handsome, and also at that time, was the son of a local rich man.

        Number 6, Apebi Street, was a home to many children at that time. Hanging on the wall in the long Baba Apebi's parlour were several well framed photographs. There was the photograph of Baba Apebi's father (my great grandfather), Chief Ogunade Ogunbona, with Baba Apebi's photograph beside his - Chief Josiah Macaulay Adekoya Ogunade, standing majestically at the northern side of the parlour. These are the two pictures that immediately you opened the door to enter No. 6 Apebi Street, you would see staring at you high up (high enough for a child's mind) in the face. As you entered the parlour and on your right was the photograph of Baba Kaduna (Baba Kaduna, according to what I was told, was the firstborn of Baba Apebi) on a horse. Baba Kaduna was versed in the use of herbs, I was never sick whenever he was around almost all plants were herbs to him. Well, I interacted with him when I was very small, he died around 1975, I was seven years old at the time. I remembered that I used to ride in his 404 peugeot car to his farms somewhere along Okun Owa (Okun Owa is via Ijebu - Ode, a rather small town compared to Ijebu - Ode), I loved it whenever he was around. He loved little children and he particularly liked teaching me things, most of which came handy later in life. Baba Kaduna as I learnt later was a very strict personality and he never allowed his step brothers any share of this father's, safe those specifically willed to each wife's children ensemble. I was told his mother was very rich and of his grandchildren, Adeniyi Ogunade who became my school mate when I was at the University of Lagos, told me that even Chief Obafemi Awolowo used to be his paternal grandmother's houseboy, I never investigated this further. Baba Kaduna was a very rigid man, his physical appearance resembled much the picture of Baba Apebi, he looked more like him than the rest of his siblings that I know of. (I never knew Baba Apebi in real life, he died two years before I was born.) Baba Kaduna was also the only issue from his mother to Baba Apebi. Despite his rigidity, he was really soft towards me, even when he was stern with other people and kids, he gave me freedom to demand anything, ask any question and was always lamenting the fact that I was too small to learn most things he could have taught me.         There was a particular case in which some people tried to steal his land. He took them to court and the court ordered them to demolish the building. The people involved sent so many emissaries to beg him, he blatantly refused to listen to anyone of them. They even sent Mama Eleni to him, Mama Eleni would prostrate, knee down and shake to the left to the right and beg Baba Kaduna several times, even he refused to listen, the last time Mama Eleni would beg him resulted in Mama Eleni weeping seriously for Baba Kaduna to forgive these people, yet he refused.

        Baba Kaduna died a few months after, what became of the land, of the people and the court case, I did not know. A lot of unpalatable story had been told me all along by various people concerning Baba Kaduna, many if you could think critically about centred on his not being generous to his siblings. Well, he was not so good to them, and many bad things that would happen to anyone of them were quickly attributed to Baba Kaduna being after them. One thing that really etched itself on my mind, he was nice to me and was my friend, and when I heard that he died, I felt pained within me as I remember our numerous outings and discussions.

        His death however brought two important dignitaries in our area to No. 6, Apebi Street. I was surprised to find out that the man on whose lap I loved to sit and in whose car I loved to ride and who used to succumb to so many life questions from me was a good friend to Rev. Seth I. Kale and Chief Adeola Odutola. Chief Odutola was for a long time, one of the richest Ijebu - man and a great philanthropist and as I learnt and Rt Rev Hon. Seth I. Kale was for some time the Anglican Bishop of Lagos, Nigeria.

        His burial also brought me into contact with his numerous children. One of them used to ride in a Subaru car in those days, we immediately became friends, and another one would be my friend at the Unversity of Lagos, where I read Accounting. He was a lecturer at the Mass Communication Department, Dr. Delu Ogunade (R.I.P.). He gave me many books to read and I was always welcome in his office, I could remember especially a book by Niccolo Machiaveli 'The Prince' and which I borrowed out to his nephew, Adeniyi Ogunade, and according to Dr. Delu Ogunade before his death, Niyi never returned the book.

        There was the photograph of Baba Kaduna's mother standing high up on the wall beside Baba Kaduna's. I never met this woman, but I was told that she gave her junior wives a hell to handle. She never took gladly her husband's acquisition of other wives.

        On the wall adjacent to the Baba Apebi's picture on the left hand side and closer to the end of the wall was the picture of Mr. Adeyemi Ogunade, I really did not know him, safe that one day some soldiers came calling at No. 6 Apebi Street with a coffin containing his remains. I being so childish went to leak it to Mama Eleni that they have brought the dead body of her darling son, Adeyemi (a lowo lodu bi iyere). The kind of reaction that ensued from her and the kind of commotion that followed made me to vow that never would I report any ill news to anybody again. Nevertheless, even if I did not leak it out to her immediately, the soldiers were in, she would still be saddened, and pained that she lost a son. Mr. Adeyemi Ogunade left two kids and a wife: Abidemi and Esther. Two pretty little girls at that time, although one was my age mate A great evil was perpetuated against these kids as much as people still perpetuate evil and wicked deeds against all those whose parents and mothers were not around to care for them, I mean orphans and abandoned babies and kids.

        Not only were these kids starved, maltreated and malnourished after the death of their father, it took my uncle (Mr. Felix Adediran Ogunade) to forcefully remove these kids from the clutch of suffering at the time. The last straw that led to this was when my step mother put on the stove and forcefully shove the buttocks of these kids to the burning stove just because they decided to eat the food available in the house when she refused to give them something to eat whilst she already fed her own children well. Imagine the buttocks of 7 and 9 years old kids, girls for that matter; on the burning stove! It took the other tenants to telephone uncle - Diran who then came to fight with her and took the kids away. Nothing came out of it, my father could not even do anything to reprimand her after this, I wonder what the kind of father I had then, but I also faced so many maltreatments, many of which will be written in the course of this series about my adventure into earth.

        Life is a series of mysteries, unanswered questions, good and noble deeds, and of course wickedness. My stepmother was a wicked woman, a very wicked one at that, I had to live with this woman from the age of 9 (nine) till I was 16 (sixteen) and I bet you, it was hell, truly hell.

        The Ghanaians living close to us in those days used to ask me if this woman was my mum and if this family was my family. I was really really abused and maltreated and starved. Nevertheless, and even at that time I usually came top in class and usually came home with prizes at every speech and prize giving day, and when I felt I could not take it any longer, I left home. I was forced to leave home. The extended family waded in, talked to my father, my father agreed to be giving me money every week for my upkeep even at that, my step mother insisted that I should be seen outside out of the gate of the house, and that my father should either come to see me where I lived or he should go outside to give me money. How much did my father give me every week, ₦5(Five Naira) an amount that was not even enough for a day's breakfast that time and even then there were instances of weeks I went without collecting anything and if I had to, I had to weed and clear bushes and shrubs before I would collect anything from my own father. I was then forced to go to the street. I could not afford to be delinquent, after so much advice from Mama Eleni and Baba Kaduna, about life and nobility.  and considering the fact that I had read good books whilst I was still in primary school, I braced my mind up to be the best that I could be. I decided to work and work hard, I did many menial jobs: washed cars, carried opepe, mahogany, araba etc. at sawmills, help build houses by carrying sand and bricks. I did all sort of menial jobs to see myself out of secondary school and not only did I pass, I passed excellently, and I went straight to the university many of my classmates are still amazed at me till this day, glory be to God in the highest.

        So much for the parlour of Baba Apebi. At that time I used to have a friend called Seun and we used to play together at this lace shop close to the first lane of Apebi street. Her name was Iya alaso (meaning, a woman who sells cloths) and of course, not her real name, most people in those days were called names based on their profession. She was always holding a cane, and at about the time we were growing up was this song by Ebenezer Obey: 'ki ni iya alaso ta tongbegba dani, tabi ewure fe je leesi ni; when this, as much as this could be translated, is translated it means: "What is the cloth seller doing with a cane? Do goats eat lace?" That was how we used to sing especially I and the other boy (Seun). And also 'Owo apekanuko, owo, C. A. S. H. cash, cash, apekanuko owo. That was the genius of Ebenezer Obey at work, actually, he sang that song when I was growing up and we had nothing to do except to go to this woman's shop and sing Obey songs. The elderly ones liked it then, to us we were amusing ourselves, and to them, perhaps we were showing signs of intelligence, learning and alertness to our environments. All I know is that whenever Seun came around, we would go up to the Iya Alaso shop and start singing Obey songs.

        Living at No. 6 Apebi Street, brought in its numerous night calls, it is not uncommon for us to be woken up in the middle of the night. Yes, it is either during the Olobirin Ojowu's festival or during the Agemo festival. The Olobirin Ojowu's is a festival that celebrates women and their attributes, especially their jealousy and envy attributes. The festival was established to commemorate a particular event of which story, little remains in my memory.

        The Agemo festival pools together the sixteen most powerful medicine men or are they Babalawos or juju men or custodian of Ijebus' war arsenals, I really don't know; of the Awujale. These Agemos usually came for entitlements from Baba Apebi when he was alive. After his death, they still came and I'm not sure if they've stopped by now. They came during my years at No. 6 Apebi Street. Whenever they came, palmwine must be served, kolanut must be presented with some other gifts, especially Aromatic  Schnapps. I have lost counts of how many times I have encountered these custodians of Ijebu spiritual powers and cultures. One thing I know for sure was that they came almost every six months when Mama Eleni was alive. Even at the time, when it was not Agemo seasons, they would come to say hello and leave. I don't think they come to Ijebu - Ode for even to buy something in the market without paying their  usual courtesy call on the house of their Apebi. Baba Bajelu an old man, a very old man who used to come at every Agemo season is deeply embedded in my memory as a bald-headed man and very talented at dancing. This old man was really a dancer! Mind you and well versed in Ijebu spiritual warfare! Whenever he was around, prayers were usually said with libations. He used to come with an iron-like staff in his hands. This staff had speckles of bronze and silver dangling around it and as Baba Bajelu danced, these speckles shook and make a synchronizing sound with the movement of his body as he held the staff for support whilst he danced. Baba Bajelu was such a delight to watch even at that old age when I knew him, I wonder what delights those who knew him in his hey days could have savoured.

           Olobirin Ojowu, gon, gon, gon ti gon gon! I think that is the 'trademark' of the big drum, the symbol of the Olobirin Ojowu! This is a very big drum that is usually beaten whenever they parade the street of Ijebu - Ode during the festival. Two heavily built men would carry the drum on their heads in an horizontal position, whilst the third person would beat the drum and I think the three took turns in beating and carrying the drum. They usually came at the beginning of every Ojowu season in the night, they would come to No. 6 Apebi Street for prayers and the blessing of the Apebi. They usually came with a big stone, bigger than a basin whose diameter is about 66 centimetres. This stone is very big and smooth. Perhaps big to me because I was a kid then. This smooth stone is decorated with two multi-coloured eyes. According to what I was told, these stones are two, but they usually go out with one. I don't know how heavy these stones were but there is a legend that it is only those who are initiated that could carry the stones to wherever they go and mind you: I was also told they breathe!

        It is common for Oro (a kind of festival that forbids women to come out at specific interval of day or night) to come out in those days than the rest of the other festivals. Mama Eleni was forbidden to see them. Mama Eleni would send the eldest male in the house at the time to give them their kolanut and if there was no mature male around, Mama Eleni would answer them behind the door, telling them there was no one in the house at which instance they would tell her to come out with her back facing outside, presenting their gifts to them.

        Female folks see only the Olobirin Ojowu in their entirety. The female folks were permitted to see Agemo only during their dance to the Awujale.

PART IV

UP

SW8/1103 OSOSAMI, IBADAN

        My father came home to Mama Eleni on a certain Friday afternoon and told Mama Eleni to get me ready for Ibadan, but that, this time, I would start staying with him. It was such a shock and impromptu message that Mama Eleni, pleaded with my Dad to allow me to at least finish my primary school at her place, at which my Dad replied that he did not like the manner at which my last school result was and as such he thought Mama Eleni had no choice because she was not capable of grooming me. Well, Mama Eleni had no choice, I left for Ibadan with my father. I was somehow happy and sad at the same time, happy because I was going to a big city like Ibadan of which I have read so much in books and sad because I would miss Mama Eleni. I wept bitterly and Mama Eleni wept too. Mama Eleni specifically told me to face my studies and that I should take whatever my step mother would do to me and that I should not fight with my step siblings. (I never knew what was in stock for me) that I should always say my prayers as I used to do with her and that I should always be an Omoluabi. I realised the import of Mama Eleni's admonition the second day I arrived at Ibadan.

    Actually, few weeks before my arrival, my step mother (Felicia Taiwo Akinyemi Onasanya) had committed a great atrocity. Yes, not only to the living but also to the dead. As I have aforementioned, Esther and Abidemi were made to stay with us because their father passed away. The mother had to leave, the children stayed with Mama Eleni for some time and later were transferred to Ibadan to stay with my father and step mum. My father, according to the Ijebu tradition, being the direct younger brother of the deceased, must take custody of the kids and and wife of his direct elder brother. However, modernisation took over and only the kids stayed, the wife must be allowed to search for a new husband.

        Esther (may her soul rest in perfect peace) and Abidemi, were not used to the meagre dishes and food given to those who were not Felicia's. Somehow, I felt shame and anger when I who did all the household chores was given less or same quantity of food as my step siblings who did little or no household chores and who were at least four and nine years younger than I was. Such was the maltreatment that Esther and Abidemi faced during their short spell at my father's. Esther and Abidemi I supposed were not used to such maltreatments and often used to help themselves to the remaining foods whenever they were hungry, at which instance Felicia would beat them severely. I should believe that my step mum thought the beatings were not enough to the extent that one day she put on the stove and shove the buttocks of the two little girls to the burning stove! It took the intervention of the neighbours who called Uncle 'Diran  - our uncle who rushed to the scene to the surprised of Felicia, and that was the last time Esther and Abidemi stayed with her. Uncle 'Diran told me years later that only he knew how much he spent in medical bills and if not for his brother (my father) he could have ended it in the law courts for his doctor was furious about the case.

        We got to the house towards the evening time, I was not at all enthusiastic about my intending stay with my father after all. I felt bad leaving Mama Eleni. I was then introduced to my step siblings. I was first introduced to 'Segun, a very gentle, lovable  and brilliant step brother, who greeted me with fondness and smiles, 'Yomi who perhaps for his age, first refused to greet me but later greeted me then 'Femi, who became my good friend in the house. I was given food to eat then afterwards I went to the sitting room to watch the television - that was my first time of watching television, though, I used to see one without picture somehow down the allay on the Apebi Street in Ijebu - Ode. In those days, the Information Service Department used to bring their vans to show films to the people of Ijebu - Ode, where we would gather at Itoro Hall. It was during these periods that I came to know such screen name as John Wayne etc. Also, the Lever Brothers, PZ and many other of these household toiletries company used to show films as promotional codicil of their products.

        The second day started, I was assigned to sweep the corridors, the staircase, the third room where I and my brothers stayed, although they were in the hostels at the time; to make sure the kitchen was always clean, with no plate unwashed at any point in time, to wash the toilets and baths everyday! What a heavy work load for a boy that was barely ten years old. The only work I used to do at Mama Eleni's had been perhaps to sweep the outside of the house! I should say that the abuses and maltreatments started immediately the same day my step mum called me and asked me to go and buy a keg of kerosene. She gave me a 50kobo note that was somehow dirty. I actually did not know anywhere then, just the second day of my living with them. How can I get kerosene to buy. Well, she asked me to go and buy kerosene from a house across the road, well, I went and did not see any kerosene to buy and when I reported back to him that there was no kerosene, she then told me to go and search kerosene anywhere to buy, even if I had to comb the whole of Ososami. Well, I went out in search of kerosene, I went as far as Ring Road, I really searched every where for kerosene. I left home about some minutes past five and did not come back until after ten in the night. The kind of fear Felicia put in me and the menacing look on her face when she angrily told me that I should not come to the house unless I came with kerosene made me strive to look for kerosene. A woman even wanted to sell kerosene to me but immediately she saw the dirty 50kobo notes she immediately changed her mind. I would have still been searching for kerosene, for I have no sense of time, I thought it was still something around eight without knowing that it was already some minutes to ten, if not for an old woman who saw me on the road, asked me questions and told me to go back to the house and told the person who sent me that kerosene is finished. I did not know the courage that came upon me, I went back to the house as the woman advised and lo and behold, my father, step mother, and some of the tenants were waiting for me on the balcony. Well that was the end of it, nothing came after that. I had come back home. I wonder what would have happened if I had got missing. Or was I an object of serious spiritual attack. Well, thank God for that old woman that appeared from nowhere.

       

I ate a loaf of bread and akara and I slept, I was worn out, seriously worn out, I slept only to be woken up the next day with cain from my sleeep, my offense, I was still sleeping at 6.30am, as I was supposed to wake up around 5.00am. The next day came with weep and cries and tears tearing down my cheek. I had not even begun my troubles. I never imagined the other troubles that came calling on my head.

    I was asked to attend Baptist Primary School, Oke Ado, Ibadan, I and Femi started school at the same time, Femi was also supposed to be in class 4 like me, we were given test for them to know the class we were worthy to be, I passed my test, Femi failed his, and then Felicia had to beg them to accept the two of us, well, they refused Femi to even be in class three, he was asked to go to class two, but Felicia 'begged' the teachers and they allowed us both to be in primary three. Felicia actually succeeded in having me demoted to class three. I was put in the morning class and Femi was asked  to be in the afternoon class.

        Baptist Primary School, Oke Ado, Ibadan was a nice school for me, a great school with extremely good teachers. There was an event that happened to me, the reaction of which I cannot still resolve till today. I was asked to be in Mrs. Oluwole's class, the same class as this boy who, immediately I entered the class, I could not put off my face or attention from, and he was just also starring at me. Immediately the short break bell rang, as was the usual practice in those day, we thronged out and I went to see Brother 'Bunmi who just came from the hostel and was told I was in school and therefore came to look for me. As I finished seeing brother 'Bunmi off I just saw standing not too far away from me, this boy that had been starring seriously at me in the class the other time. I walked towards him and he also walked towards me and before anyone could say what, we were involved in a fierce fight. That was my first fight in the school, at the end of the day, there was no victor no vanquished as brother 'Bunmi, who had noticed me fighting and had come back, not to separate us but to cheer me beat this boy, had ruled. After this fight, we introduced ourselves, he was called Oluwaremilekun Ikuesewo. We became friends, very good friends, 'Remi should be a medical doctor by now. We became quite close for I noticed then that when he fell sick I somehow also fell sick and the day he did not go to school, most of the time, I was also not in school. Remi's mother was a teacher, his father worked in Okitipupa and owned a volvo and peugeot 404. 'Remi was a very brilliant boy.

        Our class was moved from the block adjacent to Ebenezer Primary School, Ebenezar Primary School is very close to my our school, the main road divided the two schools, to the other northern block of the school close to Aresa - Aresa used to be an open piece of land reserved for youth relaxations and exercises, a kind of youth centre in those days. Mrs. Oluwole our class teacher was a very gentle and beautiful woman, who painstakingly made sure every pupil in the class learnt well.

        My class or should I say my crop of friends: Adeleke Aderohunmu, the first person that ever came to the house to look for me. He actually met me being punished, I was asked to raise up my hand and close my eyes for what offense I cannot remember very well, but if my memory serves me right right now, I was making noise with my step siblings whilst Felicia was entertaining her visitors; Rasaki Mustapha, Abiodun Fasoro, Layi Obasa, Remi Ikuesewo, Taiwo Owoeye, Edmund Igbozuruke, Rasaki Ramoni (very funny guy) and this big boy whose name I have forgotten now and who used to bully me about, but was my friend! The girls, Modupe Ojotu, Funke Adekunle, Funke Adeniji, Funmilayo (I had two Funmilayos as friends), Tutu, and Titilola Fashanu, and of course: Anti Kehinde.

        Mrs Oluwole was one of my primary school teachers to make the first impression on me about English language. On that fateful day, we were asked to read about lion and the mouse. Well, I had always been pronouncing 'king' as it should be pronounced, but when I was asked to read a particular paragraph where I came across the word 'kind', of course I pronounced it as 'keend'. 'Remi Ikuesewo had read his without hassels, I did not know that I was not supposed to pronounce k, i, n, d as keend. When I came across the word in that passage I pronounced it as 'keend', I read kind as 'keend'.  Mrs. Oluwole immediately asked 'Remi Ikuesewo to stand up and read to the class hearing again and 'Remi pronounced kind the proper way. After 'Remi finished the passage, I still pronounced kind as 'keened'. I told Mrs. Oluwole that the word has the same spelling as the word 'king' except for the 'g' which in this case was replaced with 'd'. Mrs. Oluwole then made me realise that even though two words might be written or spelt alike in some way, they might have different pronunciations.

        My step mother used to have a store facing the youth centre directly (on the other side of the road). She used to sell drugs: tablets, pills; electrical parts, and drinks. My father bought a Volkswagen Igala for her which she used in running around and when there are plenty of crates of minerals to be bought from the wholesaler, she used my father's Volkswagen double cabin kombi bus.

        Not too far from Ososami Street  and on the other lane at the back of the store facing the youth centre is the Imalefealafia Street, this street contained as much life as Ososami Street and housed more Ijebus and Ijeshas than the Ososami Street. There was a barbering saloon that is close to the Apostolic Church.

        There was one day we went as usual to the baber shop for hair cut, I've only spent one term at Mrs. Oluwole class we were in the second term, the barber then mentioned that the hair looked nice, I must surely be a good pupil in the class, the barber observed aloud. On hearing this, my step mother immediately replied: 'Oh, this one, he is a dull head' and I quickly replied, 'I am not dull, it is a new school and I came 11th in the class.' There and then I resolved in my mind that, that would be the last time of having such a poor result. And throughout my stay at the Baptist Primary School, Oke Ado, Ibadan, I cannot remember the time I was 4th in the class. I was usually between 1st and 3rd position except in Primary Five when Grace Omokhabour took the second position and I went to fifth position. The excruciating event that made me go so far in the class would be explained later.

        On a fateful afternoon, I just finished eating the afternoon meal and I heard the usual hooting of my step mother's car and looked downstairs, I saw the car filled with crates of mineral. On getting down to greet her she told me to unload the crates of minerals from the car and carry them upstairs on my bare head with no 'osuka'. I thought I did not hear her well, and I asked her again to which I receive a good slap on my cheek. Well I carried 10 crates of minerals one by one on my head from her car downstairs to the third room which doubled as her store in the house as well. That was how I added the porters job of off loading crates of minerals and cartons of beer to my household daily chores. Considering the fact that I was nine years old, a feeble and frail looking boy and not used to the tediousness of life I was just introduced I fell terribly sick with constant daily headaches and whenever I complained to her that I had headaches she would use a hard comb to even beat me on the same head several times, telling me that she did not believe me and that I was looking for an avenue to dodge work. Well, this continued like that for a week. On the second week of such baptism and introduction to such a sturdy and hard life, she asked me to grind pepper to a fine paste, you dare not grind pepper for Felicia without it being very fine in texture you would receive slaps for it. Grinding pepper on the grinding stone was one of my house hold chores in those days and not only were there ordinary dried pepper  but also tomatoes and onions, with my head banging aloud within me like a church bell, I pleaded with her that I was having headaches and sick, she refused and I had to grind these things into a very fine paste that day, I remember that she even beat me well on my aching head with another bout of hard combs raining on my head. I felt sick, terrible sick that same day and I was on the verge of death and I did not go to school the next day and same for the rest of the week. I spent almost a week at home. During that week, my crop of friends at school came to see me at home at the behest of Mrs. Oluwole, I felt loved by that kind gesture from them. That was the first time my classmates would come in group to say get well soon. Of course, my step siblings would have told them at school that I was sick, since we attended the same primary school.

       

My dad came home one day and in his car was this dark in complexion and cute girl and immediately she saw me she was very glad and happy, I did not quite remember her but there was this feelings that I knew her somehow then my dad told me that she was my sister and that her name is 'Dewunmi. We became friends easily she was about two years older than me, I at least had a play mate. Well from my ruminations later in life, I found out that my dad actually intentionally brought her to be my playmate thinking that it was because I had no play mate that I fell sick without knowing that I fell sick because of Felicia's maltreatment. According to the story my dad told Felicia over food that day, he said he had to take her away from her mother's paternal great grand mother because she was not being cared for. So 'Dewunmi was taken away from Oke Aro in Akure without my mother's knowledge, who was at the time married to another man in Lagos.

        My schedules remained as they were except that 'Dewunmi, on her arrival, shared the work in the house with me: swept everywhere, washed the clothes, washed the cars, carried the crates of minerals and cartons of beer, ground peppers (even though we had grinding machines, whenever it was beans or egusi we had to eat, Felicia most times preferred us to grind the peppers for those with our hands), and wash toilet and bathroom.

        About a month after 'Dewunmi's arrival, Segun, my friend, (a brilliant  and lovable boy) step brother fell sick, terribly sick, and his sickness drained my father's savings. I actually went with my step mother to so many spiritual churches looking for the cure for Segun's illness; one that I clearly remember was a prophet that said Segun was an Emere (Abiku) child and she should stop wasting her money and that he would die. Felicia continued anyway to look for cure for Segun illness, Segun was her first child to my father, but Segun became so fearful in her sickness of even his mother, that it was only my presence sometimes that he wanted. He refused her mother's or father's presence, even when he wanted to go to the toilet, he would prefer me to go with him than any one of them and was usually afraid. His mother became even more afraid because she could not communicate with her child again.

        It was on a fateful day we were watching the television, there was a play going on, and it turned out that one of the actors in that play died and at that instance something told me that Segun, who had hitherto been finally admitted at the hospital, had died. I looked everywhere in the house, everyone was silent, and later that fateful Saturday, my father came home very drunk, that was my first time of seeing my father drunk and he gave me a dirty slap for not greeting him properly. In the night Felicia came home to break the news of Segun's death. Everyone was sad, I particularly, became sad, because Segun used to share my household chores with me and whenever we were hungry there used to be a box of wires where we somehow get money from to buy food. That box was the box that contained so many of my father's correspondences and from where I learnt so many things that happened between my father and my mother and at the same time correspondences with his brothers

 

PART V

UP

CAPTAIN ABIMBOLA'S HOUSE

        My step mother compelled my father to leave that house and we started living at Orita Challenge when I was in Primary Four. We left that house, I left friends, left 'Debo isale (downstairs), 'Dewunmi, 'Yomi, (that was how they were called in those days). It was a nice coincidence that the names we had upstairs were replicated downstairs. 'Bunmi, 'Dewunmi, 'Debo, 'Yomi. Those tenants living downstairs are called Olasimbo. Their father Mr. Olasimbo used to work for Nepa in those days, his children shared almost the same name as ourselves. Such coincidence still amuses till today. I missed 'Remi Ikuesewo, I missed Adeleke Aderohunmu, except when I saw them in school. I missed table soccer, we used to have house by house league in those days, I missed people to tell my step mother that the work she was giving me was too much.

        We started living in this army captain house. Captain Abimbola. He was not living there, and soon we were joined by other tenants on the flats downstairs and on our left. Mr. Joseph Carr - a Ghanaian goalkeeper, occupied the flat next to us (he had a characteristic cap the he usually wore to matches)with his other compatriots who were also footballers. He used to teach us some football tricks and the Twi language in those days. Everybody liked soccer in our family, any little time we had on our hands saw us in his flats learning soccer, twi language, telling us about Rawlings, and football clubs in Ghana. The flat downstairs and directly underneath Mr. Joseph Carr's flat was occupied by Mr. Halliday, who had a daughter called Ilanye. I think they were from Port Harcourt. The flat directly under us was occupied by Mr. Femi Ologbenla.

        I tasted hell in that house, with scarcely anyone around in the neighbourhood to check the excesses of my step mother. It was maltreatment and abuses galore. Mr. Joseph Carr and his brothers often asked me if these people were my parents, to which I answered yes and he said it was a lie that if they were my parents they would not be treating me like that. One day I came home at the end of third term with my report card, he saw my record and was shocked to find me having a very good result despite the abuses that were usually meted out to me and I remembered that he said I should not worry about my future that my future had taken care of itself.

        We had many Ghanaian families living on the same street as us. There was this man who worked for Sony or is it Sanyo? I cannot really recollect very well now. His nephew and niece or children: Steven and Fatima used to be my friend. Steven was a very brilliant boy we used to have discussions on many national and international issues. At that age people may not believe the depth of our understanding and grasp of social and political issues. The distance from Oke Ado to Orita Challenge is nothing short of 30km. I had to walk this distance to the house everyday from school. And I must be at the house early enough to fix the household chores if not "igbaju and igbamu" (slaps and beatings) would design maps of uncharted and unknown places on my body and face. Well, that was my lot in those days. The distance was made bearable by two beautiful minds who were my school mates: Abiodun Fasoro and Oluwayemisi Omilabu. - Biodun Fasoro was my classmate, we were in the same class for about two sessions, and Yemi Omilabu was in my class for two sessions or so. The pupils were usually rotated according to their performances and distributed into various classes. We had four classes in each arm. None of them really gave me a tough time academically, except - Biodun Fasoro who used to have occasional spark of brilliance and intelligence and hence gave me some tough competition at times. Yemi Omilabu was nowhere the first three. He used to manage the first ten though. These guys not only allowed me to board their buses or taxis with them but also assisted me by giving me food to eat. The route was usually, from Oke Ado to Idi-Ope when it was - Biodun Fasoro's turn to help me with transport and Oke Ado to Ring Road close to Shodeinde Brothers when it was 'Yemi's turn. And of course, 'Banji Agunbiade! How can I forget Banji Agunbiade! Well, thank you friends! Well, 'Yemi's option was closer to the house than 'Biodun's. Usually, 'Biodun's most of the time had food to go with it, but 'Yemi's house was farther up inside the Shodeinde Brothers' area and I had to walk some few minutes before getting to his house after dropping off from the main road. Then it was usually that, if I had no one to help me with food during the break time, I had to choose 'Biodun's option but if I had someone (I had a lot of friends in those days partly because I was very good academically, so I helped them with their studies and partly because they were just kind, they wouldn't want their friends to look hungry) to give me food during the break time, that meant I would choose 'Yemi's option for by that I would get home quickly and at the same time, I would have had enough strength to do my strenuous household chores. Primary Four saw me in Mrs. Ibikunle's class (A very good woman whose husband was the secretary of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) at that time). Mrs. Ibikunle called me one day and asked me if that woman who lived with my father in the house was my mother to which I replied yes (I had been warned many times to always tell people that Felicia was my mother - alas, people were not blind and stupid!!!). She said "oh no, 'Debo I know they must have told you to tell anyone that but tell me the truth is she your mother?" Then I shook my head. She then told me to call my father the next day. When I told my father, my step mother told him that perhaps I had done something bad in the school that she would go instead but I immediately cut in (I wonder where the courage came from) that she specifically wanted to see my father! Well, my father got to the school the next day and had a chat with my class teacher and the next day, my father changed my school uniform (I hitherto went to school in tattered school uniform), bought a school bag for me(Hitherto, my hand was my bag), bought a school sandal for me (I hitherto walked to school barefooted) and I had a nice hair cut, not only that my father said I should say "Thank You" to her and he asked me to go to take some ripe and fresh maize for her from our garden! Thank you Mrs. Ibikunle, I wish all teachers were like that. But was it not obvious: My step mother used to drop all of us in the school every morning, in a brand new car and my step siblings had everything neat and I everything dirty; yet I went to the house after every end of term with the best result usually not only in my class but also at home! Thank you Mrs. Ibikunle once again. I would forever remember you for good! Of course I was one of her best students. After Rasaki Mustapha and 'Remi Ikuesewo, definitely it was me and most of the time the only bane in my coming first in the class was Rasaki Mustapha.

 

Although we had a class teacher in Primary five: Mrs. Agu, most of the subjects were then becoming specialised, I had Mr. Ajadi, the great historian, he had so many stories to tell and the manner with which he taught us history made me fall in love with history. Mr. Ajadi would talk about Oyo Empire as if he was the Alafin and many Alafins at that, he would mention the Mali Empire as if he was Mansa Musa. Mr. Ajadi also taught us Yoruba and the manner he taught that subject made me read almost the whole series of D.O. Fagunwa before leaving the primary school. (No wonder when I got to University of Lagos, although I was in Eni Njoku Hall, I preferred to be in Fagunwa Hall). Talking about D.O. Fagunwa, well, I have never come across such a story teller in almost all the books I have read. The manner with which D. O. Fagunwa told his story was different and non-invective (well, thank God, Wole Soyinka did not write in Yoruba). I not only read Igbo Irunmonle, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Olodumare, Aditu and many other books by D. O. Fagunwa, but I also read many other authors: 'Bayo Faleti, Akinwunmi Isola etc. I wonder what you will think when someone in my class and at my age had read most of the great books available in Yoruba at the time and you wonder how come I had the courage and the discipline to continue my studies despite all the odds against me. Dear reader, please read and read, it will help you consciously and unconsciously and please read good books! Thank you Mr. Ajadi for that curiosity you sowed in me and that desire to emulate the great ones whose stories you told us. Mr. Ajadi would make sure we commit great poems to memory and would discipline the whole class if none was able to recite those poems off-hand. Well, I used to come to the rescue of the class most of the time anyway, that was my domain, even Rasaki Mustapha dared not tread, it was only 'Remi Ikuesewo who used to show some small inclinations towards me. In fact, some of these poems are still in my memory today and sometimes when I meditate on them, they are nothing short of good advices and works of genius. I love books. I used to hide in the toilet to read books (of course, the toilet was usually clean, woe betide me if there was a trace of dirt in the toilet), and many at times I had to lock myself up in the toilet to read and sometimes I did fall asleep, from fatigue of course and many times had I been beaten up mercilessly out of the toilet by my step mother who would force the door open and only to see me sleeping on the toilet's floor and I did to wonder that time: 'why didn't I hear them calling me?' Alas, the chores were really too much I was really really abused and maltreated!

 

Mr. Ajadi was essentially our history/cultural/civic studies teacher. He had this infinite affinity to teach very well, delighting pupils with his gestures and proverbs laden Yoruba and English. Gbolade Olaniyan must not forget this man! A classmate of mine may have a different story to tell altogether about Mr. Ajadi. Aptly, wherever Gbolade Olaniyan is right now, he would be a lot thankful for the part Mr. Ajadi played in his life. Gbolade was our story teller, I mean "Fabu" (Fabuoooo, overtime!). If the class was boring and there were no more stories from anyone whenever pupils were left alone to make noise and enjoy themselves, Gbolade would invent one: one of such stories was her family domesticating animals like snakes, lion, tiger and monkeys. In fact, one day one of his listeners asked him how did they take care of the lion's teeth and nails, he said his mother used to cut the nails every week! There was the day that our group of friends asked him to take them to his house (of course they wanted to see his snakes, lions and tigers), I did not go with them. I knew he was lying! But from the stories that 'Remi came to tell me. Gbolade took them to the Zoo! And believe me! None of those who went with him knew that it was not his house. I did not ask him anything anyway. Later, he confessed to me that he took them to the zoo. Gbolade used to be a very handsome and brilliant lad. But he suddenly became a truant! Thank God for Mr. Ajadi, he beat nonsense out of his senses and he came back to his senses!

        My dad had a twist in his business when I was in this class. Of course after all the money spent on Segun's sickness!

        It should not be a surprise to my reader why I chronicle the happenings in my life solely on school, using school as my clock for the passage of my early years. I loved school, it was the only place I felt loved (even though I receive occasional canes, but those canes were worth the strokes on me. They were given with love, with authentic correction, not haphazardly and not just for the sake of it and not for spite as it was done in the house I lived) many times did tears swelled up my eyes whenever I heard the gong of school closures for the day.

 

Well, my father had a bad twist in his business. I believe he was set up. I did not know the whole story but from the little I gleaned, it was a great conspiracy to rid him of a lot of money. I knew definitely that due to his lack of knowledge on the legal issues relating to foreign exchange and currencies, he was made to part with a large sum of money to the extent that he had little money left for his business. He was an electrical contractor and this business required adequate capital base, but he lost a lot of money. Well, My Dad business got burst, no money in the house, the little we had we had to subsist on and he ended up borrowing money from his brother, Uncle Felix Adediran Ogunade (the first freemason I ever knew, he was proud to be a freemason, I wonder why some people are usually afraid to show that they are freemasons. He belong to the David Lodge in Ibadan and he used to come home after his meetings with pleasant airs. I lived with him for close to a year, my times in his home will be talked about later). He used the money to buy a Volkwagen Kombi bus, even at that time, my dad still had three cars! The Kombi bus was converted to Dugbe Dugbe (transport). And apart from being an unofficial houseboy(or was it 'slave-boy'?) of the house I also doubled as the conductor for the bus. Yes, I became the bus conductor and I worked from 5.00 a.m. and closed at around 7.45am just fifteen minutes before 8 a.m. before resumption of classes. I did this for about three months. I stopped because 'Bunmi came home from school and was very annoyed that my father was using me as bus conductor and of course naturally he took over but after some few weeks, he got a good contract and that necessitated his return to his normal occupation.

 

A case in point that really affected me and which kept me further apart from the family happened during this period. At the time, all the pupils were mandated to pay examination fee. I told my step mother about it (my father had told me repeatedly that he had given her enough money and that I should not be asking him for fees and that I should ask her first and if she said no, I should then ask him) to which she said I should ask my father that she did not have any money to give me. Being my father bus conductor (what the Ghanaians call "mate") I had told him in the bus that I would like to pay my exams fee before the date of the examination so that I would be able to do my exams with no anxiety to which he replied ok. Of course, the thought came to me that I could be removing little little money from what the passengers were paying before giving it to him, well, I decided not to do that thinking it was bad for me to do that. A week before the exams I asked him again he promised to give me the first day the examination would start and I reminded him that the teachers had agreed that whoever did not pay the examination levy would not be allowed to write the exams to which he told me that I should not worry! Well, on Sunday, before the Monday that the examination would start, my step mother went to his room and collected money for the week for herself and her children(they also attended my Primary School), then as soon as she left I also went to him for the money he promised to pay me and that Monday morning, was the day the exams would start to my utter dismay, he denied blatantly and that he had no money and that why should the school be asking us to pay for exams anyway(this was the man who had already given my step mother the money for the same examination of the same school!). And of course as was the normal practice I started weeping and wailing and even whilst in the bus that morning and whilst calling passengers to board the vehicle, I was weeping and as passengers were descending and entering the car they were questioning me and asking if the driver had beaten me to which I said no and that I needed money for my exams and when they asked me how much and I told them, they started raining abuses and insults on my dad, a passenger specifically asked me of my relationship with him and I said he was my father and she asked me if my mother was with him I said no to which she was very enraged and insulted my father the more and asked to be dropped from the bus immediately (trust Ibadan people, they have words!) this enraged him the more and he followed me to the school at 7.45 a.m. well, my school was on the line praying and the rupture and commotions caused by his voice and everything really embarrassed me! Thank God I had good teachers and Mrs. Ibikunle already knew the situation in the house, she calmed the other teachers and I was allowed to write the exams without paying. I could not really do well because of the distraction, embarrassment and disturbance. I went as a far as fifth position in a class of about 41. I was not happy and would never forget for the first time, a girl called Grace Omokhabor took my 2nd position in the class. 'Remi Ikuesewo came first. One thing that I really respect my classmates and friends for was that as was the normal custom to poke and make jest of your friends when such things happened, they never mentioned it throughout my stay in the school and immediately afterwards they looked on me with great respect instead. I wonder why, but small children have this subconscious understanding that still need to be investigated. Well, there was this girl who came from England who was just one term old in the school and in my class who was shouting: "hey 'Debo was a bus conductor" well, Richard Ayara shouted her down and no one listened to her and she kept quiet.
Sometimes I used to wonder why I had to face all these hardships when I was growing up. I used to wonder why, I, being so much interested in learning but was not allowed nor encouraged to learn, the more I tried, the more the situations and circumstances around me militated against it. One thing that is surprising however, was the fact that despite all the discouragements, hardships and maltreatments, I was always among the best students in my class even though I had little or no time to learn. In fact, I became even more intelligent. I usually went home with one of the best results all the time. Mind you, I was the houseboy or what am I saying, I was the slave boy of the house! The only household chore I did not do was cooking, mind you, I didn't do them with the mind of duty, but with the consciousness that my step mother was maltreating me and she did not hide this fact! Woes betide me if I placed a plate or a cup anyhow, a slap at least would surely follow!! Not talking about finding that the sitting room that I swept one hour ago was dirty again and my step siblings derived joys at always littering the floor so that I could sweep it again. I dared not beat them. A lot of people now tell me that they perceive I have not only a high intelligent quotient but also a good dose of emotional quotient. Little did they know what I went through when they were still being decked and pampered by their parents.

Well, there is something that surprised me about a classmate of mine, Abiodun Fasoro, as I mentioned earlier, he was always ready to share his transport fare and whenever I asked for food, as I usually did with my classmates in those days, he was always ready to oblige. Many situations and circumstances that other classmates would refuse, 'Biodun would never refuse, how on earth can I ever forget this boy! God bless you 'Biodun Fasoro wherever you are! 'Biodun Fasoro was the first person that made me realise that angels don't always go about with wings!!! In fact, I used to think he was not a human being, so cool, calm and collected! Abiodun Fasoro never said no to my plea for food from him, if not that he was brilliant academically; my classmates would have labelled him dumb! But don't go there! Abiodun Fasoro was superb upstairs! He was one of my fiercest rivals academically, ours was a very healthy academic rivalry, sweet competition, I should say the world should be ruled by kids (I laugh myself.). How many of us were in that healthy academic rivalry: Rasaki Mustapha, Remi Ikuesewo, Debo Ogunade (autobiographer), Richard Ayara, Abiodun Fasoro, Segun, Oni, 'Dupe Ojotu (Remi's girlfriend or was she Adeleke Aderohunmu's), Grace Omokhagbor, Adeleke Aderohunmu, Charles, and some few others whose name I cannot really recollect now. But of all of them the first to fifth position in our arm rotates among the first five most of the time. Rasaki usually took the lead most of the time whilst Remi Ikuesewo, I, 'Biodun Fasoro, Richard Ayara, Adeleke Aderohunmu being occasional challenge to his dominance!

Most of the time I got home from school, I was usually the only person around. I would wait at the staircase waiting for them to come and most of the time they come late. I passed the time either trying to finish the latest novel I started reading or reading songs from the Songs of Praise! I enjoyed those songs, some of which I still sing off hand till today. I also took pleasures in reading my father's correspondences from a big wooden box just outside the sitting room's veranda where I slept. This wooden box bore the secrets, so many secrets of my father's past decades (from late 1950's, 60's and 70's). Many receipts and invoices of contract executed, the letter written to him by his brothers - he had no direct sister for his mother did not produce a female issue and many incantations and juju formulas bequeathed by Baba Apebi to Uncle 'Gboyega and which my father never or rarely used, I never saw him recite any and which I learnt from his correspondence, Uncle 'Gboyega enjoined him to use. As for my curious mind, I read everything readable in that box. It was there I learnt the proceedings for my parents' divorce, the reasons adduced by my father's advocates, the papers and the judgement given.

It was from the correspondences that I learnt that Uncle 'Diran used to be troubled by thieves and robbers when he was just a bachelor and was trying to settle down but that when he became a member of an international brotherhood they stopped! No one told me then that there is therefore someone(s) within the family and these persons are on a vendetta and perhaps belong to these international brotherhoods.

I wonder why people join International Brotherhoods to avenge wrongs or affect another negatively! I wonder why members of International Brotherhoods become pawns which few of their members use to achieve their vengeful objectives or other objectives that affect others negatively. Often people like me are so much in love with esotericism, but when you understood that most of the time, the 'brothers' you mingle with to perform interesting esoteric rituals and solve philosophical questions and riddles may one day use you as a pawn to inflict wounds: psychological and physical on unsuspecting scions of their adversaries, then we think twice, perhaps, people like us will stay aside and look for minds like ours with whom we can commune and let our brotherhood dissolve when the last of us depart for the great beyond.

My family is littered with stories of setups, conspiracies and persecutions. Should I mention of an uncle who was pillage with his car over the hill by a hit and run trailer, of an uncle who was a banker and was set up and ended up spending close to 25years of his life in jail after being framed up for an offence he did not commit, should I talk about my father who was set up and had to part with huge sums of money to settle out of court, should I talk about an uncle who was set up and had large quantities of Indian hemp planted in the boot of his car and from which after effects he never recovered, should I make mention my spending two sessions at the University of Lagos without being registered for, that it took divine intervention before my registration form could be signed (Mrs. Eperokun - Mrs. Yetunde Oluwasesan Elsie Eperokun, I will always remember you for good and my daughters shall bear your names!), because some people who believed they have the destiny of the world in their hands refused to sign my registration forms, hence all the lectures, exams, continuous assessments were null and voided during this period, should I talk about my childhood friend and cousin: Ademola Adediran Ogunade who was set up and consequently poisoned in the prison(with the excuse that his conviction will bring shame to the family), should I make mention of my tenderly young cousin: Ademola Adebayo Ogunade who suffered fending for himself at a very tender age of 7, 8, 9 years and at 10 years old, selling ice water in order for him to get something to eat, he died and his body was not even shown to his father, nor did he know where he was buried? Ha! Oh! God, when would you mediate in the affairs of men!

The more I write these things the more I remember the words of Tagore: "We weigh and measure what we suffer from others but what others suffer from us, we give not heed," and pray the Psalm 8 prayer of David: "Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants, thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes, to still the enemy and the avenger." I sincerely pray that God in His infinite attributes should still the enemy and the avenger. Enough is enough! As for me, I'm not ready to engage in their madness and stupidity! 'Bunmi disappeared just like that, after telling one of my uncles 'Bunmi was the one that gave me money for JAMB Exams! 'Bunmi disappeared within one week of my registration at Ogun State University, up till now, I've not heard anything from 'Bunmi, next year will be the 20th anniversary of 'Bunmi's disappearance. Another sacrilege: My sister was literally killed with the foetus of her womb; by the same set of people who masterminded 'Bunmi's disappearance. Ha! God, Elohim, Jehovah, Olorun, or whatever you are called: Speak! As my Asante friends in Ghana will say: "Awurade Kasa!" I know you just need to raise up Gideons for me, I know you just need to take a glimpse, an ordinary glance is enough to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to book! Yes! Only you can give justice now, I cannot fight with those who are not only spiritually powerful but have the capacity for international conspiracies! In fact, I'm not interested in avenging anything, I don't want to dabble myself into their madness and stupidity and foolish hereditary prejudices, never, I'm not interested in avenging anybody, even I cannot continue what I did not start, my only concern is that I have every right to know and pray for justice for those with whom I shared the same womb, I know I cannot avenge you (because I know you people who have died are spirits now and may have the capacity to see the writing without me knowing that you are watching me), I am not interested in avenging anybody, even if I have the capacity, I will not, for the wrongs are too many and only God can heal festering scars! That is why I've decided that if God permits and I'm able to win a good woman who is in love with me despite all these, I will change my name to her name and settle myself in another country or even change into another name, I did not learn international languages for nothing! Yes, Adebunmi Adeoye Ogunade, Adewunmi Adeoye Ogunade (with the foetus of your womb), I know I cannot avenge you, I know I cannot administer justice, but I'm sure as Albert Einstein said: "God does not play dice with the universe," that your deaths and your disappearance will be avenged and the perpetrators will all be brought to book not only in this world, but also in the great beyond!

I wonder why my childhood friends are still disturbing and concerned why I'm not married at 37 years of age! How can I marry, how can I say I love a woman and make her face these troubles in case anything happen to me, how can I marry and bring forth children to be born into this kind of family with hypocritical smiles, speeches and concern?

        Such memories of early childhood maltreatments do not usually, go quickly. Well, one afternoon my brother 'Bunmi came to the sitting room and asked me if I would like to go to Ghana. I said why? He replied that Mr. Joseph Carr was not happy with the way and manner in which my step mother was maltreating me and he was afraid that I might die and that it would be better for him to take me to Ghana. I replied my brother only on the condition that 'Bunmi followed me. 'Bunmi said he was not interested and I also replied that since I would miss him I better not go and I told him that I was not going with Mr. Carr.

        Really, 'Bunmi was my best friend, my saviour for he sometimes had to question my step mother why she treated me the way she did. Well, little could he do. Some time later on in the year, Mr. Carr left the flat next to ours.

        Mr. Egunjobi, a broadcaster with NTA Ibadan came to occupy the flat after Mr. Carr left. I had good relationship with her children. He however used to be indifferent to the kind of treatments my stepmother meted out to me. Even though his wife usually complained to him about it and most of the times, his daughter (I've forgotten her name) used to call me Omo Odo (House Help). I cannot blame her for the way I was usually treated was nothing short of Omo Odo.

        One day, a fateful Friday, my step mother told me she would like to come home late in the night and gave me some money to buy some things for her and that she would need them to cook in the night. I said ok, I did my best to make sure the money did not get lost in school and I also made sure that I bought all the necessary ingredients afterwards. On getting home I had to do all the household chores as was the normal practice but along the line around 7 p.m. I got very tired and I slept off. My step mother did not turn up until around 9 p.m. and when she showed up I had to be woken up with electric cable raining all over my body. First offence, I could not come to open the gate for her to pack her car, second offence I was sleeping at that 'early' hour of the day, third offence I was not awake to welcome her but instead I was sleeping. She beat the hell out of me that day. To put salt upon injury after the beatings and the usual packing things from the car and the preparation for her to start cooking, she asked me for the change of what I bought, in my confusion, I said there was no change, I received a very dirty and banging slap I had ever received all my life up to that point. And the beatings started all over again, I ran out of our flat ran to the compound wailing, weeping and shouting for help. Mr. Egunjobi, just then could not take it any longer and came to intervene (perhaps because of his wife or because my wailing was not allowing them to sleep, he looked usually very reserved, quiet but sometimes friendly). Even though Mr. Egunjobi asked her to stop, this woman continued the battering up and down; sometimes I wonder what strength she had to beat me several times in a day, she seemed to take pleasure in seeing me battered or unhappy. Well, Mr. Egunjobi asked her to calm down and Mr. Egunjobi sat on the pavement at the back of Mr. Halliday's Flat (by this time the whole compound was awake), he asked me where the money was I said it was on the refrigerator, my step mother immediately cut in that we have checked the top of the refrigerator and that there was no money there then he being intelligent, took my mind through the things I did that day, especially just before I slept and I related how I had done when I came back from school what I did and what I did not do, it was then that I remember that I hesitated in putting the money on the refrigerator for I was afraid that perhaps my step siblings could take the money and that meant I had to be accused of stealing it. So it was afterwards that Mr. Egunjobi asked me to check my pocket. Lo and behold, the money was in my pocket! Well, the fear, the anxiety and the confusion did not make me to actually remember that I did not put the money on the refrigerator after all. Thank God for Mr. Egunjobi, well, that could have mean that I had to sell minerals on the streets of Ade Oyo Tutun to get the money back.

        Life was becoming difficult for us in the house, my father had to borrow some money from Uncle 'Diran, he bought a Peugeot 504 station wagon and started plying the routes of Lagos-Ibadan-Seme (Benin Republic), combining it with his electrical work. For by then the work was not coming as expected and he had to do something meanwhile. He usually went during the first day of the week and coming back sometimes on Friday or Saturday. Well, I could not recount the agonies I used to go through during the periods of his absence for my step mother sometimes abused me less whenever my father was around. Well, even if he was around, little could he do and he was not usually around. Rain or shine I had to work, I had to make sure I finished the work in the house; I was by this time still in Primary Five and most of the time one of the best in my class (only God knows how I coped!).

        On that fateful day, it started raining heavily and I had not finished washing the clothes, and at the same time, the Water Corporation taps were not flowing, that meant I had to get the buckets, the kegs and the drums (barrels) outside to get rain water from the corrugated roofs' run-offs. Well, I complained that it was raining heavily and there were thunderstorms and that it was very dangerous for me to go, but she insisted that there was no water in the house and that I did not expect her to go into the rain to get water for me. Well, I started collecting water and putting it in the various containers in the house, climbing the staircase and getting more and more soaked in the rain. Well, when I went to carry the second to the last keg of water and was going along the slippery pavement I slipped and I fell backwards, immediately I reached the ground, I called the name: Jesus, I could not move, it was raining heavily, I laid down on my back, of course I was not aware of my environment immediately, but afterwards, I continued to call Jesus Jesus in my mind, some few minutes later I became aware that I was laying flat in the rain in the middle of the pavement, I tried to rise but I was very weak, but I just call the name of Jesus again, and I rose up, and when I got to the room, she asked me if I've finished filling the containers with water, I said I was about to finish and that that was the second to the last keg of water, and she asked: 'and what have you been doing since' I replied, 'I fell' and she said: 'why won't you fall when you will not pay attention to how you are walking in the rain.' Well, I did not go down for the remaining keg of water anyway (it is not actually easy recounting these stories, but I have to write!)

        'Bunmi Ogunade, my brother, he taught me so many things a boy should know, how to iron, how to lay the bed, how to wash, and how to read with my mind. In those days they ('Bunmi and 'Dapo) only came home on holidays. Whenever they were around, well, good for me that meant the household chores would then be shared by the three of us; my step siblings at the time did little or no work. Well, before 'Bunmi and 'Dapo came back for the long vacation, I had 'infuriated' my step mother, and because of that, I could not eat in the house again and my father had to give me separate money for me to feed myself. My father had to comply and he started given me 1naira every week. Out of which I would buy a tin of geisha and I had to use only two tins within a week. How did I survive this agony, well, I would take one fish from the tin of geisha and some of the tomato sauce in it, mix them with hot water and make eba with which I ate, thank God for the refrigerator, I used to put the geisha inside the refrigerator and sometimes my step siblings used to go there to eat it up or eat part of it. This was before my brothers came back from the holiday and when 'Bunmi came back, I told him what went wrong that I �infuriated� my step mum, 'Bunmi was very annoyed. If my readers would ask what I did to infuriate my step mum.

        One day, I came back from school feeling very sick and with it I had to the household chores, I managed to do the little, I could do, and considering the fact that I could not take it again, I told my step siblings that I was sick and that I am feeling very feverish, and that I could not do the rest and that I needed to rest. But knowing that there was no way I could rest in that house even if I was not sick, I decided to lock myself in the third room, this I did, but then when I realised that there is no way they would not come to disturb me I locked myself inside and pushed the key outside down the door to the sitting room. Well, of course she knocked and asked me to open the door but I replied that the key is not with me and when she asked for the key, I told her that the key was outside and when she opened the door she started beating me and telling me that I was incorrigible to have done that but I answered that I was sick and that was the reason why I was not able to do the rest of the household chores and that I had done the little I could do, but she went on beating me, and of course I went back to the household chores still sick, very sick and feeling feverish (this woman was heartless). Well, when I could not take it any longer, I went back to the third room, locked the door against myself and this time wrote: 'Aye yi ma le o' on a piece of paper which I wrapped around the key and still pushed it through the door again so that they could see it. After she could not hear me knocking things around as was the case when you are doing household chores, she came and started beating me again and I opened my mouth and I said: 'Aye yi ma le o' well, she became 'infuriated' and started beating me. And she said: 'you, what have you seen in life that you're saying 'aye yi ma le o' well, she beat me still and after my rounds of weeping and wailing I went back to the household chores, well, some few minutes afterwards she came with paracetamol and some malaria tablets which I took then I continued with my household chores but she never said anything to me until my father came back at the weekend and she told my father her version of the story, I was not ready to tell my father anything anyway, at that instance she told my father that she would not be cooking for me again and that I should find my own pot. That was why I started this two geisha per week business and which was reduced to one and when 'Bunmi and 'Dapo came back for vacation, they of course joined me and we started cooking our food which consisted of hard and dried corn and beans (that would take years to cook) and if we were lucky, bread, if she decided to give us some bread.

        One thing that I was afraid of was what my brother was becoming as to his ideas, he was not bad academically anyway but 'Bunmi was very ambitious, aggressively ambitious, he believed he could go all along and achieve his goals not minding the consequences, he believed he was above consequences. Really, I admire 'Bunmi greatly, what wisdom do you need in a young man in the way of the world that 'Bunmi did not have, he was perfect for the world, he could have made it greatly if he had been brought up in Italy or the United States. Years later when I came across Mr. M. O. Adedeji, my principal at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School (May his disciplined soul rest in perfect peace) - he was also my brother, 'Bunmi's Principal at Ijebu - Ife Community Grammar School (what an act of fate!) (the reader will get to know how these coincidences worked for my good later in the story); the children even the entire M.O. Adedeji's family could not believe that 'Bunmi was my brother! They would spend time telling me tales about 'Bunmi's exploits at Ijebu-Ife Community Grammar School.

        One day, we went to buy bread somewhere close to my house, and I was surprised when he asked me if I wanted to eat an extra bread and I said where am I going to get the money to buy bread now. 'Oh! You wait and see' was his reply. I was surprised at the manner in which 'Bunmi took the bread from the shelves and no one detected it, I was very much against this and I said I was going to report he if he would not return it, when he found that I was serious, he quickly returned it, and was insulting me that he would not take me out again and that he would not go out to buy something with me again. This act, made me start praying earnestly for 'Bunmi, I was very alarmed. Well later in life I realised that it was not really his fault, it is the fault of the society (I was different for so many reasons). Those who really know 'Bunmi Ogunade used to disbelieve that we shared the same womb. Well, what was my conclusion, 'Bunmi was just becoming conscious of his environment when his mother was snatched from his father and from him and especially from me! ('Bunmi liked me a lot and was just five years old at the time), he grew up to find out many interesting ills and wrongdoings being perpetuated on the helpless and the weak! He must have made up his mind not to be helpless and weak, not only this, how do you expect a five year old boy who was forced to suddenly start calling a stranger 'mummy' instead of she who suckled him! Well, that is our society. Psychologically at the back of 'Bunmi, only those who steal and get uncaught get rich and they become important personalities in the society.

  My fear for 'Bunmi then was that even though he was sure he could not be caught what if someone set him up? ('Eniyan lo ni ki ole wa ja, eniyan na lo ni ki oloko wa mu.' Aye o o) It is human being that tells someone to go and steal and it is same human being that will tell the people to go and catch him. LIFE!)

  I am even surprised at the Yorubas, we have a lot of proverbs ( for example, 'Gbogbo wa lo le eni ti won ba mu ni barawo,' 'Olowo o se olorun asiri re lo bo') that somehow extol the virtues of stealing and other shameful acts which if I should investigate properly, perhaps also entrenched in other African and other world's societies. Is it their faults? When in those days, people steal, assassinate, and plunder in disguise of war! Even in history books, we praise Alexander the Great, we praise Colombus, we praise Napoleon for sacking cities, killing people and we call that heritage! Armed Robbery Heritage? Murderers' Heritage? We wander and walk on grounds that were once battle grounds where billions have been killed in various in inhumane circumstances where many have been buried alive and we pray for peace instead of us to pray for the appeasement of hurting spirits and souls and we see disasters happening all around us and we are quick to point accusing fingers at corruption, witches, wizards etc. when we have not truthfully addressed our obnoxious past we call heritage! Thank God that some selected sanely people used their wit and time to keep Hitler in check. We were civilised a bit in that. I believe most religions have done a lot to confuse us as to our intended purpose on earth and how life will be good for the people of the world (I think the world needs a new religion, a religion where stealing and plundering will not be entrenched in its books, a religion where not only one person will be a superhuman but where everyone will be superhuman, a religion that will not only preach peace but be peace, a religion where we will not need a saviour to save and deliver us from those who will touch us for ill but which will make us such that no one will dare touch us for ill so that no one will dare hurt us in the first instance.) and if I talk they will say: 'the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof' (Does that mean we should maim, kill, plunder another as if others too do not have a Lord as if others too are not human beings, as if other too do not have emotions and passions!). No wonder there is corruption everywhere, no wonder people steal and now hide under the cloak of brotherhood, fraternities etc knowing fully well that their fellows will come to their aid in case they get caught (I was surprised recently when a secondary school boy came to me in order for me to get him a software that can steal money. He thought his family is in dire need of money because of a bad thing someone did to his family and he believed getting money in this way will make him save his family, I really tried to persuade him not to go this way and of course I told him I don't know programming to that extent and if I should know programming to that extent I would not teach him. No matter how much I told him about the consequences of his intended actions, he was always replying me with 'all fair and square' within his statements, I was amazed and decided not to talk again and I said bye to him. That is the situation we find ourselves in the world now!

  Life was terrible for the three of us for those periods we found our own pots! We had to go into the bush to get firewood to cook (we dare not touch the stove or the electric kettle), we had to go into our little farm to get maize from the farm and get some beans to go with it; which in turn we would spend hours cooking! Well, our father coincidentally got a new contract and my brothers, 'Bunmi and 'Dapo started following him to work in order to cut cost of apprenticing and somehow we had money to better our pots! Well, one day, 'Bunmi came home and called me and 'Dapo and said: well, 'E be la n be osika' that even though what this woman was doing was not good but we could not continue like this and that the money our father gave her was not only for herself and children but also for us that we should just go along with me and beg her for 'infuriating' her (Only God knows what my father had discussed with 'Bunmi?). When I heard this, I was annoyed, really annoyed, but then I loved and admired 'Bunmi (even though we did not sometimes agree on certain life's issues) and I owe him a lot, I decided to follow his advice and we went and begged her and we became her friends for some time but within two weeks, everything started all over again.

  One day, 'Bunmi took a quotation from Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' 'the white man is very clever, he came quietly and peaceably with his religion but we are amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay, now he has won our brothers and our clan can no longer act like one, he has put a knife on string that bound us together and now we are falling apart' he said it loudly to the hearing of our step mum, she got the message (I suppose) but I got two messages! Was 'Bunmi trying to tell me he was now very good at putting English quotes in his head whilst I put only Yoruba akosori? Well, I told myself that I am going to surprise this man. (I started regarding him as a man even before he became one; this guy was a real 'Man'.). Well, before he left for the third term I asked him to please leave his literature books for me, I told him the ones he would not use that term, well, 'Bunmi left everything for me, he told me that even though he would need some of them, he would gladly leave everything for me and that he would always get books when he got to school. 'Bunmi left all the books, Shakespeare's Julius Ceaser, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth; Wole Soyinka's trials of Brother Jero; Cry the Beloved Country; Peter Abrahams'; Chinua Achebe's and many other books. In them he intentionally wrote some inspiring quotations which he told me to also try to memorise. I devoured these books, not only did I devour these books; I also put many quotations from these books in my head. He came back for the long vacation and the first thing he asked me was if I had read the books he left for me I said yes, but I never told him that I had also put some quotations in my head from them. One day, he was asked to do something by my step mother whilst he was learning, well he got up took the broom and started sweeping and he immediately started the same quotation from Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' I did not allowed him to finish, I took it from his mouth and even completed the quote for him, he was perplexed, the broom in his hand dropped and he called 'Dapo, and he asked me to repeat the quotations again which I did and this time I added 'Dapo's favourites 'turning and turning in the wilding gyre, falcon cannot hear the falconer, things fall apart the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world' well, they were surprised, 'Bunmi said, 'Look 'Debo, you don't need to go to A level, A level is not for boys like you, just do your JAMB exams, I am sure you'll enter university straight and immediately he finished saying that I added other quotations I have gleaned from Shakespeare. Later when I got to the final years of my secondary school I could not stop being thankful to 'Bunmi and the writers of these books, they sharpened my intellect and I was above my classmates in all respects! Even when I was preparing to enter the University I had made up my mind to join the Seadogs Confraternity founded by Wole Soyinka, his writings really got into me, well when I got to the University, Nigeria's universities started having cult crises and moreover, Deeper Life Bible Church took over and I had no time for such again! My secondary school mates were still surprised to this day that I did not belong. Many of them used to remind me of what I used to tell them when we were in secondary school and I used to reply them (omo ti ko ni iya ki d'egbo eyin).

  The second message I got from this particular Chinua Achebe's quote - 'the white man is very clever' - was that perhaps my step mother used to come to see my dad when my mother was away perhaps to the market or somewhere and of course whenever she came she would definitely meet 'Bunmi at home who was four or five years old at the time and of course she would bring presents and told him not to tell anyone that she came and of course 'Bunmi would have collected the 'Greek gifts' which eventually landed him in the hand of a stranger for mum (Well, that was my thought in those days and even now, I don't doubt it either)!

  Well, soon after Mr. Carr left, Steven, his sister and some Ghanaians living very close to us also left, maybe Steven left for Benin or somewhere, I cannot really say, I've forgotten but he told me he would be leaving our area.

  I actually got to Primary Six at this time and as such I started preparing (in my mind only anyway) for the common entrance, I had wanted to do the common entrance in primary five, and as usual, after my father had promised to give me the money to do the common entrance in Primary Five, when the time to pay for the common entrance came, he denied ever promising me that. Well, thank God I did not pay for the common entrance in Primary Five anyway, one of the teachers (I won't mention his name) 'ate' the money and 'Remi Ikuesewo and the like, whose parents gave them the monies for the exam were disappointed.

  Chief 'Bola Ige - my father wired his house - (Former Governor of Oyo State, and former Attorney General of Nigeria) had continued the Chief Obafemi Awolowo�s tradition of Free and Compulsory Education of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and had even taken it higher to the tertiary level and made formal education free at all levels (I will always thank UPN - Unity Party of Nigeria- that was what it was called then for this gesture, even though I am not interested in politics, I will always advance the course of their ideology wherever and whenever I can! Thanks!), and had established many new schools which we dubbed: 'Bola Ige Schools,' well, these schools were new and most of them that time did not have many facilities and I could not imagine myself attending a school without adequate facilities and I was hoping to get one of the old schools where I could use facilities such as the library, laboratories etc (only God knows how much I had planned how I wanted to live my life even before people taught I know something about life!).

  As was the manner for every pupil, we were given our common entrance forms and were told to give them to our parents to fill for us when we got home. Well, I told my step mum and dad that we have been given the form and that we should fill them and bring them to school on Monday. My step mother had earlier on told me to fill in Oke Ado High School as the school I would like to be, and I knowing fully well that this Oke Ado High School shared the same compound with my primary school and was not far and moreover, I love reading books and the more books I read the more happy I become, I decided to hatch a plan that would take me to another school instead of the one close to her shop, one that will be far away from her shop. I had been told I could not go to the boarding house and that I would be a day student and moreover in the UPN controlled states; most boarding facilities had just been banned! Luckily enough for me, there was one not so far away from our house at that time at Orita Challenge and which I had earlier gone to check the house number of the nearest house to it.

  When I filled in the necessary data and showed them to my 'parents' they agreed with what I have filled but were surprised that I used pencil to fill it instead of a pen! They asked me why, I told them: 'Oh, the teachers asked us to fill in with pencil at home and that when we come back to school they will themselves fill in with pen so that we will not make mistakes' - they took it (of course I had prayed to God about this). When I got to school I erased the Oke Ado High School that they wanted me to fill and I filled (replaced) it with Eyinni High School that I wanted to go which was older had bigger library and tradition. So when the results came and they found out that it was Eyinni High School instead of the Oke Ado High School I had filled in their presence they were askance and I told them: 'Oh! That's what they do, you will fill in one school and they will put you in another.' Of course, it was sometimes like that, not in my case anyway, the school had the policy of making sure the brilliant pupils had the school of their choice and I was one of those brilliant pupils.

  Later on, I met Mrs Adeoye, (who lived near our area) assistant to Mrs Adeyeba who asked me if I got the school I chose I said yes, and I said thank you ma! She told me that she asked me because 'Remi Ikuesewo my close associate in school did not get the Government College he chose despite the fact that the school tried what they could.

  Talking about Mrs. Adeoye, well, that will come in the next batch of the story, what a good teacher she was!

  Mrs. Adeoye, my very good Assistant Headmistress (Mrs Adeyeba was the headmistress that time)must have noticed something peculiar about me and of course must have discussed this with Mrs. Ibikunle. I actually cannot remember how come Mrs. Adeoye got to know so much about me but I suspected that Mrs. Ibikunle must have intimated her about my circumstances. Well on a fateful day, they decided to hatch a plan, of which they never knew I had an onion of. Even though I was not the 'Bell Boy' I just found out that that week the onus of getting the bell ringing at the appropriate periods fell on my lap and I had to do this conscientiously, but along the line something developed (I came late that particular day, of course I had a lot to do at home, so someone else had to bell) - the clock stopped working - and from their own point of view, I spoilt it. But I knew that I did not spoil the clock deep down in my heart it was not until the issue was dragged to the extent that they asked me to call my parents and they specifically asked me to call my mother to school that intuitively, something told me of their good intentions!(I love my teachers, I love and appreciate everyone who has had me taught! I have vowed since the encounter with the golden heart of Mrs. Ibikunle that I will never join my mates to make jest of my teachers or speak unkindly about them in open or in secret as was the case with most pupils and students in those days - Thank God I kept to this - even when I was at Ogun State University and I was having some problems with Mr. Ayanjimi and even at the University of Lagos when I was having problems with my final year registration, I never listened to any suggestions that my colleagues were giving me as to what I should do against my lecturers. My colleagues could not really understand me, yeah, they did not know where I was coming from. Such is the respect I have for my teachers and I will continue to respect them.)Well, there was no mother to call (I never knew who my mother was until I was sixteen, even at that I had to go out in search of her myself!).My 'parents' got to know of what happened - my step siblings reported the case - I had to tell them my version of the story and I told them they asked me to call my mother not anybody but my mother. This actually created a problem for my father, finally he reluctantly asked my step mother to follow me and impressed it upon her to make sure that she pretended to be my mother! Well, she dropped us off in school and went her way but she came back at around 9.00a.m. and I was called to the staff room. The first question I was asked was: 'is this your mother?' to which I hesitated in answering but because I had been told (warned!) what to say in case such a question arose, I said, yes. Meanwhile one of them had sent for Mrs. Ibikunle and when Mrs. Ibikunle came I was asked the same question again and this time with all due respect to Mrs. Ibikunle I said NO and an emphatic one at which my step mother started weeping and begging on my behalf. Actually, Mrs. Adeoye had threatened to expel me from school (I was in Primary Six, first term) even though I did not actually feel threatened about this because I know there is no way they could actually expel one of their best pupils from school because of a clock, being a little boy, I still felt bad about it. Well, the situation was dragged back and forth and back and forth and when it was getting towards the break time whilst they were still insisting on seeing my real mother and my step mother was still weeping and begging them to forgive me that I was her son, they decided to left me off the hook! Well, by this time I was actually weeping and sobbing and I had noticed that by this time Mrs. Ibikunle's eyes had started becoming watery. I was left off the hook on the condition that, I buy another clock for the school, I changed my school uniform, get a school bag, get a shoe and barb my hair (the last time I changed my school personal effects was when Mrs. Ibikunle compelled me to call my dad and she actually talked to my dad about me - that was in primary four)! Whao! I was a bit relieved but I know that I had to sell minerals at the Adeoyo Hospital at Ring Road to cover the costs of these things. Of course selling things had been one of those things I had learned the hard way! I had to come back from school, change my school uniform and off I would go! Actually, whenever I went to sell things for her, I used to make small gains for myself, the soft drinks prices were not actually fixed, sometimes Pepsi's may be cheaper than Coca - Cola's and which made me get extra income for myself. One thing I appreciate about this was that whenever I went like that to sell minerals for her, she relieved me of some household chores. After some time, 'Yomi, her son joined me in the mineral business, but shortly afterwards we suddenly stopped the explanation was that our daddy did not feel good about it. Well, I felt bad about this, first, I had money in my pocket, second, whenever I went out to sell, I usually pray so that I finished selling quickly and the time remaining I spent reading the story books that I used to hide in my pocket whilst enjoying rest somewhere.

  My readers have not yet asked how I spent my days I suppose? Well, I spent my days working like a houseboy or slave boy (I read a book called Slave Boy when I was in Class Two at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School).

  Mondays were usually hectic and tiring. I usually woke around 5 a.m. in the morning and slept around 9 - 10 in the night and when I was not lucky past ten or 11 and at Christmas, I sometimes slept around 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. Not to talk about when my father or mother had to travel early in the morning then I had to wake up as early as 4.00 a.m. or 4.30 a.m. The routines were usually, sweep all the rooms except my father and step mother's room, wash the toilet and bathroom (they must be shining!), as for the bathroom since it was not tiled I had to scrub it with brush and sometimes with broom, it usually got slippery and that my step mother hated sometimes she used to 'jokingly' say I intentionally left the bathroom without scrubbing it so that she could slip and fall. Well, I made sure I carried out my routines conscientiously and it was only whenever she looked forward to finding fault that she complained unnecessarily. I had to wash the car everyday, she used to drive one Volkwagen Igala and when my father bought the Peugeot 504 Station Wagon, she ended up driving two cars: the Volkswagen double cabin kombi bus and the Igala. Washing cars for my step mum is like washing a plate or washing whatever in the house, I had to scrub the tyres with brush so that the ebony beauty of the tyres would show, put my hand underneath the car to make sure all sands and mud were effectively washed away, you would have seen how my less than little hands (I started this routine as early as 9 years old) struggled to detach the sands and the mud, sometimes I used to wash the cars fully on weekends, for during the weekdays she used to tell me that I should just wash the body and the tyres and I should forget the other places because she could not afford to be late for her appointments. Not only this, I had to wash clothes, invariably everybody's clothes, occasionally she omitted my father's for sometimes my father used to wash his clothes himself or she washed for my father. Well, I did not usually cook food but I was allowed to prepare Eba (according to them, I could put poison in their food). Well, the plates must be washed and washed clean whenever they finished eating not only that, there must not be even a crumb of bread on the dining table and I had to make sure the kitchen was clean always. It was not unusual for me to carry about 20 - 30 crates of minerals per day and there was never a day in those periods that I did not carry at least 5 crates of minerals every day sometimes without any cushion (osuka) on my head, I could not forget how many times I had carried Coca - Cola crates on my bare head, thank God I usually left my hair unkempt I could have suffered more for the base of most Coca - Cola crates were usually left not totally closed allowing for two parallel lines of wood making someone's head to ache. Well, the Pepsi crates were better to carry they were better because lines were much close together hence less pain to the scalp. Slaps and beating would sound on me whenever I mistakenly broke any bottle, or plates or whatever. As for being careful with things I learnt it the hard way for not only did I get beating whenever I broke anything, sometimes I had meals skipped to keep me careful. There was a day I was very tired that as I was carrying the crate of soft drinks on my head I accidentally fell, whao, she immediately called for my scalp, I was severely beating. In the evening we had to get to the farm, well, I usually did most of the work there also, I actually became a good agric student afterwards for when I got to the secondary school Agricultural Science became one of the prizes I usually won during the speech and prize given days, I was Mr. Kumi's (our teacher - a Ghanaian) darling boy. My classmates did not know then that most of the time he taught in class I found it easy to associate whatever concept or principles with my experiences at home.

  Wednesdays usually found us attending church: she took us to the New Salem Church that was formerly in Aresa, an area very close to my primary school at Oke Ado Ibadan, not far from her brother's house 'Uncle Pius' former foreman at Leventis Motors, Ibadan. The father of sister Fadeke, who usually came to play with me and Mama Eleni when she was schooling at Ijebu-Ode, I used to enjoy her company and in fact I still see her in my head right now over 30 years ago! This church, I could say never gave me anything worthwhile in terms of spiritual development; we did not usually go to this church on Sundays though. Sometimes the pastor of this church usually preached whilst reeking and intoxicated with alcohol and I used to be surprised why this man should preach against sins and yet he drinks. We used to come back very late sometimes we used to spend time in Uncle Pius' house where we would be playing with his children. We would get home late around 9.00 p.m. feeling tired and I dared not sleep in the car for whenever I sleep in the car she used to slap me and sometimes hit my head against the dashboard or the door, telling me she was not my driver and therefore I must not sleep in the car. (Readers, this story must be written, it is not easy writing this story but I must write, who knows, someone out there may be facing the same problem and my story will inspire such and make such to choose life rather than commit suicide - I attempted committing suicide when I was in Class Three at Ijebu - Ode Grammar School, thank God for a reptile, I would have died since. More or less the reason I like reptile now even though people usually feel somehow towards reptiles; of course I used to feel like that too until one saved me from committing suicide. Now I love life! Even though I feel sad when I see or think of sins committed up and down the alleys of life by men especially in the name of God! My heart bleeds because of this!)

  The same routine applied to Thursdays (except when 'we'(she) joined the Celestial Church of Christ when we moved to Ijebu - Ode)

  The same routine applied on Fridays, on Friday we specially cooked beans for according to her since she gave birth to twins she must cook beans on Fridays and this would be followed with a lot of preparation and the grinding of the pepper to use in cooking this on the grind stone. This pepper would be so dried that I need water to soften it and even at that I had to also grind onions and tomatoes on the grind stone and when I ground she would be displeased with a couple of slaps to go with it if I allowed her fingers to trace any coarseness. I must make sure that I ground whatever she asked me to grind on the grind stone smooth.

  My father used to come home on Fridays or Saturdays in those days and if my father should come on Fridays or Saturdays, she sometimes punished me less and some things I could have been slapped for were usually overlooked even though when she beat me my father did nothing about it.

  Saturdays were usually the d - days that I scrubbed all the scrubbale floors, cleaned all the louvers whether dirty or clean, washed all the three cars effectively cleaned and went to market with her. And when we went to market, she did not mind slapping me in front of the market women, calling me all sort of names and insults if I dared allowed just one person to be between us whilst mingling with the crowds she always wanted to see me beside her or directly behind her. Not only this, we would also go and buy the crates of soft drinks and cartons of beer to sell for the next week.

  Sundays, of course we went to church. We tried many churches, but my father never attended any other church but the Anglican Church (St James' Cathedral, Ibadan). No matter how much she persuaded my dad to join her in her numerous churches that she took us to, my father never bulged. I am sure it was only on two or three occasions that my father ceremoniously followed us to her church. Even though I preferred the Anglican Church to any other church that time, who dared disobey her when she asked you to follow her to church? Well, one of the churches she took us to was the Baptist Church at Oke Ado, Ibadan. My primary school's church. I really enjoyed this church; actually my father consented to our going to this church. I liked the Sunday school's teaching at the Baptist Church; I used to enjoy it and the numerous prizes and gifts I won for answering questions from the Bible. I came to love the personality of Jesus Christ, I really liked this man called Jesus the Christ, I used to pray that I would want to be like Him and I strived in those days, despite the problems and confusion about my step mother attending church and her behaviour towards me, nevertheless I liked Jesus Christ and I loved attending the Baptist Church at Oke Ado. But one thing I found out even at that time was that the week we went to church, whichever the week would be the week that my weekly report card would not be as I wanted! Yes, the weeks I did not go to church would see me coming first or second in the class whilst the weeks I went to church found me coming third or fourth or fifth, I never knew the reasons or had explanation for this in those days until many years afterwards. I was spiritually minded in those days, I became even more interested in anything spiritual from my early childhood when I used to pray with Mama Eleni and later on on my own before I left her. Even when I got to the secondary school I became so much interested with esotericism that I asked Victor Okobieme (He used to bring the 'Rosicrucian Digest' for me to read in the class) to take me to his father because when I asked him to tell me how he came about those magazines he told me that they were his father's. When I got to Victor Okobieme's father, I told him I would like to be a Rosicrucian, he said I was too small (I was not sixteen) to be a member and that most of the things I read in those magazines I might not understand them. I said no, I understood all, that I have even started practising astral travelling and some other things, he still refused, I begged him, really begged him, I even started weeping but he refused! After begging him for about one hour, I left his house feeling very dejected.

  More or less, I loved church, I loved going to church. I used to be very glad when anyone should come to me that oh 'Debo let us go to church but along the line as my eyes got opened and wider about life and mankind, I reduced my going to church. Even in those days that I used to go to church, the only thing that interested me most was when we started singing praises to God, I love God, and I love singing praises to God. I was usually surprised the kind of feeling I used to have when I sing praises to God. Now, I feel somehow about churches, about hypocrisy going on around, if you have ever been sensitive or brought up the way I was, you would have easily seen the hypocrisy, the selfishness, the greediness of most people who go to church now! God! Please send another saviour! (Thank you (God) for Jesus Christ anyway!)

  My father was a very active individual, he rarely rest! He was usually up and doing, if he was not hunting, surely he would be fishing (we had a nice stream, running adjacent to our house) and if he was not fishing he would be farming (we had a little garden too). He would go out early in the morning to check whether his net had caught something, most of the time he used to catch big mud fishes, sometimes a fish would fill a metre-wide basin. 'Bunmi usually followed him to fish. He had a very large net that he used to catch those fishes and of course, fishing hooks. It was all excitement one day when the net caught a snake! Whao, the twins were very excited, almost everybody except me. I was afraid that they would kill the snake and give me to eat, which of course they did! Well, his hunting expeditions never gave him anything than Oya (sorry I don't know the English name). So we had series of Oya at different intervals. Sometimes the fishes were given to our visitors and in those days we used to have some of them. I used to think that those visitors usually came whenever we had just caught a large fish and of they would go with it. There was this particular uncle, Adedoyin Ogunade who used to have the luck of coming to visit us whenever my father had caught a big fish. Seriously, for a long time I used to think he timed those visits. I later stayed with him briefly when I was at the University of Lagos. Another uncle of ours, Uncle 'Yomi was such a regular caller at our house and whose car I washed almost every weekend. Those weekends would find them reeking with Guinness, my father enjoyed Guinness. It was his favourite alcoholic drink; rarely did he take any other alcoholic drink except the Stout. Whenever he had won a good contract, he would come home asking for his Odeku! He did not drink as a habit but drank occasionally, it was rare for him to drink any other beer and when he did, he drank Star Larger Beer! Well, thank God I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: I neither smoke nor drink anything that is injurious to my health again! Praise God!

  Uncle 'Sola (may his gentle soul rest in peace) was another constant visitor to our house, he invariably grew up with my father's family. Almost all my uncles had one or two things in common with him. He was also an Imose man. He used to work for Dunlop? Whenever he came, he used to complain of how much my step mother maltreated me to my father and sometime it nearly caused a disagreement between the two of them (don't mind them, they thought I did not overhear them). Shortly afterwards, our family moved to Ikangba in Ijebu - Ode afterwards anyway

  Just before we moved, something happened between my step - mother and Uncle 'Yomi (my step mum's eyes were too much on money) which necessitated uncle Yomi from coming to our house at that time. Well, he went off for sometime, but you know, you cannot really flush your childhood friends from your mind. When we moved to Ikangba in Ijebu - Ode, he continued his visits.

  Mrs. Oladokun became my class teacher in primary six, within a short while her family moved to a place close to our house. Whao, when I got to know this, it was play galore for me. Immediately I finished selling my soft drinks, I would just go to her house to greet her and of course, she would give me food to eat. There was this gentle man who just came from abroad living in one of their flats, he brought so many electronic gadgets and that gave me some interests in electronics. Although we had our own share of electronics in our sitting room: radio, television, kenwood and its accessories, this man opened my eyes to more sophisticated electronics and I learnt a bit about those things whenever I paid a visit to Mrs. Oladokun.

  My father never attended any other church but the St James' Cathedral (Anglican) at Oke Bola Bye Pass. He was a member of the 'Morning Star' men's fellowship. According to him, they rotate their monthly meetings in the houses of their members. His turn came when I was in Primary Six. The weekend before the Sunday meeting in our house, I had to work very hard, cleaned everywhere, our sitting room was spotless, clean and neat. Of course, in those days, my step siblings usually made the sitting room dirty and I had to be cleaning it at intervals but this time it was different I could not believe that my step mother could so restrain my step siblings to the extent that none of them was able to venture into dirtying it as they used to do. Well, on the day, there was plenty to cook, plenty to eat and there were prayers said up and down, singing, eating, drinking. One of the songs I remember them singing which I loved and which still rings till today goes like this: 'Irawo Owuro l'oruko egbe wa 2x, Awa nsise lati gba ade ogo, Irawo Owuro l'oruko egbe wa' (Our group is called the Morning Star, we are working towards receiving the crown of glory). That was the last time the meeting fell on my father's shoulder for shortly afterwards the family (Excluding me, I joined them afterwards) left for my father's house, which he bought outright from the Ogun State Housing Corporation at Erelu/Ikangba via Ijebu - Ode.

  I was in Primary Six when 'Bunmi and 'Dapo were in the final year of their secondary school. During the long vacation to their final year in secondary school, it happened that 'Boye (Adeboye Adegboyega Ogunade) and 'Lana (Adelana Adediran Ogunade) - my cousins - became more frequent in our house. 'Lana stayed not too far away from us, whilst 'Boye lived in Abeokuta (I should believe the two of them: 'Lana and 'Boye attended Egba High School). Adeboye was a laureate during his secondary days, he was very good academically (I was surprised when I came back from the Youth Service at Egwuena Girls' Secondary School in Abiriba, Abia State in 1993 to find 'Boye in somewhat insane countenance (The National Youth Service Corps is an avenue for fresh tertiary institutions' graduates to serve their country) that buttressed my doubt that my brother 'Bunmi, perhaps ever even left the shores of Nigeria!). He read Psychology at the University of Jos. Adeboye spent days with us during his short stay and he was ready to stay longer but as you know, my step mother was not as willing as we were to make him stay, so he left us.

  I was acting a play in school, of course, it was our final year, and we were doing our last year in school party when 'Bunmi showed up! 'Hey 'Debo, look, I just came back from school, I just finished secondary school and I said I should come and see you in school! They said today is your final day in school and I am sure you'll win a prize I just came to cheer you!' He said with elation. 'And what part were you acting in such a play, I don't like such part, don't play such part again' he added. Well, after the play, our prizes were distributed. I was happy that I came third in the whole school at that time! Of course Rasaki Mustapha and 'Remi Ikuesewo had taken the first two prizes respectively! 'Bunmi was all joy; he collected the prize from me and opened it. 'Oh! This small books at least they could have given you people something of more worth than these, considering the fact that this is your last time in school.' He said, immediately he added 'But you, why didn't you come first? I am sure 'Remi Ikuesewo came first' but I immediately replied: 'Oh! Rasaki Mustapha came first again and how did you expect me to come first with all the rigorous routines at home' 'Well, I know but I always think you can do better, well, this is not bad, I am proud of you' he said. Then we left for the house!

  There was this Charles, not Gbolade Olaniyan but this dark in complexion Charles who came to admire my interest in Nature Study and in other sciences. In those days we did General Paper or was it General Study? Well, we had all the sciences lumped up in one paper. I used to top the class in this subject. Mathematics (it was called Arithmetic until we got to Primary Five) was 'Remi's domain, sometimes we used to do 'co-operative society' in which I would teach him General Paper and he would teach me Mathematics. I never saw eighty something in 'Remi's exam's scripts, he used to have his marks in Mathematics in the range of nineties. It was the same with me in General Paper but whilst Remi would get seventy something in General Paper, I would get sixty something in Mathematics. In those 'co-operative society's relationships, I sometimes got some seventy something in Mathematics. Well, Charles would be surprised to learn that I read Accounting in the university, even in those days, my secondary school class mates like 'Dare Kuku, 'Tony Ejorh and 'Tokunbo Omodein and the rest (especially some of my seniors at Ijebu - Ode Grammar School) thought I was out of my mind to have gone to read Accounting but it was not their fault, they did not know where I was coming from. I learnt very early in life that you have to cut your coat according to your size (cloth) (this was one of the things my step - mother ingrained in our ears - I thank her for that) and I would not say because I was equally good in the sciences I would go to read medicine as my other colleagues did. Where would I get the finances? Even the accounting, the so called powerful people of this world nearly frustrated me out of it! Moreover, I did all sort of menial jobs to see myself through it! Could you believe a final year student of accounting carrying sands at the beach to make a living? Well, readers, this was one of those things I did to survive (or exist?) in those days since I could not compromise my Christian principles or go against my moral standards; of course I went the hard way but it paid for me at the end of the day. Thank you God for not making me go in the way of the world! What I was supposed to have finished in 1990 I ended up finishing it in 1992! Well, I will get to this story later on, God willing. Sorry Charles, your 'Debo Ogunade did not have his first degree in any of the sciences but in Accounting, not to worry, I am back in sciences now anyway!

  Yeah! Talking about Oluwaremilekun Ikuesewo, he was my very good friend when I was in primary school. Even when he was reading medicine at University of Ibadan, I still took out time to look for him. In fact, I used to take time to look for my primary school close pals in those days, Rasaki Mustapha was never at home. 'Remi Ikuesewo was the closest to me that time. Throughout the years I was in Primary School especially when we were still staying at Ososami, I always made sure to look for 'Remi if perchance I did not see him in school. I loved him, I was thinking when I grow up I would marry his sister (Olayinka Ikuesewo)! I loved his sister too. In those days I used to think of her a lot. But look at me, psychologically my step mother had already made me incapable of asking anything from anyone so there was no way I could ask her, more or less I was a small boy, woe betide me if someone would know that I feel somehow towards the opposite sex, not only this, even if I had been born in a very free society, I love books too much!

  Well, one day just before the family left for Ijebu - Ode (I did not leave with them at first, I joined them later on) 'Bunmi came to the sitting room to meet me and asked me when I would like to get married in life. I was surprised by this question but I replied and I calculated my age then and what I would like to do and decided that I would get married at the age of twenty - two. The kind of expression on 'Bunmi's face clearly told me he was not happy with such a plan (perhaps in his mind he was thinking that this boy knew little yet about women). He then asked me why, I said since I did not know my mother the best thing is that I should get married on time in order for me not to be running after women! He then smiles and told me that a man should get married after the age of thirty and that I particularly should get married around the age of forty or forty something and by that I would have been very well matured and wise to manage a home. Forty! I exclaimed in my mind! He left the sitting room immediately. Well, as the years wore by I realised the 'Bunmi's suggestions and for a truth I was forced to agree with him. Especially for my case for all these will be unfold later on. I did not have a 'girlfriend' when I was in the university and even when 'Dare Kuku (whilst he was a medical student at OSUTH - Ogun State University Teaching Hospital) told me that I should start 'doing' it ('sere be' - this was a Yoruba's slang in those days, sorry I won't explain it in English)

  Well, it panned out the way I had planned it, I got admitted to Eyinni High School and I loved it there. My principal Mr. Jeje (pronounced Jayjay) was a very disciplined man. We had a shield called the 'Discipline Shield' that used to be the prize per week for the best behaved class in terms of punctuality, neatness, orderliness, quietness and of course academics. I was in Mr. Aderibigbe's class. He was also our Mathematics teacher (He made me take Mathematics serious, thanks.). He liked me a lot; I was also one of the best students in the class. It was beatings galore one day when most of us in the class failed a particular test in maths (his own class) he beat nonsense out of us that day. It was something else in my case, when it came to my turn to be beaten, he said 'you 'Debo open your scripts what did you get?' '2', I replied, he said 'you, you scored 2, 2 over 10 aren't you 'Debo Ogunade?' I said 'I am sir' so, why did you score '2'. He could not believe it. He beat me more than the rest. He beat me severely that day but thank God I could remember that I scored over 91 percent in maths during the third term it was only Abiola Azeez, that scored 95 percent in the whole school. When I was doing my WASCE (West Africa School Certificate Examinations) some four years afterwards, I remembered this man and how he beat the hell out of me that day, I told myself I better have an 'A' in Maths for I would not want this man to see me in future and ask me what did you get in Maths and I would say something that he would not be happy with. Well, thank God, for Mr. Adedeji (My school principal at Ijebu - Ode Grammar School) who asked me to come to the boarding house free of charge when I got to my final year in the secondary school, hence I was able to study well for my examination and I had 'A' in five subjects including Mathematics. I had started fending for myself (I was finally frustrated out of my father's house by my step mother when I was sixteen) just a year before leaving secondary school. God willing I will get to this story later on.

  My school uniform consisted of a white shirt and deep green shorts. I was happy to at least have a new school uniform, a new school bag and pair of sandals to go with it. You could have been there to see me; I appeared neat and new whenever I went to school, I made sure, for I had made up my mind to be different no matter what, that I would always be neat and that my primary school situation would not repeat itself.

  There I met new friends, many of them, Sesan that could dribble through any defence when we played football, Ndubuisi Isibor that was a kind of 'Genius', Abiola Azeez, Akingbade, Adedolapo Idowu - Koya (Adedayanpo Idowu-Teba, they spoiled this name for him!! Courtesy Akingbade), Taiwo Olunuga, 'Dayo Ajayi, 'Dapo Aduloju, Augustine Awe and many others. It was an exciting experience for me. I loved it at Eyinni High School and I thanked my stars that I made the bold decision of choosing rather than allowing people to choose for me (It was years later when I was at the University of Lagos when Dr. 'Dokun Jagun borrowed me a book called 'DIANETICS' by L. Ron Hubbard that I knew the secrets of my power of choice devoid of negative auras). Considering the fact that we just came to school and we just knew ourselves, we used to play and make noise a lot. I, for one, had always liked making noise since the time I was in primary school. Of course no one would play with me at home but at school I was free from my step - mother's prying eyes so I could be free and express myself. I was always on top of my voice at school. My primary school teachers in those days did not help it either (thanks, I have a loud voice now, it would help if I should become a public speaker), maybe because I was one of their best pupils, sometimes even when my names would be among noise makers they sometimes beat the rest and leave me off the hook.

  It was at this time that I was watching a film and that film made me to fall in love with the Oyinbos (white people, white men). I really fell in love with the whites to the extent that in my undergraduate's days when people used to talk against the United States and its policies I used to boldly defend the Americans. Olusegun Mayegun (Erstwhile NANS president) dubbed me 'CIA' agent! And I did not care that time even if Dr. Jagun had also thought so. In that film, I could not believe it when a father went to his son's bedroom to actually beg his son! I said what! A father apologising to his son? (Even at that time I was not allowed to watch the television what I used to do was that I would lower the volume so low that it would require me sitting very close to the television to hear what they were saying. 'I could understand few of their rattled English that time anyway.' Many atimes was I beaten off to go and sleep whenever my step-mother happened to be passing to the toilet and saw the television on with me sleeping off close to it.)..

  I could not believe my ears and eyes as I watched the sequences that made such a thing to happen and what resulted in the film afterwards. When I got to the school the next day, I told Ndubuisi Isibor, he told me he watched it too and we started talking about it, some joined in too. Some were also shocked and one of them even buttressed it that they also watched the film. Then we started talking about how we used to be beaten even if our parents were themselves the culprits and somehow accusing us wrongfully. How can a father apologise to his son after the father had wrongfully scolded his son? I could not really believe it. Years after when I was in secondary school all those things that were taught about slavery and the rest were always falling on my deaf ears. Of course there were and are evil individuals everywhere in the world! I never took history in school anyway, I took it only when it was compulsory and afterwards I dropped it. I used to have little time to write a lot! I remembered my first and only teacher of History at the secondary school give me 8/20 and wrote 'very good' beneath. When I asked her she said it was because I came late to class for the test and that if I had had enough time I would have done extremely well (I went late to the class that particular day). As for History, the time was never enough to pour out those things you had read so I decided to be reading it on my own. Yes I did!

  I was amazed at such humbleness. I told myself, no wonder this people know so much! If you're humble there is no end to your knowledge. I never told them about my own experiences when I was with my stepmother and father (I was living with Uncle 'Diran for the better part of my first year in Secondary School). We were brought up to apologise to those who would have apologised to us in the first instance. We were not brought up to be sincere and see errors in our way. That is the reason when you are in buses or taxis travelling somewhere and the driver of the vehicle misbehave on the road, of course the passengers will not blame their own driver, they will of course blame the other driver yet their driver may end up sending all of them to their graves. Na wa for my society ooo. In my society, the elders are always right no matter the case. I remembered a case in point some years afterwards (I think I was eighteen at that time) when my so called uncles gathered themselves together to advise me that I should go to the university (without any inkling how much I suffered to pay and pass the examinations in the first instance) since I had a good result and that my father would try to send me to school and I told them that no, I would find my ways that I know what I would do and that I would not depend on my father since he reneged on his responsibilities when I was both in primary school and secondary school and I would not want that to repeat itself in my university that I could easily get a good job anywhere with my result (I had wanted to go to the customs or work in a bank). I had five distinctions! No! They replied in unison that he (my father) had promised to do all he could and that I should not worry. Oh! I replied that it was a lie and that he always reneged on his promise. Moreover, uncle 'Soye, one of my 'friends' in the family reminded me that 'agbalagba kon puro' (elderly people don't lie). He was taken aback when I replied that if elderly men don't lie why is Nigeria spoilt. At least it is grown up men who rule and not children. They all kept quiet. I wonder what the so called elderly people take youths and children for, they think they don't think? If those guys had known the state of my mind then they would have been sorry for abandoning me the way they did. My father was another story entirely, this man would pay the school fees, keep the receipt (for future reference so that people would not say he did not send me to school) and leave me alone to eat the air! He was always sure to remind me that he was doing me a favour (he did not regard it as his responsibility). Thank God for the little he did anyway. I really suffered when I was at the Ogun State University. Thank God I came in contact with Mrs. Eperokun (Mrs. Yetunde Oluwasesan Elsie Eperokun) life would have swallowed me up. Could you believe that sometimes I would walk from Oru (where I resided) to Ago (where the campus was situated) in order for me to be able to use the library? A distance of about 30 kilometres with only Gari to drink for the day! Yet I would read and study! Thank God also for my friend 'Segun Oyesanya who used to give me some food to eat occasionally (He lived on the Onalaja estate), his residence was somewhat located in the middle of the journey from my place of residence to the university's campus where the library was located whenever I was lucky to find him at home. It was a serious situation for me in those days. I hope most people don't behave like this and that my case was an aberration. Well, if people behave like this, they should change, I plead! Well, we will come to these stories later on, God willing. Ogun State University is situated within the environs of semi - rural areas with no prospect of earning any income. But at the University of Lagos, I had jobs to do alongside my studies, Lagos being a cosmopolitan city. Thank God for making me to happen upon Mrs. Eperokun and thank God also for allowing Mrs. Eperokun to take me as her son and thus, when I told her that I wanted to change to the University of Lagos, she gladly agreed and used her contacts there to effect this (Mrs Eperokun's husband, Mr. Eperokun was a former registrar of the University of Lagos and to the glory of God, the main contact who effected my transfer to the University of Lagos, Mr. Adebisi Omotosho became also the registrar of the university (after Mr. Ajijola) barely two months after I gained admission to the university (He was, hitherto, the director of the Correspondence and Open Study Institute of the University of Lagos - COSIT), God works in mysterious ways you said? Wait until I get to that particular part in the course of the story and you will really see how God's manifold blessings worked in directing my paths (I don't think I believe in destiny am I a Christian?). I am therefore saying thank you to everyone God had used to bring me happiness and smiles in my tortuous path of life. Sorry for the digression (You need to splice in serious situations sometimes when you write. It is not easy writing this story). We should realise that there are no kids around in the world today! I was working for Esan Training Centre in Ibadan one day (this was many years afterwards) when I happened to see a little girl (I like playing with kids a lot) playing with sands and I decided to advice her to go and read instead of her playing with sands, she told me she heard, though I actually did not see her face she was concentrating building with the sands. The second day, I saw her again and I told her that she should heed my advice and that she should go and read her books and that good children don't play with sands. I was really flabbergasted when she said she heard me and that I should concentrate on my work well I went back to my work as she said but after some few minutes I came back to her and was standing over her watching her build with sands but before I could say anything she said: 'Nje iwo mo itumo omo dada?' (Do 'you' really know the meaning of a good individual?). I was taken aback! That was the philosophical question that made me found me and which played a very great role to what I am (mind wise) today. When I told people about what this 'little' girl said they could not believe it. They said if I was saying the truth, then the girl could be a witch! I did not really agree with them even though I was nonplussed by this girl's statement. But thanks to this 'little' girl, she opened my eyes wider than they were (I had read so 'many' books about life before my encounter with this 'little' girl). God willing we will come to this story later on.

  It was no wonder to me when I got to Ghana many years afterwards that I knew the reasons my Ghanaians friends and neighbours complained and sympathised with me when I was barely eleven (11) and was going through all these. Could you believe that throughout my journeys along the Gulf of Guinea, it is only in Ghana that they have coined the phrase: 'right - thinking Ghanaians'. Yes, you need to be right thinking before you can do what is right. I am not saying that that the Ghanaians are better than other people from the West Africa sub -region (of course you find wicked and evil individuals all over the world) but you can get a very large percentage of the Ghanaians populations who are 'right - thinking.' If you ask people to choose the right, without asking them to think right first before choosing what is right and therefore do what is right, they may choose to do what is right depending on their state of mind at that time! And if they happened to be biased towards a particular tendency then they will actually do what is wrong because their mindset is already biased. But if people were right thinking, doing what is right will come as a consequence of the right thinking. We should not be oblivious of the fact that some people would actually do what is wrong and would set in motion acts that would justify that actions (even though those actions were wrong); perhaps to set someone up or conspire to ruin someone's career in order for them to be proved right for actually machinating evil towards that another in the first instance. These are the people who would because of the gain that would be derived from something would intentionally conspire to steal, withhold, or cheat someone of what rightly belonged to another and would come around to set that another up and if unfortunately that another fall into their trap they would say: 'Yes, I said it, thank God that I did not give the thing to him' whereas they were the ones who actually went ahead to ruin that another! Such is the situation of the world. Dear reader beware of such people and pray for your God to deliver you from such. People should constantly think right before choosing what is right or doing what is right for if you think right even if your passions, emotions; emanating in form of greed and selfishness would make you choose what is wrong instead of what is right at the instance you were supposed to choose, your conscience would tell you that what you have chosen was wrong and you would (if you have conscience or if your conscience is devoid of wickedness) rescind from wrong decisions and as such your acts would not lead to other wrong acts in order for you to prove to those you are responsible to that you actually did what was right!

  I got to the secondary school and I started feeling very ecstatic about it. My step mother had threatened to put me in a mechanic workshop! Thank God for my impeccable academic records in those days. I would have been a mechanic by now and more or less dissuaded from my pursuits of books (Knowledge).

  My school was not far from our house and very far from her shop therefore she could not tell me to come to her shop for anything so I used to get home before anyone else and because they would not allow me have the key I would wait on the stair case for them to come. By this time I was becoming somehow self - assertive and I had, somehow the courage to refuse some itinerancy. She would never let me rest. She derived pleasure in seeing me going up and down and doing something and saying that I had to do them fast and well too because I had many things to do. (Now people say I'm fast in whatever I do, why won't I be fast? I could remember about three years ago when a Chinese asked me to do something on his company's personal computers, he was actually surprised at the swiftness I used in finishing the jobs (of course he had called several personnel to fix them but none was able to fix them to his satisfaction) that he had to tell his Ghanaian friend that I was very fast (the Ghanaian friend is also my friend) and that he was not expecting me to finish the jobs as quickly as that. Well the Ghanaian friend came to tell me this later and I said to myself: 'this people did not know where I was coming from' my step mother had taught me very early enough through her sayings 'Bi a se nsise l'an ko iyara she would say. Thanks for that!. Sometimes I used to think that if Mr. Olarenwaju had not jilted her and collected 'Femi (the baby) from her and married her, she would not have looked for someone else to snatch in order to remove her 'shame'. Na wa for dis life ooo!) Especially whenever she saw me with books, she would make sure she called me at that instance not only this, she must have noticed my avarice for books and whenever she felt that there was no sound in the kitchen or somewhere she would just call my name to do something that was never ready to do, like cleaning cleaned louvers.

  It was at this time that she started trusting me to go to her room at the same time, well, good for me. I never knew she was trying to buy me into forfeiting a year of secondary school to follow them to Ijebu - Ode, I for one will never allow anything come between me and my quest for learning and studying. Well, when my father asked me what I wanted to do since they were ready to leave for Ijebu - Ode whilst I was still in my first term and in my first year of secondary school. Well, I had also discussed with 'Bunmi what to say, I told my father that I would like to stay with Uncle 'Diran who lived not very far from our house instead of me going to Ijebu - Ode to look for a new school (I doubted if I wouldn't spend the remaining two terms at home with the pretence that they were searching school for me). It was at this time too that I started feeling 'big' in school. You know the kind of feeling you have when you are in the midst of your peers(well - to - do) and you see them during break time buying things and showing off with it and at the same time asking you for what you bought! Well, I thank God that I learnt very early in life to cut my coat according to my size! Not only that but also to repel such 'enticement' (My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent' I used to read the Book of Proverbs a lot in those days). But when my siblings started stealing from their mum and lying against me then I decided to actually do such. But the problem was that the two or three occasions that I stole from her room to buy snacks to eat in school were those period that my conscience would never rest. I never enjoyed those snacks! After about two to three tries, I stopped. My saving grace came when I was finally moved to Uncle 'Diran's house. No one to accuse me falsely again! Later in life I came to understand the meaning of this quote from Psalm 125 v 3 (I used to read Psalm a lot too!) 'For the sceptre of wickedness shall not rest upon the lot allotted to the righteous (of course I insert my name here, for my righteousness is complete in Christ Jesus) lest the righteous put forth his hands unto iniquity,' thank you God for making me to know the secret of this verse. How I wish I knew the secret of this verse very early enough.

        When I moved to Uncle 'Diran's house a lot of things changed, I stopped 'eating' salt (I used to lick salt a lot whenever I felt hungry and no one was ready to give me food to eat), I stopped scrapping the cooking pot to supplement my meagre rations, and stopped my seldom scavenging of our dustbin (I used to scavenge food from the dustbin for I could not really survive on the meagre food that was my own ration. God, please SPEAK!). Of course I missed reading some of the books she used when she was in secondary school too. Those books were all scattered all over our house: I missed reading Ivanhoe, King Solomon's Mines, King Arthur and the Twelve Knights (Don't mind me I used to think and feel that I was King Arthur!), the story of the Spartans and the Greeks. Well, 'Lana had African Writers so I did not go with any of 'Bunmi's books. But I was soon introduced to another kind of writings: the Pacesetters when I got to Eyinni High School.

        In those days, before the family moved to Ijebu - Ode, I used to get home first as I have aforementioned, and I would just sit and keep myself awake by reading songs from the 'Songs of Praise' I still remember many of those songs today! I dared not sleep!

        'How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!

The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!

Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;

Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;

"Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;"

Desires compos'd, affections ever ev'n,

Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav'n.

And melts in visions of eternal day.'

- Alexander Pope's (1688 - 1744) Eloisa to Abelard

       

PART VI

UP

AT UNCLE 'DIRAN'S

  Well, on this fateful day, after they had started making preliminary journeys to Ijebu - Ode to assess the worthiness and perhaps get the building ready. 'Bunmi influenced my dad and told him to allow me move to Uncle 'Diran's house. Yes, I started living with Uncle 'Diran even two weeks before they finally moved to Ijebu - Ode. The day I got to Uncle 'Diran's house was the day I saw the difference between my 'parents' and my 'uncle'. I was surprised the kind of treatments Uncle 'Diran gave to me, very warm, friendly and coupled with the fact that when he asked me about my results and I told him, I ate a bigger chunk of pork that day (Uncle 'Diran liked hot and peppery soup with pork a lot). All along I had been 'deceiving' myself that she was 'training' me and the reason why she was harsh was because she was not my mother and that if she had been my mother she would have been more lenient (why wouldn't I deceive myself, at least I had someone to call 'mummy'). Well, uncle 'Diran's attitude towards me debunked my hypothesis. Actually, those Ghanaians that were living close to us in those days had always been telling me that the woman was using me despitefully and I had always been telling them that she was my mother and that she was training me to which they would reply that if it was true she was my mother she would not be treating me like that. Well, it was some few years afterwards when Kehinde broke a plate and she was told to be careful so as not to hurt her feet that I really knew how much I suffered. Actually, I had broken plates when I was her age too and slaps and beatings were my wages. When I saw this, I could not help going privately somewhere to weep!

  After the pleasantries I was introduced to my room! Yes, I shared the same room with Ademola Adediran Ogunade - a wasted genius (they just wasted that guy's brain). Uncle 'Diran's second son. I found out that whenever I taught him anything he got it the first time and not only this, he used to elaborate on it! And when I thought I had finished my university education and I should concentrate on making 'Demola read law ('Demola could manoeuvre himself out of any unpleasant situation through pure logic) they set him up and killed him. Only God knows the kind of pain I felt when 'Lana broke the news of his brother's demise to me when I was lecturing in Yaba Tech. But I know, as long as people live in this world, eat, enjoy the sun and sleep to wake up, none of those who had a hand in those atrocious atrocities will go unpunished! As for me, I forgave all! But the laws of nature must take its course!

  I lived in the same house with Esther Adeyemi Ogunade (one of the two children, Uncle 'Muyiwa left behind). 'Bidemi (Esther's younger sister) had left for her mum's (she could not withstand the 'strict' nature of Uncle 'Diran (I found out that he was not necessarily strict but disciplined and far more humane than my step - mum). Aderonke Ogunade (this beautiful and hard working girl (Uncle 'Diran's first and 'only' daughter?), would do all the household chores and would not feel tired. I used to feel guilty when she would tell both of us (I and her brother, 'Demola) that the kitchen was not for the boys and that we should go and play or watch television or read our books or sleep that she would do everything when I knew that I dared not leave the kitchen when my step - mother cooked! Was I not always in the kitchen?

  The second day I got to Uncle 'Diran's house, I was expecting to see some maltreatments and was getting ready to receive slaps and beatings as was usually the case with my step - mother, but none of it. The third day, the same thing, the whole week nothing whatsoever like slaps or beatings. I was surprised and I thought, was Uncle-Diran my real father and my supposed parents were lying to me that they were my parents? I could not believe it that I could spend the whole week in a home doing whatever I wanted, reading, watching videos and eating well like a free individual without any maltreatment, intimidation or the fear of it. The only thing was that he used to shout on every one of us. Yes, including his children, especially 'Demola. It was at this time that I made up my mind to one day put down my experiences so far in life in a book form. One day, I asked 'Lana how would one publish a book. He said so many things, some I liked and some I did not like but I prayed that time that God should help me in order for me to be able to write these things out in future. That was in 1981 and I was thirteen (13) years old.

  I did not know that internet would come, I did not know that microsoft would come, I did not know that personal computers would come, now, all of them are here today. Here today and affording me the opportunity to reach a diverse audience that I might not have reached even if I published my story in book form. Is this my destiny? To pass through all these hardships, the hardships that have made me stronger, courageous, gentle and very sensitive to other people's plights? Do I really believe in Destiny? I don't think I believe in destiny and mind you, neither do I believe in Chance! Am I a Christian? Well, that is left for those around me to tell and in fact those around the apostles in those days labelled them Christians for their behaviours resembled that of whom they preached! I believe in Jesus the Christ (that is the only fact still making me to go to church sometimes). I believe not only in Jesus Christ as a fact of history but also because He has made me to understand that there is a God and also taught me that I am a child of God and His indefatigable and invicible name is a witness! Well, I believe neither in destiny nor in chance but I am sure 'God does not play dice with the universe'(Albert Einstein). I believe in orders, systems, organisations. I believe in interdependency and I believe in Life! I cannot confuse these with destiny and I cannot become capricious because I do not believe in destiny! Is destiny the same thing as planning? Planning by the Eternal Creator who is constantly creating! 'And who could interprete the wonders of God for he who would interprete would be dissolved and become that which is interpreted for the thoughts of the most high God cannot be anticipated and God's heart is superior to all wisdom' (The Lost Book of Eden). I have made up my mind a long time ago 'to show love and reverence to everything that God madeth and loveth' (John Milton) and I am trying the best I can to continue to keep to this. This is my Creed!

       

  It was on a fateful friday that Uncle 'Diran went out and came back talking jovially with all of us, discussing football and playing with us like a kid, I was surprised I could not believe my sight and I asked his children what happened. Oh, 'Demola said that means he was coming from the Lodge and I said what is the Lodge, ha! He said it was like a church, and whenever he comes back from that Lodge he always become gentle. I said henhenh, he said yes. Well, it happened one day that I broke Uncle 'Diran's choice glass. Whao, that same glass had been broken but not broken to pieces (cracked) but Uncle 'Diran nevertheless used it like that not minding the fact that it was slightly broken, then I went to actually broke it into pieces. Immediately his children saw this they were perplexed, they did not know what to do, one of them quickly went to hide the cane he would have used to beat me, they started coaching me on the best place to receive the cane and planned how they would defend me when he arrived. But alas, when Uncle 'Diran came back and learnt that I broke the glass he just looked at me and did not say anything, did not even beat me. I was surprised! What is happening? I couldn't believe it, then he started playing with us, it was then we realized that he was coming from the Lodge. I was very happy and I told myself, that one day I would also become a Lodge member immediately I get married and started rearing children so that I could be gentle towards my children whenever I come back from there. But 'Demola immediately cut in when I told them at the table, he said they were not good people that they usually cheat other people and that if someone is a member of a lodge, his lodge friends would help him in oppressing other people who do not belong to his Lodge, I said is that so, he said yes, you don't know what you were talking about 'Debo. But I said, you don't expect everybody in the society to behave in the same way, you see the way my stepmother go to church a lot, sebi I once told you shortly before I came to join you people that he asked me to go and throw something in a black polythene bag away and that I should not look back. Yes, readers, my step mother called me one day, just about two weeks before I left for the Uncle 'Diran's that I should go and throw a certain substance in a black polythene bag away, that I should throw it away into a flowing stream near our place of abode that time and that I should not look back. I was perplexed when she said that I did not know what to do and I must not disobey, funny enough she had just taught us about King Saul and disobedience, I did not know what to do, why she should say I should go and throw that thing away and that I should not look back. I was wondering until I decided and I prayed in my heart that God please help me oo I did not know what this woman has put in this bag and that she asked me to throw it away without looking back. Well, 'igbonran san ju ebo lo' I said that to myself and I left off. I threw the thing away and I did not look back. But I just prayed that that act had no effect in my circumstances. God lives! I told 'Demola this and he kept quiet! Right now, they may even say I'm mad or insane, well, thank God for giving me one of the best brains around. I just hope my message drums to those who make policies not only in education but also in government. Because I know, we cannot just inherit stupid silent institutions from murderers and robbers of the past eons and call that wisdom of esoteric principles and entrenched that in our body polity - silently!

  Yeah, Uncle 'Diran came one day, and told us that Uncle Kunle - a distant uncle the person with whom my brother disappeared and the one with whom my sister died with the foetus of her womb - said that his wife packed out of the house and took his baby benz away and also went away with the twins. Hey, everybody shouted: 'what an abomination!' I was the first to blame the woman, of course, that time the only example of women I had was my step mother and was not a good one so I blamed the the woman but Ademola Adediran Ogunade was quick to point accusing fingers at Uncle Kunle and said some things that made everyone at the table (uncle 'Diran liked talking to us whilst we eat although water should be around on the table, even though he also always warned us not to be talking at meals. Uncle 'Diran liked pepper a lot in the soup! Pepper and Pork!) Well, I replied 'Demola at the table and told him that why should you be saying such a thing about your uncle, well, 'Demola was not alive enough for me to thank him for sowing a seed of doubt. Actually, with all the wisdom of we Yorubas we still find it right to cover wicked wrongs and when I say wrongs, I mean greatly wicked wrongs not ordinary wrongs that are easily pardonable but wrongs that lead to loss of life! We like covering wrongs done by our kins, as long as it is our uncles and sisters and brothers and nephews, we will cover it up. Even though that wrong had resulted in tears and unhappiness for some people, that time I was a 'true?' Yoruba son, telling and disparaging 'Demola for saying such a thing especially when we were eating. But the events that unfolded itself afterwards in my family made me to change my mind about some of our traditions. Until my brother 'Bunmi Ogunade, who gave me money for JAMB and who was dearest to me of all my mother's children disappeared, I was still a good Yoruba boy thinking that 'Bunmi would come one day (except its necromantic counterpart - yeah, they can do anything in this world, especially those kabbalistic people, well, I'm ready for them!) and until 'Dewunmi, the only sister I had died with the foetus of her womb, then I jettisoned the Yoruba traditon of 'ba wa' even though that 'ba wa' spelt doom and sadness to others.

  Uncle 'Diran later told us that he will be going to the funeral of Chief Taylor's mother and therefore we should take care of the house. Actually, the kind of freedom and season of ease I enjoyed at Uncle 'Diran's house was nothing compared to what I enjoyed with any other family member. Uncle 'Diran went for four days and the 'house became ours!' Thank God, 'Demola had just taught me how to ride his chopper ('Femi my stepbrother and friend had one, but my step mother forbade him teaching me)I took that opportunity to practise what 'Demola taught me. I rode and rode, I went almost everywhere in Ring Road and the funniest part of it was that when I was coming home, I tripped on a stone and I fell and I got hurt on my feet and of course the cut or the wound was glaring. Well, no one expected Uncle 'Diran to beat me when he came back and I did not expect him to beat me either for according to 'Ronke, if I broke his choice glass he did not beat me she did see any reason why he would beat me when I hurt myself. Hmn, contrary to expectation, he was very annoyed when he saw my legs bruised and saw my feet also bruised. Hey! I tasted hell that day. He beat me like nothing else. I was surprised, this man is the best example of a freemason I had ever seen. This man, was the only uncle of mine who apologised to me for not coming to our aid when my step mother was maltreating us when we were young, this man when he had a bad turn in his fortune took it with grace and even warned me one day that I should not say because I made it in a hard way I should make life hard for another. This man when I had no money to eat at Ogun State University and my father was not ready to give me any money took me to his pension place and split his pension money with me. Hmn! I had made up mind a long time ago in his house anyway to be a mason immediately I got married. This man was to me a great inspiration. Even though I don't share some of his life's aspects and I don't believe in some of his doings. But the example I had from this man is enough for me to know where I belonged!

  My reader will want to ask me how I finally got registered at the University of Lagos after two years: Well, the story goes like this, my friend, my class mate when I was at JOGS (I better not mention his name for I found out that people who were one way or the other connected to my story die abruptly especially the glee with which one of my classmate told me my principal died was enough to tell me so many things are happening - moreover I just hope people have not gone to change and obliterate my records in my secondary schools and my universities). Yeah, this my school friend asked me and said 'Debo you know now for the past two years you have not be allowed to do your registration and we have advised you as an Ijebu son to do what you can do Ijebu wise to make sure you do your registration you refused basing your fact on the fact that you are a Christian. I am sure you've fasted and prayed for two years and nothing happened. Look, those who are not one inch as brilliant and intelligent as you are are graduating and yet you are there telling me you don't do juju? 'Debo, I can't allow you to continue like this, we have suffered together, I've seen you begged for food, seen you washed cars and carried cement to survive and in your quest to break the bounds of poverty, somebody somewhere said he is your HOD and refused to register you! Hmn! 'Debo, think oo' Well, I was taken aback by his speech and before I could say anything he said: 'Yeah, 'Debo, I want you to do something for me. I want you to teach me something in a primary school, close by, I want you to be there at 8am. Oh! Today, sebi you will sleep at my place, then tomorrow morning we will go together and you will teach me. Well, readers, as we were going the next day, I did not know that this guy had made arrangement for an Alfa to meet me at the supposed school (do you know the school - Italupe Primary School - where my public formal education started, of course, Baba Olopa started my education and that was not public.). At the school, he confessed then to me that he actually told one man who is a powerful Alfa to come and help me and that this is religious and had nothing to do with Juju and that he had told the Alfa about my life story and the problem I am currently going through and because of that I should please respect him and listen to whatever he had to say. Men, I was caught pants down, I couldn't refused his 'good spirit' and moreover I was a curious personality I wanted to know what this Alfa could do that my prayers and fasting had not been able to do. Well, immediately he finished speaking I saw this man in a muslim calico coming in front of us. Immediately he saw me he started smiling and I wondered and before I could say anything, he told me that my friend had told him everything about me and that I should not worry he was not going to charge me anything and that he would just give me something to drink but in fact if he gives it to me I may not use it but that I should drink it now, and immediately they called ologi they bought ogi and mix the substance inside ogi for me to drink. My dear readers, I drank the mixture and before he left he told me that he has seen that I am a very stubborn person. And that even though I am stubborn I should be cool sometimes and even though I am in the right I should not argue too much and just allow events to unfold itself to my final vindication. I nodded my head and I said, I know I am stubborn before thanks to my zodiac sign that I used to read when I was in primary school. And that if not that I was stubborn I don't think I would have made it academically to this stage anyway. Well, I drank the stuff and that same weekend I told my friend that I would like to visit Mrs. Eperokun who helped me changed to the University of Lagos and whose house I usually stayed whenever I was at Ibadan. When I got to Mrs. Eperokun's house, the husband (a former registrar of Unilag) saw me and said, you haven't you finished or are you doing your youth service? The wife replied, this one, he has not been allowed to do his registration for the past two years. The husband said: 'what?'He immediately gave me his card and said I should see the current registrar the following Monday.

  I went to see the registrar and gave the registrar his card and told the registrar my problem. The registrar was very annoyed and pissed off and very hot on his seat he was shaking he couldn't believe my story, he couldn't believe that such a thing happened in the school! Well, after about four days, Mrs. Eperokun told me that the registrar said the HOD told him I should change to another department! I was in my final year, my result was not even near probation, yet this man told the registrar that I had to change to another department! According to what Mrs. Eperokun said, it was when he was threatened that they could take a legal action against him that he reluctantly told the registrar that I could come for my registration. Readers, that was how I got registered! Actually, I lost those two years, very painful, read, study and wrote exams with nothing recorded for me. Some years later when I taught accounting (on a part time basis) my student used to be surprised why I came to class without books yet I taught everything from my head.'ada ni loro fi agbara ko ni' Yeah, of course.

  How did it happen anyway, actually I had not done well, in the first semester exam (in my own estimation anyway) in the third year of studying accounting and first year at the University of Lagos (I got my letter about two weeks to the exams so I had just two weeks to prepare for exam for which I had only few of its classes), out of about 9 courses including the General African studies, I passed 7 outrightly I had to carry two over. But the second semester was a different story, I passed all my exams. We started the final year I went to collect registration forms like anyone else registered all my courses but my Management Accounting 1 result (Taught by Dr. Imoisili) was not released and in those days if a course was split into two you had to see the result of the first one before you would be allowed to register for the next one and most of the time they split into two separate sessions, such was the case with Management Accounting. I went to the general office of the Accounting Department to check the result for my Management Accounting 1, I was told it was not with them and they also told me that if it was not posted on the notice board that means it was not with them that every course that they typed have been posted but then I can check with the lecturer involved. I thought about it and I went to Dr. Imoisili, and he asked me of my name and I said Jude Adebosoye Ogunade, and he exclaimed, Oh, you're the Jude. Well, there is no result with me here, have you been to the departmental office?' he asked, Yes sir! I replied then he said perhaps I should check with the course adviser (Mrs. Ajayi for level 300 at that time), of course I went to Mrs. Ajayi and she also exclaimed the same way Dr. Imoisili did when I mentioned my name. Actually Dr. Imoisili told me that yes, my result is with him, because he checked through his list but told me that he had given all the result to the department and he had no right to tell anybody his result personally but then I should check with the course adviser. Readers that was how I was tossed from one lecturer to another in the whole faculty! At the end of the day, I was told to see the HOD, Dr. Eddy Omolehinwa (Course adviser for level 400 and the Head of Department at that time), I went to him and he said he did not know anything about my unreleased result. And trust me I started praying and fasting for my result to be released. I sent Olumide Bewaji (my first friend in the department) to Dr. Eddy Omolehinwa to beg him to release my result since Dr. Imoisili had told me that my result was with him but that then he had sent everything to the department and that he had no right to tell any student whether he passed or not. Meanwhile, the deadline for registration process was fast approaching, I spent days going from one place to the other trying to get my result posted on the board so that I could do my registration. I told everybody I know, some even suggest that I leave the result and not registered it and I tried to do that but Dr. Eddy Omolehinwa who happened to be the HOD and at the same time our course adviser for that Academic year told me that he would sign my registration form unless my delayed result was released. Well, on the Friday that the registration was supposed to close (normally, afterwards you had an extra one week within which you have to pay at the cash office and at the same amount pay late registration penalty) I was in the room that Nature (his nickname, my very useful roommate: Mr. Sunday Kajola) came to tell me that my result had been released that I passed Management Accounting 1 but then they have closed the cash office and that my registration would then be on Monday since the days is gone already. Well, I waited patiently for Monday, on Monday armed with my registration forms I went enthusiatically to Dr. Eddy Omolehinwa for his signature to my form but alas he asked me that since the result was released on Friday what was I doing that I couldn't come on that day. I said I saw my result when the offices had closed. Well, he said he had no time for me that I should leave his office, men, the kind of eyes he used to look at me and the kind of way he asked me to go out of his office was just as if I was not a human being. Well, I left his office and of course wept all the way to Nature and told him what happened, well, people went on my behalf but according to him there is no way he would register for me. Later I went again the next day and I said sir but it was you who asked me to go and look for my result and of course it was because my result was delayed by the department that I was late in doing my registration and in fact I would have even finished my registration on the very first day because I didn't have money for late registration. Well, I left his office and I waited in front of the office for sometime and before long a classmate of mine went with his registration forms to his office and I was excited thinking that if he signed for him he would be able to sign for me too. As soon as the guy came out I asked him if he had gone in to sign his registration forms, yes, and emphatic yes he said for that matter! I was alarmed! I couldn't believe my ears! Definitely some people are playing games with me I thought! Well, the first thought that came to my mind was that, was it because someone had killed or done something woeful to my brother that they were trying to keep me from going up? It was at this time that Ademola Adebayo Ogunade died (In fact the account of what happened was different from what Adewale told the people around and what Adekitan who went with them to the farm said, so said by people living around them that time - alas my reader, Adekitan had been incarcerated before I left Nigeria; for what offence, I don't know - dis life, na wa oo - somebody is definitely trying to cover something) and I thought was someone trying to hide, knowing fully well that if I should become someone in future I would definitely investigate these deaths and disappearances? Well, I will adequately deal with this story when I get to its part, read on readers! What happened then made me realise something about life, people cause problems for other people and come around to blame those people for the problem they caused them. I did not bargain for my mother to be forced to abandon me when I was five months old neither did I ask my HOD and course adviser not to register me at that time (I mean at the time he was supposed to), but the fact still remains, there need to be checks and balances for the interdependencies among men to integrate real accountability for the enhancement of peaceful co-existence.

  I've forgiven all of you, believe it, I'm a very stubborn person with deep determination, when I say something I mean it, believe it, I've forgiven all of you. And in order for me to forget, I will change my nationality, change my face, my vocal cords and even my gait. So, no problem. It is just that I need to make you realise some salient truths about life which the craze for ambition and obnoxious competition have removed from the psyche of mankind.

  'Demola's mother was divorced when he was 6 years old. That was what 'Demola told me anyway. Only that I came in contact with so many 'friends'of Uncle 'Diran who sometimes spent weekends with us. There were many of them, beautiful 'aunties'. One was very close to us and usually buy candies for us whenever she came around.I could remember vividly when he asked us to read Yoruba to her, she was surprised with the ease and accuracy that I read Yoruba texts(she did not know that I finished nearly all the series of Fagunwa before leaving Primary School.I know it might be because of the fact that he knew whilst she was with our 'Daddy'she might not be able to read her books (she was in a higher institution that time) and in order to kill two birds with one stone, she told us to read some books in Yoruba into cassettes for her. She loved my voice on the cassette I supposed. For she preferred me reading into the tape recorder than the rest except ocassionally when she allowed 'Ronke. I remember that she asked us to read Agbalowo meri and the Incorruptible Judge and one or two other books. But of all our 'aunties'. Aunty 'Lola was the most loving and faithful. Then one day, 'Lana came home and told us he would be having a birthday party and he would be inviting some friends.Actually I was not interested in the party but because I am 'Lana's brother, I had to support. So we scrubbed everywhere, washed everything and the d-day came and we had a lot of people 99% of those who had never come to say hello to 'Lana at home before (would the father allowed it anyway?). Well, the party went well except that after the end of everything and during the appraisal of it they mentioned the fact that instead of me to dance to the beat I was dancing to the song. 'Ronke said that it is the beat they dance to and not the song, I said hmn? Then 'Ronke took it upon herself to teach me how to dance.My stay in Uncle 'Diran's house came to time up. My Daddy only wanted me to stay there in order for me to finish my first year in School at Eyinni and the day I was leaving I could see genuine tears dropping from 'Ronke's eyelid. Ronke, my cousin, very hard working, I cannot forget her. She would do all the work in the house without getting tired! She was also a sprinter! She won many accolades at St Annes that time. Of all my cousins, it is only 'Bro 'Dewale that surpassed 'Ronke (in my opinion and estimation) in industry. Adewale Adebayo Ogunade was (I don't know now) very industrious. He was always doing something. That guy was a horse and his uncles (especially Uncle 'Soye used him to the fullest - those are the people who practise what I term 'destructive capitalism'). Adewale would go to the farm and spend hours and when he comes back will spend hours washing cars, I used to admire him greatly until I found him culpable in the death of Ademola Adebayo Ogunade, and when I asked him that why didn't you show his father the corpse of 'Demola Adebayo Ogunade he told me that henheh what about 'Bunmi, where is 'Bunmi, go and find where 'Bunmi is before asking me such a question. Thank God what he said reinforced my suspicion about the whereabout of 'Bunmi. Of course, he knows he could not lie to me. I once caught him reading a book on how to lie confidently and when he saw I was excited about the title of the book, he became very annoyed with me. Nevertheless, Adewale Adebayo Ogunade was very industrious.

  PART VII

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JOGS YEARS

I left for Ikangba Housing Estate, I had told my friends earlier that I would be leaving Eyinni High School soon and that I would be going to the Ijebu - Ode Grammar School. Taiwo Olununga said her mother had wanted his twin brother to attend that school except that it was not a mixed school. Well, I had already told my friends, many of them, that I would be attending the school but when I got to Ijebu - Ode, my step mother said otherwise that I should not attend that school that if I should attend that school I would become stubborn and would one day come to beat her at home. I laugh inwardly. Well, my father determined not to get me to Ijebu - Ode Grammar School went to all the schools with my very good academic records and transfer certificate, yet none of them took me. Actually, immediately my father left home in search of school for me, I also immediately knelt down and prayed that God, you knew I had told my friends that I would be attending Ijebu - Ode Grammar School and this step mother had infested my father's mind with a contrary idea, please God, I don't want my friends at Eyinni in future to see me and ask me which school I am and I will reply with an answer contrary to what I had promised them. Readers, God answered that prayer! My father went to almost every school with my very good result that my former school principal did not even want me to leave school in the first instance. My father and my step mother had to plead with Mr. Jeje before he reluctantly allowed me by giving them my transfer certificate and according to 'Bunmi, Mr. Jeje could not see any reason why they would want to remove such a brilliant brain from his school. Well, my father used three days in getting school for me without success and I not relenting in my prayer. Until the fourth day when I overheard her telling my step mother over the meal that he had finally found a school for me and what school: Ijebu - Ode Grammar School. The same school that my stepmother advised him against. How, she asked, my father replied that he was actually tired of looking for school for me when he was told by Mama Ntantebo that the Provost of the Anglican church was looking for him. And when he got to the provost, the provost asked 'Mr. Ogunade, we have been looking for you, I had called several times, where have you been?' My father then told him about his predicament in getting me a school! The provost said what! Why didn't you tell me, according to my dad, the provost took the telephone and called the then principal of Ijebu - Ode Grammar School -Mr. Kehinde. According to my dad, the provost said he must go and see the principal of JOGS and that was it. Mr. Kehinde did not even look at my result talk less of checking my transfer certificate for according to him the anglicans started the school and therefore he could not refuse anything from them especially when the order comes from the Provost. Yeah! I praised God when I heard about this stuff. I was very happy, very happy. I became a student of Ijebu - Ode Grammar School. The principal asked me to go to 2P and of course, I did not know where 2P was, so I asked my fellow students where 2P was and they showed me a building and told me that it is housed in that building and that one of the two classrooms on the ground floor was 2P. I looked on the upper door frame I did not know whether they wrote 2P or 2D it was between 2P and 2D and I decided to enter that one first and whatever; so I entered and I told them I was going to 2P they said I should go to the next class I got to the next class I greeted the teacher and I told him I was looking for 2P he collected the slip I held in my hand held it up in the light and read 2P and said yeah, the principal asked this boy to come to this class 2P oh, 2D he said. So that was how I became a class pupil of 2D instead of 2P and I became a student of Mr. Deme (Demegah) or whatever. He bacame my class teacher and he happened to impact positively on my life thereafter. After about two weeks in school, Mr. Kehinde died in a fatal motor accident and was replaced by Mr. M. O. Adedeji (as God would have it, the former school principal of my dearly beloved brother 'Bunmi at the Ijebu - Ife Community High School). During the periods I was a student of Mr. Mensah Deme or Demegah we all affectionately called him Master Mensah, he was the eldest person in my school. He was particularly taken aback several times by my behaviours and characters. Of course when I ruminated over my characters in those days, I was nothing short of an angel(courtesy 'Tunde) even Tunde Adams used to call me Saint 'Debo (I had not yet been baptised that time so I was not known as Jude). I would sweep every dirt away from the class, remove every dirt from the class, tell my class mates not to make noise and that it is good for them to read their books instead. I would separate people when they fought telling them that it was not good for them to fight in school (readers thanks to Mr. Jeje the principal at Eyinni High School who inculcated discipline in me). And one day when Master saw me separating people who were fighting, he told me he did not know the boldness I had in going between two people who were throwing blows at each other to separate them. He asked me if I am a Nigerian at all. He told me to go and ask my mother properly where I am from. (he said it jokingly anyway and that time, I hadn't known yet, who actually my mother was).

One of the things I did immediately I got to Ijebu - Ode Grammar School was to pay courtesy call on all previous prize winners when I was not there. Omotayo Balogun (a medical practitioner now) did me that favour. I asked him to take me to the person who came first overall and then to all the prize winners in our arm of class. He mentioned everybody's name and took me to them one by one and deep in my heart whenever I shook the hands of any one of them I would say, now I know you, I have come to play my own part in the competition, let's see how we would fare. I went round and round, I was introduced to Femi Oke, who took the prize in English year before, I was introduced to 'Wonderful Jesus (Adeleke Semowo) He attended Ogun State University with me and whilst he was there he was called by no other name but 'Wonderful Jesus' why, he used to preach with a T - shirt on which the text: 'Wonderful Jesus' was embedded. I was introduced to Okobieme who thenceforth started supplying me with Rosicrucian Digest when he saw that I liked what I read from it the first time, I was introduced to Anthony Ejorh (a medical practitioner now), Tokunbo Omodein, Dare Kuku (who later became my very close friend and also a medical practitioner now), I was introduced to Mabinuori and many other I better stop mentioning people's names. In those days, I loved academic competitions it was when I got to the University that I realised that some get their laurels by not working for it that I stopped being in competition with anybody. I now compete with myself and my goals of striving to leave the world better than I found it. Of course, I cannot forget Niyi Alatise who once caught me reading a book of psychology, he was surprised to see me reading psychology and I told him my story and that I did not know myself and I need to know myself and hence I read psychology textbooks. He was surprised that how could I be reading a book meant for university students when I was just in second year of second cycle institution. From then on whatever I do he would say I was using pschology!

Well, there was a day we were on the farm and lo and behold there was an assembly bell urging us to go to the assembly hall for literary interaction. I said what was that Niyi said I should go and attend that he had to finish his ebe (ridge)and I said since I was new I better leave my ebe for the assembly hall. When I got there I saw the senior students asking questions from contestants on the dais and throwing unanswered questions to the audience on the floor. I was surprised when they asked the contestants representing form four and form three students where the Queen of England lives and nobody was able to answer it. I raised my hand but quickly put it back but Otule, a very brilliant senior student noticed my hand out of the whole lot in the assembly hall and told me not to put my hand down and answer it. Of course I couldn't resist since all eyes were then on me I was surprised to hear Uwe Uwe Uwe from the background when I gave the correct answer and the clap of applause from Otule and later the students. From then on...everybody in my school looked on me with mark of respect. Another thing, I was very rebellious in school, not because I could speak English, of course 'Femi Oke spoke and wrote better English than the rest of us in those days. But I was very rebellious because the senior had the knack of punishing us anyhow. Yeah, that was the paradox I could not reconcile in myself in those days, here I was being maltreated at home and yet could not do anything about it and yet when I came to school I shout and condemn every inch of maltreatment I see being metted out to any of my friends or colleagues at school. No wonder I read psychology books to know myself. Yeah, I had a partner, Niyi Alatise, as soon as we saw any maltreatment around, off we would go to the principal to report it, then the whole school decided to descend on us (the senior students only anyway - form three to form five students). Then it came as a rumour that the senior students had planned to deal with me and Niyi Alatise. On hearing this we went straight to the principal and the principal had to call an emergency meeting and warned all the senior students regarding us and promised expulsion to anyone found beating or maltreating me or Niyi Alatise. That was it, we became untouchable for the periods we were in school, I and Niyi Alatise and thus helped the other students some breathing space. Later on, some of the senior students also became my friends when they realised that our concerns were geniune, especially when they realised that I won many prizes in the speech and prize giving day following.

That was how I became integrated into the camaraderie of JOGS. Actually, I had attended a mixed school (Eyinni High School) prior to my change to Ijebu - Ode Grammar School, therefore comportment with students was somehow different. In those days we used to have Youth Corper to teach us something in the School (I was also a Youth Corper myself years later at Egwuena Girls Secondary School, Abiriba). One of those youth corper was Mr. Ademowo. This man opened our eyes to the corrupt practices of our leaders. He used to tell us so many things, for example he told us one day that how can we be exporter of oil earning 18dollars per barrel and exporting over 2million barrels per day and yet be suffering. That was early 1983. He exposed the ways and manner in which our currencies were siphoned to foreign accounts. Told us that Umaru Dikko stole up to 2bilion naira and that Akinloye even had his name on a Champagne bottle. Mr. Ademowo really told us a lot of things. He taught us Bible knowledge and made us believe that for anything to be good in this country it should start from us that we should forget those people at the helms of affairs that they are corrupt already and that there is no way for them to change but any change to effect must be effected by we the younger ones and therefore we should all in our capacity study hard and not think of ever using shortcuts to anything even wealth! He brought Gideon version of the New Testament to us and since I love Jesus the Christ and also appreciate Mr. Ademowo I decided to read the new testament from cover to cover. I did. It was a very exciting experience. I could not believe there could be such a man like Jesus the Christ, and I braced up my mind to be like him no matter what my step mother did to me.

Having classes with Mr. Ademowo was an exciting experience, would even go to tell us the stories behind the Bible stories. I used to answer most of his questions. Of course, we were majorly taught new testament. And since I had begun reading and memorizing so many passages of the New Testament I had no problem in always raising my hands and always answering his questions correctly. Then one day he gave us a test. A lot of the other students did badly and he came to beat them. Then he was ready to deal with this person he raised up the script and said: 'I am sure this person cheated, how can someone get 100/100 in Bible knowledge.' 'Hey, the whole class shouted' He said: 'Who is Adebo Ogunade, I'm sure this person must have copied directly from the Bible.' I raised up my hands. The whole class shouted 'No sir' this one is brilliant ooo. and also immediately I raised my hand and stood up and he saw me, he quickly answered and said: 'Oh sorry sorry, I didn't know it was you' and he said, that is the good thing about participating in the class. If Adebo had not been participating in the class now, I would have thought he cheated thank you Adebo for making me proud. I was happy and I beamed with smiles. Later that week when my father came back from Lagos and I showed him my script he said, 'Hey, how can you get 100/100 in Bible Knowledge. Well, readers, wait until I get to the story of Anthony Ejorh who scored 101/100 in Mathematics, I will get there soon.

The same story came to my mind when I was at the University of Lagos, actually the first final year that nothing was recorded for me because my HOD refused to sign my form. There was this Taxation Lecturer (Adjunct) who was a CPA and had the habit of coming to class almost every two weeks when we were lucky. He came to the class after missing about 4 of his classes and started calling attendance. I was sure that time that he wanted to poke me and to make jest of me that I was not coming to his class (that time I had started having this feeling that there was conspiracy to affect my career whether positively or negatively, I did not know by which ever group of people, I didn't know, I had decided long time even before I left primary school, to put my destiny in my hands.). So he came to class one day and started calling peoples' names, he had called about 15 names and was looking at their faces and stopped and started asking others if he had seen them in his class before he asked about two students who were known 'lay-abouts' and of course they could not deny it and he came to my turn and said, 'and you I've not seen you in my class before were you at the class the last time and did you fill the attendance sheet?' 'Of course yes' I retorted, he said what is my name, I told him and he said but I don't seem to see your name on this list he said and I immediately told him the number of my name on the list he was taken aback and Olumide Bewaji (that guy, we did greatly together at Unilag - we will get to the story later on) shouted 'Computer.' I shook my head silently and I told myself, that this lecturer did not know the person he was dealing with, if not for my financial incapability, I would have even passed my CPA then. Well, I didn't say anything afterwards. After the class I thanked Olumide for his compliments and he said ok, no problem 'who doesn't know that you're a computer.'

It was about this time that I was introduced to Rosicrucian Digest, and it became my usual readings. I started my journey into certain aspects of esotericism that time and I was avaricious. There was hardly any new week that I did not ask Victor Okobieme for a Rosicrucian Digest, I really learnt a lot of things. There is no gainsaying to the fact that whatever I am today, the Rosicrucian Digest that I used to read in those days helped me a lot in my times of adversities. I learnt a lot of spiritual and temporal issues. Thanks to those who thought it wise to produce the Rosicrucian Digest. One of the things I learnt and which Okobieme taught us is that we should not necessarily be calling people whenever we are in the class so that we would not make noise we should just concentrate our minds on them and they would look at our direction and we would gently ask them what we wanted instead of disturbing the class by calling their names. It was then that I realized that people can affect other people with thoughts, and I remember the words written in Isaiah: No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against me in judgment shall be condemned. I then decided to always read 'and every tongue and thought that shall rise against me in judgment shall be condemned' for I realize that people can also attack you with their thoughts! There was hardly any new week that I didn't ask Victor Okobieme for a Rosicrucian Digest, I really learnt a lot of things. Victor continued to bring the Rosicrucian Digest to me and I used to read them all. I started practicing some of the things written in the Rosicrucian digest. I should honestly say here that whatever I have become today, the Rosicrucian Digest that I used to read in those days played a very great part. Then one day Victor brought a book like pamphlet and on its front page was the picture of Jesus Christ (I wonder where people got Jesus Christ's picture or even drawing anyway for he was unsung when he was alive so, no artist would have made any money drawing him and of course, there was no photography, so what? Well, I heard about the shroud of Turin and I've read about it but some of these stories are so old that you would have to be very careful in believing it. More or less the reason why I am writing this biography now so that everyone involved would be able to justify and testify and not wait until some of them died before writing a biography, only those who have something to hide would be wondering what use is a biography now!). Well, I saw the pamphlet and I read it: Mastery of Life, I was fascinated, I wanted to be a Master of Life of course, I immediately told Victor to borrow me this book but he said that was not the original book and that unless I become a member of the Rosicrucian sect I might not get the book to read I said henhenh! He said yes, then I went to think about it and I told myself that I liked what I read in the Rosicrucian Digest, so what is bad in becoming a Rosicrucian when I told him to tell his father I would like to meet and discuss something with him, he said ok and after some days, he took me to his father, when I got there, the father was surprised to see a small boy wanting to be a Rosicrucian, he was surprised and he told Victor that he thought it was one of our teachers who wanted to be and I said no it was me! He refused, he said I was far too small. He said at least I must be 18 and that I was not yet 18 and therefore there was no way I would become one. I pleaded with this man, but he refused! I wept yet he did not bulge! I pleaded for some time and later I went away from his presence. When I got to the house that day, something told me that sebi they said Jesus Christ is one of those personages that achieved mastery of life and I could pray to Jesus Christ why couldn't I just pray to Jesus the Christ to also make me a master of life. So I knelt down and I prayed to Jesus the Christ telling him what happened and why I needed to achieve mastery of life. But then, after that incidence, Victor stopped bringing the Rosicrucian Digest to the school.

It was at this time too that my step mother became a member of a church called Celestial Church of Christ. Founded by a man called SBJ Oshoffa from the Benin Republic. Then she forced everybody to attend that church, only my father did not attend. He stuck to his Anglican Church. Well, I was baptized and I was asked what name I wanted, of course they took us to a river to do the baptism and though she had told me to look for a name to use when I finished the immersion (since then I had been baptized twice in two different churches anyway, the first one when I got to form four and I started fending for myself, I was baptized with the Deeper Life Christian Ministry and when I met the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Togo several years later, I became baptised again in Ghana), that was when I thought and prayed and decided on the name JUDE the reason I chose that name, I will not tell anybody. The celestial church of christ inculcated in me the act of praying fervently, going for night vigils and the like. It was there I met so many friends and those of whom are still my friends today except that they, like me, have also found their own personal church. And what did we not drink at the church: Holy Water, Green Water and the rest, she made us drink everything. Not only this, it is a must we had to eat the Ipese or what have you? It was also at this time that I became close to 'Femi Oke, 'Femi Oke had a lot to offer in terms of electronics and books. I availed myself of such opportunities. He would borrow me Nick Carter to read, James Hardly Chase and the Pace setters. He didn't read African Writers. I introduced him to that. He introduced me to Nick Carter, as for James Hardly chase's books, 'Dapo, my other elder brother had them in bulk, but you know you can't have everything so we used to exchange books. There was this guy called Kayode, who lived close to Iya Oke's ('Femi's Grandmother's house), this guy really dealt with 'Femi's electronic gadgets, he would open them up and sometimes repair them. 'Femi Oke also taught me how to read fast, I think I used to read very fast until I met 'Femi Oke, this guy would finish a page of pace setter in less than 2 minutes. I used to wonder how he did it but then he taught me and we started competing on how to read fast with adequate comprehension. Thanks 'Femi, you really did not know how you helped me considering the bulk of household work I had to do. Me, the 'houseboy'. Not far from where we lived that time was the Soga family. Dotun Soga and Dolapo Soga. I think Dolapo is the sister. The way I used to like that girl that time. But I dare not show any feelings if I didn't want my step mother to beat pluto out of me. But then I became a regular caller in their house. As for James Bond films, they had them in bulk, we had no video that time and because their mother had a poultry, whenever we had to go and buy egg I used to arrange with 'Dotun the time I would come to watch the films. Uncle Diran had videos, so he had introduced me to watching films. Actually the first film I ever watched on video (not on public television) is the Godfather and I loved it, perhaps that is why now I preferred Mafia like films to any film now who knows. But uncle Diran also had James Bond films. So the ones that I did not watch with Uncle Diran, I watch with Dotun Soga. But their video was not VHS and I couldn't borrow film from anywhere to watch on their video tape recorder. Well, that was when I saw the horror of Idi Amin Dada. Accidentally it was at this time that Mr. Ademowo taught us Bible Knowledge and I appreciated more what he said. It is now that I really know that of course the colonial masters must indeed had their own embellishments. But dictatorship in any manner is bad!

There was this Senior of mine in the secondary school called Monday Ajah, a very brilliant but needy student. Whilst I lived (although maltreated) in a good cemented house with better amenities, Monday Ajah lived in a mud house. But the nobility of this guy was so great that whenever he saw me he picked me up in his Bicycle. He had a Bicycle and he was Kuti's House Prefect that time. Monday Ajah used to wait for me sometimes and sometimes went late to school because of me because my step mother would not allow me leave home on time. Monday Ajah, where ever you are know that I have goodwill towards you and I wish you the best in life. It was later I told him to always be going whenever it was 7:30 and I did not show up. Monday Ajah, was a faithful senior. I appreciate him. On a sweet afternoon when the soothing African sun was all smiles there was another bell to come to the assembly hall. Actually it was nearing the end of the third term in my second year in secondary school when we got to the assembly hall I looked up the daiz and immediately I saw this guy, I did not really know him well, I was still somehow new in the school but he was looking at me with his eyes fixed on me and meanwhile Mushafau Adenola (my darling senior friend) was yelling, who is Niyi Alatise, if you are Niyi Alatise come to the daiz. But alas, I had left, also this time, Niyi Alatise on the farm. But there was this boy beckoning me to come to the daiz. Beckoning to come to the daiz. I said I am not Niyi Alatise and what do you want me to come to the daiz for ( that was what was on my mind). But because Mushafau Adenola looked at me with one stern countenance, I immediately went to the daiz and when I got there I told them that I was not Niyi Alatise, he said no problem, what is your name I said Adebo Ogunade, he said, sit down there and you will be the representative of the class two students for this quiz competition. Alas, the guy who beckoned me to come to the stage I later knew to be Anthony Ejorh! Who became my close friend afterward, we were even together at Ogun State University where he read Medicine and I read Accounting. So we had the quiz, I and Anthony Ejorh represented Class two students and Bolaji Osho (I had two Bolaji Osho in my school that time, one that was light in complexion and tall and another one that was short and dark in complexion - I will tell my reader a very strange story about the one that was dark and short in complexion later on - ). The other person who represented the form three boys I've forgotten but was it not Olanipekun, I can't really say or was it Taiwo Adebanjo, I've really forgotten. Well, we had the quiz and the manner with which I and Anthony Ejorh dealt with those form three boys, they will never forget in the academic lives. We beat them hands down. At the end of the quiz competition, come and see the way the boys mauled us with Uwe Uwe Uwe, it was an exciting experience, Mushafau Adenola became too proud of us, he started feeling out temperatures touching us on the forehead and the neck and asking which one of us was the hottest, that we were too hot. Well, that was how I became an admirer of Mushafau Adenola, I really liked him, even when he left school for University of Ife, I really missed him and I used to go and visit him there when I was at the Ogun State University. I think he read Material and Metallurgic Engineering. Yeah, I told you I will tell you about the other 'Bolaji Osho, this guy, was my friend, one of those acquaintances I used to borrow books from, gura and joke with. Then one day, he lent me a book which I did not return on time, this guy had to come all the way from Isoyin on a bicycle to Ikangba where I lived to collect the book. Of course, I assumed he asked people about where I stayed, that time the oldest of us should be 15, and I supposed he was not fifteen that time. So you imagine a boy at that age to come and ask for a pacessetter book with me. Well, he did not meet me but he left a note for me and in that note he wrote that if I love myself I should make sure I returned the book the next day or see the consequences. Of course, I had the habit of lending another person anybook I had once I had finished reading it, so I had already lent the book to Da costa (another school mate of mine who lived close by). I had to go to Da costa and told him the owner of the book had asked for it and I must return it. Well, the next day, this guy was surprised to see me and the book, he said, 'Debo you are very lucky indeed, if not you could have seen what would have happened to you.' I said 'I don't understand you, I think we are friends' 'Oh, and what do you mean by I will see the consequences aren't we friends?' He said he thought I had sold it and asked him, why should I sell something that did not belong to me and even that I would not sell my own books. He then said I should forget it. Readers, this guy one day when they were in form four and we were in form three had to warn our Technical Drawing teacher not to beat him on the head (Mr. Akindeinde had the habbit of beating students on their heads), he told Mr. Akindeinde that if he didn't want to carry a dead child he should not beat him on the head, Mr. Akindeinde refused to listen to him and when Mr. Akindeinde came to his turn, he beat him on the head! True to his word, 'Bolaji Osho died before the end of that day. The school was turned into turmoil. I did not come to school that day (I had been sent home for school fees), I did not even come the next day. It was later I was told what happened. Then my mind went to my last encounter with him (dis world, na wa ooo).

At that time it was the habbit of students to make jest of their parents in school. It was something like a fad I supposed, but I didn't engage in such acts. Amuzat Mukaila and Gbuyi Oduniyi (he was good in Maths that time) used to poke one another in class a lot that time. I was not particularly at ease with that, though sometimes they did poke at my father I didn't mind them anyway and never replied But because they were my classmates and good academically, I used to endure them, I was particularly close to Omotayo Balogun and Segun Erule more that the rest of the class. Of course we were the three people who rotated the first, second and third position. I don't even think I ever came first in that class, I was usually second or third. How could I ever come first with all those heavy maltreatment and work at home. Well, one day they started their jest again and Mukaila mentioned my mother I said what, you mentioned my mother? I was really enranged and I warned him to stop any jest on my mother if not I would report him to the class teacher. Of course I reported him but the class teacher said I should poke his mother too but I couldn't do it. But when Mukaila saw my countenance he stopped. But Gbuyi said: 'Ki nin gan iwo nikan lo ni iya ni- sorry there are some things I won't translate-(none of them knew that time that I really did not know who my mother was and because of that I was more the less very annoyed with them, how can they insult and make jest of the person I even did not know), but I got very annoyed and it took Omotayo Balogun and Segun Erule, it could have resulted in a scuffle between me and Gbuyi. Later that day, I thought, what must have made Gbuyi to think he could make jest of my mother when the person that started it had stopped? Was it because he did better than me the last time in maths? I was not happy. That time I had not known my mum and I usually didn't take it lightly when anyone poked or made an instance of insult on my mother as they all did. So I made up my mind to be closer to Omotayo Balogun so that he could teach me Mathematics for he was the best student in my class that time in Mathematics. I got to Omotayo Balogun's house and I found out that he had elder ones who were good in Mathematics and even his sister was a maths teacher! I was very happy. I also found out that he had a lot of African Writers, then whenever I was sent to buy something from Ita Ale, I would make sure I branched at 'Tayo's house to collect an African writer and to work some maths. That association with Omotayo yielded good result for me. I had 85% in maths, I could have even done better in my rush to become the first person to leave the class I forgot to do a particular question that was worth 15marks and which I could solve easily. Well, even if I had done it, I couldn't have won a prize (it was the third term) in Mathematics, people like Anthony Ejorh and Niyi Alatise had 100 and 99% respectively. Even, Mr. Odusina had to give Anthony Ejorh one more mark for doing so well, so he got 101/100 in Maths! Well, I came second in maths in my own class not overall. Omotayo Balogun came first with 96%.

That was it, actually, it was the third time and we were preparing for the third term exams. I came quickly to school early one morning and I wanted to read, I hadn't read, my step mother would not allow me to read at home so I had to borrow a note from Olarenwaju Shittu, a class mate of mine. Actually we had two teachers both of them student teachers who taught us Social Studies since I had targeted social studies as one of the prizes I wanted to win, I had to find a way of reading my note and the other note. So I did not go to the assembly hall that day instead I told 'Lanre Shittu to allow us to go to the Arts Block (1938 building) to read instead, and so we started reading the same note together and as I started reading I noticed that whenever I wanted to turn over a new leaf he was still reading and later he asked me if I read so fast and I said yes but that Femi Oke read faster and he told me to explain what I had read and I told him verbatim, he was surprised and he told me he reads the same line twice and I asked who asked him to be reading the same lines twice he said his dad. He asked me how did I learn to read so fast comprehensively, I told him first my brother told me to be reading without saying the words out when I was in primary school and also that 'Femi Oke taught me how to read fast and that we used to compete who read faster and he said Hmn! And I said yes, later he told me that their own social studies mistress told him to read a particular place that the place will come out in the exam, I said 'true?' he said yes, and I asked why, he told me that he told his teacher that he had promised his dad a prize in Social Studies. I said Hmn uuhmn! He said yes, I said, I would not want to read with him but since we are going to read the same note I will read but because I was Christian and because I would want him to collect his prize in Social studies if that question come out on what you ask us to read I would not do it so that you can collect you prize, he was amazed, he said true and I said yes. So we taught ourselves social studies and we went for the exams. When we got to the exam hall I saw the question he talked about I was really surprised, but I kept to my promise, I did not do it. and he was one of those who won prizes in Social Studies, I came fourth instead. I was satisfied anyway. But then, that act made 'Lanre Shittu become my friend! He was very happy when he collected the prize, took me to his house, introduced me to his mother and sister (he had a beautiful one) and his brother who loved to write. The same thing happened to me when I was in my final year at Ijebu - Ode Grammar School, Olumide Olayinka came from Federal Government College Odogbolu when we were in form four, that was the same form and year that I started fending for myself, it wasn't easy for me to be going to work in the night and be studying at the same time. I had to worry about what to eat, what to wear, books to buy, how to pay my school fees, how to take my bath (I sometimes spent days without taking my bath anyway) etc. So that year I didn't win a single prize. But in form five, Mr. M.O. Adedeji, told me to come to the boarding house free of charge, Alas, I had the opportunity to read and study well without worrying my head or working for what to eat or wear and the like. So in form five I won 'his' prizes: Economics and Government! Especially the government, he was very annoyed called me all sorts of names and to crown it all said that meant he had disappointed his dad because he had specifically promised his dad a prize in Government. I was very sorry, when I heard that, We had had chats together on how his dad turned his life around when he was becoming wayward at FEGO, how his dad would cane him 12 lashes every weekend and how even though he would eat at home from his mother's yet the father gave him 15naira every week. Well, I had already told him how I was suffering to cater for myself when I was in form four and how I got only 5 naira for myself per week from my father and that not regularly, I thought what should I do to this boy. Well, I told God in my prayers and as God would have it, those guys went to Mr. Omoboriowo to change the list of people to be awarded the prize of form five to form four, so he won his prize even though it was recorded in my report sheet that I came first in Government (I did not bother anyway, who would ask me about the discrepancy). Later when I told 'Dare Kuku (he became closest to me later on) what happened, he told me to go to the principal and that they should collect the prize from him and I said no, its okay, the main thing after leaving secondary school is to get to the university, I have the admission letter to one. That was all. 'Dare Kuku couldn't believe his ears. Well, that act did not make him to be closer to me, but I just felt he respected me a lot later on and when I told him two years later that I would be going to Unilag on transfer, he shouted, hey 'Debo don't go, from frying pan to fire (I thought to myself, this guy did not know how I was suffering here at OSU), well, of course I did not listen to him (Only God knows what he saw), he should be a lawyer by now anyway or he told us he would want to be a judge first. Actually, I couldn't call my stay at Akoka fire, it depends on how I looked at it; perhaps it was, but then I had exposure to so many things, and I became broke less. The climax of my second year of secondary school and first year at JOGS came about 2 weeks to the end of the third term. It was the norm of the school to give the best behaved student prize to the Head Boy of the school. That time it was the turn of 'Tunde Mabinuori. Brother to Yinka Mabinuori. But my Ghanaian class teacher had seen in me something to push up for, had seen a kind of thing that some of my teachers at that time had not seen, that I guessed I saw myself a little bit; a bit of promise I should believe. I was normally forced to doubt that time if I was a child of promise. My step mother and my financial handicapability used to make me doubt that a lot. But this Ghanaian teacher did not doubt this. This Ghanaian teacher saw it and embraced it. According to what Mr. Odushina (our darling Maths teacher, he was an old student of the school, younger and at that time closer to us than the rest of the teachers) told some handful of us later on. Master Mensah, argued and on the verge of tears that this time the best behaved student should be given to Adebo Ogunade and not to 'Tunde Mabinuori the Head boy as was the practice. According to Mr. Odusina, almost every Nigerian teacher refused, sticking to the rules, the tradition, Mr. Odusina continued that Master (as I affectionately called him) cite a case of fighting he had witnessed that the Head boy of the school was involved in and that if they had to talk of discipline, I should be awarded the prize. Well, according to Mr. Odusina, the principal bought the idea when Master mentioned that I was the person the principal of the school had warned the seniors not to touch or maltreat. Later, some of the Nigerian teachers bought the idea and of course all the Ghanaians and the Indian and Pakistani teachers also decided to award me the prize. But later along the line, they came to the agreement that I might make some enemies along the way since I just came into the school and would just come and win their coveted prize like that and they decided that instead they should divide the prize among each arm (we had five that time). I don't know if they still do the practice now, it was from the year 1982/1983 session that they started splitting the best behaved student's prize among the arms in the school. That year I won five prizes at the speech and prize giving day. I won a prize in Agricultural Science (I won a book called Farming as a business, I later saw a copy of that book at the Library of Ogun State University some years later when I was a student there.), I won a prize in English (of course, Femi won the first prize and also a prize in Literature, my prize was the book translated into English by the Great Nigerian Writer 'Wole Soyinka, The Forest of a thousand demons - the original was written in Yoruba by another great Nigerian Writer: D.O. Fagunwa "Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmola" -), I won a prize in Yoruba ( a book called 'Oleku' by Akinwunmi Isola), I've forgotten the next book prize, I can't remember right now, but I also won the big prize, the Best Behaved student prize. A cash prize of Ten Naira that time, it should be about 1000naira now anyway. That tells you how inflation has affected the Nigerian Economy. That prize, was the prize that made me to do what actually made me to have the opportunity for a University Education and thus, more exposure to learning. That was the reason that up till today I respected that my Ghanaian teacher a lot, if not for him, only God knows what would have happened to my quest for learning in a country like Nigeria where getting even a day's meal was a battle. Years later when I came to Ghana and I decided to pay back and work for people free of charge and sometimes when I was broke, charging peanuts, people thought I was nut. I am never an ingrate, I knew Master was an old man, the oldest in my school that time, perhaps he had passed on. If I couldn't say thank you to him personally, I could say thank you to where he came from perhaps the person I would help or assist might be his cousin, child, nephew or the less. Thank God for stereotypes about the Nigerian anyway, it made me have time for myself sometimes. Thank you Master! The noble act by that Ghanaian teacher was enough to ensure my continued academic life. In fact, despite the wickedness harbingers by man's undeveloped, poorly developed and underdeveloped ego, there are still angels in the world. So, Master Mensah became that Angel. How the whole thing happened will come to light very soon as we entered form three.

Of course, I'd won many prizes which had gone with only a well done (thank God for that at least). I was not expecting anything less anyway. But usually whenever I came home with prizes like that you should expect my step mother to be more aggressive and demanding. Yeah, I had to be given more work to do. It was also at this time that 'Bunmi and 'Dapo my two elder brothers left home. 'Bunmi left home for the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and 'Dapo left to work at the Federal Inland Revenue Board of Nigeria. I was then left alone to face the tumultuous task of the house. Actually when they finished secondary school, they stayed sometimes with my daddy and worked with him. And according to 'Bunmi since our daddy had no concrete plan for him, he had to leave and according to 'Dapo, he had to talk to our Aunty: (Aunty 'Bimpe) before he got the job at the Tax office in Lagos. I had to struggle and prayed my heart out of the long third term holiday. I was happy when we finally started a new school session.

Form three brought me in contact with the first Aryan descendants that taught me: Mrs. Javaid. She taught me Mathematics and I enjoyed her class a lot. That was my foundation in Mathematics and it was very helpful. The fact that I know mathematics today was not only due to my association with Omotayo Balogun and Mr. Aderibigbe but also the fact that Mrs. Javaid became my class teacher in form three. Mr. Ogundipe taught us Economics and I tell you he made me fell in love with that subject. Mr. Ogundipe knew Economics very well. He would come to class and write a concept on the board and would tell us to just use our layman's knowledge and think of what the concept might me. I loved this method of teaching because it enabled me think critically, come and see the way guys would be giving various definitions, descriptions, he usually did that for about 10 minutes whenever he introduced a new topic. Mr. Adebanjo (la so so) taught me Literature in English in Class two, the same teacher taught us Biology in Form Three and Chemistry in form four and five. He was the only teacher that taught me throughout my stay at Ijebu - Ode Grammar School. Mr. Adebanjo had the knack of teaching us with cane, I mean electric wires, his special kind of cane, I didn't get beaten unless the whole class had to taste it for making the class dirty or something. At home, of course, the story continued. Worked like a horse without resting and eat little like a toddler. I guess the food I was given that time was to make me live and work for them. I was sure if they had their chance they would have decided not to feed me at all whilst they extract the best they could from my energy. Thank God I survived! That time my daddy had one or two things to do in Lagos so he came home every weekend. Whilst he was away of course, I saw more maltreatment than when he was around. He couldn't do anything about it even when he was around. So my father was very happy about my Best Behaved Student Prize (Cash Prize), so he kept it in his wardrobe and told me that whenever I needed something I should ask him so that he could give me part of it.

Monday Ajah had left school he had finished and passed out of school, therefore no occasional ride on his bicycle again, that means I had to be walking all the time. My walking made me come in contact with 'Tunde Adams he was a small boy that time and two years my junior at school and Da costa who was to become my class mate he had change to Ijebu - Ode Grammar School and of course, I had met him before he came to ask for space at Ijebu - Ode Grammar School with his mum. And we had become friends, and as God would have it he was asked to continue in 3D my class. So we became closer. He lived close to Tunde Adams, my own house was a bit far from theirs but we stay around the same vicinity. Then one day at school I saw Tunde vomitting and crying I went to him and asked him what happened of course he replied he was sick, I took him to the health centre, bought drugs for him (I had asked my father to give me part of the prize money I won earlier in the week so I was still enjoying it) and softdrinks with which to take the drug. When the school closed that day I hailed a taxi(me hailing a taxi, thank God for that cash prize and even not that Tunde was sick and I wanted to get him home on time - he told me he couldn't walk - I wouldn't have taken a taxi) and we went home I was wondering on our way home thinking: definitely I had to alight on the way if not, if my step mother sees me with taxi only God knows what would happen so I told the taxi driver to make sure he dropped off Tunde at home and I told Tunde to ensure that the taxi drop him in front of the house, so I alighted on the way and used my legs for the remaining journey back home whilst the Tunde went with the taxi. The second day I was happy to see Tunde in school, he came to me smiling and told me that his mother would like to see me. I said, what? I couldn't come, woe betide me that time if I spent later than 2:30pm before getting home, we closed around 1:45 - 2:00pm. I told Tunde that I couldn't come. Yeah I told Tunde that I couldn't come. But the next day, here was Tunde again, coming to me and smiling, he said that this time around his mother maintained that I must come with him and he should not come home except with me. Well, I decided to go and I had this boldness that told me that what was it anyway, I would go and whatever would happen, should happen. I got to Tunde's house, nice house, the mother was not at home as I expected I met her sister anyway, and Tunde introduced me to his sister and told her that I was also in class three. Her sister was in class three at a girls secondary school. Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School. On seeing me the sister was very happy greeted me with delight and disappeared into the kitchen. She reappeared later with sandwiches after which she prepared fried rice and set the table for me and I was invited to a sumptuous meal, she then formally thanked me for assisting her brother. In fact, I just did not tell them that time, Seyi Adams' (of blessed memory - she died in the same aircraft with Claude Ake, the renowned Nigerian writer - some years later) sandwiches and fried rice were the first food of the sort in my life. Hitherto, I had heard about them but never tasted them. My step mother prepared only Jolof rice sometimes. I became a close friend of the family afterwards and I did not know where the courage came from I just forgot my stepmother and the house, I made 'Tunde's house my first point of call whenever I left school. So with Seyi Adams always preparing sweet meals for me and I spent my time playing with them, learning with them, they in fact became friendlier than my step siblings at home.

It just happened one day that my father came back from Lagos as he used to do and at the table, my step mother narrated how she had been justified for not supporting me to go to that school (JOGS), her reasons being that she guessed I had started joining bad gangs that I had started coming home late and that my countenance was changing for only God knows where I get the money I was using to take care of my body. Of course my father asked me why I had been coming home late and because I did not want to let them know (I remembered the Ijapa and Aja's story) where my source of new well - fed countenance was coming from, I replied that lately the school principal had been asking us to weed the grasses, of course, we just resumed the school and when students came back from long vacations in those days, they usually came to meet heavily grown grasses and small bushes and of a truth the principal asked every class to take its share in the weeding and the clearing of grasses and bushes. Though at that time consequent to the fact that I enjoyed immunity from punishment from the senior students I sometimes left my portion uncleared for other people to clear them. Instead I usually made my way to the Adams. My father replied that he would drive me to the school on Monday and chat with that principal who made me stay back in the school to weed. Yeah, Monday came and my father dropped me in front of the school and drove off. He did not come as he said. In all honesty, my father believed in my good behaviours at school, I could perceive that silently he wished me well and believed that I could never go wayward but to act to better my condition he could not, perhaps because of other influences, perhaps of my step mother's. The week rolled on yet, I still made the Adams' my stopover, and I still went late to the house. The weekend following my step mother reported me again and this time my father looked at me with a questioning look, I pretended as if I did not understand, well, he promised my step mother that he would go to see my principal on Monday. On Monday morning my father dropped me off again and left. I thought he would not come after all and I told myself: 'thank God he drove off again'. Alas, he came back this time; they just rang the short break bell and lo and behold, Victor Okobieme came upstairs and said the principal would like to see me (We had gone upstairs to the Biology Lab). When I looked down I saw my father's car, my heart went straight on a very short recess, I was short of breath.

I climbed down the stair case as I was about to enter the administrative block, I just prayed silently in my heart: 'God please teach me what to say'. When I got to the principal office (he had actually been defending me in front of my father that I was one of his best students and that I could never go wayward) the principal said, 'yes, this boy I know him, he was one of my very good students and there is no way he would be guilty of what you are thinking he is' 'Ngbo Ogunade ki lo so fun 'ba re?' I told the principal exactly what I told them at home but added that I intentionally stayed back in school in order for me to learn for I would do all the work in the house and whenever it was time to learn my step mother would put off the lights in the house and would say everybody should go and sleep, sir could you please tell my father to tell my step mother to be allowing me to read at night after I finished the household chores' (Readers, what I said, really impressed the school principal to the extent that later that day, he called the form five - final year - students to their usual place of serious talks towards their exams - under the Mango Tree in front of his office - How I got to know this will be narrated very soon) all I could see was the principal's mouth opened for few minutes and closed. Later he turned to my father that did he hear what I said, immediately my father tried to defend my step mother and the principal said, that I am one of his prize laureates and that I love books a lot and that there is no way I would ever go wayward, he even called Beatrice (the principal's darling secretary) to bring my dossier for my father to see my impeccable academic records. Later the principal asked me to leave. I left only for the principal to see me later that day to ask if I knew 'Bunmi Ogunade, I said yes, he shook his head I did not know why, he asked me again, are you from the same father and mother I said yes, and that I am the last of the conjugation between both of them and that 'Bunmi was the first born and I had two other elderly ones apart from 'Bunmi. The principal went straight to his house. Actually the principal went to tell his family about me and about the fact that 'Bunmi who was his student at Ijebu - Ife Community Grammar School had a brother in the school and that person was me. Later that day, the principal's children including his nephew came to me and started asking me questions about 'Bunmi, they told me so many tales about 'Bunmi's exploits at Ijebu - Ife. They mentioned particularly that during their visit to Ijebu Imusin for a football competition a fight ensued between the students of their school and that of St Anthony's College and there was this guy who was brandishing a UTC cutlass with which people had already been wounded. According to them whilst everybody was running helter skelter, they were amazed at the courage 'Bunmi had to face the guy and actually wrestled the cutlass from him and thus the assailants became the assailed. From that day on, I was usually welcome in the house of the principal and moreover, as I got to know, the school principal taught Geography and I know that 'Bunmi loved geography a lot, he managed to get three credits two passes and had an 'A' in geography. Later when I met 'Bunmi one and half years later, I related everything to him, he was very excited and happy. But he took the Ijebu - Mushin episode when I recounted it to him with a pinch, I was shocked. Actually, I did know what 'Bunmi was, but I did not know to what extent. I could remember a case in point when we were at our house in Ikangba, a big rat (Ekute) appeared from nowhere, and everybody started running after it to kill it, 'Bunmi told all of them to stop and from where he was he just threw his cutlass from that distance and phew, the Okete became a spoil.

So I started staying late in the school most of the times, my step mother dared not ask me why I came late again. The first term exam came, I passed all my exams very well, except physics, I scored 20%. I wept, really wept, my class mates were happy and said at least I now have a weak point. I shook my head that these guys did not know that I had no private teachers like them and neither do I go for extra classes somewhere. Well, during the two weeks holiday 'Dapo came home from Lagos for the holiday and saw my result in physics, he was surprised and said, but you were supposed to know physics what happened I said I did not have any book that my father refused to buy books for me and that some of my class mates do the assignments inside the recommended textbooks. It was then he remembered that 'Bunmi came home with some textbooks, he went to 'Bunmi's locker and opened it (he was the only person who dared do that) and brought out Nelkon and Parker, New Biology, and Chemistry's Lambert. I was overjoyed. During the holiday I devoured Nelkon and Parker and I waited eagerly for the second term. Of course during the second term I came second in physics in the class. That time we did overall only in the third term. Omotayo Balogun came first in Physics.

Towards the preparation for third term I stayed back as usual one day disturbing one of the senior students to help me solve some chemistry questions. The first question he asked me was that 'Won't you go home' Oh! home, I said, hmn, the principal had solved that problem with my father' Henh! he said, so you were the person the principal was talking about to us!'. I said 'hunhun! The principal talked about me?'. He then narrated what I had already mentioned in one of the preceding paragraphs.

It was this fateful day we went to the physics lab to take physics lessons, actually the 3P students had just finished their classes as was sometimes the practice, they sometimes spent time copying something from the board after their periods thereby delaying the beginning of the next class. I had this place I love sitting and lo and behold, Tokunbo Omodein was there still copying something from the board, I immediately told him to stop and collect the notes from his colleagues, to which he replied: 'Iya e' 'What!' I was very annoyed, of course I did not say 'Iya e' back to him but I really wanted to beat him, I was very annoyed, I had not known my mother that time whether she was dark or light in complexion I did not know and he sat down there and called 'Iya e' I was very annoyed, of course he started running away from me and I was running after him to fight him but the whole class asked him to stop since they knew that I did not like people mentioning my mother in insults and jests. That day, I did not listen to Mr. Goel, I was busy planning in my head on how to deal with Tokunbo academically, I thought, Tokunbo had never said any unkind word to me before, why did he say that, was it because he got the highest in both physics and chemistry during the second term exams (even though the overall result was only recorded in the third term report sheet, we, among ourselves usually knew who got the highest in all the six classes)? I told myself that I would make sure that I won one of the prizes and that I would not allow that insult to repeat itself and that I would make sure I read and study Physics and Chemistry very well so that he would respect me and not insult or make jest of my mother again.

That was it, I started asking people how to read overnight, because in order to increase my hours of learning after school and household chores I need to be able to read late in the night even wake up in the middle of the night to read since I had no one to impart anything to me except the ones the teachers did in school and some of my colleagues had private teachers and coaching classes they attend. 'Demola, my second cousin who stayed with Iya Ntantebo told me that I could just take Nescafe, I said what is Nescafe he said it was like tea but I knew there was no way I could get money to buy that so I decided to use the strength of my mind.

So for two weeks prior to the exam, I borrowed 'Demola's previous year's chemistry notebook (he was a year ahead of me at JOGS), and I read and study. Third term exam came and it was at this time that I became a friend to 'Dare Kuku, whenever we had a test or an assignment, 'Dare Kuku would want to come and see my scripts and of course, almost everyone of us liked doing such a thing. It was then that 'Dare Kuku told me to watch Tokunbo Omodein that he was very diplomatic that he had a way of influencing the teachers with his marks, I said ehen? he said yes, I said ok, thanks for the information. It was that we had our exams, but because I did not have enough time to read my physics note I did not know what to do, but I prayed in my heart that God you know I wanted to read but because I had so much to do at home in terms of household chores, I pray that you help me to pass this exam and also that I win a prize in it. Well, I got to the school early that day and I quickly took my notes to read and I concentrated on it. I remembered I paintakingly took my time to draw the thermometer and to grade it very well using a ruler and also one or two other things. And as God would have it, the thermometer was one of the drawings we had to do and I did it with the adequate gradings. Of course we were asked other questions which I answered very well.

We had Chemistry exams and I saw not so much a pleasant look on Tokunbo, and he asked me if I knew the answers to some of the questions, I said yes of course, I did not miss a single question, he was sad, he told me that he missed a question. My mind quickly went to what 'Dare Kuku told me about 'Tokunbo's diplomacy, I was very ready. During the week, we were asked to come to the chemistry lab, we had our own chemistry result released first and I was happy I scored everything but my Ghanaian teacher (a very brilliant chemistry teacher) told me that I could not get everything so I was given 98%. Well, I did not argue at all. Then they called the 3P students to come for their results, I intentionally stayed back in the chemistry lab and hid myself under one of the cabinets, I was waiting for them to call names and thank God, nobody knew I was there, except 'Dare Kuku, so as they mentioned 'Tokunbo's name I immediately jumped out of my hiding place, where I had crouched and I shouted heh! Tokunbo, I saw what you got, 97% I got 98% so I will get the first prize in Chemistry. My Ghanaian teacher was surprised to see someone sprung out of the cupboard like that, but when he saw my face he became calm. I said, thank you sir, I would collect the first prize in Chemistry, please sir don't allow this boy to influence you to change your mind, he replied that no, he would not since he got what he deserved. So I left them and told 'Dare Kuku what happened.

That year, I won five prizes again: I won prizes in Physics (the third prize), 'Dare Kuku and Yinka Mabinuori shared the second and the first prize, I had prize in Chemistry, of course, first prize, I had prize in Economics (I came first in that too), I had a prize in Government (I came first in that too), I had a prize in Agricultural Science again (I came second or first, I had actually forgotten now). That was it. I was happy so on the prize given day, I was happy and sad, happy that at least I had won the prizes that I had wanted and now Tokunbo would respect my mother, and sad because even though I had these prizes it would not be recognized at home again. So when I was going for the prize the shout of Uwe Uwe Uwe was nowhere in making me happy. I remember I made a kin nin gon gesture when I was called to come back for another prize as I was about to get to my seat. When I got home that day, I saw hell, I was beaten for offences I did not commit, I was maltreated even more and during the holiday, I witnessed the greatest maltreatment I had ever gone through in my stay with my father. Actually from what I heard from my step siblings, whenever my step mother went to church or the market the people who knew her and knew me at the same time would ask her about me and told her of my exploits and how they were proud that I was the child of their friend. Well, I struggled with the hardships then one day I was asked to weed the grass whilst I had not eaten the whole day and in fact no food for me, the day before, I ate once, a meagre ogi only in the morning of the other day. Of course I had been suffering like this over the years and all along and I felt I should not take it any longer. That day I wept a lot. Then I decided to call it quit with life. I was fed up with the whole situation. I told myself that the best thing I would do was to end my life. I was ready. I actually knew that the only thing I could do was just to touch the naked electric wire in our house, I made up my mind to climb up the pole and touch the electric wire. I made sure that everyone had left the house and I left the grass I was clearing and started climbing as I was about to get to the last rung, I saw a snake or something like it, I was shocked, and alarmed, what would a snake be doing on an electric pole I immediately climbed down to look for a stick to kill the snake (thank God for the normal fears and enmity between man and some beasts, my life was spared) so I picked a stick up, and I went closer to the pole only to find out that it was not a snake after all, it was a lizard, I said oh, sebi I wanted to die, why was I afraid of the snake, let me continue with climbing anyway, but as I was about to climb the pole the second time something just told me, why should I kill myself anyway, what is happening to me is not the whole extent of life. I should just endure! When I heard this voice inside me I resolved not to kill myself again. The second and third day, the maltreatment continued. My step mother told me to give ogi to the dogs at home and that since my father did not leave any money, she could not help me either. Before she drove off she told me to cook the ogi in the kitchen for the dogs anyway. Whao, I was perplexed and disturbed, so the dogs had foods to eat and me no food. I told myself that I would do exactly as she said and because I did not want to die of hunger I would just share the dogs' food. I told myself that these dogs should forgive me for sharing the food meant for them. So I shared the food with them and went to my chores, of course, no one was at home. I started weeding and clearing and doing other household chores. Then I told myself that I better leave this house, yesterday I nearly killed myself, why should I continue to stay in this house if I would be provoked to such an extent that I would want to kill myself. I thought about the rigidities involved in fending for myself, and I thought well, since I had read about Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikwe how they catered for themselves and how they made it to the very top, what stops me from also leaving home. The first thing is life, if I have life I have hope, staying here would not make me love life and in fact I started thinking of suicide actively then. Of course, over the years I have been passively thinking of suicide but then it became more active during the long vacation from form three to form four and I decided that I would leave that house! Well evening came still no food for me I did not know what to do, I was very hungry, I had worked from morning till evening with no food whatsoever and I did not know what to do and went to the room and knelt down and prayed that God you see what is happening, I nearly killed myself yesterday and today too nothing oh God you are involved in the affairs of mankind please do something on my behalf and in fact I want to leave this house, please do something and do not let me fail for the reason I wanted to leave was that I want to make good grades so that I would be able to further my education to the University and also that I would be able to live. I left the room and immediately I got out, it was getting to dusk around 7pm I saw this man, I like greeting people a lot especially those I know, Mama Eleni taught me that! I greeted this guy who had greeted me earlier in the day when I was working, immediately he saw me, he said, heh! Omo nla, I had been watching the way you had been working since morning and I appreciate those who work hard, take this money and use it to buy something for yourself. Whaoo, I was not expecting that! I was perplexed! God answers prayers surely. I went off to buy bread and later that day my father came home too and I recounted all that happened, he was not happy with what happened anyway (of course I did not tell him that I tried killing myself the other day) and promised to ask my step mother about it. Well, of course, lots of things like that and my step mother never got reprimanded. So the next day, I was told to go and buy some books for my step siblings and as I entered the bookshop there in my front was this poem by Rudyard Kipling 'IF' I read it and I started weeping, I said to myself, yes, they were the one who were wrong, why should I allow their mistakes to ruin my life, why should I make them to make me lose my life. I fell in love with that poem immediately and of course I committed it to memory, putting things in my head is one of the easiest thing I can do. I love books. So I said thank God that someone like Rudyard Kipling actually wrote this kind of poem. I told myself immediately that if I love life I must leave that house. I left the house for Apebi's house! Yeah, I left that place. I left it for them and I told them that they should not think I would not make it in life that I would make it and they would be surprised that I would even succeed excellently. I left home and when the extended family saw that I left home, they called my father talked to him and my father decided to be giving me 5naira! per week. I really suffered, but then I decided that I would not fail and that I would succeed and in my quest for success I would make sure I passed my secondary school certificate examination in flying colours and I enter the university immediately. I started doing menial jobs, washing cars, working at sawmills etc. Well, just immediately I left, I went to Uncle Diran to tell him what happened and to solicit for his help. He drove me out of his house that he could not help me. (this man, one of the best example of a freemason I ever met, he begged me later! I could not believe that an elderly Yoruba man could beg me. He begged me when I entered the university, he told me sincerely that he knew what we were facing - I and my other brothers from my mother - and that especially me but because he was weak and in a position he was not able to come to our aid. He later did something: there was this time, I wanted to pay some money at the Ogun State University, I had actually exhausted other avenues of getting money and I could not go to those avenues for money again then I went to him, this was a few months after he had apologised to me. He told me he had no money but that we could share his pension. I said, what? {in my mind), you could actually share your pension with me: I told myself, this guy was actually born again. As if he was joking, he took me to Ijebu - Ode, we went to the pension place and there he counted out the money I wanted for me. I was perplexed. I could not believe that Uncle 'Diran could actually shared his pension for the month with me. I forgave him immediately. Of a truth I admire this man a lot, the courage with which he took his adversities when it happened to him! This man, a very good example of a freemason!

  I told myself, I would use all the available instruments, except money, I have at my disposal to choose the best woman for myself and that I would look everywhere, I decided to use every intelligence, every cunningness, every smartness, wisdom, and prayers and fasting; as far back as when I was in my second year in the secondary school I had been praying and fasting for God to give me a good wife whom I would be the best husband to, for I felt very guilty about my mother, a kind of 'I was the reason she faced all those troubles' and I was even more determined when I knew her when I was 16 and found out myself that they actually lied against her.(what did my childhood mind not pray and fast for that time anyway, I was filled with noble ambitions, I wanted to be the best in everything I touched, I prayed and I fasted that I would get a good wife, prayed and fasted that I would become a very rich man, prayed and fasted that I would become president of Nigeria, what did I not pray and fast for, thank God for University of Lagos, I would still be blinded by lies by now, my eyes got opened about so many things in life and I stopped fasting and praying for some of those nonsense! First, I had actually wanted to be a virgin!! Can you imagine, a man not wanting to touch any other woman except his wife! Yes, thank God that one of my lecturers who was supposed to sign my form refused to despite reading a very great letter that Mrs. Eperokun wrote on my behalf to her! Instead she was weeping when she was reading that letter, not only was she weeping as she was reading that letter she was sobbing as well, I told myself, shooo, wetin be dis ke, instead of you to sign my forms you were weeping and sobbing, what kind of weakness is this? I told myself, if I ever got myself registered for my final year, I would immediately dis-virgin myself, of course I did it, immediately I got registered for in 1992, I immediately had sex with a woman for the first time in my life (I was approximately 24years old), when I told the lady that I would have sex with her, she thought I was joking until I started and alas, I went to the wrong hole (of course, I had little inkling of what sex was, thank God that sometimes, some boys who were helping the world demystify sex used to show pornography pictures in botteries and common rooms in those days and no matter who you were, as long as you pass to enter your hall you would see it and of course, people like me got curious and I told myself the first time I saw pornographic picture at Fagunwa Hall: 'so is this how they have sex?') Yeah, my reader, she then showed me the right hole and I of course had sex with her and during the week she came back several times to look for me, of course, I ran away and I told her, that I only wanted to have sex for the first time and because she fell into the kind of lady I would want to have sex with for the first time, that was why I had sex with her and I was not really interested in sex, but she came after all afterwards, but later I started putting wrong indication in front of my door and after about three weeks, she gave up looking for me. Readers that was why I decided that even though I had wanted to be a good husband to my wife, based on what that particular lecturer did after reading the letter, instead of her to do something positive, she was just weeping and I told myself even though I would be a good husband and father, I would not give any woman my virginity for I could not believe such a weakness. Readers, do you people realise that I did not blame my lecturers? Do you realise that we are too much in chain even though we are free (that was centuries after Jean Jacques Rousseau), do you guys know that my lecturers refused to sign my forms just because someone, somewhere gave an instruction against a young man whom the lecturers knew even little about to the extent that my lecturers felt incapacitated to discharge their civic responsibilities. Readers, it would be stupid or foolish if anyone of you blame my lecturers, you should rather blame the system, the social stratum, the social interractions and interrelationships that made my lecturers to perpetuate such an ignoble act towards me just because someone somewhere just because he or she belonged to a powerful group, perhaps gave a phone call and issued a standing order that I should not be registered for. Readers, what you should blame them for is that timidity, that lack of boldness for them to do the right thing! And riches, I was still thinking people get rich through honest hard work! Thank God for the University of Lagos! I became aware and wise about that immediately, of course I was still fascinated by the allure of wealth and I still prayed and fasted for God to make me rich, until I started my Youth Service and I heard that M.K.O. Abiola died! I said what? So someone could still be able to poison this man with all the money he had! I was very pained and troubled by that man's death. Abiola represented, to a lot of Yoruba young men a good example of rag to riches I was even more determined to make my own stories even better (actually Jide's father had told his children that they should not be surprised if I become very rich in future be someone like Abiola, why, well, the first day they told me about the existence of some consignments of soap that need to be sold, was the same day I got buyers for them! Actually, I spent less than two hours in getting some of it sold. They actually had spent several weeks without getting buyers for it. Well, the father was surprised and he asked the children about me - the children were my friends at the University of Lagos, and they told him, and Jide came to tell me what his father said about me. I would not mention their surname, for the father was once a politician and even held political positions in Nigeria. They actually forgot that I was raised by the Ijebus! Not only this, when I started fending for myself, the first thing I learnt was to survive by selling things and doing menial jobs! I had actually been taught lessons by the tides of life, tedious tides for that matter. Actually, I am a very good Ijebu man! Only that the Ijebus did not like my mother for if they like my mother, they would not have allowed their people to trouble my mother the way they did! For if anyone thought he was troubling my father by making his life and children suffer, nein, as the German would say, it is my mother you troubled, for most men put something somewhere and even forgot they actually put that thing there and would look for another person to deposit something with. That is why I like the Ashanti people of Ghana, we should just stop behaving wickedly, the true owner of a child is not the father, but the mother! Or of what attachment is it for someone to nurture something for months, and after wards to suckle that child for months (Was I even got suckled well at all, five months? Amidst fear and troubles!) and years and for you to come around and break the bond between mother and child just for filmsy excuses! The true owner of a child is never the father but the mother! Man, learn!). But then, Abiola died. I was alarmed, I went through deep reflections, very deep ones, well, I still maintained my stands, until I read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged! I decided to change my position on many things and the way I would go about making the world a better place. If Abiola with all his wealth could not get what he rightly won, who was I then to think acquiring wealth would enable make the world a better place. It was then that I had the courage to take Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged to read. Actually, I had been tempted to read that book several times but I was always telling myself that it was too voluminous for me to finish within the short periods I stayed at the Eperokuns. I had read 'Successful Achievements' A series of books in volumes. I studied those books, in those days, apart from the fact that I knew I would eat delicious foods that Mrs. Eperokun cooked, I always looked forward to doing my next study on 'Successful Achievements' when I did my weekend visits and vacation stay. I don't see those books again. But readers, get those volumes if you can, they are great read! Then I was tempted to read Histories by Herodotus, of course I liked it. I had actually thought I had read enough histories. When Mrs. Eperokun saw that I was reading books from her husband's library she immediately let me knew that even though her husband did not object to my reading those books, I must not take them out of the house for he would not like it if any of them got missing! Of course, after reading Herodotus, my appetite was whet for other books in their library and of course, the next one I took was Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, Immediately I opened the pages read about the first twenty pages, I was tempted not to put it down, I was actually tempted to take it away, the argument: since it was because they did not want them to be lost was why they insisted that it should not be taken away, I would take it away and return it. Readers, of course, I took that book away and I read it like a textbook. I mean I studied it and later I returned it. I changed my outlook towards life immediately, I fell in love with Ayn Rand immediately, thank God for the internet, for if not for the internet which came years later, I would not have known that there was a movement based on Ayn Rand's ideas. How I wish she were alive now, Ayn Rand, where ever you are: I LOVE YOU! I said to myself, so someone somewhere understands me, understands my inner thoughts, someone somewhere thinks like me and someone somewhere was also against the practice of destructive capitalism! I changed my mind, I actually thought I was lucky to have found myself posted to Abiriba (small London) a lot of my corper's mates thought I was going to die by being posted to Abiriba, but they were wrong, I met not only some good people, very good people and very spiritually powerful people, who told me some salient truths about life, I also met rich and great individuals and I had told myself that it was now my turn to start creating wealth but alas, Ayn Rand's changed all that! I saw life in another perspective. I read Ayn Rand when I was doing my Youth Service and Abiola also passed away during this period of my life. The two events that made me change my perception about the extent of wealth and the evils of the practice of destructive capitalism. In Abiriba, I dined with millionaires, I spoke with philosophers who were unsung, I interracted with spiritually powerful people who would only need a day's thought to change what ever they want to change for themselves or even affect others negatively or positively! Christians do not really know the true extent of what Jesus Christ came to do, that if they should know, they would stop being hypocrites and rather make and leave the world better than they found it. Well, I came into the good books of those Abiriba people when they learnt the extent to which I was trying to make life better for their girls' folks, when they learnt how I taught day and night, when they learnt how I went out of my ways to teach without any other rewards! Some of them like Justice K. K. Ogba, Echeme Kalu and the rest that I would not want to mention now for various reasons became my friends and took time to spend hours chatting with me! I don't know what people have against Abiriba, but whatever the case may be, I approached Abiriba positively and I left it positively, you don't expect everybody in the society to behave in the same way when you have not conscientiously put in place control mechanisms to check excesses and indulgences. So I stopped praying for wealth! I stopped praying for God to make me rich. I stopped praying and fasting for wealth. I started praying and fasting so that God will make me affect the world positively, whether I grow rich or otherwise! I am surprised at myself anyway, it seems some unseen forces are interested in the way I live my life for some things just fall in place in my life. Sometimes when I think about myself, even though I know myself a lot, I am usually tempted to ask myself again: Who am I anyway?

So I started staying at Apebi's house. So when Uncle 'Diran asked me to leave his house, I did not know what to do, I was perplexed I needed help! Help! I did not know what to do, then one day as I came out of the school gate I saw this poster on the wall, there would be a retreat for the Deeper Life Christian Ministry at Abeokuta. I looked at that poster again, I need to pray, go somewhere and pray, can I afford to go to Abeokuta, when I go there how would I come back? What would I eat, I looked at the poster again: free feeding and accommodation, I said henhenh! I thought about it when I got home that day and I was wondering what I would do there! Meanwhile I had hitherto lost faith in God! I had become an atheist. My school mates had started labelling me an atheist, for I asked so many questions about life, why was I not able to help myself, why was it that I have no help like you people in my quest for learning, I asked them so many questions, why was I suffering, I could not get any answer to these questions, and I came about a book by Betrand Russell and Whitehead, I started learning their philosophy, it was also at this time that 'Dewale Ogunade used to come to Ijebu - Ode to tend the farm of Baba Apebi with Uncle 'Soye, they would come on Friday or Saturday and leave on Sunday. I started going to the farm with them. Of course I used to enjoy their company, since they were familiar faces. And we used to work together. When we came back like that, they used to pay me some money and of course, one of the reasons I used to go to their place was the fact that I used to have the opportunity to take my bath. There was no water coming from the tap again at Apebi. Sometimes I stayed days without taking my bath and being with them for two days of the week was usually an opportunity for me to take my bath. Then one day, of course, we used to converse sometimes, uncle Soye said: so you don't believe in God, I said, yes, if there is God why were there sufferings in the world (they actually never realised that I had attempted to kill myself some few months before), then he asked me that what if someone would take care of my education and would want me to practice his religion in exchange for me embracing God and his religion. I was so enraged by that question, of course he was my uncle and I couldn't show it, I told him point blank that of course I would embrace his religion as far as I am getting assistance for my education and immediately I finished my education I would return his religion back to him. He was perplexed by that question and he left my presence (we are so biased in this world, why should you help me because I am a member of your church, why wouldn't you just help me because I am a human being who needs help and instead you attached a string to it!).

So I attended the retreat of Deeper Life Christian Ministry, I still have this little faith in God that perhaps God exists some where even though I profess to my colleagues in school that if there is God I would not be suffering. Yeah, I went to the retreat and Pastor Kumuyi came to preach and some how I felt I should become born again. I was among those who raised up their hands to become born again! That was how I became born again in 1984. I could feel the joy I had when we came back to Ijebu - Ode I started attending their programs and as God would have it they started using my secondary school premises for their programs then I just would stay back in school until the time of the program and of course I would sweep the place of worship, clean the chairs and arrange them properly before the service begins, my argument: since I was part of them, I don't see any reason when I am a student of this school I would not make the place ready for them.

They preached forgiveness at the Deeper Life Christian Ministry and was told to think of anybody I had grudge with, look for that person and reconcile with that person, of course, the only person I had grudge with was my mother! Even though I had read about the divorce proceedings in my father correspondences, why was it that she left me even though the court said she should leave me, why couldn't she disobey the law and carry me one day and run away with me. I was a little bitter towards her in those days. Of course, I had told myself that I would try to look for my mother immediately I left my father's house and if I should find out that it was true I was born by this man through this woman who left me when I was five months old, I would write my story for the whole world to see. (Oh! White man, I love you oo, I appreciate your presence in the annals of humanity, thank you for many things, especially the internet. As for slavery, forget those who are against you! Didn't you have white slaves? I wish people would realise the fact of history that the British were leaving in houses made of thatched roofs and leaves before the Romans conquered them and enslaved them and where are they today, more powerful even than the Romans! We should stop being sentimental! Slavery was a bad thing for the white and for the black. But the British did not brood over their misfortunes but took their destiny into their hands and today they are a great people! Thanks white man for so many things that God has made you to bless the world with. If not for the internet, perhaps someone would have told me to go and bring my teeth for me to join a particular group before my books could be published or they could have even told me to bring a substantial amount of money that may take me years to get! But here is the internet, making me to reach diverse audience with the story of my life. Thanks White people for happening upon the face of mankind - Haaa, you're part of mankind anyway).

I made up my mind to look for my mother, where is my mother? How could I possibly get to know someone I have never seen in my life before! I asked my family members, they also asked people they know and then one of my cousins told me that they have found where my mother was: they gave me the address in Lagos. I said, sho! Me go to Lagos, I've never been there, and Lagos was a very dangerous place to go without any inkling of where you are going. I thought about it critically, I told myself that in fact I needed to know my mum, if it was really true I have a mother and if I belonged to this family! With the address in my mind, I set off to Lagos for the very first time in my life, alone! Thank God for my good brain, I did not take long in locating the place where they said my mother lived. I got there around 12 o clock, and as I got there I introduced myself to the man of the house, he was happy to see me and received me with joy but he told me that my mother was not around that she had gone to a funeral and would only be back in the night if I could wait. I told myself, why wouldn't I wait was that not the reason I came, of course I waited! Whilst in the house, it was a like a compound house with children playing around the street, I could hear several parents warning their children not to touch any of my mother's children for they would want to be beating by my mother when she comes back. I was perplexed, what is happening? What did I hear? My mother beat the parents of those who beat her children? (my mother had remarried and had other children)I intentionally asked one guy who was my age mate about what I heard he said: Ah your mother, you don't know, if she ever heard any of her children crying she would come out to see who beat them, not only would she beat the child who beat her child she would also beat and rain insult on the parent of that child. I said shooo, what is happening? How can someone abandon me when I was five months old and yet would fight anyone who beat her children. Then the doubts set in, perhaps what I had read in my father's correspondences were actually true, the law court forced my mother to leave me behind, so they lied against this woman, I became so annoyed with my father's family so much that I told myself that I would definitely write about my life. Then I waited, waited, and waited, still she did not arrive, finally, she came back around 10:00p.m. in the night and I was so enraged! Immediately she saw me, she said: Oh! Dapo, I said 'this is not 'Dapo, this is 'Debo,' she said, what, 'Debo ooo. And of course, she started weeping, she wept and told me the story of her life, how she met my dad and how she gave birth to us and how Mama Eleni wanted my father to take a wife from Ijebu area and how she objected to it and how she was asked to leave us and pack out of the house and she said 'as God would have if I am coming from the funeral of the person who gave me out in marriage to your father: my uncle, uncle Clement, sebi you can read, read the souvenir plate,' I read the plate, saw the date, of course it was the same day's date that was on it. I sigh! What coincidence. She recounted how she lost her parents when she was in primary school and how she suffered when she was growing up and how she met my dad and so forth. Finally, I told her that I've forgiven her that I am a member of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry and were told to forgive those we thought wronged us and from what you have narrated, you did not wrong me, they actually wronged both of us. Readers, the next day, my mother prepared a meal, the sweetness of the meal was the sweetest I had ever tasted in my entire lifetime! I could see that she was a struggling woman, trying to make ends meet and I couldn't bother her with my own burden, I decided that definitely, I would leave her to be and I would continue to fend for myself! But before I left her I asked her if I could write about what happened to me for I wanted to write about it. She looked at me affectionately and said, write oo 'Debo, write, I am sure it would give you a lot of money because you have strange things to write about.' I shook my inner head that this woman did not really know how great I want to become! I would not even need the money from my book to live I would have developed myself so much that I would be lucrative myself. Immediately she told me to go ahead I immediately made up my mind to do as such. The normal course continued, thank God for the Deeper Life Christian Ministry, I was morally strict. I was very careful the way I lived my life, I was very principled, I did not joke with my work and study. I applied myself to them with seriousness. My days at Apebi? Hmn, I would wake up in the morning to sweep the surroundings, and on the day of general clean up exercise, I would take broom and clean even the streets that were not part of my house! I take kulikuli and gari each morning for breakfast, in the school, of course I would gura in the afternoon then I would go to work with Wole Sowunmi and we would wash cars and share the money. In the evening I would take out of the money and I would buy tuo and of course, they sell tuo with a lot of soup. I would be careful not to use the whole soup on the tuo and since I had gari at home I would heat water and make eba to take with the remaining soup from the tuo so that I could be well satisfied of course after making sure I had added some hot water to the soup to make it plenty. That was how I existed and survived the ravages of the enemies! Well, I did not actually realise that the people around were watching my footsteps and were admiring me silently, and before long people started bringing their wayward children to me for advice, you see, your light can shine where ever you are! I was surprised one day when a woman brought her wayward daughter for me to talk to, that was how I became a counsellor and because I like reading great books, I started putting quotations from these books on my head so that I could use the wisdom in this book to talk to my 'clients' (only that they did not pay). So I became a walking dictionary of quotable quotes. Most of these quotes are still in my head today, and they also helped me in my adversities. There were times I would not go to school because my school uniform was dirty and I could not get the soap or water to wash them, as for bathing forget that I had spent days without taking my bath! But my saving grace, I didn't smell! I didn't smell at all! I wonder why! One day, a boy who just came to JOGS (Olumide Olayinka) asked me some questions about myself, he told me that he admired me and that he wished I was his brother or something like that, he said he could not believe how with all these problems facing me I still managed to be one of the best in the school. He said he has asked people about me and all of them have told him great stories. He then went on to tell me why he left FEGO how he was going wayward and his father came to his rescue by giving him 12 lashes of cane every weekend. He wondered where my strength and zest for achievement was coming from despite all my problems. He then asked me how much my father was giving me every weekend, I told him 5 naira he said what? He could not believe his ears, he said he was sure my father is more well to do than his and even though he would eat at home with his mum and also that his mum would give him money everyday to come to school he was usually given an extra 15naira by his father! I said, I had a step mother that is why, of course he said they have told him that but then how can you possibly survive on 5 naira?

  The Ijebus are the kind of people who have found so many ways of dealing with their situations. When some of my school mates and those around me saw the way I was suffering, they started telling me so many avenues with which I could make money without even lifting a finger. They told me so many things, some of them I had heard of as rumors of how people make money and some of them I heard for the first time then. Nevertheless, at that time I was born again, the advices I was given I refused to take. Thank God I did not take them anyway! Yet I suffered in my quest to learn. I never spent any time of my life going to discos. Of a truth I did not like those kind of life. Girlfriends? None in my agenda, in fact I did not allow even my cousins who were females to enter the room I used. Most of them respected that wish except one or two of them who used to sneak inside whenever I was not around.

Then there was 'Biodun Ogunade (a lady) this girl liked sleeping a lot. She would not go to school, was not interested in learning and thanks to the fact that her father was not usually around, she spent almost the whole day sleeping! Of course, it was during that same period that I became the Chapel Prefect of the Ijebu - Ode Grammar school which necessitated my getting to school very early to take care of the chapel and the assembly hall. Well, because I stayed in the room that was at the back of the house, whenever I wanted to go to school, 'Biodun would still be sleeping and of course there were lots of disagreement between the two of us that time. Many at times had I forced the door open for me to go to school whilst she would be sleeping in the house, of course whenever I came back from school there would be arguments and disagreements as to why I had to force the door opened. But I was not used to mincing words, I used to tell her point blank that I could not allow her to use her unseriousness to disturb my seriousness. If she was not interested in school, I was. It was that same 'Biodun that told me that she accompanied my brother ('Bunmi) to the airport (of course I took it with a pinch) and it was this same 'Biodun that told my brother how she took my sister to Uncle Kunle for help when she was pregnant! (of course nobody told me that time that there was a lot of things fishy especially when they could not show any of us the dead body of 'Dewunmi or of the foetus!). This life na wa oooo! I just hope that 'ile ko ni continue lati ma gba awon osika.'

I got to my fourth year in the secondary school and I was at a loss of what to do, I was good in all the subjects! I wanted to do everything, but we were told only to do nine subjects, but then the principal of the school quickly came to tell us that those of us in 4K can do more than nine if we wanted but then we would only be allowed to do maximum of nine at the WAEC examination. Before then the principal had asked us to write down the subjects we would love to do and of course what we would like to be in future. Just about that time, I started staying at Apebi's House and I came across an exercise book used by a cousin of mine: Professor Ogunade (R.I.P) and I found out that he used that exercise book (a mathematics exercise book) at the Olu - Iwa College when he was in the fourth year of secondary school and I also found out that then, most of the algebra in the exercise book I could do easily even though I was not yet in that class! (Thank God for Mr. Aderibigbe, Mrs. Javaid and Omotayo Balogun), I said 'hmn! So that means what we are doing now is higher than what those guys did in those days whilst in the same class?' Well, I said 'sebi they said he is a physicist, I was also interested in Physics, I would love to be a physicist but what kind of physicist would I love to become,' it was then my mind went on what I, Remi Ikuesewo, Layi Obasa, Leke Aderohunmu and one or two other friends said a long time ago on top of Remi Ikuesewo's house, we were like saying what we would like to do in future and the reason we would want to be what we wanted to be. Of course, at that time we were in Primary five or six, I could not actually remember the exact class. So when it came to my turn, I said, I would love to be Atomic Physicist, I would love to create a bomb that would neutralise the atomic bomb that some people are using to kill other people, I told them that if I could create a neutralising bomb, of course people's lives would be saved and of course there would be peace perhaps in the world.

  Then I wrote down my choice of subjects and I wrote Nuclear Physicist beneath it as the principal of the school demanded. Later that day in the school the principal of the school saw me and said: Ogunade, have you written down what you would like to become in future, I said Yes, sir! And what did you write down: Nuclear Physicist sir! Hey iwo omo yi, Nuclear Physicist in Africa? Hmn, you would require a lot of money to do that, well, he shook his head sadly and went to his office.

What subjects was I not interested in those days, everything, I was in love with books, I wanted to acquire all knowledge. I did almost 12 subjects! In that 4K. I took Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Economics, Government, Yoruba, English Language, Literature in English, History, Statistics. Yeah, that was all, I wanted to do even more, but when I thought about my financial inadequacies I chose only those ones. And of course, there were clashes and no one would adjust the time - table because of you as I found was done in the University when I got there some two years afterwards. I refused to do Geography, I hope my readers would want to know why I refused to choose geography? Well, the event that made me not to offer Geography happened a session earlier when I was in my third year in the secondary school. Hitherto, I was not used to remembering my dreams and not only this, I rarely dreamt up to that point; but it was when we started attending the Celestial Church of Christ that we were having night vigil one day and a 'prophetess' said now, all the kids must pray for a gift and of course, it was a must, I told them that I did not want a gift and that I was not interested in any gift, but the supposed prophetess insisted that if I have to be part of them I must pray and ask for a gift. And of course, I knew that if I refused my step mother would beat hell out of me, I said ok, I would pray and I thought, of all those gifts they were mentioning which one should I ask for anyway, then I remember Joseph in the Bible, remembered Daniel in the Bible and I said ok, I would ask for the power of dreams. Readers that was it, I started seeing some things I would do the next day even during the week sometimes in my dreams and most of the time even when something would occupy my mind too much, I would just dream of it and would see it revealing itself in the conscious existence (alas, that time I never knew I could pray against any dream that I would not want to materialise itself in my conscious existence - Mrs. Eperokun taught me that years later. Well, because I just got to know that the Principal that time Mr. M. O. Adedeji was also 'Bunmi's principal in his former school and I knew 'Bunmi loved Geography as a subject, and the school principal was also a teacher of Geography, he taught only sparingly at JOGS I learnt that he had to resolve to teaching Geography at Ijebu - Ife Community Grammar School because they had only one Geography teacher. In order for me to impress both of them - my school principal and 'Bunmi, I decided to take Geography serious and was determined to win Prizes in it. So I paid particular attention to Geography, we had the exams and was ready and expecting to be one of the prize winners and lo and behold I dreamt. In that dream, I saw that I had 68% in Geography and I came sixth! What, I was alarmed, definitely I could not win a prize! I was troubled! Lo and behold when I got to the school that same morning, the first teacher I saw was Mr. Sipe - the Geography teacher, my mind went veeem! I said what is happening, of course, I saw him and went to greet him in order to carry his bag for him and as he was alighting from his car (he drove a deep blue volkswagen in those days), he said, oh! 'Debo, omo nla, I would love it if you take Geography in Class four, you really did well in Geography, you made me proud, you were one of those students I would love to see in my Geography class next session, I was relieved a little bit, (you people wait, you will hear another thing soon), so when I got to his office, I was about to leave he said oh please sweep the office for me and as I finished sweeping the office he said, come, let me show you your mark, I would even love it if you could please record some marks for me, then he opened his file and showed me what I scored in Geography, people, lo and behold, I saw exactly what I saw in my dream: I got 68% and I came sixth. Somebody scored 73% he got the highest mark. I was so troubled and disturbed and I told Tokunbo Omodein that I was not going to win a prize in Geography as I thought, he said, oh! Sipe, ma da Sipe lo hun, he gives prizes only to his friends' children! Well, to me I got what I deserved anyway, and whatever, I told Tokunboh that I would not choose Geography the next academic year and I thought to myself, even if I should get to form five and I dreamt that I scored F9 in Geography, was that the way I would wake up and see F9 in Geography? I told myself that was the end of my offering of Geography as a choice of study in my life! Of course, there were other instances of dreams becoming 100% correct in my waking and conscious existence and sometimes 90 something percent correct. We would get to these stories later on, and of course, some of them I may not necessarily write about for they involve scopes that were not necessarily my own! Yeah, class 4K in those days at JOGS was the class of the superbrains! The powerhouse of any set. In that class almost everybody was a prize laureate and if you are not good enough, you would have to find your way out of that class. Not only this, almost every student in that class had private teachers, attended extra coaching classes or had access to extra learning facilities. That was the class that I, who could barely eat one meal a day (except Gura of course); found myself!

Actually, I had started fending for myself, Nigeria that time was going through the repercussions of the brutality meted out to our economy by our politicians and most of 'which' were still around now. I wondered why the military handed over power in 1979 anyway, we were enjoying everything, we kids could go and buy comics anyhow and of course with as little as 15k could buy Geisha to eat bread and take Pepsi with it! (Only those who are well to do can do that now). Nigeria was enjoying sweet prosperity until power was handed over to the so called politicians and within three years we were at dustbins! They really demonstrasted their craziness (to borrow a word from Fela Anikulapo Kuti). I was being given 5 naira every week. Not enough for a day's meal and of course, I had to work menially to support myself and of course, learning must be done at the same time. Since I did not have a school uniform, the old school uniform was nothing but a rag when I got to the fourth year in Secondary School. So, Sunday Adegboyega Ogunade (I just pray he is still alive now!) gave me one of his school uniforms, of course, he was bigger and taller than me, he was then out of school having passed out that year! I was in a trouser (only form four and five students were allowed to wear trousers) but my trouser was baggy like. Thank God wearing a baggy was a fashion, so people generally thought I sewed a baggy! Soon some started calling me 'Debo the baggy but thank God, 'Gura' could not leave easily, so they stuck to calling me Gura instead.

So, my fourth year in the secondary school found me going in and out of school, most of the time, going out to work. I, that love schooling like something, was forced to be 'stabbing' classes to survive, most of the time that my class mates were in the class learning, I would be somewhere working in order for me to get my daily bread. Yet, I was still among the best that year in my class 4K even though I did not win a single prize. It was during this year that I came to know one important truth about life and existence, a truth that greediness and selfishness is fast erasing from the psyche of mankind, what is this truth? Well, before I go to that truth, there was this particular story that happened a year earlier. I was in Form three and most of the time, I had little resources. My mates were usually surprised how I coped. Then one day, I went out of class to go and urinate, of course; and as I was about to get to the front of the 1938 block, I just heard, 'Debo, duro, I am coming to meet you! I looked back I saw one of my class mates, (I would not mention his name here), of course in JOGS you hardly change your class the class you were since your first year in school would be your class until you get to your fourth year and he had been my class mate since form two when I got to JOGS. He said 'Debo, I've been noticing you! You are either 'Emere, or Oso, or better still Aje or you use a powerful Juju. I said, I beg your pardon what do you mean? He continued: 'You see I've been watching you since the time we were in Form two, you came from nowhere and you started winning prizes, you don't even have books, you don't even have a ruler talkless of math sets or do you have T square talk less of a drawing table and in the second term you came first both in Technical Drawing and Fine Art in the class (Nature, - Mr. Sunday Kajola, should come and listen to this guy, he was usually surprised how I passed my Accounting courses - Financial, Cost, Management, Taxation, Financial Management etc. his reasons, I did not even have a calculator! Well, in those days when I was in the University, I was so poor I could not even afford a calculator, I made do with that of Arinola or Josephine Okudolo, my study mates, at times!). Yeah, if my readers would allow me to digress a bit, I clearly remembered that time in the second term, when I got home and my father saw that I came first in Technical Drawing, he said, heh! Your uncle(he had then been close to his brother: Engnr Adedoyin Ogunade) said if a child could know this subject very well, he could make a lot of money as an Architect, well, since children were not allowed to express their minds in the open, I said to myself, this man did not really know what he is talking about, how can I do very well in this course, when even I had to 'gura' Biro (pen) in the class. And of course who wants to be an Architect anyway so that people would go and steal money or get money through Juju means and give that to me to design or construct houses for them. This man did not really know me. I did not say anything and immediately he finished talking, I said, 'as for me I want to be a scientist like Professor Awojobi. Daddy, when was the last time you bought me a pen anyway, I don't even have a drawing pencil I borrowed from friends, and I was moved to tears, then he kept quiet. Yeah, to continue with my class mate observation, he then begged me to tell me the power I used. I said, shoo, wetin be dis ke, I don't have any power except the power of God, you see, I pray a lot, I usually pray in my heart, I started praying from the age of six or even five by myself, and it is God who had been helping me, I don't have any power. He then continued 'Why then is it that whenever the seniors or the teachers were coming to beat us you usually leave the class and it is when they have finished beating us that you will come back to class. I said henh heneh! It was then my mind went through my days at JOGS up to that time and I was really surprised, I never noticed it. It was very true, many at times would the urge come for me to go to the toilet, staff room, something would just remove me from the class to go and do something somewhere and when I get back to the class I would see my class mates with their hands raised up. I came back to myself, I told myself, 'this guy is very intelligent so why is it that he does not perform so much in class, for him to have patiently studied me like this!' Well, he continued; 'I found this out lately and I also started going out of the class immediately I see you going out of the class because I don't want to be beaten. Sorry to ask you those questions and to call you those names anyway, you let's go and ease ourselves and you will see that when we come back, the whole class would be crying from being punished either by the teacher or the senior students.' That was it when we came back to class that day we met our classmates crying and weeping from lashes they just received! He looked at me, shook his head and went to his seat! That fateful day when I got home, I knelt down, prayed to God and thanked him for his protection, despite my strenuous existence. But then, since that day, the extent of my going out of class whilst others were being beaten reduced.

Readers what do you think I came out to realise, what truth came to my head? The truth is that we humans are all the same! We are like computers of the same processing speed. The only difference is the extent of the application programs installed in us. Of course depending, then, thereon, we may perform differently. It was then I stopped laughing at my classmates when they were not able to answer a particular question correctly, I used to do that a lot! But my fourth year in the secondary taught me lessons. I stopped poking at whoever could not answer a question correctly, instead I made up my mind to teach or explain to that person after the class. Of course, almost all the brilliant students at JOGS did that in those days, immediately you did not answer a question correctly, they would just start laughing at you and the teachers did not help the matter either, immediately they asked someone a question and if that person was not able to answer the question correctly they would just find an insult or abusive language on that person and of course the whole class would roar with laughter. However, my adversities at that time taught me otherwise and I changed!

I said to myself, that that particular classmate who could not do well at that time perhaps was going through a particular crisis at home that could not allow him to actualise himself. And when I realised this I was in 4K it was in this class that I remembered vividly a guy we used to call 'Eba Tutu' one or two of them. Mr. Shamma, our Mathematics and Physics teacher used to poke whoever sleeps in the class with the fact that, that person had eating 'Eba Tutu' early in the morning and therefore slept whilst the class was going on. Well, I was lucky, I could not afford to prepare a stew, so instead of eating Eba in the morning, I 'soaked' Gari and used 'kulikuli' to smoothen it down my throat so I rarely slept in the class. But then, one of those 'Eba Tutus' studied Mathematics up to the Masters level at the time when I was doing Part - time Lecturing at the Yaba College of Technology. I am sure, since he passed through JOGS, he must have done even better now (over ten years ago!). That is life for you my readers. Most of us were just lucky to be where we are, we are just lucky to be able to learn to read and write, why should we then oppress another because of our positions? Why do we look down and sometimes too much down on our fellow men, that if given the same resources and opportunities that we had might perform even better than us? One thing that my adversities taught me and which I will take away to wherever I go when I leave this world (Hey! Readers, I'm one of the lucky ones, I came to realise where I come from. Yeah, I know where I will be going when I leave this world, how I came to know this would come to light in the course of this story, so fasten your seat belts!) is that I have to respect my fellow man, I have to be humble, I should not allow humility to leave me. I should respect my fellow man. No matter how I came about my position or prosperity, I have to make sure I make life better for my fellow man as long as it is in my capacity to do that. The Yorubas have an adage: 'Bi ode ba ro se, bo ro ya, bo ba pa eran ko ni fun enikan kan je'. My dear Uncle, Uncle 'Diran Ogunade made me realise this, years later when I was at Ogun State University, that was after he had begged me and apologised to me and had shared his pension for that month with me. How did it happen? I was in Uncle 'Soye's house at Ijebu - Ode one day when 'Dewale was complaining that he would make 'Dekitan stop school for he did not see any reason why 'Dekitan would be going to school and would not be performing well. Uncle 'Diran then came to the room where I was and told me to be teaching 'Dekitan whenever I come home. I said: 'eh, what is that, me, I don't have time, (I was very selfish with my time, I could part with money, but my time, heh! Don't go there, I prefer to spend my time learning and acquiring knowledge than making money), and what about me, if you know the way I suffered, yet I was always wanting to learn, he should learn on his own he would understand, what you should tell him was that he should be studious, who have time to be teaching someone with all the problems on my head, and me who taught me anyway, nobody taught me, I used to read on my own when I was in school and of course I used to borrow books to read' Uncle 'Diran looked at me and said, yeah, everybody cannot be like you, you should not say that because you were able to read and understand by yourself another person could be able to read and understand by himself. You should not say because you suffered to do something another person should also suffer to do that same thing. I was shocked to hear that from him. I said to myself, this man had started scoring pluses with me recently, what has come on him. Had he just realised that truth or had that truth been with him since? Hmn! I told him immediately that I heard and that I would be teaching him whenever I came home. But then, I went somewhere and I thought about what that man said. Was that not what Jesus the Christ did? Even though he suffered, yet he made life easier to live for the whole world. No matter how you suffered to be where you are you must still use your resources to better the lot of your fellow men. What have you done that another person had not done, you had slept in the coffin to make your money, had reduced your life span, had engaged in outrageous sexual immorality, had made riches through Juju means or had stolen public funds? What have you? What ever you had done, you still had to be humble, treat the next person with respect, I mean even your gardener, your houseboy, the messenger in your office, you never know perhaps given the same 'resources' and 'opportunties' that you had, he might have performed better that you are now doing! Nein, men don't learn easily. Oh! I know your logic, your arguments, yes, one time Nigeria's Head of State (I learnt a lot of lessons from the lives of the successful heads of state Nigeria had, I refused to join them in abusing or insulting any of the heads of state in those days, in fact they used to think that I worked for the state - SSS - In those days when I was in the universities; because I see life differently, I know our leaders are reflections of the collective psyches of the generality of the people they head so I thought differently and whilst others blamed only the top, I sympathised with the whole body polity) once taught me that, of course, I was never close to him but his policies and actions made me realise that fact: 'People who are corrupt can only survive when there is atmosphere of corruption' For of course, when you have 'made it' through dubious means you would not want others to make it through the right means by helping them for of course among those whom you helped would be those who would rise up against you later when there are good people all over! So the really bad people who have captured the air waves and are proclaiming themselves as good would not want others who are genuinely good to rise up because they know that immediately these ones rise up, they would rise up against them and of course, the society may be better. This they don't want and in fact they must continue to make the world look harder in order for them to maintain the status quo of wickedness (which we euphemistically call smartness) in order for them to continue being saluted as 'Baba rere baba ke.' Man wake up! You have forgotten that the people who you started calling 'Baba rere baba ke' made you to do that on the pain of death! Cast your mind back to history, remember that you were peace loving until you were conquered by other people from other lands and of course for these ones to show that what they were doing was the right thing, probably forced you to salute them and waved palm leaves when they passed through your streets. Was it not in mankind history when people maimed other people, when people stole other people's properties, when our supposed ancient civilisation was reeled with blood! When tribes conquered tribes and people conquered people. Man, of course you know it was wrong, of course you know war was a bad thing, yet you were taciturn, yet you were timid, yet you could not rise up to tell your children that you were forced to say 'Baba rere baba ke' you could not tell your children with boldness that you saluted 'Baba rere baba ke' just because you were timid, just because you were not able to bring yourself to the fact that showing off in whatsoever circumstances was a bad thing. And thus, man inherited timidity and from generation to generation man pass timidity on to man and of course we praise any thing acquired, not minding how that thing was acquired. We heaped praises on the rich, the famous and the powerful and we cared less if these ones had made many others unhappy because of this. And of course, 'Ka se ka ri mi' was passed down also from generation to generation. Man started competing with one another on the best person, the fastest person, the person who would be able to achieve the best even if in the course of achieving the best, we create chaos in the society, we killed innocent people, yet, we would not see this, we are always on 'Ka se ka ri mi.' Man listen to me, how is the person you were saluting 'Baba rere baba ke' better than you? Doesn't he go to toilet, doesn't sleep? What does he do naturally that you don't do and that you cannot do? So why do you have to salute him like that, you are now a little bit civilised, you are no more in those days when you were forced to salute on the pain of death. You now have democracy, we now speak of liberty, we now speak of freedom, we now speak of equality. So man wake up! Don't continue the way you used to do when kings, queens, emperors, and empresses forced you to salute them for spoiling you! Man look at it this way, you can get whatever they had got! You don't necessarily need to work hard to acquire material possession! You could be lucky that someone somewhere could give you material possession and even great wealth. And of course you would also be rich! The only person you need to praise and that a little bit is the person that have spent his energies, time and resources in acquiring knowledge for the benefit of the entire human race or someone who is doing that. In fact, the truth is, rich people are not hard working! They were just lucky to be part of a particular set of people, born into a rich family, lucky to have lucrative education, or damn just lucky, so stop praising them! So that when they realise that no one even border to salute them, they would think twice and use their resources to help their fellow man rather than use that resources to buy more properties, I sometimes wonder when people could live in marbled houses, drive expensive cars when their kins wallow in abject poverty and yet we say Africa is poor! I do say it to those who happen to be close to me and I will say it here: We are not poor in Africa, there is no poverty in Africa, what I see in Africa is artificial poverty, poverty created by man's inhumanity to man. Africa is blessed with resources. Of course, Ademola Adebayo Ogunade started selling ice water to fend for himself most times and thereby died. Just because some people somewhere refused to come to his aid! Why? Why should I say because of your father's sins I would not come to your aid when I know that you are really suffering! When that boy died and the father came to tell me that he was not ever shown the dead body of his son, I was perplexed and I vowed to write about this in my biography for I was inspired by that boy's itineraries. I was in JOGS, after the principal Mr. M.O. Adedeji had asked me to come to the boarding house free of charge, then I remembered those boys Adekitan and Ademola, I decided to go and give them some money. After I got there and I had given them the little that I could, 'Demola just started singing: 'Good better best, I shall never rest, until my good is better and better best.' I said who taught you that song, he smiled he said his teacher in the school and I saw him picking a clean bucket telling Adekitan that he now has money to buy ice block that he was going to sell. I asked sell what? Oh! He said he would not want to die of hunger since his father did not come regularly again he had been selling ice water to survive. And he took the bucket and continued his song. I went somewhere and wept! I made up my mind that immediately I finished the university even though I did not want to start making money immediately (if you rush to make money, you may marry the wrong woman), I told myself that I would make sure I start making money immediately to help this boy! I was really inspired but then the boy died before I even finished my University education, died because of someone's negligence and lack of feelings and ill feelings towards his fellow man.

Living with me that time at No. 6 Apebi Street, Ijebu - Ode was Adetoun Esther Ogunade, one of the children Uncle Adeyemi Ogunade left behind (I never saw him in real life but Mama always told me in those days that he was a no nonsense man, highly discipline but gentle.) Adetoun Esther Adeyemi Ogunade, lived with all the freedom and liberty she could get. She was very free and did not take too much into religion like me. She also stopped schooling like Biodun Adebayo Ogunade, more or less and was just loafing around. She gave me a special respect and we were always on good terms. Then one day she came to me to tell me she was travelling! Actually she had done a lot of travels without telling me and I wonder then why she came to tell me that particular time she was travelling. I had also wanted to invite her to the Easter retreat of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry, so when she told me she was going to travel I quickly told her that I would like her to follow me to the retreat, but she replied she was going to Lagos (Ikorodu) to see her mothers brother (Maternal Uncle) and for this reason she would not be able to follow me, of course, I had always invited her to church and Christians fellowship meetings that she never had the time to honour. She attended Church of the Lord Aladura. So, Esther Adeyemi Ogunade that day knocked on the door and as I opened the door, she looked at me with affectionate eyes, I had never experienced someone looking at me like that before, then she told me she would be travelling to Ikorodu, and of course, I had asked her for some money a week before which she said she did not have and I was taken aback when she said she would be travelling and one of my questions to her was where did she then get the money to travel. oh, Uncle Doyin gave me money she said, but she quickly added in low tone he told me not to tell anyone whenever he gave me money and I was a little bit surprised, why would Uncle Doyin tell you not to tell anyone he helped you? Was he afraid of some people? (I knew little about life that time, I was barely sixteen). I will be back by Monday she said. I also immediately told her that I would also be travelling for a Deeper Life retreat in Abeokuta and I would also not be around. Of course, I started wondering immediately that why was it that time that she told me she would be travelling, of course, she had done a lot of travelling without telling me and why did she tell me this time that she would be travelling, well I quickly dismissed the thoughts from my head. But the way she affectionately looked at me, cut into my emotion and passion and I was like: thank God she is my cousin and I am a Christian. We both went our different ways. She travelled and I also travelled. In those days, if you have little fund for travel, you had to take the journey in bits in order to reduce the fare. So I took the journey to and fro in bits. (Oh! The to - journey was in group - fellowship group - so we had the fare reduced, but I came back alone). I decided to take from Abeokuta to Sagamu and from Sagamu to Ijebu - Ode. I got to Sagamu and went straight to the motor park to take Ijebu - Ode bound vehicle and as I was about to enter the park I saw a figure with a face much like that of Esther Adeyemi Ogunade, looking at me from a distance and smiling at me affectionately, of course the figure was among friends, they were talking animatedly and enjoying themselves and the more I moved closer the more the smiles beamed and of course I also smiled and I thought, thank God, she would have money by now and she would help reduce my fare to Ijebu - Ode and readers, alas, as I was about two meters to where the figure was, the face turned from that of Esther Adeyemi Ogunade to that of another person, of course, I was embarrassed for I was by then few feet from the smiling figure. I immediately branched to another place. Throughout the time I was in the vehicle my mind was on why I thought that person was Esther Adeyemi Ogunade and I was arguing and blaming myself that didnt I know Esther Adeyemi Ogunade very well to have mistakenly taken her to be another person. But then, my mind was at the same time telling me that I hope nothing had happened to Esther Adeyemi Ogunade and that I was not seeing an apparition. Well, my fear was confirmed when I got to Imose some 45 minutes later: I was greeted with the news that Esther Adeyemi Ogunade died in a motor accident 36 hours earlier. Of course, I shivered down everywhere not only in the spine. Since then when people said they saw ghost I stopped disputing with them. There are mysteries in this world! Believe it or not, and perhaps some spiritual beings were playing games with me as some Christian sects would have us believed.

In those days, I became very gentle about life and I became ever humble, my adversities taught me so many lessons. I found out that here I was not being able to weigh as much as I used to academically before starting to fend for myself, and I thought: so, perhaps my other colleagues who are not doing well in class are also facing tough times at home (of course I know, most people are not conscious enough to make hay whilst the sun shines and it is usually when it is 3:00 p.m. that most people realize this and by that time, only little sun (lamp) is left for them to impart themselves and their environment (negatively or positively) and of course those who were really ambitious would then go to any extent and sometimes diabolical extent (the remaining 5 virgins could have chosen to kill those ones having oil in their lamp in order for them to have their lamp burning instead of going to those who sell!) to exert themselves and assert their presence in the world. No wonder wrongs abound!) and as such are not doing well in class. It was just then that I came across the book of Daniel and one of the things I read in the book of Daniel Chapter 10:

1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.

3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;

5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:

6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.

9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.

11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.

16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.

17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.

18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,

19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.

20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.

21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

I read that passage again and again and again! Then I came to the conclusion: this world has been shared (partarger) sounds more 'palatable'! The spiritual kingdoms have shared this world and have sorted and ordered who would do something at a particular point in time. Thank God for Jehovah and His Hosts! It then became increasingly impossible for them to continue to hold man into ransom. Raising one and debasing other, making one a king to enjoy pomp and pageantry and the slave to endure pain and anguish! Of course, when Daniel prayed, something had been promised the selected few of the earthly Kingdom of Persia and for Daniel to have answers to his prayers, something drastic must be done by Jehovah so that the Kingdom of Persia would not be able to do anything about the knowledge that would come to Daniel and which Daniel might use to better the lot of his people. Of course, the spiritual kingdom of Persia knew that Daniel would use the knowledge gained to help better the lot of his people and of course, then the people of Daniel were still slave to the people of the earthly kingdom of Persia and from my perception most of the spiritual entities are more like robots! They hear only go and of course if there is anything that would stand in the way to the attainment of their goal, they fight it, that was why there was battle in the realm of the spirit. Yes, the reason why we won prizes, became brilliant intelligent, shot into limelight was perhaps because we have been chosen 'consciously or unconsciously by entities that we know not of. Making some people not to have the resources, consciousness, realization, capability and many other things that will make such a one excel better than us (Please watch the Clash of the Titans). Why then do we pride ourselves in achievements? What achievements anyway, achievements that would make us to look down on our fellow man, achievements that would make us acquire more material gains in detriments of other people. Why do we love material possession more than our fellow man? Why do we love non - living things more than living things, why do we, because we want to show off in pomp and peagantry, hurt, kill, maim our fellow man. Instead of us to appreciate humanity and be humanist, we appreciate material possession and thus become materialistic. We pride ourselves too much in achievements, thinking we have achieved (who is an achiever anyway, the one who had plenty resources to achieve little and come to limelight or the one who had little resources to achieve but still able to achieve but never had a spotlight?). As for me; I had told myself a long time ago, I'll never lift up my hand against anyone. What for? For fame - never, for money - never! Man, love your fellow man, for you don't go to heaven to meet the material gains you acquire, you go to heaven to meet your fellow man you hurt, main, kill, betray, blackmail to acquire your material possession: 'Eniyan Ronu'.

That was it, the book of Daniel taught me so many things and from that single chapter, I came to various conclusions about so many things. Actually, I love the people through whom such a truth came and thereby dawned on me. I wonder what people think of the Jews anyway, but to tell you the truth, the Jews have been of more benefit than otherwise to mankind. (I wonder why someone would want to wipe out such a race? Out of jealousy or envy? Well I dont know. But this is what I believe, if your father wronged me, I wont take it on you! So why then do we still cling unto bias and prejudices, especially that of the ancients, where the greatest they could achieve in their civilization was nothing but bitterness, was it not that less than 200 years ago, when people killed one another, taunted themselves into feud and lancing just because someone verbally insulted another. So forget about history that will divide the world! Look for the history that will unite mankind, wipe out records of wrongs and hate and instead use this record to propel you to profound care and attention for one another. Therefore cling not again on the records of your forefathers who were not civilized in the mind, who fought wars and were aggressive. Look right now, the world is fast becoming a global village therefore let us live like villagers, and what do the villagers do - THEY TAKE CARE OF ONE ANOTHER.). They discovered so many things, invented so many things and of course, to me their greatest discovery: JEHOVAH! Or was it that JEHOVAH discovered them? And if I should ask: who is JEHOVAH? An emanation of the ELOHIM? Well, I better leave that for further esoteric discourse. And of course Kaballah was one of their best legacies and mind you, some use it for evil purposes; for of course, the essence of dualism of our planet would even make the best thing appear to be evil sometimes depending on which side you approach it: do not call any one good but God - one of their masters once said and of course thank God that they discovered JEHOVAH and to show HIS love for mankind, HE became flesh and dwelt among us, affording someone like me to be able to survive amidst the wickedness, jealousy, envy, selfishness and greediness that pervade this planet.

  Of course, I moved closer to God. I was usually the first person to get to the fellowship, on fellowship days, Wole Sowunmi (that guy, a very ambitious, enduring, responsible and brilliant personality) would bemoan me, reprimand me that why should I leave work and say I am going to church when we have lots to do. I used to wash cars with him in order for us to get our daily bread. Yeah, he taught me the Sine and Cosine Rule and Formula. I was not in the class when it was being taught, I was somewhere looking for what to eat, and I am grateful to him to this day that he taught me that topic in Mathematics. I am sure he will be doing well now, wherever he is, we had prepared for it. His story was close to mine, except that they (he and his brother) had their mother around them. Dear Lady, take good care of your man, dont allow anyone to come near him, forget about gossips. Dont trust in it, many have snatched many partners through that method, take good care of your man. My fourth year in the secondary was the most eventful of all my secondary school years. In that year, I left home. That same year I became born again, that same year, I knew my mother, that same year, I started fending for myself, that same year, I knew the Oresanyas (I will come to their influence in my life shortly), that same year, I became the Chapel Prefect, that same year of all the years I spent in the secondary school, I did not win a single prize and I dwindled to about 11th position in a class of about 45. I will never forget that year.

  I came in contact with the Oresanya twins for the first time when I came home from Uncle Dirans, Yomi, my brother, told me that their school will play a football game with one other school and that it is known that, that other school usually use mercenaries and for that matter he would like me to please play for his school. That was how I went to play the football for Yomis school and I came in contact with the Oresanyas. These guys are twins and I am sure they are more original than photocopies, I mean it, you cannot distinguish between them, only their mother can actually know that this is Taiwo and this is Kehinde, Of course, I knew them immediately but it took me some days of acquaintance to do that. Not only this, if you think that it is only in facial appearance that they are alike you are joking. These guys also speak with the same accent, pitch, or what have you, and dont go away yet, they usually get the same marks in Maths and English (hey, they were never in the same class) actually, it was because the teachers thought they copy and spy one another that they put them in different classes, but no, they are both good academically and when they found that out they nevertheless separated them and of course despite this, it happened in several terms, whenever they add their total marks together it amounts to the same thing even though they got different marks in other subjects. I am lucky indeed to have met, interacted and befriended these twins. The Oresanya family became my family, the earliest and the first family I lived with partially when I left my fathers house for Imose. (Apart from the Oresanya family, I also lived with the Oyekan Family, Kuku Family and of course last but not the least: the Eperokun Family) Mr. Oresanya was a lecturer at a Public Health School, a very wise man, he earlier on thought I left home because I was indolent or lazy, it took him just one week to change his mind. This man was very philosophical too. But I was surprised one day that he did not know the Bible very well (perhaps he feigned it) well, nevertheless, I learnt a lot from this man. He was one of those people God used to build me. So, the Oresanya Family became my family not because I like the twins and wanted to be close to them but because deep down inside of me I knew that I couldnt just live alone with no bridle, I needed a family to interact and be with, get disciplined sometimes in order for me to have focus and attention to my goals and study. Not only this, the first time I set my eyes on Bukola Oresanya their elder sister, I fell in love with her immediately. So I made it a point of duty whenever their father had travelled to sleep over and be with Bukola Oresanya. Apart from the two Sola Lawals, I have actually not fallen in love with someone like that before as Bukola Oresanya. But you know, in Yoruba land, you cannot say you want to date someone who is older than you. Funny enough, she was just two years older than me. Well, I devised the trick of calling her my school mother instead. But dont go now, reader, she happened to get admitted to the College of Education at Ijebu - Ode when I was suffering to cater for myself and do you know what, my inquisitive mind made me to look through her books one day and guess what I saw: notes on how to learn! I was happy. I took the books, borrowed them from her and started learning various methods of learning, child psychology and how to develop good brains and potentials. That was a big advantage to me then and thereafter when I was at the Universities. She had a darling Brother: Niyi! Niyi, a very brilliant student too. We used to call him a King among Blind people, because he attended Molipa High School, a school where if he comes first in class with 95%, the next person who would come second would obtain 55%. That was the time also that I came in contact with the Odukoyas. I was particularly closer to one who was fond of coming to me so that we could compete on who can read faster, she loved reading. Her sister read medicine or something and her father was into the accounting profession as much as I could remember.

  The Oresanyas offered me the opportunity of seeing how girls grow up. The two Oresanya sisters were the best examples of good girls I have ever come across in my sojourn in life. They did all sorts of household chores, and were not lacking in their studies too. In fact, the Oresanya family is a good family where children are grown and developed and not raised. Apart from the various training that Eleda Mi had made me gone through in my various stay with some selected families that happened upon my path, I was yet reclusive. Mrs. Eperokun tried a lot to make me come out of my shell (as she used to say) but I had so much to think of, and to imagine that I never really went out of my shell (do I have one? Ha Ha Ha, - I laugh -). Even though I found the Oresanyas to be friendly, I was always staying away, preferring to be independent than to be dependent, preferring to be alone than to be in company. Was I solitary because of the intricacies of the circumstances that wound themselves around my situations? Well, I dont know, but one thing is sure, I always wanted to be alone and do everything by myself. I always wanted to sweat things out rather than take what has already been done by another person. I was always reluctant, shy or even afraid to ask people for help. My step mother put that fear in me! In fact, I always feel slighted whenever I was forced out of my circumstances to ask people for help. The struggles were not made easier by the composition of my personality. My saving grace: I have abundance of good sense, common sense, a very high comprehensive capacity, a fast and deep thinking brain (only God knows where I got it from), many at times have come across people and in any conversation that I may be engaged in who would in the middle of it say so you have thought that far; and also a very large retentive memory. I rarely forget things. I used to tell my classmates that long after we have done our examinations and passed to another class I still did see the questions in my imagination. Especially those ones written on black boards (do black boards help retentive memory?).

  On this particular day, I have not eaten for about two days approximately, (job was not forthcoming because it was about the Muslim festival), the third day came I ate only once and the fourth day was going down the way of the sun with no prospect of food and another night of counting ceilings. Yeah! It is true ooo if you dont have food to eat, you would just be there on the bed, counting ceilings. Only God knows how many ceilings I have counted in my life, if they are looking for people who counted plenty ceilings when they were growing up because of hunger, my position should be in the unit. Then Gbuyi came from nowhere and said: Hey Debo, I just came to say hello to you, my grandfather (Baba Odunsi) asked me to give meat to some people and I said I should branch in your house to say hello, have you done your Government assignment? Which Government assignment are you talking about; I was not even in the school. I have not even eaten for the past two days (Actually I did not want to tell him that I had only eaten twice for the past five days). He said, henhehn! I said yes ooo. O dont worry let us go to my house I said go to your house, well, I will only follow you if you are going to give me some money to buy food. He said lets go to my house first. When I got to his house he gave me the largest chunk of meat I had ever received from anybody till that time in my life, I could not believe it. I was surprised. Then something came to me that Pastor Abiala (he used to be the pastor in charge of our Chapel (they converted that Chapel to an Anglican Church). we should stop collecting meat from Muslims when they do their festival In fact, I said, this meat, I would collect, I had not eaten for many days now and in fact, I was looking very haggard with sign of hunger written everywhere on my face, why should I not collect this meat, and in fact, I know Gbuyi, hes my friend and my classmate, so what is wrong in me collecting muslims meat. I disobeyed jooo (after all, Pastor Abiala is not God) that day. I could not help it. That was the dialogue I had in my mind and I prayed over the meat when I got home and I ate it like that: (half - cooked). Do you know what? The second day, my countenance changed! I put on a little bit of weight. I meant it. I was nonplussed I still remind Gbuyi about that day till today.

  At JOGS, the time came for them to choose the next line of School Prefects, (thank God they were selecting and not electing as at that time, if not, where would I get the money to sponsor my election?). Forget as long as money play part in politics, you will never get good people being elected. Think deeply about life, you will realise what I am talking about. The teachers selected quite a number of us for screening before choosing few of us to be the next line of school prefect. When we were gathered at the Assembly Hall, my mind went on what I should choose, should I choose to be the Social Prefect? No way, I dont like discos, partying and going to entertainments. Head boy, no, I dont want, all of us have in a way silently willed the Head boy of the school to Tokunbo Omodein even before we were called. What should I tell these teachers I prefer? Then I thought, how would I thank God for being so helpful to me all my life so far, from childhood up to that point. Then I better choose chapel prefect (look at me, I had entertained the thoughts of being a Jesuit priest - thank God my family is not Catholic - I used to think I owe God something, and why Jesuit, someone once told me they like learning and since I was so much interested in learning I entertained such thoughts, in fact there was a day I asked my brother Bunmi if there is any work I could do that involves me learning and I would be paid for learning, just learning. Bunmi laughed that day and said: Oh! Of course you could be a researcher and perhaps be a Professor. I said henhenh! He said yes, I said ok. But Bunmi quickly cut in that whatever I am learning is for me to put into practice one day and that that was the reason he asked me to read to myself silently for understanding.). That was how I chose the Chapel Prefect. When they asked me what post did I think I would be able to hold effectively I said I would prefer Chapel Prefect and of course, no one doubted the fact that I was a regular at the Chapel every Thursday (the JOGS day for Christian meetings in those days). After some further drilling, I was told to leave. It did not come as a surprise on the following Monday when we the chosen ones, were called up the daiz and introduced to the students as the acting prefects that would take charge whilst the incumbent had time to face their impeding almighty WAEC exams (WAEC, the West Africa Examination Council, who are you not to call WAEC the almighty as long as getting on successfully after your secondary school is concerned. Everybody looked at WAEC as the Retributive demi - god of the students. You dared pass WAEC (of course we were supposed to call it WASCE - West Africa School Certificate Examination, but try pronouncing WASCE and WAEC and see which one is more palatable then you will realise why almost everybody I had met decided to stick with WAEC. For many, WAEC is their bane, after working so hard with so much tediousness because of the very few resources that I had at my disposal, WAEC could have been my bane also. Here was I having passed my JAMB so much successfully (of course, to the chagrin of some) and having done brilliantly in my secondary school examination and won about five prizes, WAEC refused to release my results!! My mates had already started registration at the Ogun State University whilst WAEC was still playing hide and seek with the result, and when they finally released it, they did not include English, it took my school principal (Mr. M. O. Adedeji - "a beautiful mind" - R.I.P) courage and persistence going to the WAEC office before they finally released my results. I guessed they could not bear the fact that I did so well in my English and were thinking that I had cheated and copied directly from books. Why? I should think because we were asked to write about the man we admired most - Hey, I admired Chief Obafemi Awolowo most, that time when I was in the secondary school, I had read almost all the books he wrote and have put so many quotations from those books in my head, I believe their problem was that how could a student (a secondary school student at the time) repeat verbatim and quote directly from books. Well, when they finally released my result I had a credit in English, I could not believe it, I was expecting an A well I had five As already, I did not mind that one and the C4 I had in English was more than enough to study Accounting. So I just thanked God. That was after I had fasted and prayed for several days anyway. My growing years were spent fasting. Those ones I did willingly because I was praying for something in my life to be done and those ones I was forced to do because I had no money for food! Well, I think it helped me a lot now anyway. I look so young now! I look too young for my age. When people ask me how old I am and I tell them, they usually go away disbelieving me. So they released the result and I went for my registration, we will come to that story later on). So I became the Chapel Prefect! My job, to keep the Chapel clean (Have I mentioned that my secondary school was founded on January 20th, 1913?) well, I was one of those 'lucky' ones to attend a school with traditions and a chapel; and also the Assembly Hall, every morning. I had the toughest schedules of my life that time. To go and look for menial jobs to do in order to get something to eat for the day, to study my books and then to wake up very early in the morning to keep the Assembly Hall clean, distribute the Songs of Praise, and some time conduct services both at the Chapel and at the Assembly Hall. Those days were hectic and I did my best to discharge them dutifully.

  The third term came, speech and prize giving day went and I did not collect any prize. Whao! I was very angry with myself. I actually was not expecting anything better at least I managed to come 11th in 4K. But then I did not like the fact that that year I did not win a single prize. Well, I visited my mother, of course since the time I knew her, trust me, I paid occasional visits. Then one day during the holiday I went to visit her again and she noticed that I was usually unkempt with my body. Then she talked to me and said: Debo, the fact that you do not have enough resources to take care of yourself does not mean you will not keep your body clean. Please ensure that you keep your body clean. I said, mo gbo ma. But then another idea came to me: The fact that I did not have enough resources should not debar me from competing for honours, academic honours with my class mates who had better resources than me. Well, I interpreted her message to suit what I wanted for myself. I still went unkempt: My arguments: those girls would leave me alone if they find out that I am usually unkempt and I can conveniently face my studies. So when I got to my final year in the secondary school, I quadrupled my efforts. I would wake up around 3 a.m. to learn my books. I made sure that I restricted myself only to washing of cars to survive, I did not engage in any other strenuous menial jobs than washing of cars in order for me to have enough strength to learn. Not only this, I started taking Nescafe (Thank you Nescafe you played your part - even though you were injurious to my health, yet, I was able to engage your service to put in extra effort. But now that I am a Mormon I dont take you again. I never thought I would be able to do without Nescafe, Cigarettes and Alcohols until I became a Mormon, Men, it came to me easily to stop and I stopped just like that, for the past seven years that I have become a Mormon, I have not taken these things I myself did not know why, it just came to me easily to stop. I remember when the elderly Brother and Sister Wit were preaching to me in Togo I told them that I just found something out in the book of Mormon and for that particular thing I found out I was ready to become a member and I felt the only thing is that I did not think I would be able to stop taking Nescafe and Cigarettes. As for wine and alcohol, of course, I am not a drunkard, I can easily stop that but Nescafe and Cigarettes, since I was a lonely and solitary personality, how could I possibly forget those two friends especially Nescafe who kept me going on? Sister Wit smiled and said, you dont worry, get baptised first then the Holy Spirit will give you the power. Men, up till now I still think I am in a dreamland for from the day I got baptised as a Mormon, I have obediently abided by the words of wisdom and I used to wonder where is the power coming from and I thanked my stars for making me come across those elderly missionaries. Not that I did not know the injury those habits do to health, and not that I did not try to stop them when my fortunes improved but I was not able to stop them but then I became a Mormon, and everything went away like that! Thank you God, I dont take Nescafe again! Of course, my situations have improved considerably now and I dont need you again. Nevertheless thanks Nescafe for keeping me good company I just hope the body wasting chemical that is in you will be removed and then people will take you to achieve their aims without actually wasting their body and health.). So whenever I got back from work and after mixing my tuo soup with hot water and prepared Eba, and ate, I would pray that God would wake me up at 3 a.m. and of course, 90% of the time I did woke up several times then apart from the learning I would do during the day, I still managed to learn in the night sometimes I even woke up around 1 a.m. and I would not sleep until the next day. Then I started fasting and praying that God would help me get help so that I can conveniently pass my WASCE and that I would be able to study hard and achieve the honours the reason of which I left home. Readers, God answered that prayers. We were about to finish the first term of our final year in the secondary school one day when the principal asked Okobieme to call me. Okobieme initially went to Gbuyi Oduniyi but according to Okobieme and Gbuyi Oduniyi, when they talked to me later that day, the principal said, no, he wanted Debo Ogunade. When I got to him, he was actually standing in front of his car under our famous calabash tree where the bell was usually rung. He said: Ogunade, would you like to come to the Hostel? I mean the boarding house, I said, of course sir, I would love it. He said, go and tell your father first, whatever he says, come and tell me well I thought, so this man did not know that I dont stay with my father again? Well, I braced myself up to see my father about it, since he had almost neglected me and only sees me once in every blue moon to give me his five naira (it came to the point that the five naira I was complaining was too small for me every week eventually dwindled to whenever he felt like and that included perhaps once in every 3 weeks or even month and when I got to my final year in the secondary school, it stopped! So when I saw him, he was going to buy books for my step siblings and thank God that day, he bought me a Math Set, I was happy and I quickly used that opportunity to tell him about the Schools Principal intention to make me come to the boarding house, hey, Men, come and see the way he flared up whilst driving, he said, well, it is my problem, I could do whatever I like as for him, he does not have any money to give to anybody to go to the boarding house. Well, on Monday, the principal asked me if I have told my father about it, I said yes, I have, he said I could pack and come to the boarding house. The principal had actually chosen me and Tokunbo Omodein as the only two School Prefects to come to the Hostel. Perhaps to help us learn more having found out that we were both extraordinary very serious with our studies, or, because he wanted us to take care of the junior students who were just tasting boarding house for the first time. The government of the then Odua group of states had hitherto banned boarding houses in schools across their states because of the inhuman treatments of junior students by the senior students. So, the new experiments started barely a year and then the school decided to make us (I and Omodein) be with these students. But then, it was God answering my prayers. I still owe that man today. If not for God talking to them at the Staff room (I know my school principal was very democratic, he would not have taken the decision alone, he would have consulted his teachers) to select me to be part of those two senior students who would come to the hostel. Readers, I thought I would pay something, Tokunbo was trying to say that he paid something, I was not sure whether he was telling me the truth or not, you know Tokunbo is very diplomatic, so I dont know his mind most times and on which side of a case he was usually, but he always find a way of getting things done for himself only. To the glory of God, I did not pay anything, I mean I did not pay a single Kobo. I came to the hostel free of charge. It was just before this time that Dewunmi my elder sister came to see me with a baby, she said she gave birth to a baby and have come to show the baby to me, I, being her direct brother. I was very annoyed, I did not want to see her, why? Readers listen, I loved Segun a lot, Segun was my only playmate in my fathers house when I got there in 1977 when I was 9 years only and then in 1978, Segun died, I was still very young to know why and how he died. But then according to my Step mother, Dewunmi, who was about 11 years old then, killed Segun. Of course, this was after I had followed her to so many Babalawos, Onisegun and Prophets and Prophetess and all of them saying that Segun was an Emere, an Ogbanje and an Abiku. Since I was not yet forming any idea about such things in my mind, I took my step mother's story (of course she cooked the food we eat in the house, so whatever she says we would take). It was this story I had in my head when my sister came to see me with the baby, I was very annoyed, I hated my own sister, because of what my step mother told me she did, I believed her. Readers listen to this carefully: It is possible for people to be spiritually manipulated to admit whatever they did not do. Why would they admit such a thing, why would they be so vulnerable as to fall in this kind of spiritual manipulation would be dealt with later when I explain the little truth I know about the spiritual kingdoms of darkness and how they operate and how such have affected mankind for many epochs. It was later when my sister had actually died and I have grown in spiritual maturity that I came in the truth of such manipulation. So my sister was manipulated to admit what she did not do and not only this, we were also manipulated to believe what was not the truth. You men, you funny me a lot, you think because a particular child look like you it is yours? You are joking, there are a lot of manipulations in this world. A lot of people are dying just because they have been manipulated spiritually and wickedly at that, to admit what they did not do, so if you see one going through the gallows, perhaps he never even committed the crime in the first instance. So my sister came and showed me her baby, I will have lied if I should say I was not indifferent to her joys. I was still believing the lies of my step mother that my sister killed Segun, even though I had occasional doubts that how could an eleven year old girl, who knew nothing of Ibadan and only stayed with us for just two months killed someone, and even her visit was not premeditated, it was impromptu and she did not even prepare for it and judging by what my father told my step mum that time about him coming across Dewunmi and the fact that I thought my father brought her to cheer me up thinking that I was falling sick just because someone like Dewunmi was not around me not knowing the truth that I was not used to the inhuman treatments that my stepmother was busy meting out to me. Readers, lots of those people who are exorcising witches and wizards from the body of kids and elders alike are just trying to practice what they have learnt in their magical books. (check the internet you will find a lot of books written on such magical manipulations that would make one admit what he did not do. Man, you need Jesus the Christ that was the main reasons why the people who belong to the other side do not like Him anyway. He came to expose them.). So also, just before I went to the hostel, Bunmi also came from nowhere; I jumped on him immediately I saw him, Bunmi that I had hitherto lost for almost two years. (so when they told me the lies that Bunmi had left for Belgium in 1986 I took it with a pinch for I know that Bunmi and I were very close for him not to tell me he would be travelling and when he spent close to 3 years without getting in touch I finally gave up. So this is 2008, over 21 years afterwards, yet, the Bunmi I was expecting has not shown up. Now, they cannot manipulate me in any way, I have Jesus the Christ and I myself have grown in spiritual maturity.). Immediately Bunmi asked me what I was doing in Apebi House and why was I not in my fathers house instead. I narrated everything to him and he became annoyed and told me not to worry that he would try his best possible to make me go through my secondary school successfully (Readers, one thing I found out about the firstborns - whether male or female, they are usually very responsible. In fact, most of the white collar crimes committed in this world, I mean those ones like stealing, embezzling, cheating and the likes are committed by firstborns and if you are looking for someone who would willingly join a particular brotherhood or fraternity to access their networking and brotherly love to alleviate the problems of his siblings, check the data, most of them would be firstborns. Whether they are firstborn child, or the first male in the house, they are, usually. They do this to take care of their siblings, I dont know why they are very responsible like that, I still need to do a research like that, but I found this out. So Bunmi promised me and then went away, he was glad to hear that I was asked to come to the hostel free of charge and mind you the school principal at JOGS then was also Bunmis principal at Ijebu - Ife Community Grammar School. Bunmi just went to thank him and then bought me some few items that I needed. He would come several times later and coupled with the fact that the Junior students then just like me and were usually telling their parents about my sense of duty, conscientiousness and seriousness, I was never lacking anything that I needed. God definitely answered my prayers and I had the time to devour my books. We were in form five, the time to collect JAMB forms had come and it was about to close and it actually closed and I had no money to collect JAMB, Tokunbo brought the idea that I should just borrow some money from the junior students, he meant little money here and there until I could get the amount that I needed to use to collect my JAMB forms, but I did not buy the idea, the principal did not bring me to the hostel to start doing fine bara with this junior students, I refused but then I started praying fervently, reminding God that the main reason I left home was to be able to pass my final exams very well and go straight to the university immediately l leave secondary school and that I would not want to wait any extra minute talkless of days of months at home waiting for school. Then the sale of JAMB forms closed and I didn't know what got into them they just said in the news that they are extending the closing date for another two weeks. I then began serious prayers. Then on Sunday (making only 3 days before the final close on sale after the extension) I braced up my mind and told myself that this week, something should happen and that this Sunday, throughout the prayers and songs in the church I would not mind I would just be praying and I would not want to join anybody in any songs or anything I would just pray. So the first service finished (it was usually in English) and the second service started (in all that would have taken about 4 hours approximately) and I was still praying it was when the second service was getting to the middle that someone tapped me on the back, I was very annoyed I said Satan did not want me to get answer to my prayers and have sent someone to come and disturb me, then the person tapped me after some 10 minutes again and this time said someone downstairs was waiting for me. I told myself that these parents have come to disturb me again with their problems wouldnt they let me pray? But then when I got downstairs, it was Bunmi Ogunade I saw, my darling Bunmi, I was happy and I quickly told him that I would like to collect the JAMB forms and I had no money. He asked me how much and I told him, and he quickly counted the amount for me and I was very happy and on Monday, I went to tell the principal (he was not around) so I told sister Beatrice (our principals darling secretary) and off I went to Ago - Iwoye to collect my JAMB forms. I had already planned in my head to read Accounting and I started working on my Government seriously (even though I was the best student in my school in both Government and Economics, I nevertheless learnt that JAMB questions are tricky and that you have to really know the subjects before you could pass. As for Maths and English, I know I dont have any problem with English and as for Maths, there can never be any tricky question in Maths unless you dont know it. So I decided to concentrate more on both Economics and Government, of course, I know I can never fail mathematics in my life again after my interactions with Mrs. Javaid, Omotayo Balogun and lately then, Dare Kuku. So whilst my other superbrains of the school are busy choosing medicine, medicine, pharmacy, pharmacy, engineering and the like. I just cut my coat according to my cloth and I chose Accounting.

  It was at this time that I met a senior of mine who had been watching me from a distance, he just came to the school one day from the University of Lagos, where he was studying Architecture and one of the things he ingrained in my brain was the fact that I had to be realistic! Of course he would come several times later and we would engage in animated conversations. He said whatever goal I had in view, I had to make sure that in my pursuits of it, I am realistic. He was always hammering on the fact of being realistic with my goals. Of course, we used to argue a lot. I, who was a very strong Christian with belief in the power of prayers and of course with the fact that faith can do anything at the back of my mind usually went in dissonance with his sermons (he was a Muslim and even at that time I did not think he was a practising one). I used to think he was just perhaps looking for people who would come and join his group. I sensed that time he had just joined some powerful group and was looking for young, powerful and brilliant students he wanted to initiate to that group (well, sorry for those thoughts in those days). So when I got to form five and I having seen the extent to which I had faltered in my pursuits in Form four due to my financial inadequacies I decided to be more realistic at least to listen to Hafiz Lawal, I thought, it will be useless for me to continue with all those subjects. I would reduce the twelve to eight, I told myself, not only this, I decided not to pursue the sciences up to the university level again for it was at this time that Professor Ayodele Awojobi died. I was perplexed and it was also at this time that I read how his mind was wasted and how he was not able to actually live out his dreams. I thought, why should I be troubling myself being a scientist anyway. So when I got my JAMB forms I filled in Accounting. When Tokunbo Omodein realised that I filled in Accounting he was perplexed, he thought I was nut! But then Hafiz Lawal had sown the seed of being realistic with my goals in me. Sorry for faith, I did not even know where it was that time anyway, perhaps lurking somewhere on the crevices of my mind. Well, I told myself, that why should I be deceiving myself anyway, has my situation changed, I still grappled with lack of resources to see myself through secondary school, I better not join these people in their quest to read Medicine and the sciences, where would I get money to buy books anyway when I knew that I could hardly afford a day's meal.

  It was also at this time that we had competitions with other schools especially, Quizes and debates. Then came the Awokoya Chemistry Competition, the notice came abruptly and Mr. Adebanjo had only one day to prepare Dare Kuku and some two others for the competition, and off then went to Lagos to compete with other schools who had the notices several months and weeks earlier and what happened, my very own Dare Kuku (oh! Sorry our very own Dare Kuku) topped all of them. From the Kings College to the Federal Government College Something, Dare Kuku had the highest mark, of course we JOGS members were proud especially those of the superbrains class and of course me (it was also about this time that I was becoming closer to Dare Kuku than the rest of my school mates). Then they came again with a Bible Quiz competition for the Ijebu - Diocese, since Olumide Olayinka who was the Social Prefect did not offer Bible Knowledge or just felt I could perform better (I used to know the Bible that time like the palm of my hands, I still do ooo, please prepare yourself very well before coming to preach to me), that came abruptly too and I had only the weekend to prepare and of course we were given the areas to study and the like. One thing I usually feel uncomfortable with is for you to tell me where to read or even so show me the marking scheme (only God knows whether they have marking schemes now, hmn? Lecturers and Teachers are not demi - god, victimising students anyhow.), I would just get everything. You have not given me the course outline, I was passing excellently what would happen if you give me the course outline and the marking scheme. That was it, they gave us the possible areas to study and according to the Arts student at JOGS they felt since I was the Chapel Prefect (I was a science student and I did not offer Bible Knowledge during my final years at JOGS) I should just go and represent the school, of course I would have refused, because there are several attempts like that to make me join them to go for quizes and debates which I always turned down, but Olumide Olayinka caught me this time and because it had to do with the Bible and he knew he would have something to say about my relationship with God if I refused I went to the quiz reluctantly and what happened during the competition: I did not miss a single questions, I answered all the questions correctly and all the reverend ministers present were surprised and I shook my head inside of me and told myself that these people did not really know whom they dealt with. So, it was not strange that we (I and Dare Kuku) came out in the news (Yeah! JOGS used to have the news, our local news read out once every week about events in the school), as being distinguished JOGS and making the school proud. I still represented Ijebu - Diocese later on when I was at the Ogun State University where I came out top in the Bible Competition organised by the Bible Society of Nigeria.

  In those days, you do JAMB (J.M.E - Joint Matriculation Examination, actually) first before you do the WASCE and if you waited for the teachers you might not pass the exams very well for they used the WAEC syllabus and not JAMB (did JAMB have a syllabus anyway) well, you have to do private study and even in JOGS most brilliant guys did a lot of private studies in those days no wonder when we got to higher institutions we were usually acclaimed as being super. (When I was at the Ogun State University, Bisuga told me to my face that I must have had at least two separate sessions at the 'A' Level and that I should stop lying that I was fresh from the Secondary School. He told me that I had done 'A' level twice for there was no reason I could be able to participate so brilliantly in class discussions if I had never been at the 'A' level and that I should stop lying that I was fresh from the secondary school. Segun Oyesanya even had to confess to me one day that the reason he became my friend was because of my intellect.) So I increased my hours of study I got only 3 hours of sleep everyday and If I was lucky to have some junior students do some chores for me, I slept five hours. I put all my energy on my books. Then the time for JAMB exams came, I fell sick. Yes, I fell sick, very sick, coupled with the fact that when it was about four days to write the exams, I got Apollo (Conjunctivitis), I was very sick and I started praying and rebuking and casting out unseen demons and cursing every enemy both known, seen, perceived or non existing. Men, I was very sick I could remember that time when my pen fell down and I bent down to pick it, the kind of pain I would feel in my face was even sickness itself. I was very sick, Tokunbo was very perplexed, I was vomiting just hours before the exams and he even advised me not to write the exams that I should just forget it and write it next year. I was adamant and I prayed and went in to write the exams. Tokunbo was very happy and full of praise when he realised that I scored 246/400. He was perplexed (that is exactly 60%), he could not believe it, from that day onward, he chose to believe that I was not human. The breakdown of my marks: I had 52 in Mathematics, I had 59 in Government, I had 67 in English and I had 68 in Economics. I was very annoyed with those marks, I was gunning for something like 342 and if worse should come to the worse I was expecting something like 282, 278. When I saw what I got, I was not happy at all. But all around me were glad and happy that I had such a mark. (it was then I remember a saying, is it by Wole Soyinka or Chinua Achebe, I cannot really remember now, - I dont want to check now - I and Omotayo Balogun used to use that quotation whenever we fell below our expectations: is greatness in name or in deed when some of us start jubilation thinking that we had achieved an intended goal whilst the intended goal lies miles away from us. - That should be about it, I used that quotation some 20 something years ago, you dont expect me to know everything in Toto. ). I was sad, but happy anyway that at least I should get admission in any of the Universities I chose. Readers, dont you think it would be sad to know and very appalling too that the exams that some of us nearly died trying to prepare for, some and many people in Lagos and in many big cities had the questions some hours and even days before they wrote it. We people in small towns and villages really suffered a lot that time trying to achieve something; when some people have used their money and influence to get the questions for their children and those ones would then pass easily in shinning colours but then with empty heads and when we see mismanagement and non performance in the country we blame only the leadership. Nigeria really needs deliverance.

  Form five came and we started our WAEC (as we fondly called it). I told myself that right now, it is some peoples do or die with fate and destiny I had to stop my policing policy. What is my policing policy you may well ask? Ask my class mates up till the time we wrote our WAEC exams, I dared not see you cheat. I mean it, I dared not see you cheat, I would report you immediately. I hated it when I saw people cheat. But then something just told me that I should relax this time that I never knew perhaps it would be the true or false that someone would tell someone in the class that would make that person escape F9 or P7 that I should just relax. I know some of my other school mates would have performed some sacrifices to make me mellow down and true to this thought, I just felt I should allow them to be and if WAEC would not police them who was I to offer any assistance, I needed to concentrate on my exams. It was at this time too that I remember what happened one day between me and Lekan Salami (Lekan Sansan).

  It was somehow in 1983, I was a new student in the school and we were asked to write a test in General Science, a test that I did not prepare for and being confident that I was good, since I had done a lot of General Science at Eyinni High School, in Ibadan, I did not expect any General Science at Ijebu - Ode Grammar School to be tough. Even though I did not prepare for it, I scored a very high mark. Immediately Lekan Sansan as we fondly called him, saw that I got a high mark, he asked me to teach him, this was after he had asked Omotayo Balogun about the questions, and the latter having refused, I did not know why Omotayo Balogun did not tell him the questions and answers to them, even though I was new in his class, he was equally good. Well, since I was a do - gooder who wanted everybody to do well in life and succeed; I taught Lekan Sansan everything including the answers. During break time, he bought some fish pies and bought mineral for me to thank me. I did not know that Mr. Fadahunsi ( O da ran Fellow, Na wo, ko tewo gbare) would give the same questions to them to solve. I was perplexed when I found this out. Most of them got very high marks in Lekan Sansan class to the chagrin of Mr. Fadahunsi, he immediately came to our class to investigate who leaked the questions to the other class. I was not surprised when all the fingers pointed at me. I complained that I was a new student and I did not know that he would give the same questions to them and if I had known I would not in any way even if I was bribed (if you bribed me you waste your time, I would take your money and I would not perform what you bribed me to do) I would not have done it in any way, he refused to take my defence, he punished me, I tewo gbare of course and in addition, I had to weed the grass. He later reduced the punishment anyway and then sang for me and called me Ole Badan (Meaning a thief from Ibadan, for I just came to the school from Ibadan). Well, My class mates knew I was not Ole Badan anyway it was just that I did not know his practice, so Ole Badan never stayed but by form four Gura had more patronage. So, it was not surprising during the speech and prize giving days for you to hear: -Guwe, Guwe, Guwe- for some people would be saying Uwe Uwe and some Gura, Gura, whenever I was called to the daiz to collect my prizes. Some just removed the ra and changed it to Guwe only on prize giving days anyway. So Mr. Fadahunsi, what happened to him? He helped us in Grammar a lot. I learnt he also daran fellow (the way I also daran fellow, years after) I will tell you about how I felt I also daran fellow later on in this story! It was when I realised that I might be an object of victimisation that I remembered Mr. Fadahunsi and I understood the reason why he always mentioned O daran fellow. I think this world is very sick! From the little I learnt from my class mates that time. Mr. Fadahunsi was a promising brilliant student who was interested in the Law (of course, he taught us grammar and the grammar he made us do and solve continuously is part of what you my readers are enjoying right now) but along the line, he said something that exposed some people and because of that they frustrated his dreams and he ended up as a teacher. Those people he infuriated are members of some powerful brotherhood who ensured his failure thence his demotion to an ordinary school teacher. But then they did not know that Mr. Fadahunsi was not an ordinary school teacher. He was my Teacher!

  So I allowed my school mates to be and I concentrated only on my work. I would not tell you how many number of people came to me to talk to me that I should just face my work or else they would deal with me, not only this, some even came begging that I should just face my own in the examination room and that I should not say anything against anybody and that I should please not expose anybody. But then I would want Lekan Sansan to tell me the truth now, whenever I see him, what transpired with my Literature in English script. I only need the truth from him, it was between him and the Yoruba Mistress.

  It was about this time also that a book in Mathematics by one of the lecturers in a polytechnic, a very good book and which I intentionally bought to use to pass Mathematics excellently, got missing. It pained me seriously and since I could not find it, I gave up. Dear Readers, it was after we have finished our exams and our results released and I had an A in Mathematics that something pushed me to go and visit Kayode Idris in his house and lo and behold, I saw my Mathematics book on his table, of course there was no mobile phone in those days and the visit was abrupt and he did not know I will be visiting, but he was caught pants down, of course I was annoyed and I did not expect Kayode Idris of all my friends to take my book without my permission (perhaps he knew I would not have borrowed him if he had asked me), for according to Kayode, I was an inspiration to him and he admired me a lot. Well, he was very sad that I got to know he took my book without my permission and he thought I will be wrought with him but he was surprised even though I became annoyed, when I said it is ok, since Ive passed Mathematics excellently already, he should just forget it and can even take it if he wants since he just got admission to a polytechnic and he would be needing the book. That was it, I became like a semi - god to him. I think people did not really understand something: Vengeance is stupidity! The deed has been done, past tense, why should I want to avenge? What everyone should seek to get is Justice and Divine Justice at that. And that is one thing that is surprising with me, I tend to forgive people easily, maybe because of my early association with Jesus The Christ, and many a times have I had something of fight or argument with people, without me knowing that they still held the grudge against me whilst I have even forgotten that I had something against them in the first instance. But I am surprised anyway, dont people watch football or soccer, I am like a soccer player, you hurt me and you say sorry and I forget it, if the referee punishes you good for you but if not, off the pitch and on the pitch I still will not have anything against you. As for soccer? Hmn, I like soccer like a girlfriend (do I even have one?). Soccer is to me the greatest drama of man, you need to watch soccer with your eyes and mind open to know and understand man, somehow anyway. I am an unrepentant football/soccer fan and I still do play sometimes. My final year in the secondary school made me closer to Dare Kuku than any of my other class mates. We used to do our readings together a lot. I can remember I could have slept off on two occasions in the dormitory if not for Dare Kuku who came calling to tell me that the exams had started for I would not want to spend any extra minute discussing or wasting my time, so I went only when the papers were being distributed and twice I would have failed to write the papers hadnt been that Dare Kuku kept coming to call me for exams. (Thats my friend anyway, thanks Dare for being my friend.). Yeah, the third term came, I had five prizes again at the speech and prize giving day. In the build up to the prize giving day, I came first in Government and of course, this infuriated Olumide Olayinka. This guy, he was also in my crop of friends, very funny and a delightful personality, a merry go individual. He would spend his time talking and chatting during the day in the school and when he got home he would face his books as if he was ink itself. Those who did not know him would waste their time talking and chatting with him without knowing that he would carefully study his books at night. He came out with a device for his name, a language device that he used in insulting the rest. You try to put igbe (for naija, - oh sorry for Yoruba, igbe na shit, - not bull shit but man shit) in front of your name, it will be very insulting. But put Igbe in front of Olumide Olayinkas name: it will read Igbemide Igbeyinka then Olumide would add so: Igbe e de and Igbe yi o ka? We used to have very serious discussions about life he claimed he admired me, but he did not realise that I admired him too. He told me about the Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence and I looked for that book and I read it. In the fourth year we had had discussions about my personality and he did not hide the fact that he admired me and told me so many stories about his stay at the Federal Government College Odogbolu. But he became very irritated when he realised that I got the highest mark in Government. This was after I had claimed prizes in Biology, Economics, Agric, and (Literature in English Language?) and of course, a prize from the school for doing so well as a Chapel Prefect. But then, he went to meet Tokunbo the (Head Boy of the school 'and he had a big one too'- O sorry readers, have I mentioned that herrm, herrm JOGS is a single sex school, boys only), and of course, you know Tokunbo now, he was very diplomatic in those days, he had his ways with the teachers and even everybody, they went to Mr. Omoboriowo, the MC for the school and the person in charge of the Speech and Prize giving day and they changed the prize to that of form four instead of five. It was a nice coup, but who cared anyway, it is better for the prize to go to someone who would be praised and encouraged for doing well and not to someone who would not receive a well done talk less of any encouragement. When Dare Kuku learnt this, he was very annoyed and wanted to go to the school principal himself to report, but I told him not to worry that I left everything to God, he did not realise that I wanted Olumide to actually win that prize but because I would not want to do badly in the exams, I did very well and I came first and since he had told me that he had promised his dad the prize I conceded the prize to him, so even though my report sheet read that I came first in Government, there was no prize to show for it, no one would notice the discrepancies. Since his telling me about his fathers influence in his life, I had always respected that man even though I saw him only once. Yes, I respect two other fathers of my classmates: Dare Kukus father for respecting his sons wishes and accepting me into their home and also Victor Okobiemes father (even though he refused to initiate me to the Rosicrucian Order at a tender age as he claimed) I still respect him for one thing, and this is it: In Nigeria in those days, it was usually very evident that there are corruption all over, he happened to work for NITEL and there he was using one old decrepit car whilst other people who were below him were living large and using better cars. Of course you dont need anyone to tell you that the rest were getting it through corrupt practices and when I asked Okobieme about his father, he told me that his father claimed to have achieved Nirvana and that those things did not count with him and that his purpose was to leave this world better than he found it. That his father depended not on anything but his salary and then he told me about other people that we know around who were below his father in rank yet living larger (apparently from their corrupt practices) than his father and that it was because of that reason that their mother left their father to look for job in Lagos rather than stayed in Ijebu - Ode! I said Henhn! He said yes. Later in life when I saw the extent to which other people in other orders and brotherhoods batter the economy and the society, I not only admire the Rosicrucian Order but also Victor Okobiemes father. I was still living at Apebi when I finished the secondary school and you have to stay at home for about two months or even four sometimes before your result would be released since I was a member of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry that time, and we were taught about forgiveness and showing love to those who hated us and used us despitefully, I decided to give my books and my prizes to Yomi, my step brother, not minding what his mother had done to me and considering the fact that I dont believe in this step this, step that nonsense, I decided to advise him to face his studies. I really talked to him that day and I saw drops of tears came out of his eyes because of my speech. Before I finally left them I was sure he gained admission to the Ogun State Polytechnic, what happened afterwards, I did not know but what I told him that day was enough to make him succeed in life. Also, I was still going to tend the Baba Apebis farm with Uncle Soye and Dewale Ogunade and of course it was in their house one day that I tasted beans and fried eggs together, I had hitherto not eaten such a food like that before and of course Uncle Diran was by then staying there. I went there immediately after leaving JOGS first to coordinate myself and also to work for some money for whenever we go to the farm like that they most of the times give me something. But of a truth, Uncle Soye and Dewale worked very hard. In those days I used to wonder where Uncle Soye strength was coming from, the way he used to work. Of course, I kept on going there not only because I had some money to earn from them but also to get inspiration from them from their workaholic nature. So I stayed with them on weekends Fridays to Sundays. They hardly come on weekdays. Then one day, Dare Kuku visited my place at Apebi, he was appalled and perplexed to see where I lived. He said, you how can you be living in this dirty environment, you dont even have water. I could see the expression on his face. Then he said he would like to talk to his dad that perhaps may be he would allow me to stay with them. That was it. I started staying with Dare Kuku. So I forgot about Uncle Soye and Dewale. Of course Dare Kukus father also had a poultry farm and then I started working on their farm. So Dare Kukus mother liked me because I was an inspiration to her children and she used to advise them, using me as example to many of them. I dont see the Kukus family as my friend again, they are my family! The same goes for the Oresanyas, and the Eperokuns, well, the same could have gone to the Oyekans, but Femi Oyekan did something to me one day that I felt, well, I will hold on only to Muyiwa Oyekan who was my school son (as for school sons, I had them plenty, I used to say that Muyiwa Oyekan is my first born and that Tayo Balogun who is from Ijebu Imusin, is my last born. Between these people I had plenty: The Oshinkanlu brothers: Jobalo and Zion, OBJ, Cele Boy, Levi, and plenty, plenty of them, some used to tell me in those days that I was all they wanted to be that I inspired them so much that they want to be like me, and whenever some of them mention it singularly in privacy like that I would shout God forbid please dont be like me because you dont know what I had suffered and you still dont know what lies ahead of me. If I have inspired you, let the inspiration lead you positively to a fulfilling life and be yourself but dont ever pray to be like me), the rest of his siblings should forget me. But then I love Sister Dupe and of course I admire Brother Seun when I learnt that he made an average of 4.9 when he studied Engineering at Ibadan or at Ife (I cannot really remember very well now). Muyiwa even told me one day that it came to a particular point in time in Brothers Seun academic life when he was just scoring 5.0, 5.0 every semester! As for Sister Dupe, she loved and admired me a lot, she would not want me go hungry. Even if I get to their house at 11 p.m. in the night she would wake up and prepare food for me. Sister Dupe, wherever you are just know that I love and admire you. So they finally released the result, everybody knew where they belonged to immediately as for me, I had to wait. Dare Kuku said Debo, if you know how to pray and fast, I think you should start now. Anthony Ejorhs too. So I started attending night vigils, prayer camps (especially the one on the Lagos Ibadan Express way belonging to the Redeemed Christian Church of God), and praying sessions. Fasting and Praying finally, my result was released and what happened I had five distinctions and two credits, and they refused to release my English! Whao, what is happening, who is affecting me negatively. Mr. M. O. Adedeji, my darling school principal just got tired one day and went to fight with them at the WAEC office to release the result of two of his best students. Meanwhile I also started another bout of prayers camps attendance and night vigils with prayers and fasting and finally when they released my result it was November 10th. 1986, they had nearly finished registration at the Ogun State University. So when my father learnt that I got admitted to the Ogun State University and I did well, he was happy and promised to change and look after me (but his change lasted only two weeks at most). So I went to the Ogun State University to register and when I got to the academic office, there I met Uncle Soye and Uncle Sola, (he soon died some few months afterwards abruptly and in a very strange manner, he died on his seat, according to report with unfinished slices of oranges in his plate) immediately I saw Uncle Soye, my mind went gbi I said, what is this man doing here. Well, perhaps he came to look for admission for Ronke, (the way I love that girl, I used to fight Olumide Bewaji incessant cravings for her, I am sure Olumide must have realised this, as for Olumide, I dont think any girl can escape from his grip unless he was not really interested). So I said, I should not allow this man to see me here, but then the courage just came I said is he not my uncle, why should I be afraid of him, since I have Jesus the Christ I will fear no one, so I went to see him and of course he asked me with amazement (not a joyful one anyway, I could read peoples mind since the time I started living with my step mother and I could sense when one is for me or against me). He did not ask me how come I passed JAMB, he asked me how I got the money to take JAMB exams and I said my brother gave me and he asked specifically which of my brothers and I said Bunmi, the one working with Uncle Kunle. He then nodded his head in unpleasant happiness and gave me 15 naira which he rolled like a cigarette. Well, I went my way and did my registration and went about my work. It was barely a week after my registration that Dapo came to me at the Ogun State University to tell me that Bunmi had travelled to Belgium and that he gave me a shirt (I, not being in the know, took the shirt and wore it, since that time, I had noticed vultures and very recently crows monitoring my movements and I did not realise on time, Segun Olowolagba - a very brilliant classmate of mine at the Ogun State University would just come to my room and would be calling me Igun, Igun, Igun, - he once told me his father was a very powerful herbalist). So that is how I had not seen my brother for the past 21 years. When I read between the lines I decided to take on the branch in my flowchart of life but then my father refused to listen to me and thought I was referring to the fact that I was not taken care of in the secondary school that was making me to tell him I was not interested in the school but then I just took up the courage and told myself that the spirit that crossed the Rubicon could easily cross the Nile so I decided to stay put at the Ogun State University. But then my father called everybody in the family to talk to me, I looked at them pitifully I told myself that these people did not really have work to do, me that I have made up my mind on how to live my life, I had drawn up the flowchart of my life long before I even left primary school with plenty if - then - else statements and there they were telling me to accept my daddys proposals to sponsor my education. As if my father had a hand in my getting my JAMB forms in the first instance, even the money for WAEC was paid for by the school principal to avoid non - registration, before my father finally gave me the money And I am writing my story now and some people are telling me it is too much, if survivors like me dont talk, how would the world be a better place? I talk. (one thing society must realise is this: those of us that are not brought up by our mothers did not really know how to talk it is not our fault. We say anything as much as it is the truth and we dont care what happens afterwards, you go and do your research on that and come back to tell me that I was not correct in my observation. So dont blame us, blame that society that took our mothers away from us, for no mother would under normal circumstances want to be parted from a child he nurtured, cared, possessed and owned for nine months). Mother, wherever you are: I am grateful to you for not aborting me, despite the fact that you saw troubles coming yet you kept faith with me and brought me forth. You made me taste life. Life is sweet oooo. Dont allow the wicked ones of this world to disturb, deceive and lie to you that life is war that life is struggle, invariably let me tell you, despite going through what I have gone through, I believe in one thing: Life is beautiful, Life is good. I love life. Why would not I be grateful to my mother for bringing me forth? Of course, she could have aborted me! Yeah, a lot of ladies do that and that means I would have been denied the opportunity of life at that time, place, and circumstances which would have invariably distort something that only few minds can comprehend. And of course, for my fathers family to thank her for bringing me forth, they broke her heart, broke her home and they even told me one day to change my name! Did I ask you to name me in the first instance? Perhaps they were jealous of my academic success (of course their prying on my academic affairs led me to spend six instead of four academic years in the university). We men believe we can do anything, even though we belong to powerful groups, or have powerful friends, we should be humble with it. Life as we see it is not only temporal but varied, so also is power. They all sat down prying on my academic affairs and none of them contributed anything to my schooling in the first instance (AWURADE KASA!). Should I count how many times I slept in mosquito infested lecture rooms, butteries and common rooms just because I was so poor to even afford a days meal talkless of accommodation whilst they enjoy the comfort of water beds (Man! Why are you so wicked?). Alajobi and Adabi a da to ba je pe I did not go to many of my examinations with empty stomachs. Not because I was fasting or because I was too busy to eat but because I was very poor and could not even afford to eat before writing my papers; yet, I passed and of course after they have used their clique to deduct part of my marks! (Man, Change!). I should write this, so that those who would perchance read and have the intention of doing something like what some people have done to me, to other people, would think twice and change their minds and reflect deeply for after all, I am writing about this. I believe you all hurt my mother; you hurt her because she had no one to come to her aid. I had made up my mind a long time ago to be a feminist, the moment I realised that they not only manipulated my mother negatively but also machinate evil against her, I knew enough to realise that women are the most vulnerable part of mankind and I had vowed to always defend a womans cause. We men, who are we anyway, we think we can do anything, achieve anything without considering what would happen to another person and small time we would say women are the problems of this world. (Ai tete mole, ole mu oloko) Being an orphan (and a poor one for that matter), you sent her packing out of her matrimonial home, denied her and her children the affection and joys of mother and children and instead of you to leave her children alone, you spent your time, connections and resources to destroy them just because the disgruntled part of you wanted perhaps to avenge something that someone, sometime had done to you. (Vengeance is stupidity of the highest order and bitterness leaves you with nothing but traumas, desist from it. Man, you hear me?). I have forgiven you, I mean it, I really really mean it, but go and beg my mother. For when Ijebu says Epe Nu Se (it means so much and that is what I can say. But if you do not want the repercussions and the consequences of your actions to hunt you, please and please go and beg my mother for forgiveness and afterwards repent and give your life to Jesus the Christ! I've not seen anything as terrible as man, claiming to have knowledge but discourages learning and study, and cynically ridicule those who study and learn. Claiming to be wise, sets up institutions to punish criminals and put them to death. The same person who reads: train up a child in the way he should go and when he grows he will not depart from it'; has the gut to order the same child in his adulthood to go to prison for a crime he was set up by the intricacies of his society to commit and even put them to death by firing squad and what have you. Yet, he collects bribes and spends taxpayers money lavishly and is mired in corruption, which directly and indirectly leads to the moral corruption of the person he puts behind bars and orders his execution, we men, are either stupid, wicked or helpless! God help us. That is one of the reasons I respect these Americans, I was watching a film one day and I found out that in the judges handling the case of a particular person, he did not look at the crime committed but went to the root of the crime itself, I think the world should take a cue from this and the guy acquitted. I think our society should take a cue from that, we should not just punish people; we should look at the source of the crime and see whether we would be able to correct that particular societal error and perhaps make the world a better place by so doing. Aren't we lazy anyway, we copied the judicial process, law, and prison regulations of those ancient warring emperors and empires and entrenched that in our modern civility. What wisdom can we get from wicked people (I was reading the "Newswatch" one day in Nigeria - that was a long time ago when the then president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ibrahim Babangida said he wondered why people referred to him as an evil genius when in fact, you cannot be evil and be a genius at the same time. Yes readers, think deeply about that statement and you will realise that there is no way something of genius will come from a wicked mind. If you see some traces of wickedness or near wickedness in works of geniuses then that means it is an imperfection, an aberration and would not last long - that is one of the imperfections of man - anyway, perhaps the genius was even set up to commit evil thinking he was fulfilling his goals of doing good; is cursing a wrong thing? Did Jesus the Christ curse a fig tree? Yet, in my mind, my very mind, I think Jesus the Christ is the Genius of all geniuses), we should rather overturn all those laws made for us whether by religious books or by books of good men of wicked era, we should overturn everything and leave no stone unturned, we should do it carefully, slowly and painstakingly to ensure that we remove every traces of inadequacies in the law and how it is interpreted, we should be relentless! We should spend money and time to do this. I was reading a newspaper in Ghana some three years ago, a young man in his 20s was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for stealing a goat! Hmn! What a waste done to the society by the judiciary when in fact such a person would have been rehabilitated, talked to and even assisted to start a gainful employment for himself! As if that man was not born with a conscience, instead of us to make the world habitable for every human being, we listened to logics of evil of philosophers, sociologists and psychologists of wicked epochs of man! Those who were under the whims and caprices of wicked emperors, kings and princes, those who would not be able to survive unless patronised by the courts of these emperors, kings and princes, for of course, every Yoruba knows that he who pays the pipers dictates the tunes. In fact, that also goes for our new research centres being set up by multinationals. I think anything that is done prior to 1945 should be looked at with a question mark! Because it was after that time that man began to think positively, it was after that time, that real freedom of the mind came, the history that praised Alexander the Great (in my opinion, he was the greatest thief and wicked man that ever lived), extolled Napoleon, commended Attila the Hun and honoured Genghis Khan, is the same history that condemned Hitler! Yes, that was when we men of this modern era started realising evil done in the name of good. Thank God for America! Had it not been that that country was founded by free men from different countries perhaps the world would still be under so many wrongs in disguise of good by now. Then Hitler would have been another Alexander the Great. Thank God for one thing, man grows wiser, wiser as the years roll on. Yes, we better make the world habitable for every human being, you should not be surprised when you get to heaven, when your supposed enemy would welcome you to paradise. If not bitterness and vengeance, what else would make one wish another person hell or everlasting suffering? We should listen to the writer of To kill a mocking bird and rather make the world a better place instead of waiting till heaven to address wrongs, make sure it is never repeated and conciliate both sides. What the ascetic who claims to be meditating and does not concern himself with the happenings in the world does not realise is that he is silently in his subconscious wishing another person perhaps a rebirth of a cow ( a kind of thats right for your wickedness on earth) without having an inkling that the wickedness he allows to take place even though may not be affecting him directly, is affecting him indirectly. What about the Christian who wishes another person hell or everlasting suffering, he also silently in his heart of heart wishes bad things to bad people! Of course, dont you think it is when you habour jealousy, hatred, envy and have an unforgiving heart that you will not be concerned about the various inhumane treatments, wickedness, poverty about you and rather wish those who perpetuate these things hell! Well, if you have listened to the Master you claim you admire, you would have strove to make the world a better place (Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you). You wonder what that means, think prayerfully (sincerely this time) about that statement. Well, I am not surprised anyway, there are no Christians in the world in my own estimation, all we have are hypocrites and socialising church goers. And the Muslims who think because they fast once in a year and pray five times daily would make them go to heaven even though immediately before they fast they tried to poison someone to death or embezzled large amount of funds and even though immediately they finished the praying the last prayer for the day, don the hood of wickedness. This world, religions are too much, of course, bring them on, we have a lot of religions and the world is this bad what if there is none? Or there is little! And people would shout the churches are too many, please they are too small, let them build more, for of course there are plenty churches people that are supposed to be helped by churches suffer what if there are none or there are too little. And people would say that almost every house has a Mosque in some countries, I plead let them build more for with all these people still have the gut and desire to be terrorists! As for me, religion, I will not establish one, church, I will not build any but I will strive to make the world better than I found it in my own little way and even in my handicapped capability! Alas, Man, have you been taught by nature, please go out into the open, where there is a little bush, and tell me if you find only one type of plants! If not, then dont bemoan the varieties and multiplicity you see around you, instead appreciate them and therefore seek for harmony and unity in diversity! Enough is enough, man grow up, you are still behaving like a kid! Grow up! You are old enough now! Make the world a better place! As for me, the greatest victory has been wrought me by God through the White Men (White Man, I will always appreciate you!). For making them to come about something like internet and of course to make it somehow free! (of course most of us have taken the ability to be able to read and write for granted - thanks for that too.) and as such affording me the benefit to write about my adventure in life so far. 'Bi a ba se ni loore, ope l'a da'.

  Man who told you that you are dull that you are not brilliant that you cannot get the intellect that those who are intellectuals have? Oh! Is that the reason why you sit taciturn and allow them to mismanage your life and existence severally, individually, and in their various silent institutions emanating in guise of many brotherhoods, sororities, sisterhoods, fraternities and the like? Man who told you that you cannot be doctors, lawyers, etc- man who told you that the best you can be is Bus Conductor or the mate and because of that you allowed those delinquents to destroy your future and the future of your children by eating your taxes and mismanaging the resources that naturally endowed your land and keep you continually in abject poverty. Man those people who are your problems know you very well, they know that you can sow, they know that you have the capacity and a great capacity at that to sow and (considering the fundamental law of nature) you will reap when you sow, because of that, they are disturbing you from sowing so that you may not get anything to reap; and of course the few of you who struggled to sow have their harvest stolen from them in guise of so many tax laws and what have you. Man, dont allow them to lie to you that because they cant trace your income you dont pay tax, dont you know that you pay tax as long as you buy whatever article? As long as you work to earn a living you pay tax even though you income is not easily traced, you still pay tax. On every food you eat, on every article you buy you pay tax so dont allow anyone to tell you that you are not a tax payer, you may not be a direct income tax payer but you pay tax. The world has become so sophisticated from the time of Adam Smith that rarely does anyone escape taxes again!!That is why their delinquent spirit is constantly keeping you under. Man, you that you are poor, do you know your problem: timidity and stupidity and do you know the weakness of that person who is rich? Hypocrisy and Sycophancy. That is it man. Wake up! Wake Up! If you dont wake up you will find yourself that in the next 1000 years you are still grappling to find your daily bread whilst that other person that is mired in Hypocrisy and Sycophancy is reeling in ill gotten opulence. Man, wake up, My name is Jude and I am waking you up! Sore! Leve toi! Ji, wake up right now - if you dont you will be shocked that your childrens children will be more precarious than you are! They lie to you! They said there is no food for Lazy person, have you ever seen a lazy person? It is the person who says that and believes that there is no food for Lazy person. Because he knows that if he doesnt say that you will not wake up to the realization that you need to work for him to live. Therefore, you become his slave!!! Man, there is no food for stupid man! Not lazy man, it is the stupid man that will never have anything to eat. But the cunning one will always survive. Man the only lazy person is the one who sleeps 24hours! Every day of his life? Can you show me that person? No of course, so you are not lazy, your existence dont just put you into productive use, they who manage your affairs are glad when they see you sit beside the Ludo and the Draughts and sometimes the Chess table, for by so doing you will not be able to question and come to the realization that they are slowly (slowly? What am I saying ke? Fastly!) making your life miserable for you whilst you sit with Ludo, Draughts and Chess board and your children ask you chop money and school fees you tell them you are out of work! Dont allow anyone to deceive you and tell you you are lazy. Wake up! Man. Your problem is your pastor, your evangelist, your lawyer, your doctors and the likeWake up man, you will continue to pray to God for your daily bread till the next 1000 years if you are not careful. Man, dont you think you insult God when you ask him to give you your daily bread when the vegetation is green and the sun is high up there? Dont you think you insult God when you tell him it is his grace that is keeping food on your table when he has given you the gift of life? Man, I am sure you have the capacity to think, so I am asking you to think because if you dont think, UN will go and NN will come and they will continue to tell you water for all by the year 2000 and something, food for all by the year 3000 and something and the people who constitute the UN will die and will go and other people will join in the vicious cycle of hypocrisy and sycophancy and you will still be expecting your savior to come and deliver you from the stupidity and timidity of your life. As for me, I will never hurt you, therefore, I refused to join them. I dont stick out my tongue to commit immorality with anybody (I don't also deal in other gestures of slavery) and when anyone sticks out its tongue at me, I feign non - comprehension, neither am I going to collude with delinquents to deny you of your rights: food, clothing and shelter, that is why I am telling you this: I have seen enough troubles in my growing years than for me to join the bandwagon and I have sworn, a long time ago, on the love that was never allowed to grow between me and my mother that I will never join anyone to hurt you that is why I am waking you up, man you still sleep, wake up now! My sojourn in Ghana made me come across some graphic designers from Italy, beautiful designers, they taught me some tricks in graphic designing and of course we used to engage in serious conversations. Do you know what they told me one day, that one of the reasons why we are poor in Africa is because we are taciturn that we are not angry at all. That is why we are suffering, being an Ijebu man, I immediately know that they are talking about ebode, we all in Africa have gbebode, if not that we have gbebode how can you allow another person to waste your life away like that and at that you join them in raising family and bringing on children to serve as slave that you also are? Man, wake up now! You like to go to Europe? You like to go to America? Do you think that America became America without toil, sweat and lots of blood? You like to go to Europe, you like to go to Britain, Spain, Portugal? Etc. do you think if those people have been stupid and timid as you are you will be enjoying the technological advancement of today, take France, one of the greatest achievements of Europe, do you know about the Revolution? Okay, okay, they dont read the Tale of Two Cities again, I read that in Secondary School, so you dont know about France, well, the beauty of France, the liberty and Freedom you see in France now was paid for by toil, sweat and blood. Have you ever thought about Great Britain? Hmn! You dont know that the British were living in homes made with thatched leaves and were killing their geniuses for witchcrafts, sorcery and the like? Do you know that when the Romans romped upon them they were called Barbarians? Look at Britain today, sweet sight and delightful scenery, and of course, the great home of William Shakespeare and Sir Francis Bacon(!!) . Every time I sit down to enjoy the Premier League, I sometimes thank God for the spirit of those courageous ones who shook away the yoke of Rome and not only that encouraged themselves to positive and concrete constructive achievements. So please do something about your very own existence, stop blaming the slave trade, stop blaming another one for your inadequacies and when you go to Europe or America, go there to be wise!(Added on Feb.9th 2008)

  Women, dont worry I am a feminist, I vowed to be that a long time ago, when I found out that they lied against my mum and perpetrated evil deeds against a helpless orphan. Now, lets reason together women. Who told you that it is the man that will take care of your child for you? Hmn! O ma se ooo? Instead of you to develop yourself and be independent to the extent that you will be able to take care of those you carried in your womb you were waiting for a man to do that for you? Who told you that man is capable of love anyway? Does he have a womb? Does he know how to give birth, does he suckle or know how to suckle? Can someone who cannot carry and care for a life forming foetus for nine months within her ever know what is care and affection? Listen, if men ever know love, why then do we have wars (Hey, Ive heard about the Amazon, but such are just aberrations), why do we have oppression and poverty all about? Who ever told you that a man falls and knows how to love is a big liar and you being not pragmatic believed in their age long lies they call truth? Come to think of it, how can someone who cannot suckle understand (overstand? Some Jah! People will want me to say, well, I dont follow their sect anyway, but I like Bob Marleys music) what is care or tender care? How can someone who never carried anything for 9 days in his womb understand what is affection? Now a man will tell you he loves you and you will believe that and you will because of that forgot about your ambitions and follow him thinking that he will help you to achieve your aim. Woman, we are no more primitive, the world has gone through so many epochs of civilization that right now, what a man can do, a woman can do very well, and considering the way lust is going about in the world now, you better get a career for yourself and please if you can get more than one, the better for you and beware if anyone tells you he loves you! Men are normally fascinated by that which is sweet symmetry, solid structure and beautiful. Beware, sex is not love and sex is not marriage, dont forget that you will only be ready to bear a child for anyone after you have successfully acquired some sort of qualifications that will give you the security of taking care of that which you bear. Men dont love and they dont know how to love, I have thought about this critically, philosophically, psychologically and sociologically, men cannot love and men dont have the capacity to love, it is only the woman that can love. So woman, even though your guy is a responsible man, reliable and trusting, it is only for a space of time, after which you will see traces of the opposites of these qualities in him. Go and ask those women whose husbands stay at home, it is either they have carefully selected their lifetime companion or are keeping them behaved because of plenty prayers and of course, other things that I better not write now. Beware, if youre not lucky that the burden of shaping the lives of those you brought forth is still heavy then you will have yourself to blame. Please young girl, dont fall in love with anybody until youre ready to start working and start having a steady source of income that will make you comfortable. People like us have so much to say on how we have strove to be someone on our own. Please young girl, your career first! Sex is sweet, I will not lie to you, sex is not wrong, I will not lie to you, but the consequences of unsafe sex and immature adventure are very grave. Please young girl, men dont fall in love, they can like you greatly, have great passion and infatuations for you, but they dont have the capacity to love. Think about this greatly, and if there are those who have the capacity to love, well, they are very few, and very scarce to come by. Please young girl, you are the real future of the world, you are the real hope of the nations if you dont take care of yourself and put your career first, you end up regretting your past. A word is enough for the wise (so they say, from those days when words were few) you may think, but plenty of words is nevertheless not useless. (Added 21st February, 2008)

  How did I meet Mrs. Eperokun, you may ask? There I was contemplating of finally calling it quit (of course for a year or two, I supposed) with Ogun State University, I was fed up with the kind of way I was living, on the very edge of poverty with strenuous complications, I knew I could not continue like that because I was guessing it might have serious consequences for me in future. I decided not to live strenuously again. After I finished my secondary school, I remembered that one day I just finished a plate of rice and I started having a very serious stomach upset. I was aghast, and thinking seriously that such a thing had not happened to me before, of course, it happened to me when I visited uncle Soye in his house for the very first time, I had a very serious stomach problem, I had to wake Bro Dewale up in the middle of the night because of it. I was thinking that perhaps it was because of the change of environment, I did not know that it was the accumulation of stress I had gone through all my life up till that point that resulted in my stomach problem, I did not know at all. Then, when I came back to Ijebu Ode, I later found out that whenever I took anything hot, or peppery, I would be having stomach upset. Later that week, I went to a medical doctor and he solemnly told me that I had ulcer. I could not believe it, then trust me, I started asking people about ulcer and the rest and of course, I started reading about ulcer also, then I started praying that the ulcer would go (Of course, ulcer had gone now) and up till the time I was still a student at the Ogun State University, the ulcer was still there, it was this that advised me to call it quit with Ogun State University and to go to Dares father to get me a job in the bank or somewhere. This was the thought I had in my mind, I was in my second year at the Ogun State University, in the very first semester and of course, few weeks into it, I was really contemplating calling it quit when suddenly out of the blues I started seeing notices that students should make use of the guardian and counseling centre and if any student was ready to make a major decision that might impact on his studies, such a student should make sure he visited the guardian and counseling centre first before embarking on such a decision, when I saw that notice, I said: who told these people I was trying to quit school anyway, for that directive affected me straightaway and I was contemplating on whether to go or not, I said, Ive made up my mind anyway, I would just go and tell them that I was not interested in schooling for the time being that time anyway. I said, why should I go anyway, would they give me a scholarship or what (I had known that time that such thing would never come to guys like me who were not ready to comply with the status quo or know one or two people in one or two places in the society and who are ready to help you with no strings attached. Only God knows how much I had attempted to get scholarship or sponsorship towards my education). Well, I decided to call it quit with school for that time and for the time being. Not because I was not doing well academically, of course, my As were few so also were my Cs, but my Bs were much more than my As and I was not happy with that, ever since Oyesanya had told me that I and Adebesin were inspirations to him that sometimes when he felt like sleeping or not doing anything and immediately he remembered the two of us, he would just refuse to sleep and would go on learning that he wanted the three of us to be the very first, first class students in Accounting in our department, I had resorted to leaving the school, for without As how can I get first class and with my depleting health, I was really alarmed, I did not want to disappoint Segun Oyesanya and I did not want Segun Oyesanya to become complacent because of my grades. I better not use my financial incapacitation to affect anothers person quest for achievement I thought. Then I thought about my health, the way I was just leaving on the edges of poverty, not that I fell sick frequently and seldomly like others, no, but the ulcer was not abating, it was ulcer I thought, what would come next, and of course, I never wanted anything short of the best I could get. But before I did it, I decided to check if I was still good (I mean, my own definition of being good academically, not the original one defined for us by the standards around us, for if you are to sincerely judge by the standards around, I was still good even though I had only splices of As and Cs here and there according to their standards, but to my own standards, I was not doing well at all. Yeah, I remember, Segun Oyesanya once lent a book to me called IP: The impostor phenomenon, telling me that the reason why I thought I was not doing well was well written in that book; as for books, Segun Oyesanya introduced me to so many good books and of course, most of them American, he usually went to America at the end of every semester and always bringing me books and introduced me to so many great American writers. Sege, thanks for that. So, Mr. Aje, our lecturer in Cost Accounting told us, that we will be having a Cost Accounting test. Yeah, I said this is the opportunity to know I was still good and If I should quit school, I would be sure I was still good still. So, I literally left Oru and I went to live with Mr. Tony Adeyemi and my very good friend: Fafiolu (faffy), how I became their friends will be made known later. I knew that If I stayed with them for like a weekend and use that opportunity to learn for the test I would not need to worry myself of what to eat or go somewhere to work in order to eat, and I would be able to study with adequate concentration without necessarily worrying myself of what I would eat in the morning or endure another pangs of ulcer pains. So, we had the test and I scored a very good A+. Segun saw my scripts and was surprised and immediately cover his so that I would not see what he got but when I looked up at him, I knew I had fired him up for another bout of serious study. I was contented. Well, I woke up one day and I decided that that weekend, I would stop school. Then my mind went to that directive I had been seeing on the notice boards and I said, well, let me just go and notify them anyway. For I was not ready to do it formally, I just wanted to go away like that from that school. So I went to Ago Iwoye that fateful morning to see them at the guardian and counseling unit, I was thinking of meeting some three of four people sitting in a conference with students in queue. I was surprised to find a secretary behind a seat asking me to sit down. She gave me a slip to fill and then went into the other room to announce the arrival of one of the victims. Lo and behold, she beckoned me to come in. There I saw her sitting on a chair, alone in the small office, looking at me and I asked myself, can only one person counsel me? Me? Okay ooo. I was wondering how just one person would advise against my decisions. From my very early development in life, I just dont arrive at a particular stance, I would have given it an array of thoughts and questions before embarking on anything and if I should make up my mind, no Jupiter would make me change my mind again, unless of course the Jupiter is a matter of life or death. So she asked me to sit down and I sat down, she asked me what is my name I mentioned my name, Jude Adebosoye Ogunade, asked me my matriculation number, (of course the secretary had collected this information from me before I left for her office) 862782, I told her. She said: Let us pray. I said, (in my mind anyway) pray ke? Is that part of the counseling? Well, I obliged, though I was a Deeper Life student that time, I was not really interested in praying at that particular point in time, I just wanted to have my informing them done with and leave the room. When she finished praying, she asked, what can I do for you. Well, I just wanted to tell you that I am not interested in schooling again at least for now, I want to go and work and come back to school later when I am ready with adequate financial resources to do it. She said, how was your result, as for my result they are ok, I replied, she then called the secretary, telling her to go downstairs and look for the result of 862782, that she would like to see it, meanwhile, we started talking about other things, the way the girls dressed to school, the way, the students behaved, riotously, not facing their studies, making noises. I was not actually listening to our converse, even though I was adding my own views intermittently, my mind was not with her, my mind was on how I would approach Dare Kukus father to tell him I was not interested in school again (I had told Dare about it, he said he could not talk to his father about that for me that I should go myself), what if Dares father refused, how I was going to go about getting jobs for myself at the customs,NITEL, blah blah, blah, was just going on in my mind. Then the secretary came in with my result she looked at my result, from the Secondary School result, to the JAMB scores to my previous two semesters result , she looked at me again this time critically and askance and said; you are a very good student but why do you want to stop school? (I shook myself inside of me and said: bo de ba ro se ba ro ya; this woman did not really know what she was talking about, the thoughts continued inside of me). Then she said, tell me about yourself from the day you were born. I said, from the day I was born, but why do you want me to tell you about myself from the day I was born, if you want me to help you, she replied, in order for me to be able to advise adequately on your decision, you must tell me about yourself. Then I just burst. I started weeping and I told her everything about myself succinctly up to that point in my life. Even though my primary and secondary school mates knew scantily about me, what I told Mrs. Eperokun that day was more than I ever told any other person, I did not know what came upon me, I told her everything that I could remember though she was interrupting intermittently with questions, perhaps to clarify someting in her thoughts and after telling her all that I could remember about myself up to that point in my life that day, everywhere went silent. Nothing talked except of course the banging on the typewriter by her secretary and the voom, voom, voom of the fan. Then she said: Ade, I will like you to be my son! She ended that statement with a very deep sigh. 'Ade, you are one in a million!' Ade, I will like to take you to my house to introduce you to my family but first, we will go to your father!'. I said why, what for? To beg him on your behalf of course she replied. I said: Beg my father? She said yes, hmn? I said. Well, I could not believe Mrs. Eperokun's action, and reactions towards me. I said, so good people still exist in this world, so sincere people still exist in this world, so people who would not because of their affiliations, positions, their own way of life, and orientation belittle something of commendation still exist in this world? I really could not believe what I heard her said to me or her actions towards me. Should I say I was flabbergasted, nonplused or taken unaware by her sincerity and kind gesture? Well, in fact, up till that point, nobody had ever called me Ade before? Then I told her: "My name is 'Debo, not Ade." "Hmn! She replied, I know your name is 'Debo, but I prefer to call you Ade." "But everybody calls me 'Debo! "Yes, I know, but I prefer to call you Ade, you are Ade, you are a crown, a priceless personality! I was even more enthused. So when she mentioned that she would take me to her house I was the more determined to see her family, I was telling myself, definitely this woman's husband must be a very great man (Show me your wife and I will tell you the kind of person you are). I was very ready to follow her to her house. But then we went to my house first, she drove a peugeot 504 salon car that time. Immediately I got to 'my' house, my 'daddy' was of course in and immediately she entered our sitting room she said: 'Let us pray'. There she went on her knees and of course everybody also went on his/her knees and so we prayed. Afterwards she begged my father to please take care of me that he would be surprised how great I would be in future. Well, yes, indeed my father changed. But as it was during Mrs. Ibikunle's time, during Mr. Adedeji's time, so was it also during Mrs. Eperokun's time, my 'daddy' changed for only two weeks. And afterwards, everything started all over again. But then, hers was different. I had an oasis in her and her family, I had a period of rest and repose from my problems, I was assisted in so many ways they could as far as their resources could help them. And of course, as far as I could go out of my 'shell'. We went to her house, and I was surprised at the confidence, the glee, and the enthusiasm she proclaimed, exclaimed and told everybody in her house that I am her son. I entered the house through her kitchen door, there in the living room was Mr. Eperokun, the very first person she took me to, to greet. A very quiet, non - assuming and deep thinking being. I was very lucky to meet and interact with that man. I admired him a lot, of course, secretly. Of course, what do you expect from someone who had 'Atlas Shrugged' in his library. I did not even read that book until about six years later after knowing them. My dear readers, I know you are intelligent, I know you can think, but I know also that you might(in your mind) tell me that you don't like reading voluminous books such as Atlas Shrugged. Please in your life time, don't get past the age of 25, that was the age I was when I read the Altas Shrugged for the first time before reading Atlas Shrugged and if you've passed 25 already, don't get past the age of 40 before reading it. Well, not only Atlas Shrugged, please get also Nikolai Gogol's 'Dead Souls' please read these two books before you get to the age of forty. Then you will live your life, I bet you, devoid of frustrations and hopeless expectations. Then, I am sure you'll have acquired the wisdom you need not only to live the way you want with no remorse at the end of the day but also to see the hypocrisy and lies flying all about. Yes, I took her immediately as my heroine, the very first and only heroine, I've ever got in my life. Perhaps I will get another one when I get married who knows, but she still remains my only priceless heroine. So I used to ask myself, what made this woman to suddenly talk to me the way she talked, to suddenly help me, to suddenly accept me just like that. That woman must have a fast thinking brain and must have heard so many situations close to mine to the extent that she recognised mine to be very peculiar and to decide to come to my aid. Well, I used to wonder in my heart, was it because she was not expecting a young boy of nineteen (19) to have been a bus conductor (mate), to have been a porter (alaru/kayayo)at various sawmills, construction sites, to have been 'soft drinks seller', to have been, a 'wash boy' (that's what people who wash cars were called in those days)and yet to have been a 'very good student' sitting in front of her in a university? In those days when immorality was reigning like nothing else, in those days when people abandoned principles for cash, in those days when some young people use their 'broken homes' situation as excuse to commit immorality and lived haywire, in those days when people were 'talking with tongues, winks and the likes' to sell their body and of course their souls (you people did not really understand the reason why Jesus Christ helped you). I don't think the Bible really have a full description of the saving power of Jesus Christ, search the scriptures they said, not the Bible, there are other many different scriptures, those who compiled the Bible were just one of those ones who wanted the status quo to remain what it was and quickly put something together so that we could continue the ancient traditions of oppressions. Of a truth man, you must search the scriptures, you must read, have you ever asked yourself why is it that the world is still bad despite the fact that people carry Bible up and down? Hmn! Well, I had chosen my path a long time ago, even before I met Ayn Rand through Atlas Shrugged, it was just that I did not know that another person thought like me, it was just that I did not know how I ought to go about it, but thank God, since I read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, I had decided in my heart to follow Ayn Rand and follow her path to my destination. Thanks Ayn Rand. Thanks Mrs. Eperokun. For people like us, committing obscene immorality for cash or favour or for anything at all was just too expensive, too luxurious, so much that we cannot afford it and of course, had to go the hard way, the very hard way to success in life. I am talking about sexual immorality, whether bisexually or homosexually, people like us cannot afford it and of course we went the hard way, but then we are glad that we went the hard way and it is paying for us. After all, our society was closed that time, we thought everybody in the world was like that, we thought before you can pass, you need to pay ass, but then thank God information technology has made the world open and we see the world in different and varying perspectives: there are many corrupt, wicked and evil people everywhere and of course, there are also many principled, good and honest people everywhere. OH! the people of LEMURIA, OH! the people of ATLANTIS, please forgive us!!!!

  Sometimes, I am annoyed, really annoyed the way we blame the white man for our inadequacies, every little thing we blamed it on the white man, as if, the fact that you are free, liberal and forward means you should immolate your body, and sell yourself in order to show off to others your acquisitions and thought that other person that refused to bow was a fool. I remember when we were taught biology in the secondary school and the teacher taught us about puberty, and the like, of course, my mind went straight to circumcision, I said, so it is true, when you circumcise a boy, you made his penis more sensitive to sexual feelings, and when you circumcise girls, you make them less sensitive to sex. Hmn! no wonder, so instead of we boys in our growing years to have affection for girls, we drew up lines for them on our desks and told them not to dare cross the lines or else we beat them and they also complied, hmn, so we went on practising it with boys like ourselves, for of course, the girls have no feelings for us yet, yet, we are heated up every morning we woke up, Haba, Eniyan Ronu! (some of us were just very lucky not to have experienced such things), even the thing that the 'baba onikola would use to rub the place where he has circumcised is also coded genetically to make you submit willingly and become olundu to someone those the various oracles have commanded and 'chosen' to oppress you. Then the various races begin, the best person, the person who can kill without being caught, the person who can steal without being caught, the person who can do evil in order to acquire whatever without being caught then become the 'great' in our society. This world has been 'patarger' a long time ago. Thanks! Jehovah! And what do you have, girls are not ready for sex unless some other chief who has big money is ready to give them part of it, then they did it secretly and of course, they would get married, but our so called chiefs and elders have enjoyed the best part of our friends and sisters even before we got them. The various status quo rules and regulations were set up not to ensure justice but order! Not to liberate our minds but to compel us to behave! Then those who refused to leave their so called presexual experience friends become attached to them, and of course, the society frowns at such but in order for them to continue to do what they want to do, they set up various secret societies to perpetuate oppression and indulge deliquencies and which they quickly join to uphold the status quo because the society frowns at such and yet we blamed the white man for what has been in existence for thousands of years before even we knew if there was a Mungo Park! MY SON, GET WISDOM, AND IN ALL THEIR GETTING, GET UNDERSTANDING (proverbs)What Ayn Rand did not really know or perhaps knew was afraid to say it because it would affect the logic of her great book was that the victims and their oppressors have been compulsorily identified and chosen even before they knew their left from right as far as Africa is concerned! You see dear readers, it is not your fault, nor our fault, but we cannot fold our arms and allow situations to continue like that, that is why some people like us decided to talk and talk we will and we are doing. But whose faults, this is not the time to look for the person who is to be blamed! But then, these things had been on for thousands of years, Kai! Please when you read, think about what you read, when you read think about what you read objectively. So, oracles who promised Alexander the Great, promised Ghengis Khan, and the likes that they would make them great must at the same time set things in motion that would make these people great and of course what do you have? Designs, who tells you that the sexual feelings you have is normal? Who tells you that jealousy is normal (forget about those nonsense psychological discourse) who tell you that it is normal for your penis to wake up strong in the middle of the night if you are not married? All these were designs, spiritual designs, but we never thought past so many things that happen around us, we think about them only on the surface. O ma sheoooo Hmn! Only God knows what Jim Jones designed when he committed suicide with so many people and what about those other cult who followed Halleys Comet somewhere. Readers, why is it that the taboos that will affect you if broken in a particular area, will not affect you if broken in a different area? Have you ever asked yourself that question? And who told you everybody that died went to heaven immediately? Hmn! Eniyan Ronu, please search and search.

  Ade: I'll like you to be my son! That word was the first encouragement, compliment, commendation, and a well done I have ever received in my life up to that point. The second I have ever received from any one and only one I've received from my own biological mother several years later. (Added 8th March 2008, 2:25p.m.GMT)

  Well, it happened in 1992 (my effective final year, for I had my final year studying accounting thrice, the third one was the one that was actually recorded for me, for then, I was allowed to do my registration, dis world na wah ooo!), the ASUU people decided to go on five months strike action; and I was just staying with Bro 'Dapo at Oworonsoki when my mother came around to say hello, telling me that she heard I was there and decided to say hello to me, she came with a friend of hers. Then began the dialogue: 'is it true that 'Deoye does not support you again? Yes ma, then how have you been faring, well, I survive nevertheless, sebi I told you about one woman called Mrs. Eperokun' Oh! Yes, she has been helping you? Of course, she is trying according to her capacity but you know, I still have to struggle for myself'. Ok, so what about your personal effects, how do you take care of your clothing and the rest?' I don't normally care about such things, my goal is to study and learn and do what I have to do without considering those things. she then said Hmn! So does that mean you don't dress well?' Oh! Ma, I am not concerned about such things, I don't have anyone to show off to, only myself, I am concerned about my future and its starts today, therefore, I have to develop myself such that I will be able to survive and live well in the future'. 'Hmn!' she added again. 'I hope your situation is not affecting your studies' Oh! Ma, my situation affecting my studies? No way, I don't care about what people say about my dressing, I am concerned about how I do well in my studies, that is all, as long as I am able to provide for what I can eat myself, then I will definitely learn, the main thing is to be able to eat and survive.' When I finished that particular sentence, she looked at me, looked at her friend and said: 'Se o ngbo! Omo Ni yen oooo'

  Bola Okusaga, is one person I cannot forget easily, he was a support in those days, actually, he told me that his father's story was like mine that his father used to tell them about how he struggled when he was growing up and also that he became successful at the end of the day. Yes, Mr. Okusaga achieved a bit of success in his somewhat short lifespan, he died at the age of 64 when Bola (at that time, one of his numerous children) was in Class Four (fourth year in the secondary school). Whenever I felt tired after closing from Deeper life meetings, I would just branch at Bola Okusaga's place to rest, or eat. And the father always advised me that time, telling us to just face our studies. However, 'Bola Okusaga liked too much enjoyment, parties, and the like, we did not really move along well. I was the Deeper Life type of student, School, to menial work, to fellowship, to house (thank God for Baba Apebi's house, I, at least had a roof over my head) and then to school again. A kind of what people call, triangular student. I am not actually against people enjoying themselves, but I sometimes feel nonplussed and flabbergasted when people feel at ease enjoying themselves when many around them wallow in abject poverty, I sometimes feel surprised when I see people enjoy, party and dance when there are frowned faces all around them. Well, I wouldn't say you should not enjoy yourself but hmn, be careful how you go about it after all the whole world celebrates youth. No where can you find anything of worth that is not in celebration of the strength of youth. Think about it, all the technology advancements and gadgets are particularly engineered and directed towards the enjoyments of the youth. Therefore, enjoy your youth for the time will come when you will not have any strength to enjoy those things that glitter around you. This is for those who believe more in pleasure and leisure than in duty and self denial. Please make sure in your quest to enjoy your youth you dont hurt other people and cause sadness and unhappiness for many, for after all, what is the use of your enjoying in the midst of frowned faces and glooming appearances.

  Also, Taofik Adafejo and his tailor brother, those guys helped, thanks men. Taofik used to be surprised at me a lot, used to wonder what kind of person I am, being an Ijebu man, yet refused to advise myself Ijebu wise and alleviate my sufferings, Yeah, I am kind of a person who like learning things from life. I like taking each day like a book, learning whatever I can from the things around me, whether living or non living, and thank God, I was able to in my own little way understand this world.

  In those days, life was so vapid and so bland, thank God that my head was nevertheless not blank. I lived in rapid reluctance to the dictates of my compulsive itineraries which I must follow like the branches of a well rooted tree dancing to the tune of the silent winds. Hope my readers would believe that I had to walk close to a distance of about 25 kilometers before I could get books to read, to where of course, to the library, at Ago Iwoye when in fact the only food I would have for the day was Gari soaked in well water! (Yeah, Mr. Adenuga - my fathers friend with whom I lived at Oru, had a well) Thank God I did not lack water.

  They tell you that omo to ba mo wo we a ba gba je and because of that you mingle with the elders, corrupt elders, delinquent elders, because you want to ba gba je, to the detriment of the remaining people in your society, and of course, you want to feel better, live better than your peers, and even if in your bid to do that, you went on to practice the immoral and corrupt practices the elders are doing that is making them to also eat big to the detriment of their peers, you continue the status quo of oppression and yet you have the gut to say ha, the world is not good, that ha, Nigeria ti ba je, that ha, there is poverty, without you knowing (or perhaps you know, you were just too hypocritical to admit) that is your collusion with the elders that is still making oppression to continue. So my readers, that is the problem with the society, as long as we still feel comfort and ease among many who have nothing to eat talk less of to take their baths (there are millions like that in Africa, my readers), and of course, you engage in corruption and the amassment of wealth, O ma sheooo, instead of us to create wealth in Africa, we waste wealth, why are we like this anyway? Instead of us to create wealth and create more and be productive, we pile up riches, we pile up possessions, possessions that are just sitting down doing nothing for no one. Yet, we say we are poor in Africa, we are not poor in Africa, we are just too timid, stupid and fearful enough to rise up and change the status quo. My friend, dont just sit there piling up possessions, use them to create wealth, let every possession you have be those that will be put to productive venture and dont just allow them to sit and rot away like that.

  Tell them that I say that God does not need my approval to be God. That the Ancient of Days and the omnipresent does not need me to acknowledge Him before He will do what he ought to do to make my life bearable for living for me (tell them it is the aggregate of evil that will need acknowledgment, tell them that it is only evil that needs to be pampered and persuaded to stop its battering, that God is much more than that. Tell them that I said that almost all their religious books are full of craps all written and legitimize with the name of God to make it credible. Tell them that of course there are wise things in what they wrote in most of their religious books but such wise things can also be found in books that are not branded religious. Tell them, that God does not need me to pray 'voice soundless' before I will be delivered from evil because God does not sanction evil and God is not a wicked God who will want me to beg him every day before I can get my daily bread. Tell them that that you read my book and I said these things! Enough is Enough!!!

  We pay too much emphasis on established procedures even though the light of new developments in science and technology has made these procedures obsolete we still cling to them as if they are the life blood of existence. Man, instead of you to marry your wife based on pragmatic considerations and cogent reasons you were looking for virgins!!! Man, wake up! Dont you think it will be foolish of you to have looked for true virgins in this world where many place too much premium on it. Do you think men are not sharp and clever and cunning? Dont you think it is possible for men to have devised means of having sex with girls and to have found the means of still making these girls to appear as virgins?

  Hmn! How can I ever forget the intelligent Otulana Baggies? Or the Philosophic Segun Mayegun (the erstwhile NANS President), Segun Mayegun once had discussions with me on Taban lo liyong's 'Eating Chiefs' (I came across that book in Mr. Eperokun's library) and of course it was during the course of that discussions that I came to realise the mind of an average politician. Segun Mayegun was surprised one day to find out that I was reading Accounting and that in fact, I am in my second 'dummy' final year in accounting, he said, all along, he thought I was doing philosophy, he then confessed that the discussion he had with me about Existentialism really helped him in his philosophy class test (he did not know that Dr. 'Dokun Jagun, had introduced me earlier to Jean Paul Satre's 'Being and Nothingness') Some of the things we used to discuss at Mariere Hall (Baluba Kingdom)in those days pertained to the fact of the various rots in the society! Do you know where this phrase comes from School Father? Because the boys who attend boarding house are made to follow and toe the line of the seniors who behaved like fathers to them. And mind you, not all fathers are good! Then, that also reminds me one day I was in the church(mind you since the Deeper life people refused to help talk to my HOD to sign my registration, I had stopped attending church regularly, so I dont go to church, I go to church whenever I feel like) and one old man was saying that what these boys practise in the boarding houses is homosexualism (I beg your pardon Bisexualism, because most of these boys also have girlfriends and mind you, they grow to become men and what do men practise when they grow up? Bisexualism of course), I laughed aloud inside of me, he, not being in the know or think some of us dont know that the same delinquencies that most fathers fuck their daughters and their sons before even allowing them to get out of their house in the first instance because they know that they might not know what might happen to these ones when they leave their homes to go out into the world and of course because of what the fathers do at home to these kids when they get to their various boarding houses they see the seniors practising and they qualified these seniors with the term father so the seniors were just repeating what the fathers have done to their children when they were growing up at home!

  Actually the problem with our African society is that most of us are so deceived to the extent that we were told to believe that we should take whatever our elders do to us for we would also do that to others when we grow up. That means that we would continue the oppressive nature of the society and we cry, the society is bad? One of the things Olanipekun (that guy beat the hell out of me when I was in secondary school, just because he wanted me to take up his position - he was a school prefect) telling me that I would also do that to those who were coming after me. I was a Christian, a born again Christian by the time I became a school prefect and as such, I did not beat the junior ones unnecessarily as the seniors beat me. The only difference was that I would beat you if you were indolent or disrespectful. 'Anyways', 'anyways', any of you boys, if you think senior Debo had beaten you unnecessarily when he was Chapel Prefect, well, I have nothing to say but sorry I mean it, I am saying sorry to anyone who thought I had beaten him unnecessarily. (I have come to start respecting the Catholic Church - Of course, I had fallen in love with the Jesuit long time ago - when the Pope came out openly to apologise! I was surprised, if a very powerful entity like the Catholic Church can apologise like that, who am I not to say sorry, even though I know deep inside of me that I was a gentle senior!) The only thing is that I never thought I had beaten someone unnecessarily for considering the excruciating nature of my house when I was growing up, perhaps, my hand was too high on you boys, well, boys, nevertheless, I am saying sorry to you all. But all of you know that senior Debo was a gentle guy anyway. Up JOGS!!! I was a very humble student; my financial constraints actually did not help the matter. There I was in form five with still the Adetunji Sunday Adegboyega Ogunades baggy as the only trouser I had, and which was getting ragged and of course, Wasiu Adeyemo ( I should believe I did not forget this guys name) came to my rescue and borrowed me his shorts which his father mistakenly sewed too large, if not, I would have had to be going around with ragged baggy and yet Wasiu Adeyemo was three years my junior at JOGS! So you see boys, I was not high on you for I thought about those things sometimes and I mellowed down where others would have been enraged.

  I remember when Niyi Ikorodu (I wont mention his surname, this great individual, he read civil engineering and he is from Ikorodu, this guy was a great help to me in those days) hinted me that perhaps the reason why I was not being allowed to do my registration was because somebody somewhere was interested in my **** or something, I said henhen! He said yes, I better toe the line if I want my registration done, or I go to a powerful juju man to deal with them. I told myself, if that is the case, they will wait tire, they think that if I see my former class mates coming to woo the girls with their shinning cars and status I would then run to them with my **** begging so that I can get what I rightly deserved?. 'O ma sheeoo, eni wa ati sun akan, a pe leti omi'. I often wonder when people want guys like us to use the conventional time table to achievements! My dear, you need your own path to life, your own time table if you really have things to do in this world, don't go about the established time table of this world, if not, you may not be able to do those things that are dear to your heart.

  So what do you have? After the fathers or rightly the 'elders' have finished disvirgining his sons and daughters and the daughter complaining that she is no more a virgin, the father will promise that he will make the daughter one. How? Can you eat your cake and have it? Yes, it is only in a female virginity that you can do that! Yes, this has been happening for many years, thousands of years I beg your pardon.

  I remembered when we were taught Biology and we were told about virginity and that the sign of knowing who a virgin is that there is a hymen that is a clot of blood. Also, we were taught about menstruation and I said? Hmn! Then all girls are virgins as long as they have not given birth before they reach menopause because as you know it, humans will always circumvent something that too much premium is on. So, the same thing that ladies have in abundance is the same thing that is used to determine whether they are virgins or not, o ma she oooo, deception has been in existence from the earliest epochs of man. So, perhaps most marriages are ile ta fi ito mo ( I remember reading and watching such a Yoruba book and film when I was growing up) that is why we see marriages crumbling in this world because you did not really marry your wife because of a deep seated passion, you married her because of some nonsense established deceptive procedures and after about few years of marriage, the infatuations, the lust, and the small passion you have is dried up and you went looking for another, meanwhile, we Africans were wiser in that respect, we set up various customs and family relations and interactions to enable the man to come home every evening, give the man many wives if he wants, but not the audacity to send any of them packing, but of a truth, the one that refused to pack out of her husbands house would see hell from the younger wives and of course would be left with the sole responsibility of taking care of those who are brought out of her womb, Eniyan Ronu! Actually, there we were from the ancient of times, talking about discipline, lying to many (not to people like us anyway) that the reason why we should marry a virgin is that it portrays discipline, the same elderly person who just spoke to me about discipline, and virgins, suddenly started chasing little girls! Do these ones think we were unreasonable? Well, thank God for the Buhari/Idiagbon administration, it was whilst they were teaching us this biology stuff and the society were drumming it into our ears about those virginity nonsense that that administration came about WAI (War Against Indiscipline), I said, so, discipline can be learnt, I said so, discipline is not innate? So what the nonsense that these elderly ones are talking about that the virgin girl is a discipline child! The same girl, you went about chasing with your ill gotten currency? The same girl you promised to teach the secret of virginity? It is a pity my readers, some of you are not Nigerians, even though, I feel very ready now to renounce my nationality (for private reasons, and very cogent reasons, because I cannot feel proud to be a citizen of a country that refused to stand up to defend me when some people made my life a hell for me and went on destroying all that I held sacred with love), it is an exciting experience being one. If you are a wise man, and you appreciate the comedy of life, please go and get resident in Nigeria for a few years and you will laugh tire I mean it, you will love it being in Nigeria, only if you can think. Come and see the way people who were riotous suddenly became discipline, come and see the way people who could not afford standing in queue suddenly became gentle at the sight of Koboko and sternly looking soldiers, come and see how people, queued to enter molue. And I said, so I was right? Discipline can be learnt, discipline is not innate, even though we were taught about genetics and the rest of those things, but I believe as much as adaptation to environment is concerned, the daughter of the most pious man in this world would become a harlot if faced with the circumstances, intricacies and situations that made most of those harlots one, except by divine intervention. This life na waoooo!

  I have not even spent two weeks at Unilag before I realized that there was Oluwole somewhere! Oh! you want to know about Oluwole? Hmn! Go and live in Nigeria, Lagos in particular and please put your ears on the ground, it will take you just few weeks and you will know about Oluwole. When we pay too much premium on anything, my friend, dont go far, men are bound to corrupt that thing and instead of true individuals, truly good people and qualified people and competent ones for that matter to man places of responsibilities, you have craps and incompetence manning the reins of affairs and you wonder what is wrong with the society, you wonder what is wrong with the economy, you wonder what is wrong with man. Instead of you to take issues from their very own perspectives and judge them by the rudiments of the present, you based existence on some obsolete established practices? O ma seeooo. Man, what is wrong with you nah? With all your brain that the almighty God has given you, you still cling on things that are making you backward!

  So when I became born again in Class Four (fourth year in the secondary school), I was told to burn all the books I have collected whether on Rosicrucians or Freemasons or any other thing that I was interested in, I was told that these things are occultic and that God is against these things, well, I did, actually I just love esoteric works, it was painful to turn (back then) against those books though, actually, it was useful advice in those days because I then had time to read my school books more, and I did not go back to reading about these until after I have finished my youth service, for of course then, I had been disappointed by the mainstream Christianity and I was in a period of apostasy. Did I say disappointed, yes, I was. Well, I became born again in form four then I started attending churches and come and see the way the pastors talk against these so called secret societies, I said hmn! Are all these true? Well, I still had my doubts about the pastors preaching against them, I dont know why, perhaps because I came across these very early in life (I mean external influences, I am not a member of any of them), but I decided to do my research, and I did, in the few countries I've lived in so far, what I found out, hmn! There are evil people everywhere; you should not say because a member of an organization hurt you therefore all the members of such an organization are wicked! Well, I found out that there are a lot of disenchantments about Freemasons and Rosicrucians, I used to tell myself, why? They I started my investigations, research and inquiry, (sometimes, boldness is not only when you face a man wielding cutlass to collect it from him) I feel the generality of the people are just too biased, take Freemasons for example, the fact that Jesus the Christs teachings and works survived outside Christianity today is kudos to them, but peoples minds are generally taking for rides by these so called high flying prophets, pastors and the like most of whom are nothing but ritualists, magicians and expert con men! I am usually surprised that these people were against the only two secret societies that I like, when there are countless more, was it because these two were the most popular? Or because they are not as secret? If I could come across teachings of Rosicrucians when I was just two years in secondary school, honestly I dont think these two are secret societies' as people claim (please watch Women's cot; it is possible for some people to have introduced some things along the line in the history and existence of these esoteric associations, I don't doubt that, but that does not remove the nobility of their initial intentions) and I strongly believe that they are even more noble that those multitude ridden molue churches!

  I don't blame them anyway, most of them were lured to build churches and love ambition by cunning spiritual powers. I remember when we just finished secondary school and prior to the release of our results, one of the things we engaged in was to organise fellowship meetings and of course, someone like me was chosen to pray, preach and lay hands, readers it was like magic to me, I was surprised, it was like before I even touch people's heads (especially those girls) veeeem, veeeem, they fall to the ground under 'anointing' I was like, what, was I so powerful spiritually, (of course, I had prayed for the sick who recovered immediately, several times and some even became my friends because of that)or something, but another calm spirit just told me to be careful they way I trode that perhaps I was being set up spiritually, therefore, I should not be carried away by what was happening, thank God I listened to that spirit, I might have become one of those high flying pastors now (man, beware of miracles, there is no vacuum in nature, a lot of people are performing magic and are using the name of Jesus Christ for credibility sake)

  One of the conditions attached to living in this world is the fact that every good spirit being that is to take on the human form would have to accept to relinquish part of its goodly nature. That is, the spirit being must be ready to allow in its whole positive essence something of negativity. Without this, the spirit being would not be able to live on earth. Have you seen any humility (not blind timidity, for Jesus Christ was humble but not timid) in the life of anyone around you? Yeah, that person may be a higher spirit being.

  But I have a question for my teachers? Those who taught me to read and write, those who taught me Christian Religious Studies, those who taught me civic responsibilities, those who taught me Economics and Government and those who taught me Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology: Why is it that you did not tell me that most religions, most churches, most brotherhoods, most sisterhoods, the associations and groupings and various pseudo theories of psycho social existence is to celebrate mediocrity and indulge delinquents? Why is it that you did not tell me that even though people go to church, they are not able to control their senses? Why is it that even though people are judges yet they convict people for crimes they dare not convict someone who belong to their cliques talk less of their extended family members or their children? Why is it that the same person who smile to me on Sunday will get to work on Monday and will with just a stroke of pen steal millions in currency and yet if there is a thief who perhaps has not eaten for 2 days caught in his compound, he will demand that such a one be lynched to death. Why is it that you did not tell me that even though I am good, brilliant and intelligent, people will still require me to use my strength for immoral purposes before they can allow me to pass (Pay Ass), why is it that you did not tell me that even though there are laws made to catch the thief and the wrong doers only those who did not belong or do not know person and the poor and the weak that are caught? Why did you allow me to know this myself? Is it because you trust my intelligence so much that you knew that I will come to the realization of this? Or is it because you yourselves do not know this or is it that you are so timid to tell me, or is it that you think I was too small and that such a thing will alarm me? Why my teachers? Why my mentors?

  I pass the same route that the leaders of these churches pass, that the President of the country pass that the Imam of the Mosque pass, that the leaders of the most benevolent brotherhoods and fraternities pass, yet I see things that make my mind bleed, I see people living under the bridge, I see children sleeping on the streets, I see people in slums, I see physically disabled that are left to suffer in the heat of the sun to beg for alms to live on, I see kids who are bus conductors, I see toddlers who sell water, and my heart bleeds still and I asked, are these religious leaders humans or spirits? Are these Grand masters and Most Holy Reverends humans? Do they have feelings? Do they practise what they preach? Do they realize that they will not go to heaven with the comfort they surround themselves with whilst others suffer and of course there will be no paradise for them if per chance they get to heaven? Why is it that even though these ones preach these things yet they find it difficult to live by examples? Why is it that this was what I read in the histories and why is it that things still seem as they were? Why? Should I accept things as they write them in religious books and yet see my fellow man suffering without coming to his aid and whilst millions around me wallow in incapacitate hollow of poverty? Yeah, I know that fingers are not equal, but their inequality is in a space of interdependency and no finger is more important that the other! Hmn! Thank you ka se ka ri mi, Thank you vain pride, Thank you jealousy, Thank you envy and Thank you hatred and dislike you do well to keep men in immaturity! If heaven were what we were told it is in any of these religious books, none of us living right now is fit for paradise. Hey wait, dont argue and dont go away in a hurry, read your Bible very well, Jesus the Christ takes you to heaven but not paradise. Please read your Bible carefully(Added April 29th 2008; 6:40p.m. GMT)

  Actually my interest in the University was raised by My darling Teacher Mr Adeyemi Alamu I know Muyiwa Oyekan (my 'first born', would have been wondering by now why I have not yet mentioned him). Mr Adeyemi Alamu, though disabled was able to go up to the Masters level, I was impressed, and whilst I was in Unilag, was my intermittent source of livelihood, not that I asked him to give me money directly but whenever I paid him a visit at the then CMB (Continental Merchant Bank) that should be the name I am not sure now, he was sure to give me something for transport and that thing for transport usually lasted me for at least a week, me, only God knows the kind of person I am, I could use the barest resource to achieve miracles. How did I come across Mr. Adeyemi? I was in my third year of secondary school at JOGS when on a certain Monday morning I saw this 'wheel-chaired' man piloting himself to Muyiwa Oyekans class, Oyekan was then in his first year at JOGS and I didnt even know what made me like or single out Muyiwa Oyekan of all his peers that time anyway, we just clicked! So right from day one we became good friends and his siblings automatically became my friends, and his mother admired me so much and Sister Dupe was just always too good to me. Then during the break time I asked Muyiwa Oyekan what the man was doing in the school, Muyiwa replied that he was one of the Youth Corpers. I said, what?! I was immediately impressed since I was always looking for inspiration, none in my family inspired me, I decided to be this mans friend in order for me to garner the necessary encouragement I needed. So I made it a point of duty to always wheel him back to his room whenever I was less busy and I saw him and I also made it a point of duty to do his chores (I was used to doing that at home). So we became friends, good friends, but the only thing I did that really pained me was that one day he asked me to post a letter, I delayed in posting the letter, I was so broke when he gave me the money, I could not even afford to eat the day before, I used to refuse his food whenever he asked me to eat, I usually refused. Well, I posted that letter later within the month. It pained me a lot, I did not really tell him about it until later (some years later) when I went to greet him at the Continental Merchant Bank, when I told him, he said, it was even good that I did not post it earlier because they actually sent what he was requesting just when he gave it to me to be posted or something like that, I cannot actually remember well what he said. He actually helped me a lot esoterically, he was a Rosicrucian? I cannot remember very well, but he used to tell me tales on how I could use the esoteric principles of Rosicrucian to better my life, we even talked about the book Mastery of Life and we talked about so many other things. He made sure he ingrained in me to read my books well no matter what is happening to me so that I could get to the University for according to him once I entered the University I could be sure half of my problems is solved. He used to tell me tales how university students enjoyed, how they ate chicken, how they changed their bed sheets, how they collected bursary and the rest. Whenever I listened to him speak like that I usually felt very encouraged to even learn my books very hard. I enjoyed this mans company a lot! Then the culmination of his effects on me happened when I was preparing for my JAMB and WAEC. I was on my bed in the dormitory one day (reading of course) when one of the junior boys, I think cele boy or who, brought me a letter from the school mail box. I immediately saw that it was a greeting card I thought who could send me a greeting card, Sola Lawal? Seyi Adams?, who or Boda Bunmi?. On opening the letter, five naira (a very fresh note, I used it to transport myself to my JAMB examination centre) just dropped on my chest just like that and when I looked inside, the sender was Mr. Adeyemi Alamu, I was very impressed! In the letter he wrote: I wish you success in your coming examinations and I hope the success you achieve here will lead you to higher life pedestals or something like that, I cannot really remember now. I felt very impressed. So when I was learning for my JAMB and I had apollo and fell very sick whenever I remembered Mr. Adeyemi Alamu I could not even listen to the junior boys (especially Tayo Balogun - from Imusin he was the last of my school sons. He was a little boy then, and scared, very scared to see me such sick.) not even Tokunboh Omodehins could contain my stubbornness, they actually did not know how much determination I had in my spirit. Thank you Mr. Adeyemi Alamu. I will always be grateful to you.

  Then how can I ever forget Mr. Adebanjo (la so so, I think it was in Akeem Kuku and Fisayo Okusanyas class that they gave this great teacher that name). Mr. Adebanjo was the only teacher who taught me throughout my stay at JOGS. This man taught me Literature in English in Class two, taught me Biology in Class 3 and 4 and taught me Chemistry in Class 5. It was a fact most of my teachers and peers knew that in my form 4 at JOGS I did not win a single prize. Then in form 5 the principal asked me to come to the hostel free of charge and I had the chance to read and learn without me worrying what to eat! Was it not Niyi Alatise who could not take it any longer that I wore a sandal for close to two sessions which at the beginning had no sole, you could imagine how I trode the ground carefully, he said: Debo, you will have story to tell ooo, the way you are suffering, how can you a school prefect be coming to school with 'sole-less' sandal. Then he took me to his house, alas, all his sandals were too short for me. This also reminded me of John, when I was in my effective final year at Unilag who could not contain the fact that I wore bathroom slippers to class in my final year effective accounting class and decided to give me one of his tennis shoes. I refused to wear it telling him that I am satisfied with my slippers but then because of his good gesture, I will take it and keep it. It did not take Dapo Sanyaolu( he was closest to me in my effective final year accounting class to also come to class with bathroom slippers on few occasions to sympathise with me and of course cover the shame.) Then at the same time Mr. Adebanjo lived on the school compound and whenever he saw me, he made it a point of duty to tell me: Debo, how are the mighty falling I did not get angry at him at all whenever he said that, he was actually encouraging me, but what pained me was the fact that he did not realize that I did not have the same resources as my other class mates who were doing well and it was even hard for me to get food to eat when I was in form 4 and of course, this was not even known to him but I was not even ready to tell anyone about myself or what was happening to me except Tokunboh who lived with me then who knew little and Dare who later after we have finished school came to where I lived at Apebi and Tony Ejorh who I usually disturbed for food when we were at Ogun State University. So Mr. Adebanjo never relented in telling me whenever he saw me after school hours Debo, how are the mighty falling. And as if God was watching my footsteps, I usually met this man whenever I would be going to do private study for myself. Then one day I told Tokunboh, that this man was always telling me how are the mighty falling, did he tell you that too, Tokunboh replied in the negative and told me not to mind him. It was when Tokunboh told me he did not tell him such things that I really began respecting that man as a great teacher and I then put in more efforts and told myself that thank God it is only how are the mighty falling and not how the mighty fell That I would show this man the stuff I was made of and I would make sure he respect me, that my falling was beyond my scope of a little teenager that I could not really contain. Yeah, I did so well in my final year at JOGS! What do you think when after delaying your results for so long and you still managed to make five distinctions and 3 credits (Anthony Ejorh must have been a very fine genius too) and with your illness still could get 60% of the total JAMB marks. It is a known fact that if WAEC delayed your results, more often than not, at least some of your marks had already been deducted and of course when you are terribly stricken with Malaria and apollo you could easily have done badly when you actually must have done so well. So, Mr. Adebanjo, thank you very much I am very grateful for your negative encouragement which I used positively I know you must have meant it to be positive but to a childs heart, it could easily have passed for insults. Well, the mighty rose again!

  After my familys nonsense and Bunmis disappearance, everything just became bland to me, I decided to take life as it came and forgot whatever happened to Bunmi I could not really contain Bunmis disappearance, it affected me so much that life became tasteless and monotonous. I started having nightmarish fits. I could remember one day when a lady asked me what happened to me in my sleep that I was disturbed Yes, in those days we used to study in the lecture hall at Ago Iwoye into the dead of nights and sometimes some of us who lived far from Ago Iwoye slept in the lecture halls. So this Lady who was learning behind me said I was quoting the Bible in my dreams and considering the verses I was quoting, she believed whatever the war that was waging against me is won by me. I said thanks, of a truth, when I woke up I could not even remember any dream though I remembered something faintly but of a truth the fact that I was quoting Bible passages in my dream was another thing I found perturbing. Actually after Bunmis disappearance everything became very distasteful the only thing keeping me on were my peers (they never knew this) according to me, since we started together, we must also finish together, and when my peers in class started commending my academic prowess, I more the less took it upon myself to make it tasteful. So all my dreams of joining this, joining that, being this, starting that and becoming this at the University just disappeared the way Bunmi disappeared, I lost interest in all, instead, I became closer to the Deeper life fellowship and to my books and one thing about me is that I am adulterous when it comes to books, I always want to have something to do with varying fields. So my peers started reminding me of what I told them when I was in secondary school and when I entered the university, waiting for me to join something so that they could also join, waiting for me to start something so they could join, alas, I lost interest. Everything became so bland! Whoever orchestrated Bunmis disappearance must have done very well! He actually got me, really got me. Well, I have grown wiser now, you would never know where my weak points is again, I have hung what I treasured most somewhere where none of you could ever touch!

  We had our matriculation at the Ogun State University and just from the morning of the Matriculation ceremony my peers started vomiting and falling sick. I was appalled and of course in order to lighten their burdens started laughing and smiling at them and even boasting that I would not fall sick or vomit. From Ipaye to Dare to Tony everybody was just throwing up but I refused, I was strong, telling them I would never vomit that I was a strong breed, whenever I said that they would get annoyed and I would say it more so that they would put themselves together and be well. Well it happened that when the sun was going down at about 7p.m. with only Dare Kuku with me on our way to his hostel on Igun Road I became sick for about 30 minutes and I vomited on the way. I was happy at least that it was only Dare Kuku who saw me vomited and the rest that I have made jest of were not present. Of course Dare Kuku broke the news to Anthony Ejorh when we got to their hostel. N je o ri Debo, he became sick when we were coming back, after boasting so much and I could read Anthonys eyes, he was, yeah, welcome to the club! But in the morning of the next day, almost everybody was well to continue the partying but some were sick into the new week. So in the morning when my immediate peers had recovered then Dare said, yeah Debo let us go to Oru to know where you stay. So Anthony Ejorh, Dare Kuku and Ipaye followed me to where we stayed at Oru. And in the same car we took to Oru there we met two guys: Olufolusho Olukunle Fafiolu and Anthony Adeyemi as we introduced each other I learnt they were a year ahead and were reading Accounting. I was very happy that at least I could get their notes and some private readings. Well, as God would have it when we were going back we took the same car together again. Since I am a sign reader and understand some symbolic meaning of things, I knew I have a message either for Folusho Fafiolu or Anthony Adeyemi. Well, I decided to investigate. I became close to them I decided to be going to them to teach me things and as I found out, those guys had nothing to teach me that time, I always met them playing cards or ludo! I said, my own friends, use their time to play ludo or cards? I was very annoyed then I asked them what result they made when they were in the secondary school and I poked them more and I found out that those guys dont read! I said my own friends dont read? You go and ask those who were my class mates it used to pain me when I see my friends lay about with all the resources they have. I would make sure I talked Jupiter into their heads, you ask my junior boys at JOGS, you dare pass very well, if not I would beat you! Ask, Omotayo Balogun from Ijebu Mushin I would beat him even if he had 9/10.

  I always want everything around me to be above board, of exquisite genius and excellence. Because I used to think if with my little resources I was able to go on well in life should I surround myself with mediocrity? No, then if you are my friend as in we talk together or eat together, woe betide you if you dont sit up with your education, I would make sure that I talked sense into your heads. Especially those few girls I fell in love with. You ask those that fell in love with me very early in life, I talked sense into their heads before boys came around them (Alas, it was only one person, and that person, I would not mention her or anything about her but we still stay in touch though she married and had kids now, nevertheless, she is still very grateful for my incessant sense talk and writings). So when I started going to Folusho fafiolus place at Liberty Hostel (or was that not the name). I started telling him that he is a genius and he must not allow his genius to waste, told him about a book called human machine, told him to read that book, that he would be able to expand his brain power, always encouraging him to read and discouraging him to play, all along, I was doing what I am used to doing, inspiring those close to me without me actually knowing it was going to help me later in life. I actually left Ogun State University after my second year there and lo and behold Folusho came to do Masters at Unilag. And of course I became his roommate at Mariere Hall (Baluba Kingdom) of course after shooting my bed space at Eni Njoku Hall, God knows I needed the money. Sorry Prof. Jelili Omotola, I broke the school rule, oh!, look at you, many others too broke many others, to talk about assignments and other mercenaries things I did to survive? Who lured me into it anyway? And who asked me to do it for them. But that is past now, when you are growing up, you do something because of expediency, intelligence and wisdom and some you do because of experiment, the wise ones lived it 'over and out' and the foolish ones continued with it. That is life ooo. I will not write about those ones.(Actually with all the camaraderie at Baluba Kingdom, you would wise up fast! Do you want to know the kind of books they would introduce you to: from Jackie Colins, to Sidney Sheldon, to Harold Robbins to Robert Ludlum and to the Big Man: Mario Puzo, and since I was voracious, I devoured all: my favourite Mario Puzos quote is from his Fools Die: Its an awful strain to be a crook but it helps you to accept society and forgive your fellow man, once thats done, one neednt really need to be a crook unless he really needs the money I can quote that guy the way I quote Shakespeare or Wole Soyinka, you wake me up in the middle of the night I would give you five of the three of them. You may still be Olundu though you were at Unilag and at Mariere Hall for that matter, but you will never be sugbe you will wake up fast, if you dont wake up, guys around you will wake you up and considering the fact that I have already been jilted by the church I had so much respect for, I joined guys and it was a nice experience but then as Ive been taught by IFA, I kept my omoluabi. Hey, Ive not mentioned that I finally studied IFA, the Yoruba Oracle, after being disappointed by everything around me, I was just wondering one day and I thought, I knew so many other religions, even read the Mahabratas Bahgad vita when I was still in secondary school and have dabbled into so many things from Oyesanyas Christian Science to Hafiz Lawals Abdul Rushin Grail Message, studied so many other religions but not my own Yoruba religion, then I decided to study IFA, I just thought, what kind of a Yoruba guy am I anyway, I knew so many other things from many other religions but not my own Yoruba religion then I said: olorun ma se mi ni omo ale Yoruba I just looked for the Ifa Fraternity people on campus then joined them, you want to know my findings and what I think, it was an exciting experience and I will relate them when I get to that part of my story.) I survived it and you think I will write about it? NO! CAPITAL NO! YOU NEED TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS IN THE SOCIETY FIRST! I will not write about those ones, but also, I knew some people tried setting me up, my own family oooo hmn! Man! I forgave all. So I became a squatter in his room at Mariere Hall (U222) that was the room number that time, perhaps they have change it now and that was the room where I had sex with a girl for the first time, she was an MBA student that time and felt she fell into the kind of girl I would like to have sex with for the first time. I used the money derived from shooting my bed space at Eni Njoku Hall to cater for myself and of course, I still had to do menial jobs anyway for even the money was not enough for photocopies and that was the year I wrote my final year long essay. My days that time were terrible, terrifying and incredible better believe this.

  Only God knows the reason he gave us words to hide our thoughts. I have actually used words to get out peoples real intentions. I have done it several times but two situations actually made me know mens minds. First, there was this Uncle of mine who thought me a good boy, gentle, easy going and simple (of course I was and I am. I am still a boy ooo, if you look at me, you will think I am twenty something, but you check my thoughts, you will actually know I have grown even older than my age, but then, thoughts dont show up, except in writing and speaking sometimes and of course not everybody reads and people only hear they dont listen). He was taken aback one day when I was in his house and he asked me what I thought about the football match Nigeria lost to Saudi Arabia, I replied: They fucked it up Hey he was shocked to hear such a gutter language from a gentle and good body (he forgot I was in Akoka, you find everything in Akoka, Oh! Mrs. Eperokun, DR. Adebisi Omotosho, JAMB, thank you for Akoka.) and he did not know I have been waiting patiently for him to talk to me and for me to set him up and get something from his very deep mind. I had actually said that to set up series of conversation that will point out some of the things going on in the family that I don't really agree with, as for the Yorubas, who dared sit his elders down to talk to them, they will say you disrespect them. But of course, hes intelligent and of course he went away without engaging in any conversation with me. Well, later I went insane within two weeks of saying such a vulgar language. Was the 180 minutes insanity due to the bout of cerebral malaria I had, or the fact that prior to my coming to his house for weekend, I had starved for almost 2 days on campus with me only having a meal in two days to take my malaria tablets (well, you ask Nature or ask Mr. Felix, or Bro Tayo, they will tell you tales of my sufferings) or it was a result of the Eba I ate with Okro soup when I got to his office premise and immediately after the bout of Eba, within 5 minutes I supposed: I went nots and started talking nonsense I beg your pardon, those words were not nonsense - whilst I was enduring bangs of headaches and my cousins making jest of me! Of course, they called a doctor who was introduced by Uncle Kunle, the same person with whom my brother disappeared and with whom my sister died with the foetus of her womb and he brought a doctor who diagnosed acute psychosis (Yee! Paripa!). My room mates and classmates shouted when I showed them, they were not even offering medicine and of course, when I got to the University of Lagos Health Centre some days later, the doctor there was surprised that what kind of doctor diagnosed this: Well the truth of the matter is: They must have done something terrible with me when I passed off and out after the lagartil injection. Why, when I got to the Deeper Life Crusade on campus (I was for a long time a deeper life student, I stopped going to deeper life or any church for that matter except for occasional attendance of crusade at the redeem camp after the Deeper life representative on campus refused to do something on my behalf concerning my HOD not registering for me, except that after he told me he had talked to him, he looked at me with pity and went his way, as if pity was action) I raised my hand up for prayers when certain prayer point was highlighted by the preaching pastor at the time and alas, I felt electric current running through and out of my body at the instant the specific prayer was said: I STILL RESPECT THE DEEPER LIFE CHURCH TILL DATE AND I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR THEIR PART IN MAKING MY LIFE A SUCCESS but I am done with the church stuff, no more christians in the world, my submission; but I must commend where commendation is needed but as for me, I am done with regular church attendance, of course I will be attending occasionally.(Actually, I think my opinion anyway, you dont need to agree with me I am one of the greatest unfolding success stories the world has ever known readers, please wish me well and make the story hold, only your good thoughts is needed and be PATIENT: was it not in the book of proverbs where I read one day: that the wise man surprised generations of established procedures and scaled the highest stronghold?). RIGHT FROM THE TIME I WAS A KID AND A TEENAGER WITH NO BRIDLE I WAS ABLE TO FACE MY STUDIES AND MENIAL LABOUR JUST BECAUSE I FOLLOWED THE PRECEPTS OF THE DEEPER LIFE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY AND WHEN THE DICE WAS CAST AND THE PEOPLE DECIDED TO WOUND ME SPIRITUALLY, DEEPER LIFE ALSO CAME AROUND AND SHOCKED ME WITH SPIRITUAL ELECRICITY TO CANCEL IT OUT MUCHAS GRACIAS - Well, my cohorts of thinking school mates (I had one advisory clique that time at Unilag, not in groups but individually, I dared not bring them together, they would refuse to reason alone but danced to the rhythms of anothers thoughts), mentioned severally that of course, that uncle is intelligent and perhaps the bolus of eba I took or the water I drank contain something that made me talked everything that was in my head in order for me to answer all their fear ridden questions. I could not even finished the Eba and Okro soup for immediately I drank the water, the naughtiness started. But I sincerely think, that Uncle did not do it anyway, maybe his wife did it without letting him know and I think it should be something between the wife and Uncle Kunle, but since I dont know, I think I should still take my advisory clique version, several heads better than one you may think. Though I would have thought it was the malaria, but even the scientist Ijebu professor would disregard that, so do I. Thinking I was actually a bad boy but I guessed he was proved wrong and perhaps regretted for using something to get words out of me. Later his son came to ask me if I remembered everything that happened to me, of course, I did not answer him, for I guessed they must have sent the little boy to ask me that question: yes, the answer is: I remembered everything I said, everything that happened not only that time but even up till now: I FORGAVE ALL. Until the smallish body, dark in complexion medical practitioner whom Tayos mother called Uncle Kunle to call, came to administer his lagartil dose, I knew everything that happened. Yes, I was still having bad belle for a lot of people that time, the only person I had actually forgiven that time was my mum but any other person who I thought had not measured up to expectation and responsibility or had hurt me one way or the other, I was not mirthful of. I actually forgave all even those who would hurt me in future and those who were hurting me then when my sister died with the foetus of her womb with no one to show me where she and the unborn baby was buried, that was the highest form of hate, hurt, humiliation and bitterness I could ever contain. I wept my heart out and then penned: PEACEFUL PRAYERS that poem was actually written by God himself and not me, I was just an instrument, when people talk about being inspired to write something, I was actually inspired. There and then I developed a very thick skin, the deepest any human being could have and I left 9ja. Another instance happened when I was having my youth service I heard about a particular school principal who engaged in many immoral and corruption practices, of course I decided to investigate, and trust me we soon became friends and in one of our discourse one day I mentioned that I can even buy them that I dont even know why they were proud and very arrogant just because their brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties had come to build big houses for them in their village. I was shocked when the man agreed! I said to myself so it is true, or is it true? You dont even respect the future of your pupils. Well thank God, that was the last time we talked.

  Scars, have you ever thought about them? Yeah! I mean scars of healed wound. Hey, I am not talking about emotional scars, I mean real scars, relics of wounds that festered. Well, if you meet someone who has no scar on his legs, arm, foot or body, count him lucky indeed for he had people to look after him well. Well, if you meet someone who has few ones on his body he also had someone to tend his wounds count him lucky too. Nevertheless if you meet someone with a lot of scars on his body, hmn! He not only had people to look after him and tend his wounds but also it means he is very adventurous beware such people can lead you astray or lead you into great and abundant life. Now, forget the one without any scar, he is not in our discuss, I mean this continued discuss. Could you please ask the one who has a scar how he came about them? If hes able to tell you a lot about those scars, it means hes very intelligent and has good memory befriend him. If you ask another and he says oh! that one, I was told I fell over a broken bottle or what have you, hmn! That means hes inquisitive and therefore a seeker of knowledge; but if he was not able to tell you about the harbinger of scars on his body especially those ones under clothing though from your perception of him, he seems intelligent, that means at least over 50% right, he did not really have anybody to take care of him when he was but a baby or no one to tell him about how he came about his scars sympathise with him, but dont pity him, such ones dont deal in pity and will never appreciate that from you. Enough of scars, I have a lot of them all over my body; especially my legs and all of them I can remember very well what brought them on, they are my unwritten biography, they help in relating written ones. They help in remembrance, though they are not mnemonics. My scars look beautiful on my body, I wear them with pride; nevertheless there is this scar on my stomach! I didnt know how I came about it and I dont have anyone to tell me how I came about it, as much as I yearn to know how I came about it; whenever I think about it, I sigh!

  Stranger or readers, are you reading my book and weeping? Hmn! I dont weep anymore, my tears have become frozen magma within my sockets. I had wept and tired of weeping. I had woken up in the middle of the night and wept. I had been aroused to tears in the afternoon in the middle of daily duties (I dont sleep and work) I had woken up in the morning and tears had been my breakfast and the only food for the day, I had sat in 'Dugbe Dugbe', 'kabukabu' and 'molue' and burst into serious weeping, whilst others would hear the bell for close of school with joyful glee I had shed tears of uncertain pains and psychological agonies. I had walked on the streets and fought back tears as my psychological agonies became compounded by seemingly hopeless situations I saw around me. Now I dont weep anymore, my tears are now frozenly hot' magma within my sockets. Yet, dear readers, I did not give up, I refused to sit and let the battering of the opposing forces deter me from the pursuits of joy, fulfilment and happiness. Yes, my situations were pathetic, even more were they pathetic to me. Therefore dear readers be moved to positive actions in your daily duties, be moved to concrete achievements I know life may be battering you too in your own ways, whether little or large, my readers, dear readers, dont give up! Let my story inspire you to concrete, constructive and positive achievement and please love life for life is sweet! (Added October 21st 2008; 10:54p.m. GMT)

  Soccer, hmn, a game of wonderful excitement! I am usually surprised that my brother Dapo did not like football at all when everyone of us did. I was usually surprised to find him uninterested whenever we did our monkey post and play 5 asides. Well, soccer is the greatest drama I have ever come across even more interesting than the operas and the orchestras. Even before I could read a newspaper was the legend of Thunder Balogun on the lips of those who could not even kick football and those of us who never saw him played always at awe when the older generations talked about his exploits in football. Of course, on the international scale, they would also pay glowing encomium on Pele and Zagalo and in fact I never knew the word for overhead bicycle kick until I saw Kevin Keegan did one in those days to score a goal (I watched the match in Uncle Dirans house) and I heard the commentator said bicycle kick, all along, we all had been calling it zagalo. Well, I would want anybody to hold on to his opinion, I never saw Pele play, although I watched some of his clips but from the perspective of my own generation and what soccer skills I have seen soccer players exhibit, I think, in my candid opinion, Diego Maradona is the greatest player of all time (you dont need to agree with me, just my own observation) Maradona, played football in an age when defenders perfected the act of getting ball from anybodys feet, in an age when football has been finessed and refined with many rules. Maradona played football like a gazelle with speed, stamina, accuracy of passes and exquisite poise. I am still searching for someone to beat that guys record in my books of standards. Thanks Maradona, you made me love football the more! It is a pity you dont play anymore but the ones you have done would be told to generations yet unborn!

  I was but a child that was not remembered. There I was because of some peoples wrong decisions and judgments I was left to die, then a nurse came from nowhere and was surprised to find me such sick, they told me that they told her that they had used all the medicine and the herbs they knew but nothing worked and had actually left me to die and go (that was four months after my mother had been sacked by the family and the law, I was nine months old), she actually came to look for her mother who was a friend to my paternal grandmother, her mother was not at my grandmothers but she immediately came back with five other nurses who according to the stories my uncles told me, worked on me and left a message that if this boy did not die before tomorrow, please take him to this hospital we were from there (I think an uncle mentioned Oworu hospital). And what happened when they got to Oworu Hospital, the hospital people fought with my family asking them why they kept me in the house without bringing me to the hospital and that those nurses were not from there? Where were they from? Another planet or were they angels? And with all the things I passed through (some evil people of this world will even tell me that I was being punished for what I did in my former life, some mildly wicked ones will tell me that I am being prepared for great tasks in life and some would even say it was because I came to the world with a great star that is why I was being disturbed not to exhibit it. To all I say, keep your nonsense to your heads and to the papers of your ignoble books of wisdom.) when I came of age and I thought about the ramifications of life and its essences and of course my life, I decided that I will take my journey with patience with whatever resource I have, I will stretch myself to the limit to develop my mind and learn (those guys called me effico in those days, they thought it was only Accounting I was studying, hmn, ever since I finished the whole introduction to financial accounting course outline in less than two weeks without even an access to a calculator, I had decided that I needed more challenges) and learn and see if with knowledge I can but help lighten the burden of my fellow being and perhaps the world. I will never rush through life, I will take learning (Hmn! I know a lot of people would drop their jaws and grow goose pimples if they should know what and what I brought on, and thank God for the internet, I just forgot about certificates, I decided to spend my money wisely (hard earned money for that matter oo) and continue to develop my mind and living and fighting the good fight of faith(?) no way, fighting the good fight of doubts and convictions for some doubts still remain and my convictions solid as anything about so many things in this world, not even their ancient holy books can remove them for some doubts are so opaque and some convictions very transparent. What some people dont realize is that there are some knowledge we need to put on the museum of the mind, some things are not just useful again, just as we have junks of materials so also are junks of the abstracts and spirituals.

  I often wonder when people want to solve the problem of poverty by tackling the physical realities of poverty without actually taking the bull by the horn and solving the problems of mans mind. I am sure some people know that it is the inherent and unbridled passions of men which if allowed to reign in uncontrollable measures result in victimization, harassment, nepotism, sadism, favoritism and the like. Tell those guys that once poverty is wiped out, they will not be able to get those girls and those boys they lure with ostentatiousness in order to indulge in sexual immorality with them, tell those guys that once poverty is wiped out they will not be able to see those who because of hunger, chronic financial distress, and homelessness succumb to the sexual advances of the cashy deliquents. Tell those guys that once poverty is wiped out that a lot of people would be able to live freely and become more assertive! Yes, I am sure that these ones realize this that is why they pay lip service to the eradication of poverty. Oh! Should I count how many number of people have begged and asked me to have sex with them (I am not talking about girls, no girl has ever asked me to have sex with her (at least not directly, African girls dont ask you directly for sex but will do so many things both physical and spiritual for that to happen, you just need to be strong to overcome such; except that two or three girls asked me severally and in separate countries I have lived in to marry them, of course they are what you call good girls and I dont think it was because of sex they asked me to marry them perhaps because of the good they see in me, I even admired their courage to do that for normally most African girls are in chains of customs and conventions, that is why I decided long after I read how Francisco d'Anconia in Atlas Shrugged protected himself to also protect myself, I actually did not know the import of the advice of the Ecclesiastes when it said: Be not over righteous and be not over wise why should you destroy yourself (those experiments in Unilag stem from the advice from that particular statements from Ecclesiastes) until I saw(when I read, I see!) the ramifications of acts of Francisco DAnconia and I remembered that even Jesus the Christ cursed a fig tree, I decided that people should not actually be seeing too much good in you if not, a lot of things you dont expect will start happening to you. And I thought, it is better sometimes to appear as if you are doing wrong without actually doing wrong in order for you to ward off advances), what do you expect those guys who asked me to indulge in such sexual immorality with them do, to see me succeed better than them? (if anything they may even go out of their ways to frustrate my efforts at succeeding). No way, so that I can expose them and tell people that sometimes ago, so and so even asked me to fuck his anus or allow him to fuck my anus. What do you think most of these seemingly difficulties you have in the society is there for, to frustrate some and make them fall into the trap set by age long useless ideologies and institutions of oppressions and of course perpetuate the vicious cycle of deceits, oppression and poverty!

  Even though I had had the inclination to do greatly, and positively too from the time I was in primary school ever since I came across Mr. Adeyemi Alamu, I had vowed in my mind not to allow my financial inadequacies to disturb me from my quest of acquiring knowledge. How can I ever forget Mr. Adeyemi Alamu anyway, the only youth corper I was ever closest to. Even though I was close to Mr. Otiko who taught me Government and some two others who taught me Economics and Biology, Mr. Adeyemi Alamu still remain the only youth corper who made the greatest impression on me. Mr. Adeyemi Alamu, I am saying thank you to you. Actually, in my reading Successful Achievement series I found at Mrs. Eperokuns house, I also came across another great character in the person of Helen Keller, and from then onwards, I have resolved that, I would rather stick to it like nothing else!

  The baptism of lectures at the Ogun State University was performed by Achilike and Bewaji. I was just in class one day when I heard Achilike said we would have a marathon lectures the next day. Actually the highest number of class work I ever had up till my admission to the Ogun State University was not more than 3 hours. Then Achilike asked us to come on a certain Saturday and so we started from around 8a.m. and dear me we did not finish until 4 Oclock! Whao, I was not expecting that, but it happened. Bewaji and Achilike had to arrange extra classes to finish the explanation of Schema as it is used in Symbolic Logic.

  I could remember that due to my financial constraints I was not able to prepare well for the Logic exam and one way or the other I passed! I did not read for that exam, I was weeping in the car on the way to the examination hall, I had actually asked Dare and Tony to wake me up, they told me they woke me up to learn but that I was too tired to rise up from the bed, I was very annoyed when I woke up at 7.00am., with nothing but class attendance in my head to do my Philosophys exam.

  In those days my inquisitive minds usually found me spying into Dare and Tonys medical books. They were usually surprised that I liked going through their books sometimes. I was just too adulterous when it comes to knowledge.

  It is not that I didnt like medicine; of course it is one of those fields of human endeavour I considered too altruistic to be in a capitalist economy system. Boda Bunmi actually argued with me to go and read medicine. He was of the opinion that I could just go to A levels and do chemistry and biology since I did well in both. When I complained that I had already done JAMB and I passed very well, he said wasnt he the one who gave me the money for the JAMB (you see ooo, people could actually dictate to you because they facilitate something, not knowing the rigours and pains I went through to get the high marks he was proud of).

  My father came to visit me only once when I was at Oru. That was the only time he came to say hi he spent roughly 10 minutes talking to Mr. Odunuga or Adenuga, his friend, who accommodated me. He spent only one minute in my room.

  The second time he would come to say hi to me was when I clocked 21 or thereabout when he came to say Happy Birthday when I was at Unilag. Actually the only card I received on my 21st birthday was from my brother Dapo. Perhaps Sola Lawal (the second one; I actually had three Sola Lawals in my life, one very early, another one just about the time I entered the university (she gave me a greetings card, she was closest to me that time. I immediately found of way of calling quit with her so that she would not be coming to disturb me and herself, how can I be in the same school and in the same department with someone who is my protg and I love. I want everybody I know to always feel free, explore and be independent. I dont put my own birds in the cage: I free them. My mates used to be surprised when I gave them my own version of marriage. Am I strange?)

  Love or whatever you call it is not wicked but callous. Hell was let loose in my life that time, she completely misunderstood me, one of my problems is that most of those (male and female) I grew up with always find it very difficult understanding me no matter how I explained, it was years later that some of them see reasons. Well, I better not talk about these things for most of them are happily married now. And the last Sola Lawal, a male, whom together with we single handedly arouse the whole orientation camp against the high handedness of the camp officials, to the extent that we carried all the Youth Corpers that time to the Governors office and the deplorable state of the camp was reversed. In order for them (those we revolted against) to do bad for me, they jettisoned me to Abiriba thinking that I would meet a Waterloo, without them knowing that they actually made me see Churchill. Oh! That reminds me, Abiriba is hilly! If your mind is positive, Abiriba would raise you. It did raise me.).

  I believe the only people that are sure about you (to a very large extent) are the witnesses around you in your formative years, those who knew you when you were growing up. No matter who ever comes after, no matter however those ones believe you or believe in you, the real people who can vouch for you are the primary people who read or are reading you, knew or are knowing you, interacted or are interacting with you. Even if you are a difficult personality like me, the people who live around you and who know you will still to a very high degree of perception, vouch for you, argue for you and even fight for you. You could ask yourself why Jesus Christs disciples all nearly died for him whilst immediately after the expiration of the last of those disciples, Christianity started enjoying period of little or no persecution. Invariably, the main message that Jesus Christ preached was also preached by these disciples for they were sure of what they believed and were partakers of the fellowship that Jesus the Christ offered and understood his teachings without polluting the message but propagated the message with pure explanation. For this reason were they almost killed inhumanly and after their demises the messages became polluted and compromised to satisfy the interest of the kings, emperors and rulers of those days. I am sure, the message attributed to Jesus Christ today, if taken critically contains only grains of the original message of Jesus the Christ.

  I remember a long time ago, when a girlfriend of mine, who happened to be the cousin of one of my JOGS mates came to complain to my room mates (I was then squatting with Fisayo Okusanya one of my school sons and a very useful one for that matter at the Eni Njoku Hall), about me: she could not understand the kind of person I was Since Fisayo Okusanya was younger than her, therefore, he could not talk to her, but Joe, who was older (Joe, a very interesting and amiable personality, you will never get tired of being in his presence, very amiable) talked sense to her head, but one thing I still remember vividly today is that Joe told her that you came all the way from Yabatech to complain about Debo, your friend, telling us that you dont understand him, when you live so far away from him, whilst we his room mates are also not able to decipher his personality, look, Debo is sort of an enigma, the best thing for you to do is to stop trying to understand him if you want to understand him. That settled it, that was the last time she tried to understand me, I intentionally left her name out because she is a family woman now.

  It was strange one day (of course to him: Adesegun Oyesanya, alone anyway) that I had not read Ernest Hemmingway or Fitzgerald. According to him they are fine writers and that I should endeavour to read them. Whenever we went to the library apart from the accounting books we would sign to borrow, Segun was sure also to borrow some of the American literature laureates and would enjoin me to also borrow. That was how I started my familiarization with American literature. The literature I had been hitherto introduced to was largely British and African. After reading the Great Gatsby, Moveable feast, For Whom the Bells Tolls, Seize the day, my appetite was whet for readings around the world, then I moved on to Classics: I read from Thackeray Makepeace, Balzac, Hawthorne, Aligheri and many others. In those days it was like a competition between me and Segun Oyesanya, on who was reading the highest number of classics. I am sure he relaxed when I left for the University of Lagos. Actually Segun had been largely influenced by his occasional visits to the United States and he made sure he co opted me to his literary quest. Not only did he introduce me to hard literature but also soft ones. Bringing me books from the United States, books written by head of multinationals, I could remember he brought some books written by Lee Iacoca and one guy like that who left GM for Opel or something, I have actually forgotten, and many other writers. Since I had been reading better yourself books from my days at JOGS, reading those books just added to my interest in such things. I was not sure there was any book that had to do with achievement, motivation or pure literary genius that Segun did not purchase or borrow and as he brought them, he made sure I had taste of them. I remembered one day that he was very annoyed with me that I gave other people the books he lent me. When I asked him if he was selfish and did not want them to also know what we know, he answered me that only if those guys would read them. He said he was sure I read a lot that was why he gave me those books and that I should not just lend those guys who would add it to their shelves without going through them. And of a truth, one of our brilliant accounting students to whom I lent one of such books ended up not reading it for more than four weeks, it was after that I collected it from him and gave it back to Segun.

  Mr. Aje taught us Cost Accounting, Mr. Omotola taught Fiuancial Accounting, Dr. Oni (on sabbactical from the University of Lagos that time) taught us Introduction to Business Management, he later taught me, Business Policy in my final years at the University of Lagos, Messrs Bewaji and Achlike taught Philosophy, Dr. Jagun (Also, on sabbatical from the University of Lagos, he later became my very good friend right from Ogun State University; and when I got to the University of Lagos, our friendship became deeper and actually, he gave me my first opportunity in feasibility report writing, I will get to his influence on my life later in the story), who else can I remember ooo. Oh! Mr. Ayanjimi taught Mathematics, who else ooo, well, some will come later.

  When we were about to leave JOGS the prize given day came, I won many prizes again and as Ive mentioned Olumide Olayinka confronted me to the fact that I won his prize and therefore he had disappointed his dad. I invariably let the matter rest when I found that they went around to cheat me out of the prize. My own is that as per achievement I have been recognized formally for it and as for the awarding of the prize, it is ceremonious. Segun Oyesanya buttressed this later when he was at Ogun State University and refused to attend the convocation even though he was supposed to deliver the Valedictory address. I was very lucky to realize very early in life the difference between success and achievement.

  The person who delivered the Valedictory address enjoined us to live our lives such that no one would despise our youth (I was like what about the bad people then I decided to make sure that only good people would not despise my youth as for the bad people around me, I would try as much as possible to make them realize the uselessness in being bad). Then the Ewi teacher read out his poem and I was shocked when he was praising my set and he singularly mentioned me that I should make sure that my gentle and omoluabi spirit does not leave me and also invariably told myself also that as for gentility, that may be jettisoned at times, but as for Omoluabi, I would ensure to maintain that. And I said, so these teachers see everyone of us! That was what happened also at the Ogun State University years later when I saw in my transfer form that Mr. Ewetade, the then HOD accounting wrote: generally reserved and quiet, I told Mrs. Eperokun that I was not expecting this, Mrs. Eperokun smiled and said, so you people think we dont see you?

  I went back to staying at Apebi, and everybody dispersed from JOGS. Oluwadare Kuku came to visit me in the house one day and decided to prevail on his dad to allow me to live with them. I started invariably living with Dare Kukus family. I sort of have two homes but then I stayed more with Dare Kuku than with any other family I knew that time who always welcomed me to stay with them. Living with the Kukus was different, there was normally no clear cut criteria for responsibilities except that we always sometimes dished out work to our brothers and sisters. We had two sisters: Kemi and Joke, Kemi was the youngest that time with Dapo being a little bit older than Kemi. Since Mr. Segun Kuku was normally at work in Lagos, I and Dare were charged with keeping the home. The mother was always at the store from the morning till the evening and more or else all our siblings were generally of good behavior except that karan (Lanre Kuku) and Ladipo Kuku were sometimes troublesome. Ladipo Kuku later became one of my students at Yaba tech. In fact, he also bulged into my class one day looking for somebody whilst I was having lectures without him knowing I was the lecturer teaching his colleagues.

  I used the waiting time to read books, attend night vigils (those WAEC people really played hide and seek with my results) and worked on Mr. Segun Kukus poultry farm. I really enjoyed my stay at the Kukus. I ate eggs ooo, plenty eggs, I always dashed off to fry eggs upstairs. Adejoke was somebody who liked me somehow in that house, she always wanted to make sure I had eaten and always pretending so that nobody would accuse her of being partial. I think she later attended Our Lady of Apostles. She was also at Unilag? Akeem Kuku was the most gentle and easy going. Whilst I and Dare Kuku were always having things to do, Akeem Kuku may be in the house without actually going anywhere or talking to anybody. He was more generally reserved and quiet. Dapo hated cheating. He hated being rode upon and you could imagine the kind of commotion that usually arose when Lanre or Ladipo bullied him. We always came to his rescue anyway. Left to Lanre and Ladipo, they may invariably bully Dapo anyhow. There was this Uncle of theirs who was interested in Politics right from his days at University of Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University). He was a lot like their father in appearance and he liked politics in those days I am not sure if he is still into politics. Then there is Ibrahim, I know little about him, his mother and siblings but they are also part of the larger Mr. Segun Kukus family. Mr. Segun Kuku had a Mercedes Benz car that was light metallic brown in colour which was always new. It was usually packed in the garage and rarely used except on special occasions. Of course, I shared Dares room, Ladipo, Lanre and Akeem slept downstairs with us, they had plenty rooms whilst the younger ones slept upstairs. Then there is Folahan Kuti (the last born of their maternal grandmum, he was born with silver spoon in his mouth as far as Ijebu and its environs is concerned. A very dynamic and loveable personality and a very handsome guy too. He had numerous admirers who are girls. He was always visiting his brother abroad. He was also at OSU? He also admired me the way Dare Kuku did. He usually complained that I went to Church too much. One thing I admired about Dare and Anthony Ejorh (those two brilliant boys lived just a stone throw away then), they dare not watch some films whenever I was around, they respected, really respected my Christian inclination then, even though Dare may say that such and such film was okay for me to watch, whenever Anthony knew that I was around or was coming around, they would immediately put it off so that I would not see it, I really appreciated that in them and admired it, but I was sure they did not know that I knew this that time. Anthony Ejorh had three beautiful sisters: Victoria, Francisca, and Juliet (Juliet was very young in those days but we seemed to understand each other and operate almost on the same psychic wavelength, the only difference was that I was a Christian. I was sure, Anthony did not realize this) I think Victoria was more beautiful in those days than the rest, she taught me some Christian songs which I still remember till date. Then there was Henry (had inclination to genius like his brother Anthony), Francis and Charles. I was always interested in eating their mothers version of Fufu and Vegetable soup. The delicacy of such a food we all were always eager to eat even when we got to Ogun State University. Whenever his parents came to pay him a visit, you would see boys passing around to say hi to Anthony in order to eat his special kind of Fufu that his mother brought.

  Have you ever wondered why it is that though there are claims that man had a past life time yet man is not able to remember such? The answer is not far fetched! Ask the Indians they have the answers!! How can goat remember its life time as a fish and how can man remember his lifetime as a pig? Perhaps those who did not remember their past life time were either animals whose consciousness is different from that of man in their previous lifetime or better still they played too much in the spirit realm before they finally made it to earths consciousness and born as a human being. Talking about shortcuts, the few spiritual researches I have done yielded with the findings that most of these shortcuts that people take to life (of course, a lot of people would have generally cheated if there were no invigilators, and some even do despite and in life the law is not enough an invigilator) are just covenants signed with spirits unknown. The little I have gleaned from some of the books from the other side especially legend of the Jews and perhaps the Mahabharata, and some little little ones not worth mentioning here and there is that, we all have 1000years to live! And afterwards comes judgements but before your 1000years elapsed, perhaps some souls must have tasted hell from those they signed covenants with. So it is the cycle of 1000years each in tastes of eternity that determines so many things that happen to man. And the shortcuts each of us use to life and the sins cut these down and if you dont have Jesus the Christ, the rest would be spent coming in various clothings: whether animals or plants and even human beings, that is why Jesus the Christ had to sacrifice with His own life in order to create a place for you! Of course there are also other powerful entities who had built cities in the spiritual realm. Those Catholics were right ooo, as long as Jesus the Christ is concerned, it is pertinent for you to have him just before you died for the operating system that lies in your psyche just before you leave this world is what you will meet when you leave your body! The natural law is close to the spiritual law, what you sow you will reap there is no vacuum anywhere! I am not sure about hell but I sure know that those entities who helped you with shortcuts are the ones who created the hell to which they put you when you leave this world! That Nicodemus must have been a very wise man, he knew though he was Judaist, that what Jesus the Christ was preaching was something concrete and worth considering. Reader, listen, have you ever wondered why even Satan fought for the body of Moses? Hmn! I never knew why these christians snatched Jesus the Christ, He was for everybody not only Christians, so even if you are not Christians and I know you must have used a lot of shortcuts in life, be careful and give Jesus the Christ the same careful thoughts and consideration that Nicodemus gave Him. You can also do it in secret and not let the people in your religions know. For after all, it will be you and only you to give account! One of the reasons I refused to help myself Ijebu wise (apart from my stubborn and inquisitive attitude) was that ever since Taofick Adafejo made mentioned of the fact that I always leave when people were about to be punished was my mind inclined to think about the Yoruba phrase: Bi elese ba nji ya, olododo a ba pin ni inu re. Then it was later in life I came to realise that the more you dont demand help from others, because you dont know how they came about their resources, the more you will be free from suffering with the wicked when they are being punished! The olododo that shared in the punishment of the wicked had already aided, abated and even enjoyed the ill-gotten wealth and resources of the wicked! I was in Ajibode one day when an old man pointed out to me that the Bible even said that: he who hates gifts loves life. So man, be careful, question every gift you are given, it is better to stay happy with the little you have than collect the gift of the wicked and thus shared in their punishments. Apart from the fact that I embraced objectivism when I found it years on the internet after reading Atlas Shrugged, I had always tried to give something back from whoever gave me anything.

  Actually, I had wanted to use the Sixth and Seven books of Moses a long time ago, at an age when most people will never think of such things to a teenager. I was in what is now known as JSS 2 or JSS 3. (fathers if you know your child is inquisitive, you better pay attention to what he reads). I remember that Anthony Ejorh said jokingly in those days when we were in 4k that hey Debo, the way you are always wearing red like this, I hope you are not in anything fishy spiritually I just realised that though I had become born again then, I was still sticking to the rudiments of those other spiritual books I had read, so I stopped wearing the red sweater!Well, no one knew anything about me anyway, but somehow, I was able to get the key to the sixth and seventh books of Moses, but not the actual book. I and Kayode who were interested in exploring and using the book to our advantage as we have read and heard from older people when they talked. I was ready to solve my numerous problems, become a superman and command legions of angels at will (childhood fantasies). So I asked my friends who are curious like me about how to get the sixth and seven books of Moses. Then Kayode came to me one day to tell me that he found someone who was ready to lend us the Sixth and Seventh books of Moses. Only on the condition that the two of us will always use it together and that not only him or me will use it. We were both not only ambitious but very determined in life. Of course, we both had our childhood problems, except that Kayode had his mother with him and of course his step father was never at home (Oh! Kayode, that nice guy, where is he now anyway? We lost touch with each other after about six months after that particular incident). So I and Kayode planned to go and meet the man who had the book. But on that same weekend, I was reading the Bible and I came around a particular place where I read that the angels had to fight the devil for the body of Moses, I was surprised, asked myself why? Then I started thinking about that particular thing that I read, then my mind went to conclude that perhaps God did not really send Moses, that he might have done what he did because of his personal ambitions and perhaps he was not an Israelites as he claimed, I really gave that thing a thorough thought (one of the things I used to do in those days and which I have somehow perfected now, is that considering the fact that my household chores were routines, you may see me actually washing a plate, sweeping the floor or washing the car, alas, I was not there, I might have taken on the wings of thoughts, soaring to uncharted course in my imaginations.). It was years later when I was at the University of Lagos and reading something about Sigmund Freud, that I found someone who supported my views about Moses. I actually did not read the particular book, but I found out that it was mentioned in passing in one of the things I read. You may want to ask me why I read Freud when I was reading Accounting, In those Unilag years, as much as it started from JOGS, I was still looking for myself, so many of my classmates in the University had caught me reading books from other fields different from Accounting and used to wonder what kind of person I was, alas, they never knew where I was coming from, I never told them anyway, even those who think they were close to me knew only an iota of me. Moreover, I remember when I first entered the University of Lagos library I was impressed by the volumes of books, the arrangements and the fact that it has air conditioners installed. I felt very proud and told myself that even though I came here to read Accounting I would avail myself of the various books in this library and would make sure I gained something from as many fields of human endeavour as much as possible. The librarians were every efficient in those days and of course effective too. They even worked 24 hours! Kudos to you guys in those days. Also, the fact that Mr. J. P. Lawrence our Auditing cum Taxation lecturer once told us one day that the Accountant must be universal that he must be conversant with as many fields as possible, made me to even have course to read things that are not necessarily in the Accounting domain. Though when I entered the University of Lagos, I was supposed to read Accounting on getting to the Unilag library one day, I saw the huge piles of books, I danced joyously inwardly and as I moved closer and skimmed round the shelves, I told myself that I would range almost every course on this campus! And I did even those not taught in the University. I had realized the fact of Chinese becoming relevant in the near future and I studied how to write Chinese characters on my own. That was in the late eighties and early 1990s. A lot of my Akoka friends were usually surprised how much I helped them in their assignments, they never knew that I ranged even their courses. I will soon start a course in Chinese Language, to refresh my memory and perhaps I will use it productively this time.

  So we actually talk about the atrocities that Hitler perpetuated against the Jews but we never talked about the atrocities that Moses perpetuated not only against the psyche of the Jews but also other races that Moses made the Jews to overrun? Hmn! The fact that someone is performing miracles does not mean the person is from God! Or God sends him! The problem was actually not the Jews, the problem was from Moses Pharaoh Egypt (what else do you expect from an ancient civilization that was reeled and mired in blood pillage and fury). I for one, had been questioning any kind of miracle that I see around, most of them are replete with magic!! Well, weekend came I did not bother again to go to Kayodes for the book, though he lived a stone throw from where I stayed at Ikangba Housing Estate, I could have used one of the excuses of going to fetch water or something like that to go to his house, but on this occasion I did not bother to go but on Monday morning considering the fact that I did not want him to talk too much about my not showing up, I gave him the key to the sixth and seventh books of Moses and told him I was not interested again. Actually, after my bouts of thoughts, I started thinking that perhaps the people who compiled the bible really know the truth what is why they did not include those two books or perhaps for other reasons. One thing people dont realize about Genius is that not only do you have hardwork ( a very hard one for that matter) but also at its most sublime subconscious level lies sincerity which is not plain to the generality of the people, but very glaring to few minds. As for me, I will continue to admire the Jews not only for their Genius but also for their hardworking spirit. They are a blessing to mankind. Methinks the pyramids (in sense and in reality) were built by the forebears of the Jews for of course ziggurats preceded pyramids (well you dont need to agree with me). And if not by the Jews, then by some people from other constellations and planets and I think if we are looking for the relics of such we should check those deserts, especially Gobi deserts we would be able to get something to lead us to when those deserts were oceans? For the magnetic fields of the earth must have deflected their aircrafts and sometimes they must have crash landed in certain places. (Added December 11th 2008; 8:44p.m. GMT)

It was even from the time I was a primary school pupil I noticed that people like me are not predisposed to doing wrong. I could remember vividly that some of the time if I did something wrong I would come around to meet it. For example, I could spit on the rail and just go. Do you know what, I would come back unknowingly to use my hand to touch the same rail and the saliva or sputum I put there! That did not remove the fact that perhaps I did spit unknowingly and immediately I did that my spirit would tell me: go and look for something to clean it, of course, the many household chores and the distractions from the incessant calls from my stepmother might actually make me forget, nevertheless, I would still come back to use my hand to clean unknowingly the same sputum or saliva I put there. Though, I knew very early in life the satisfaction that comes from doing good things and making life bearable for another, lifting good things up and uphold things of positive virtues and usually striving to uphold such yet, sometimes I just felt lazy or despondent. However, I thanked provident that most of the time, I always strive to do such. And of course, some of the time, the good turn around to me.

There are a lot of cases to support this view of mine. There I was, whilst trying to cater for myself, I found myself teaching this girl in JSS2 or was it JSS1. I was at the University of Lagos, and of course, we had to be going to peoples homes to teach their kids and I found myself teaching a little girl that was not yet 15 then, she went by the name Imade (I will not mention her surname). I found that I was attracted to this girl, and of course I went back to tell guys that I was attracted to this girl I was teaching and of course, guys said, hey, are you stupid, that is your fringe benefit I should just talk to her and start doing things with her. I looked at them and shook my head, and I continued to teach her, but it became unbearable and I had to abandon teaching her, forgot about even collecting any money from them, for I could not contain the kind of body chemistry I used to feel whenever I was with her. But then, in order for her to know that I did not leave her just for leaving sake, I wrote a poem for her and left her.

Readers do you know what, I came across this girl later when I was doing part time lectureship at Yaba Tech! In those days, when they found that you are extremely hard working they give you so many responsibilities (men, I used to think I was hardworking until I came across Olubi at Yaba Tech, that man can work hard, I have never come across someone who can work hard like Olubi, and he would be smiling a very wide one for that matter - and enjoying it, though I had friends there who were also hard working, I could conveniently tell you that Olubi surpassed everyone I had met who worked hard, of course he was not the only hardworking lecturer then at Yaba Tech, people like Napo my friend and former room mate at Unilag, Mr. Ajinde, and of course the big man Akeju I used to compare who worked harder whether it was Mr. Akeju or Mr. Olubi, but because Mr. Akeju was much more a superior and would delegate tasks to people sometimes and would of course had people to do his chores at home because he was married, I just felt that Olubi was the man, I really admired that guy in those days), one of such benefits and responsibilities is that for two days during the examination period, I had to be going up and down the whole school invigilating students (a kind of supervisor of invigilators). Well, there I was going up and down, checking ID cards with faces and the rest. When it comes to the issues of examination, I dont random anything. I went to all the classes, checked every face, and I had to do this very quickly within the examination hours, come and see the way I ran around like a bee! There I was, I looked at the ID card of a lady sitting by the window, and I read Imade something something, I shouted very softly immediately: 'I know this name', and I looked at the face, the face had changed and that little girl had become a lady and I left. Of course, she was doing examination and I left her but I told one of the invigilators in that class to make sure he gets me her particulars.

Dear Readers, could you believe I never went after this girl afterwards. In fact I even found myself toasting this same girl in a kabukabu some two weeks after that particular incident without realising that she was IMADE! Actually, I had not asked the invigilator about the particulars I asked him to get for me, but funny enough, one day, I just came out of the Nigerdock Computer Room at Unilag and immediately I got out of the Engineering Faculty I saw this girl again, just like jamming her and I shouted again: Imade!. Well, she told me she came to see her uncle and I took her to Asaolu a lecturer friend of mine at Unilag, who actually introduced me to the computer and Microsoft visual basic (the way we people suffered with computer in those days, people used to be surprised how much computer and Microsoft I know, they did not know that I had no home that time and Nigerdock Computer Room was my home and I literally slept, drunk and ate computer and Visual Basic coupled with C++ for according to Asaolu we had to find computer solutions to engineering problems, in those days, writing codes wasnt easy, you programmers are enjoying now oo, hmn! The way we suffered with Visual Basic 4 and C++ in those days? I have learnt my lesson now, as far as the computer is concerned, if I am not using any program productively, I would not learn it and I would wait for them to do all their updates and their versions before venturing to learn it), and I told Asaolu the story between Imade and me. I told her she could come to pay me a visit, for when I was not at Yaba Tech, she could always find me at the Nigerdock computer room. Meanwhile, she asked me about the time I was usually around at Nigerdock Computer room, asked me about the course I taught and then she told me about her room mate Doyin, (I guess that is her name? and she read Graphic Design?) who used to come to their room to tell tales about a particular very young (I was approaching 30 that time, but because I looked very young people sometimes took me for a small boy) lecturer who used to come to class without a book and would teach everything from his head and that when they checked the books they would find everything I had said exactly the way they wrote them in books (girls go with gossips?), she told me that I was the person that they were talking about with her not knowing that she knew me! Reader, Imade made me realize later that she was the same person I was toasting inside the Kabukabu some two weeks after the first re-encounter and I said henhenh, she said yes and she took my mind to the clothes I was wearing and the time and I realized it was true, and I told myself, 'in fact I really liked this girl'. Well, do you know what readers, this girl brought back the poem I wrote for her some 7 years before this time! I was shocked that she kept it, and I told myself that I was right, that girl must have felt the same thing. Readers, from then on, she invariably became my handbag, she would come to visit me at the Nigerdock computer room, we would talk, play, we would go out to eat (we did everything a girl and a boy would do together but we kept the bounds of morals clean she was a catholic - even though we passionately held each other sometimes). Then came the moment of truth: She said: Jude, (she did not like calling me Debo! If she didn't call me Adebosoye or Ade, she would call me Jude), I have been coming here for sometime now, whenever I come, you usually give more attention to your work, I mean the computer than me, you have to tell me today, which one you will choose, you either choose me or the computer I was perplexed by that statement and the answer it implies. I was caught in between, and I told myself, that this girl did not know my life at all, I felt If I chose her then, I was sure to get married before the age of forty, I could not tell her I was not ready to get married then, for of course If I had decided to get married then, Imade would have been my wife, I thought even though I love her, I would choose the computer so that she would go her way and would make her escape the patience that is my life (for which girl can wait for someone for years on end?)! So I chose computer, it was painful though, for the closest companionship I have ever had with any female folk that is of 'love', affection and desire for life long companionship was with her, but then, I could not allow my dream to disturb someones else fulfilling her parents (she had very good parents, and in fact the mother even told me that one of my uncles used to be her friend when she was like us! Readers, are these coincidences? In fact, the person I did not really like at all out of those uncles of mine was the person who was her friend. Funny enough I shared some bodily features with this same guy (as far as I am concerned, hes a guy), those Ogunade eyes, I can count about three of those uncles of mine and my 'dad' who shared my eyes, and in fact, I used to think I am not an Ogunade but whenever I remember those guys eyes, I used to feel dejected but of course I used to tell myself in those days, especially when I was at JOGS that I am not an Ogunade that of course, Gbuyi has my eyes, Omotayo Balogun has my eyes, Dare Kuku has my eyes. In fact, I am waiting for my mother to tell me that I am not an Ogunade, then I would be very happy and would not even bother changing my Nationality again!).

Readers, that was the last time Imade came to visit me. Later I saw her in a carnival that her church (Imade is a good example of a catholic) organized, I met her around Fadeyi area of Lagos. It was while I encountered Imade again that I was greeted with the news of my sisters demise and of course, I decided to leave Nigeria and whilst on the plan, another girl came around who was like a friend of mine, something like an acquaintance, just a friend with no string attached even I remember having told Smith or Abijo that I like the girl, came around and since I like reading signs and symbols, I felt, perhaps she would be my wife! But then, the story of Imade has not ended, Imade is an Ishan lady, to be an Ishan you must have come from the eastern Bini (Benin) side. As I learnt from the perspective of History that I hold, the Binis are the rebellious siblings of the Yorubas and in fact the Ishans also are even the rebellious siblings of the Binis. But then, all the Ishan people I have met so far have had special likeness for me, they usually respect me, and dont trouble me at all, and I used to think why? Even before I re-encountered Imade, I worked for an Ishan man at Ibadan, that man never owed me, my colleagues used to complain that he withheld their salaries, well, he paid me promptly instead, and in fact, I used to go to him to collect my money sometimes even before the month ended. It was when I met Imade again that my mind went to how the man dealt with me and I used to think, was it because of the positive influence on Imade that I created that made me to be in the Akashic good books of the collective psyches of the Ishans? Or there is something else involved that I didnt know about? Life is such mystery sometimes no doubt

Talking about mysteries, I have encountered a lot of them, I remembered when I was doing the NYSC stuff at Abiriba, there was this girl that replied to my thought! I was shocked one day when I called her name and she looked in my direction I was shocked. I said what, I tried it again, yet she looked in my direction, I was surprised and I refused to tell her. I was like perhaps I was being set up spiritually (am I too cautious?)So I quickly believe to some certain extent that some people talk to one another through their thoughts. In Abiriba, I was also close to Charity, whose father Mazi Okafor told me so many things about the Ibo Man. It was from him I learnt the real reason why Ibos don't prostrate like we, the Yorubas do. According to him, they used to do that but it happened that some people started abusing it, making sure that whoever prostrate to them die before them, collect their good lucks (ori re?) and many other things he told me. My mind then went to what I used to hear or think about when I was just a growing kid at Ijebu - Ode, and the fact that there was this uncle of mine who used to complain to my father that whenever he came around I don't greet him, perhaps he thought I was doing it intentionally, perhaps I was not even there, I was somewhere in the pages of Wole Soyinka or Chinua Achebe or one other of such.

Actually, the Ibo man is the best that has ever happened upon the body polity called Nigeria. It is just that a lot of people are too biased and tribalistic to adduce to this fact. I am sure Chief Obafemi Awolow realized that and refused to let them go. If the Ibo man should leave Nigeria, then what is Nigeria. An average Ibo man (what am I saying ke, almost all of them) are deterministic and would not allow anyone to ride them anyhow, but we the Yorubas and our friends the Hausas (the three of us are about the major ethnic groupings in Nigeria) are just too much of Olundu. In fact if the average Yoruba man is an Olundu, hmn, then just raise that to the power of something from 2 to infinity that is how much an average Hausa man is. We just allow delinquents and corrupt people to not only mismanage our economy but also mismanage our lives by making us corrupt too. Or what would happen if a man had to be made to struggle for existence. It is a known fact that even the most pious person would result to crime if faced with strenuous existence. Ibo man, please dont leave 9ja, please dont secede again. I just wonder when these other people would be mature enough to give you the reign of power and if you get it, I am sure youre going to turn that country around for good. I am sure the other oppressive people know this that is why they are refusing to hand over power to you anyway. More or less thanks for your various enterpreneurial and innovative products. I will always appreciate you. I dont know why they started Nigerias democracy without an Ibo man at the helm anyway and not only at the helm but with most of them at key positions. In fact, the only countries that are practising democracy in West Africa anyway are Ghana and Mali, all others are just doing their own thing and not practising anything. Nigeria is not matured for democracy at the time it was introduced. Most people complain about their inability to hide their anger they never know or perhaps have read their psychology books amiss, for when someone expresses his emotions quickly, such person will not hold grudges against you and such a person would in fact be creative, I think that is one of the reasons they are very creative, I am sure a lot of my readers know what is Igbo made? You go to Nigeria you will see a lot of it. In fact, if you are looking for a good friend, choose an Igbo man, for such a person will not hide his feelings about you and if you hurt him he would show his anger and if you really seriously hurt him he would even brandish cutlass and promised hell but that is all about it, after the hullabaloo he would just be gentle and would not wait until your children become adults before punishing you or wait until several years to come to punish you for hurting him...(Added February 15, 2009; 4:44pm GMT)

  At the Ogun State University, there were lots of fun both outside the class and inside the class, the fun outside the class I refused to participate but the fun inside the class I duly availed myself of. It was like every class, an exciting experience and usually students amused themselves of the isms, ists, the cals, and the rest. Yes, we had two lecturers who taught us Pol 101, one of them became my very good friend, the other lived close to my fathers house at Ikangba, Honourable Okuwa he was called. There was this day I was in the class, due to my strenuous existence, I could not really concentrate and before 15 minutes into the class of 2 hours I was already adrifted into a little sleepy reverie and out of the blue I heard laughter erupt from my classmates, what was that I supposed, it jolted me back into reality, the cause of the eruption was the fact that someone out of the whole lot somewhere had made a mistake (I am sure he must have done it intentionally) of pronouncing tribalism, treebalism! Oh! I was grateful for such eruption, I would have missed the salient points of such a discussion and in order for me to thank the guy for waking me up as such, I repeated verbatim in class in my question to Honourable Okuwa, how the guy pronounced tribalism( I doubted if he did not report me to my dad afterward). Anyway, I asked Honourable Okuwa Sir, but how can we solve this problem of treebalism, the whole class erupted again! That was what he had just corrected! Yet, I made the same mistake, (Yeah, one of the quotations of one of those Nigerias presidents I have in my head goes thus: It will amount to irresponsibility to repeat old mistakes which are correctable, Yes, readers, strife not to make the same mistake twice, ok, if you are not sharp enough, dont make it thrice, ok, I give you up to five times. Think about it, it is a wise saying. I dont know who said that perhaps Abacha, perhaps, Babangida, but it is between the two of them, but then it is a very wise saying, dont mind me, whenever I see something of virtue and true spirit, I put it in my head!) but then, I actually knew what I was doing, how can I say thank you to that guy (and of a truth, we, of course some of us, usually say something out of the ordinary to keep the class on its toes so that people can get interested in what they were learning, things that would definitely make the class erupt), well, Okuwa was like, Debo, what did you say? I repeated my question and pronouncing tribalism exactly the way the guy had said it. He looked at me askance, thinking I would be afraid to say the wrong thing when it was the wrong thing that made me pay attention in class and not drifted away into sleepy reverie. Well, Okuwa knew me well, knew I was a good student, knew I was a JOGS (he was a JOGS too) so he intentionally wrote: tribe on the board and asked me to pronounce it, of course, that was not what the guy did not pronounce very well, so I pronounced tribe the way it should be pronounced, he was satisfied, he then wrote: tribalism on the board, I looked at the black board, I looked at the direction of the class where the guy who whose mispronunciation jolted me out of sleep was sitting, I told myself, I cannot disappoint this guy, then I pronounced tribalism as treebalism again, the whole class roared again (I said, thats right, any other student still revering would have been jolted by now), Okuwa smiled, then wrote, tribe again, I pronounced it correctly again, then as if he knew I was bawaing the other guy, he continued the class but said that, joke aside, we should all take a look back into our pronunciation. I am sure he knew I did the treebalism deliberately, but I am sure he would be surprised I was not afraid of him! Well, I believe if anyone is part of what I belong, that person should really do very well, on a more serious note, I cant bear to be in a class whilst my classmates are not doing well, I wont like that. I always want whatever I am part of to be successful as am also successful. But then, I think I made a mistake about that when I was in Unilag, I could remember Olumide Bewaji warned me about it, but I refused, there was this guy called Femi Ogunbanwo, I did not actually know him when he was at JOGS, he was never in the limelight at JOGS nor did he ever come into any spotlight, yet when he told me he was from JOGS when I met him at a JOGSOBA meeting at Unilag, I embraced him like a brother, he even told me he wanted to contest for the general secretary and told me that there was a JOGS in that position a previous year and he wanted to take the opportunity to continue there (he mentioned the guy as Kunle Idowu Ilori, this guy, I will always appreciate you Kunle Idowu Ilori, thanks for your help! You were a true JOGSOBA! UP JOGS, if not for that guy, only God knows what they would have done to my quest for learning! But then we will come to that story later on), so when Femi Ogunbanwo told me about his ambition to contest for the general secretary of the Student Union Government (I dont even know anyway, it seems the ghost of J.M.A. Ogunade was always following me, I always had a hand in the successive elections at Unilag when I was there, there is hardly anyone who became elected to any post at Unilag that did not have my rubber stamp of approval and of course assistance in terms of campaign and persuasion of students to vote for him). Being a JOGS member, I embraced him, I helped him, Olumide Bewaji warned me, and was even annoyed with me that why should I leave him to go and campaign for another person, I told Olumide that of course, you were going for finance and he was going for Gen Sec., I do both at the same time, that Femi is a JOGS member and as such I should help him; but Olumide said, why should you do something for someone who is not helping you in any way, not giving you anything or assisting you in anything (I was Olumides room mate at Jaja Hall that time, we were usually doing things together, he was much like a figure of Boda Bunmi that time to me, and I really appreciated his presence in my life that time, I just regretted not having listened to him that time, as if he was a soothsayer or a magician, he told me his father was a reverend minister, but I bet perhaps the father was an herbalist or something for the manner that guy helped me one day when I was so sick that started vomiting and nearly collapsed, the manner with which he turned ordinary weed into medicine still surprised me till this day, and when I asked him what kind of leaf was that he brushed it off as one of those herbal medicine we dont usually take cognizance of. Thanks Olumide, you are in my good book.) So, I campaigned for Femi Ogunbanwo, even fasted and prayed that he would win, of course he won, and as God would have it, it was when he became the Gen Sec. of the S.U.G. of Unilag that I had the problem of refusal to sign my registration form by Dr. Omolehinwa, I was surprised, instead of Femi Ogunbanwo to come to my aid, the way I went to his aid, he did not and instead he was making jest of me, I was shocked, I also went to Hafiz Lawal he was also blaming me, I was perplexed then I really knew that this guy never wished me well. Then I remembered Olumide Olayinka at JOGS and intentionally asked them their timetables (Hafiz Lawal and Femi Ogunbanwo)when they would finish their lectures and so on. I decided to be always at the table tennis spot whenever they would be returning from their lectures, so that they would think I used my time with table tennis, I was surprised when they bought it. I was alarmed! Me! Debo Ogunade, who have had inclination to do wonderfully well in life when some people were using their resources to play cashy in the secondary school, then I thought about Sanya, one of our JOGS members and I wept and I thought, only God knows what they must have done to that guy. I thought I would never forgive Femi Ogunbanwo, but then, when my sister died, I forgave everyone!

  Anyway, at JOGS we were taught Grammar, plenty of it, but we were never taught phonetics, no teacher taught us Oral English, but because I checked dictionary a lot, I knew how some words are pronounced. It was a strange thing to me one day to see that it was only JOGS that had the problem of Oral English, there was this girls school that had Oral English in its curriculum I was surprised when I peeped into my childhood sweethearts subjects one day and I saw Oral English, I was shocked! I told Tokunboh that, look, they do Oral English at Our Lady but not here, Tokunboh replied that he had made the case to the principal already and that the reply he had was that we are not girls that it is only girls that should bother about good pronunciation and not us. Of course, when I left Nigeria, I realized that my pronounciation was awful, not only this, because I could write French I thought I knew French, but thank God for the opportunity of AIESEC in Abidjan, I could still be speaking Nigerias French, all along I thought I knew how to speak French, but my sojourn at the Universite de Cocody under the auspices of AIESEC really made me know that I did not know how to speak French back then when I was in Nigeria, though my Spanish was good when I was in Nigeria, I could easily understand Ramon and Rev. Fr. Munoz when they spoke and I could rattle a lot of Spanish before I left the shores of Nigeria, nevertheless, my French was awful! But then my sojourn in Abidjan, made me realize that I did little of French pronounciation and I availed myself of the opportunity at the Universite de Cocody to improve my French. That was also what happened when I got to Ghana a year afterward, I was like, Hey these Ghanaian English is close to what I hear the British speak! So we are not even speaking Queens English in Nigeria! Actually, the fact that Yoruba words do not have the pronounciation of H in their phonetics compounded the case. Also, when I got to Ghana, I availed myself of the opportunity of improving my spoken English, I was surprised, though, to find the general grammatical construction in Ghana being not as standard as that that I had even before I left secondary school, nevertheless, I bowed for their spoken English and I strove to improve that aspect of my life. Thank God when I started learning Arabic, I was even more impelled to know how to pronounce my H.

  Dr. Adedokun Jagun, one of the most profoundly sincere, liberal, intelligent, and hard working friend and lecturer I have ever enjoyed! How did I meet this man? There I was walking from the Ibadan Station to my house at Ikangba to collect my weekly 15naira. Yes, when I got to the university, my father decided that ok, he would increase my 5 naira per week to 15 naira, when I heard that, I nearly wept in his presence, but then since I crossed the Rubicon, I had braced myself up for the Nile, I could not believe with all the begging and the calling all his brothers and sisters to talk to me that I would still be collecting 15 naira every week? My readers do you know what was 15 naira in those days, it was the transport money to and fro from Lagos to Ibadan (depending on the type of vehicle you took). That was what that man said he would give me, he said he had discussed with my step mother and that he felt that would just be enough for me that I should be coming to his house to collect it every weekend! Readers do you know what, before I even met Mrs. Eperokun, that 15naira had dwindled to whenever he liked! Whao! I was very annoyed, but then, I used to think, that what about those guys who sat about Uncle Soyes sitting room at Ijebu Ode advising me to take my fathers advice and give him another opportunity in sponsoring my education, couldnt they do something? Couldnt they ask their brother how much he had decided to spend for my weekly or monthly upkeep, couldnt they tell me to list the things that I thought I would need to make my sail through the university smooth? I was very annoyed at them, or I thought, do they want me to come to plead with them, beg them or f**g me before helping me? Arent we cognates? I was perplexed and I was very annoyed with Bunmi for deserting me (I actually thought Bunmi travelled abroad! But I am sure now that that guy just disappeared, I dont think he travelled anywhere, what they did with him, only God knows). So on my way along the highway, of course as for roads, Nigeria has a very beautiful network as far as the western part of Nigeria is concerned, even villages have tarred roads! You cannot say the same for the Eastern part of Nigeria, those roads were (I dont know if they have done something concrete about the roads there now) not only deplorable but awfully appalling. And come and see the ways the drivers drove fast and at the same time avoiding potholes here and there! When I was leaving for Isiala Ngwa (where we had our orientation camp), in fact leaving for the East for the first time, I was praying, I was very alarmed the manner the drivers drove, seeing an oncoming vehicle and still overtaking the one in front of them, I was very alarmed and being an Ijebu boy, I was like I didnt tell anybody I was going for my youth service, so what kind of driving is this? After, I lost two years at Unilag, I had developed the phobia of telling anyone any good thing I am doing to myself. And I looked at the face of commuters around me, calm, not minding the turmoil in my mind. I was perplexed, but then after the second commuting, I was also used to it! So there I was, walking along die Autobahn, a mini one you may say, where, instead of Gebaude und Fabriken, on Rechts und links you have Die Hauser and I think there is one hotel called Yisade on that same road, anyway, I passed by a man washing his car, a maroon/ox blood or was it red kind of Mazda 626? Well, I cannot really remember very well now, anyway, washing his car all by himself, I was actually surprised to find this man washing his car by himself, that was the first time I saw a Yoruba middle aged man washing a car, most of the time you find someone else washing their cars. And I had actually passed before it registered in my mind that wait oo, is that not the man who taught me Pol 101 on Wednesday? I was like he looked like him, yes, it is him, that was the car he drove, but why was he washing his car by himself, does not have a child, nor an unfortunate nephew or niece that could do that for him? (that was the example I had in my head, those guys would not leave you alone to fill your heads with books, they would always be sending you here and there without giving you anything for your work for them, no wonder I embraced Ayn Rands objectivism). And I thought, a lecturer, an intellectual, washing his car by himself, did not give the car to another person to wash for him, hmn, well let me continue on my way jooo. I better get home before that man who called himself my dad went out. That was the dialogue I had in my head but then another thing came into my mind: wasnt that the example of a man I was looking for, someone who would lead by example? Then let me go to him to wash his car for him, havent I done such to those who did not warrant that before, he has at least impressed me, but then I had vowed not to be too close to my lecturers, but I thought, this guy may be different ooo, hmn! What if I become so much close to him that he would decide to give me marks when I have not done so much well to deserve such a mark? Ever since I had an unbelievable experience with my Indian Mathematics teacher at JOGS (Mr. Shammah) I had vowed not to be close to my teachers for them to know me and look at my face to give me marks. How did that happen anyway, there I was in my fourth year at JOGS, I had actually not gone to school for like one week, and I heard that they had a test in Mathematics and it was Variation and that I had to come to school to take my test, and I thought, that means I might not have money the next week because I had to go out of school alternate day or alternate week to work if not, I might not get money to eat or to wash my school uniform. So when I heard that they had a test in 4k, I quickly got to school that morning and was looking for someone to teach me variation, good enough, 4k had their test, remaining 4S (4G had theirs too I guess) so I had to sit with 4S students to take my test. But then? What is variation? So who would teach me variation? So I started asking guys to teach me variation, ok, Lekan Sansan and some other guys came around and they quickly taught me variation for about 7 to 10 minutes and I went to 4S to take my test, Mr. Shammah being someone who wasted time less, started marking the script in our presence, everybody was around to of course see what Debo Ogunade would get (those guys were all always interested in my results, though I was only particular about Omodehins, Ejorhs, Dare Kukus, and Baloguns result, in my case; not only were those guys who I was particular about their results also particular about mine but invariably also everybody in 4k and 4G was always interested in what Debo Ogunade would get! Ha!). Because I had not prepared enough, and I did not think that the 7 to 10 minutes they used to teach me variation was enough for me to get a good mark in the class test, but I was surprised, readers do you know what happened, I was standing over Mr. Shammah whiles he was marking and I was telling him in my mind, mark that, I got it, and thus he would mark it, mark that, he would mark it, as if I was commanding him in my mind to mark those things, at the end of the day I got 17 over 20, I was surprised! I said hehn! What was that that I just did? Am I a spiritual master or somebody that would command things with my thought? I could not believe it, but then Lekan Sansan said: Debo, you really did not get 17 over 20 you could have got 14, that is what I got, I dont know why that man marked that one right for you, I got the same answer as you got but he marked it wrong for me, I told myself inwardly, oo re nu e! are you the maths teacher? But then I started wondering, was I very good that I could be taught something for 7 minutes and yet do so well in it or was it because I was praying in my heart that that guy should mark and mark for me that was why he was marking? I was perplexed, I did not bother to look at what Lekan Sansan got nor was I ready to even scrutinize my script, I was more occupied with going back to town to go and look for my daily bread than being in the class. But then when I was going home I told myself that I should not do that again, I should not pray for what I am not worthy of, or do I want to be a mediocre like the rest of those elderly examples I see pervading my society? But then When Oyesanya told me that I usually thought myself inadequate, I felt later when I ruminated on what happened that day, was because I usually felt I was inadequate. Anyway, I went to the man washing his car, introduced myself, told him that he just taught me Pol 101 during the week and that my father lived just on the other side of Ikangba and I begged him to allow me to wash his car for him, I was surprised when he refused! I was even more impressed, what other elderly people would have gladly left for me to do for them, this man refused, trust me, I even struggled to collect the brush and the rag he was using, yet he refused, I said, whao, I met someone today! So, I told him I like him and that I would like to be his friend and that I would come back on my way from my fathers. He said, hes also an Ijebu man, that he lived there that I was welcomed anytime. That was how I became Dr. Adedokun Jaguns friend! We became very close, he took me to his mother, told me about how rich his father was, asked me if I grew up enough to know Jaguns Transport, it was then I remembered that we (I and mama eleni) used to take one Bedford lorry to Ibadan from Ijebu Ode, when I would be disputing and arguing with Mama Eleni that the trees were running, that Mama eleni would reply where they were running to, and thus would the argument continue until I would fall asleep, I never knew why the trees were running until I read about Einsteins general relativity, perhaps that could be Jaguns transport, I told him that I remember vividly about transport with Bedford, but I never knew they were for his dad. He invariably became my mentor, he was for two years at the Ogun State University and when I knew Mrs. Eperokun and I could not bear my strenuous situation again, I told her that I would only continue university education if I changed to Lagos, for in Lagos I would be exposed to so many menial jobs which would help me in my quest for learning and when Mrs. Eperokun agreed and decided to use her links there to get me transferred, I quickly went to Dr. Dokun Jagun to tell him I would be transferring to the University of Lagos, he was happy and I said that means I would see him there! This man really helped me intellectually, he even gave me my first opportunity in feasibility report writing, I could not believe that my feasibility report could get someone a loan of like 7,000 dollars that time, but then it did! I was surprised. I was just in my third year as an Accounting student, just 21 years old. Thank God for Dr. Jagun for such opportunity, but invariably at Lagos, I became Dr. Jaguns right hand man, but then let us reserve that to when I get to the story of Akoka. A lot of people found me very intelligent, but I always found myself, very inadequate, Segun Oyesanya used to tell me that I was good enough for anything even more than good enough, he was usually surprised that I didnt appreciate my intellect. Because of that, he brought me many books, serious minded books, including the Impostor Phenomenon, telling me that if I read that book, I would see the reasons why I thought I was inadequate, but then, it was not only IP that showed me why I thought I was inadequate, but also psychoanalysis showed me why. But the problem is, I always felt that whatever I did, I should do it very very well, that my foundation must be solid as an igneous rock!

  But then I used to, sometimes, wonder what kind of a father I would be to my children whenever I finally decide to settle down with somebody and start bearing children. I hope I would not demand too much from them. Well, my frame is nothing to write home about, I was told I was born on the 5th of May, 1968, but I sure know that when I was 25 people said I was lying that I was 18, when I was 30, people said I was 21, and when I was 40 people still told me I looked 25? No wonder I left myself unshaven sometimes, I was surprised one day when someone said if I sat in class with my face and head shaven I could have easily passed for a school boy! Na wahoo, who is lying? My parents, my epoch, or nature? There is definitely something wrong somewhere, it is either I am one of the true examples of the nature of truth or I have found the secret of eternal youth? Have I? (Added May 5, 2009; 11:22AM GMT)

Yeah! The first test I had was in Pol 101. Dr. Jagun came to class and discussed politics, discussed political science, told us so many things and of course we started using the recommended books. Then he came to class one day to tell us that we would be having a test. Of course, because I wanted to impress him, I studied very hard, for that test/assignment (it was like a test/assignment stuff) so the topic: "POLITICS IS UBIQUITOUS - DISCUSS". Only one person got 17 / 25, almost everybody got below 10! I was among those who got below 10! I scored 9/25. I was nonplussed. The answer was simple, I had wanted to do exactly the way I knew the assignment must be done, but because I saw my mates carrying Harold Laski's, Appadorai and the rest and I also went to the library and wrote what those guys were writing. That was my first lesson in giving back to the lecturer what the lecturer taught and not going into other books to do research, though I did a lot of research on my own but I learnt a lesson from that situation and I had always used my own interpretation to whatever I read even if it is from the Bible. You see oo, I still got an A afterwards. Actually I can't remember any test I did that time that I did well, perhaps a Cost Accounting test that I had in the second year at OSU(Now Olabisi Onabanjo University), for most times,I was busy looking for something for my upkeep rather than paying attention in class, and invariably almost in all cases I always passed the main examinations very well, for then I would have time to read even though most of my exams were also written with empty stomach! Well, trust me one of the books I read critically again was the Bible and I came to the conclusion that there was never a black man at the Beginning, I mean the real beginning, it was something cataclysmic that made our skin 'black' read the Genesis account very well, you may not agree with me anyway but think about it, can you change black to white? NO! But you can always change white to black! Anyway, those who said: Let us make 'MAN' in our image, already had a blueprint of something called 'man' for if I am to go by existentialism where existence precedes essence then one would really see that there was man before and that man who was before failed! For in the beginning God created heavens and earth! 'Now' the earth was without form,(that presupposed the fact that there was an earth that had a form) and the only remnant of that earth was water and darkness after they must have used their advanced civilisation that time to their destruction and to the extent that there were dangerous radioactive substances that turned our skin black. After all, other things that were created, were created before they were given names! Because there was water and there was darkness before God created another earth. Come to think of it, do you know that if you burn hair, it turns kinky? Afterall the Aborigines of Australia have long straight hair like the white man's! In my own opinion anyway, I believe, strongly believe there was a far advanced civilisation before another earth was created with Man who was not completely done well and needs a help meet and of course I used to think (still do think) that the first man of the main and original earth must have been hermaphrodite. Don't mind me, "The snake that cannot cast its skin perishes, so it is with those minds that are prevented from changing their views, they cease to be minds" - Friedrich Nietzsche. Actually, I did not even know what was existentialism that time, it was when Dr. Jagun realised that I think along the lines of Descartes and Nietzsche that he introduced me to Jean Paul Satre. I had already romanced some of those philosphers before I even left JOGS, I had dined with Russell, Whitehead, Descartes, Bacon, Hobbes and few others before I left secondary school. Readers, have you asked yourself why Black people give birth to white(Albino) and yet I have never heard of any white giving birth to black!

We have been left precarious a long time ago by the so called people of past eons who had done a lot to create chaos and confusion and left us to take care of ourselves amidst distrust and fear! Do you know that the only available means of survival in this world now is compromise and corruption? And if you are not corrupt, the corrupt person will be afraid of you and invariably becomes your enemy, if you are not bisexual, the bisexual person will not consider your case even though the laid down procedures require him to do so, in as much as he would think he had compromised something important for him to be where he is. Therefore, wrongs can go on uncorrected because the wrongdoer is in the 'good book' of the people in goverment. Talkless of the fact that the person or persons must have done many favours for so many people who are also in position of 'power'. This world na waah ooo. Existence is just too precarious! Thank God for Jesus the Christ! And instead of us to look into the system that leads to wrong, we punish wrong doers instead and in fact mercilessly sometimes, the problem is not about not punishing wrong doers or evil doers, but the main thing is correcting the system that allowed it in the first instance! And anyone who openly declare his bisexualism is ridiculed even by those who are bisexual themselves! Na wahooo! Stop ridiculing anyone on their sexual orientation, are they not human beings, try to understand them and let them be rehabilitated if need be. But for homosexualism! Hmn! Na waoo, I should not tell you my spiritual research on it (Thank God for Jesus The Christ). But then first things first, remember, the other person is also a human being like you, with feelings, needs, passion and emotion and if you go about doing anything against anyone, remember, that person is not a non - living thing! In as much I believe in anyone's choice style of living, that person must not use his own style of living to injure another person whether psychologically or physically, after all it is only the soul that leaves! (Added May 9, 2009 22:22pm GMT)

Well, from my little spiritual research, I found that the soul of a chronic and unredeemable homosexual personality has noting to report, no information to give back as to make the body he took on earth useful to produce a better personality, perhaps that is what the Bible meant by all homosexual shall have their part in the lake of fire, the bisexual is at least useful, but the best are those ones who keep strictly to the rules of nature, they are the ones that will produce the archetypes in their next incarnation and through them would the race of supermen be possible on earth. But mind you, there are other dimensions that are striving hard so that man would not be able to achieve this so they machinate so many wiles, these other dimensions are varied, though there are dimensions who are not interested in man being a superman, there are also other dimensions who are also interested in seeing the race of supermen on earth, so it is kind of a competition (I will not call it a battle) but a kind of competition among them. Or, where do you think magic comes from, from beings whose workings are wrought at a speed that ordinary human eyes cannot perceive, and the more you look, the more your perception becomes dimmer.

Come to my own question, what is my sexual orientation, in fact, I am still amazed at myself, even though I am a touch and go kind of a personality, yet, I am very strict sexually, well, as far as my memory can serve me (I dont know what anyone might have done to me before I became fully aware of my environment, since I had no mother to watch over me, hmn! Even those who have their mothers around them are still abused talk less of whom whose mother was sacked. Or, I dont know what anybody must have done with me or have me do, but with those who created the soul, as long as consent is not there, it doesnt count with them, it may count with men, but not with God.) I have never been in any sexual relationship with any man! Though I dont believe that any sexual relation is wrong, yet I believe my strength and my time are very important to me. Considering the fact that my resources were few and are still few (I dont have, never had anyone giving me anything worthwhile, I found out that whatever anyone gives me, I would have even given another person such, though the highest I have ever received from anyone was like one hundred dollars, thank God I have made far more for myself, even though I have not even start working or making money, sometimes I used to think that when I decide to finally start making money, people would not know how much I had suffered to make it, and of course, they would start a lot of fairy tales about how I became successful, God help me oooo!

When I was growing up, I had decided in my mind that my brain (mind, heart, head), my time and my strength are the only resources that I have and that I would use them judiciously and though I may be lured by whatever to lose cognizance of this fact, I would always pay attention to how I expend these. Thank God I came in contact with the Deeper Life Christian Ministry that time, my level of discipline just increased. I could remember a girl once asked me why I dont jump up and down like other guys, why I dont chase girls, I told her that only if I am going to use another persons time and strength to do that then, perhaps, I would. And when I had my first taste of sex and subsequently, I had realised that people like me can only have sexual relations with only a selected set of female folks and I had been careful with my choice of girls, not that I am a celibate, of course, after my first sexual experience, I have had some others but then I dont sleep with them, I only have sex with them and let them go, in fact, I still cant bear to see another person wake up beside me on my own bed. Hey, mind you, I have visited a couple of female folks and of course I had to share their beds with them, yet, when it comes to my own place, as in where I stayed I rarely except on one or two occasions, once there was a heavy rain so I had to let her sleep over and the other I have actually forgotten what happened, I am not ready to recall that right now, well, I dont allow anyone to share my bed, my bed is usually small anyway and in fact, I had no home for a long time it was even recently that I thought my vagabondism must stop since my schedule for marriage is getting close, that I decided to have a kind of a place I can lay my head. For I used to think that I should not deceive myself, if it is true I am interested in acquiring knowledge and at the same time I am interested in not having a child out of wedlock, I should then not have a place where anyone would visit me. And thank God for the Internet! Ha! White Man, thank you ooooo. I was just learning and learning and of course sleeping in cafes, libraries, reading rooms, students rooms, hotels, guest houses, hostels, anywhere, as far as I was learning I didnt mind as far as I could acquire something worthwhile for I have a lot of questions I have not yet found answers to. That is why I dont have a girl friend!(what am I saying ke, Knowledge is my girlfriend!). That is not to say that I did some experiments with women, yet, I never had sex with anyone of them, (who would begrudge me that anyway, only if that person want to curse himself, for my circumstances clearly indicate that I am one of the few clearly qualified to explore that for the benefit of others) of course, I can conveniently say that I had never had anything to do sexually with any married woman, (my strength is very important, I cannot waste my energy or give my strength to another), yet, I have scrutinised every aspect of a womans emotion. For one of the reasons I read in my fathers correspondences was the fact that he accused my mother of adultery since I would also become a husband one day, I had decided a long time ago, that before I get married, I would explore and see the reasons, if it is true, adultery is possible, and what did I find, it is very possible, whether my mother committed adultery or not, I dont know I was not aware enough to have known such a thing, but for you to ask a woman not to have a compassion over a suckling child is a crime not only against the woman and the child but against humanity. Funny enough, do you know how I came about those correspondences, readers, do you guys know about the film Harry Potter I mean the very first one, how Harry was dealt with by the people he was living with, how he was left to sleep under the staircase, yes, that was exactly where I was asked to sleep(but this time not directly under the staircase) and very close to the box, and inside that box I used to read so many things, (In fact, there are incantations on how to have sex with a woman without the use of money or force, can you imagine, the same people who accused my mother of adultery!)of course, the box was close to the balcony, so I was usually having cold, my childhood friends still do ask me if I still sneeze! I eat garlic a lot now. Unlike Harry Potter, I would also have become a kind of African version of a wizard for in that box are some incantations, some formula for medicine, herbal and so forth (even for egbe - african version of invisibility or spontaneous disappearance), but because before I left Apebi, Mama Eleni had warned one of our cousins who wanted to use those that even Baba Apebi himself knew that those things were not useful again, that Jesus has power of all that I refused to used them, and thank God I listened to that advice even though she was gone before I noticed and was tempted to used them and of course she mentioned that the herbal ones may be useful though.

So man, a woman may be faithful to you, if she wants to, especially before she gives birth to her first child, and afterwards, forget, it, sex is nothing to her again! So clearly, as you are predisposed to adultery, so also is your woman! Ok, you are the jealous type, you want your woman to be only for you, then give her as many children as possible, or keep her busy doing things, find things for her to do then perhaps you can be sure she will be at least faithful to you! Anyway, man, do you know it is wrong for you to accuse your woman of adultery! Yes, it is even more wrong for you to divorce her or set her packing (I think jealousy is not love, but a very indication of immaturity and lack of knowledge this is my own opinion anyway, you dont need to agree with me). What we humans dont know is that spiritually speaking, there is no demarcation between a woman and a man, though women are telepathically and psychically sharper, but the truth is, with God all is one! So, how many of you if a girl, say a lady meets in private (I had realised a long time ago that I would never be in a closet with a woman, most of my experiments were wrought in a semi private environments, even though I am sure of my personality, yet I did not give room for any unforeseen event), and start caressing would ask the woman to stop? Do you men know that you were not brought up to say NO to women, even though women are brought up to say NO to men (only those who are not ready to splash cash, men in fact, a woman would tell you of anothers advances only if that person is not as rich or richer, or comfortable as you or as handsome or , or out of ten case of advances she may tell you two or three, so if anyone tells you anything about any advance from anyone whether such advances is real or complimentary take it with a pinch, for I have seen women who hide or even remove the rings in their hands when a another man shows up. Do rings even matter now?). Then, if you (Man) are guilty already of adultery, how dare you say that someone else committed adultery? It is better for now for women to also start training their boys to say no to girls. I said no to girls because my resources were few and I love books, perhaps if I have had a mother around me with pampering and the rest I wouldnt have been able to say NO! But then, I am not saying sex is wrong! Beware one of the wiles of those other guys in other dimensions was to brainwashed you that sex is wrong so that they can use that against you then will it possible for their craft to affect you negatively or positively. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU DEWUNMI,(WHERE EVER YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU MAY BE) DON'T WORRRY I HAD DRIED MY TEARS A LONG TIME AGO (Added May20, 2009 9:32am GMT)

My interactions with Mrs. Eperokun after getting to know her was such a soothing balm to heal the psychological pains and agonies of motherless upbringing. I never knew how much I missed (but I am sure I am still to grasp the full extent of what I missed until I get married and have a family of my own, but from what I gleaned from the few families I have lived with and especially with Mrs. Eperokun, I think I really really missed) until I found out the joy of having someone to attend to your needs, someone to ask how youre feeling today, someone to ask whether you slept well, someone to tell you to be careful not to slip and fall when you accidentally spilled water on the floor (instead of slaps that I used to get when I was growing up with my father and step mother), someone to ask you not to hurt your feet when you unknowingly break a plate (sometimes, the punishment of breaking my stepmothers plates was that I would go without food for the rest of the day after enduring serious slaps and batam of cains in fact I developed partial deafness on my left ear, it was recently that I noticed that I could hear better now with it.), someone to soin you when you are sick and to even peep on you when you were sick and was asleep, someone to care. And to crown it all, she did not even realise that I held her so much in high esteem and felt she had really done well for me (even though she used to lament that she did not really have enough money to really take good care of me), I was alarmed one day when she said, in her sitting room, (I think I had just exhibited one of those flashes of intelligence and brillance, I am writing about such that impinge on the fact that someone has really learnt and made some research about some things, I think it was a program on the television and I think it was a documentary, on the Masai of Kenya or something like that, - the only thing I used television for is soccer and documentary, even now, I dont have a television, I dont have time for it, and in fact, you cannot just enjoy soccer alone, though I had been tempted to buy a television since I decided to get an abode for myself, I had actually been postponing it until I get a family of my own basing it on the fact that no one will enjoy it with me), that I am one of the true example of a self made man.

I was alarmed by that statement, I was shocked, I was not amused at all, in fact I became very angry, the first thought that came to my head that day was, what variable did this woman put herself in my equation? I mean Debo Ogunade = what? Oh, I said she calls me Ade so, Ade = what? And now Jude = what? Or f(Jude)is what? Ok, some people would prefer g so g(Jude) is what? I solemnly told her that Ma, there is no self made person in this world, look Ma, did I create the sun? (I actually said that so that she would see that it is only ingrates who will rise up one day to say they are self made!). What Mrs. Eperokun did not really know is that I am one of her best products, the same goes for all those classmates of mine: Remi Ikuesewo, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Rasaki Mustapha thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Richard Ayara, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Leke Aderohunmu, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Biodun Fasoro, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Oluwayemisi Omilabu, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Edmund Igbozuruke, 'Layi Obasa, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Samson Tonnaraw, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Charles, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Olaniyan, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, In fact, everyone that I have interacted with me in my primary school including my teachers, Aiki Soja, Mrs Ibikunle, Mr. Ajadi, Mrs. Agu, Mrs. Oluwole, Mrs. Adeyeba, Mrs.Adeoye, and in fact Baba Olopa, thank you all very much, I am one of your best products.

Also, my secondary school mates, not necessarily my class mates I mean (JOGS 86) but all those who knew me when I was at JOGS and interacted with me, I had gleaned something from you all, I remember in those days when others were complaining that I read too much, Tokunboh Omodehin replied that no knowledge is lost, and Anthony Ejorh who first discovered me out of my 86 set, Yeah, I think it is between Niyi Alatise and Anthony Ejorh, Not Mei tea! (Segun Erule) and not Omotayo Balogun. I could not believe what came on that guy that day when Niyi Alatise was not there and he was beckoning me to come to the dais, we have not done the third term exams, my very first year (session) in that school, never partcipated in any speech and prize giving day but immediately the guy saw me, in the assembly hall he beckoned me to come to the dais to join him to represent our set (perhaps he knew me in my former world, who knows?), Omotayo Balogun that fed me with Mathematics and African Writers. So, Omotayo Balogun, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Tokunboh Omodehin, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Oluwadare Kuku, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Victor Okobieme, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Gbuyi Oduniyi, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Amuzat Mukaila, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Lanre Owolabi, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Kemi Okubadejo, (Sura! De Tailor! Hey, where is Gesoro now?) thank you very much, I am one of your best products Segun Erule, thank you very much, I am one of your best products,I am one of your best products, Femi Oke, hmn! Thank you for your Nick Carter and James Hardley Chase, men, if you see the way I am using them well now, you will be surprised, thank you very much, I am one of your best products and thank you for teaching me how to read fast. Taofick Adafejo, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Wonderful Jesus - Adeleke Adesemowo, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Bola Okusaga! thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Omotayo Balogun my last born, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Muyiwa Oyekan, my first born thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Fisayo Okusanya, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, I better stop mentioning peoples names, and those of you my seniors in the secondary school, who really wished me well, I thank you all, I cannot say I am a self made person when I know that without laso so so, I cannot be the person I am today, so M. O. Adedeji(R.I.P.), thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Mr. Adebanjo, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Mr. Acheampong, thank you very much, I am one of your best products (I did not join them to spy that English Objective exams you gave us in our final year, I know you did not know about it, yet, I am going to mention those guys involved in the course of this book, so I am therefore notifying you and making sure that I am exonerated even though I knew about it and I wanted to participate, I changed my mind at the last moment), thank you very much, I am one of your best products. And those esoteric books and other books I have read that have imparted positively on my life, I say thank you and thank you very much to those authors of those books, I am one of your best products. Wole Soyinka, Adebayo Faleti, D. O Fagunwa, Olambitan, Akinwunmi Isola, and many others, Chinua Achebe, Isidore Okpewho, Peter Abrahams, Richard Wright, Ayi Kwei Armah,Ernest Hemimgway, F. Scot Fitzgerald, Balzac, Mario Puzo, Shakespeare, Bacon, Descartes, Jean Paul Satre, Aligheri, Makepeaece, Mark Twain and many other authors I have read, thank you very much,(don't worry 'sirs' what you people wrote in parables, big English, complicated grammar and deep philosophies, I will explain to the people of this world in plain and simple language) I am one of your best products hey! Rosicrucian Digest, thank you very much, Rosicrucians, I am one of your best products, Freemasons, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, I lived with an uncle who was a freemason and I gleaned some things from him, and when I read one day that Rudyard Kipling was a Freemason, I was even more impressed! If not for Rudyard Kipling's poem, perhaps I would have committed suicide! Hmn! Sesan Oyenuga used to be nonplused why I suddenly developed likeness for her sisters, she did not know that it was in Tala Harmony Bookshop that I read 'IF' by Rudyard Kipling; (Some of my hard liners Christian friends would have started commanding and rebuking demons by now as they are reading this: it is a pity that they have forgotton that man is always looking for ways of liberating man and there are varieties of ways to go about it, you guys are even lucky that that I have reduced my intending membership to 2. I used to think I will join several, but when my sisters died, I ruminated on a number of issues in my life and decided to reduce to five and when I became a Mormon, I reduced it, further to 2. Well, guys dont worry, as such that I am doing in life, I take only those brushes that will add to the beauty and the structure of my masterpiece such will I continue to do, no qualms. But happiness in life impinges on the fact that we do those things that are noble and dear to our hearts. Segun Oyesanya Jnr., (I just wondered, when I spent only two years with you and I learnt so much, what if I spent more than that, only God knows what we would have been now!) thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Foluso Fafiolu, Anthony Adeyemi, Bisuga, Adebesin and many others: Hey, Iyabo Mogaji! thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Adebisi Adeyemi, and all the three Sola Lawals, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, and I wouldn't have been me if I had not interacted with you guys.

Hey Dr. Jagun, hmn, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, Dr. Salia, Prof. Debra, hmn! thank you very much, I am one of your best products. Dr. Salia, hmn, the third and the last person to have given me 100 dollars (The first person to do such, Echeme Kalu, I did not know I would become a friend to a rich man, I never thought of it, he asked me to pay him a visit, I was at Abriba, doing my Youth Corper stuff and doing it sincerely well and he heard that I was doing extremely well and decided to come and pay a visit to the school and of course thank me, I did not even want to go, it was Nnena who encouraged me to at least go, I thought I was just going to say hi and leave in about 15 minutes, but whao, I spent more than 4 hours talking and discussing so many things about various aspects of life with that man hm, I could not believe that he had so much upstairs to give me, I was just enjoying him, in as much as I ate a sumptous meal in his house, I also eat sumptous meal of the mind and when I was going, he gave me my first 100 dollars, I think it should be over 100dollars or was it less, who can tell me how much 1000 naira was worth in dollars in 1993?. Hitherto, the highest amount I had ever received from anyone ranged between 80 and 120 naira (in those days, regularly from Mrs. Eperokun when I got to the University of Lagos and occasionally from Uncle 'Doyin, when my father beat me out of his house and told me he was not my father.), thank you very much I am one of your best products and how is your brother? Well, we will come to your story later, also, the second person, Jane Yeboah, I chose her the way I chose Muyiwa Oyekan, I was just at the Universite de Cocody that time and people were complaining that I did not have a friend at all out of the whole lot of those girls at the French School at Cocody that was just in front of the AIESEC office in Cote divoire.I just went to the bus carrying the students that day and out of the whole lot I just pointed to her, I did not even know her name and told her that I would like to have a word with her and that was it, we became friends, good friends, she was the second person to give me 100 dollars, when she saw me in Ghana a year after, she actually came to tell me to go back to Cote divoire, but she did not see what I had seen about Cote divoire, (I warned those guys when the soldiers were shooting up and down in Cocody, I told them, they did not listen to me, they replied me: 'tu penses que chez vous c'est comme chez nous') she told me that it was an AIESEC member who asked her to give me the money she did not know that I knew the reason why she offered to help thinking that I was in a fix, without knowing that I was actually around to continue to fix my intellect, I could not believe that an African country could have electricity continuously without interruption for several weeks and months at times, whoever made GHANA the way it is, has really done well, and I think it boils down to two leaders NKRUMAH AND RAWLINGS (I just pray that Rawlings spirit is still intact: Politics corrupts and poor politics corrupts properly) and also to more obedient and good people than greedy and wicked ones. I am sure she also got confused along the lines as most people do, about me, but nevertheless, she will always remain my friend, my JANE. After those guys had decided to steal my computers and printer and other accessories and even handcuffed me and put in police cell, it was Dr. Salia and Prof. Debra that came to my aid, and Dr. Salia actually witnessed their scuffles with me, thank God I had telephoned Prof. Debra before they seized my phone. Only God knows the diabolical plan those guys actually had for me. Behind the deem unknown standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch his own Addison Lowell. But thank God, they failed! So Dr. Salia decided to give me some money, 100 dollars and told me to forget about it. I have actually forgotten about them, I have started afresh and I have started replicating those things they took now and in fact I give them.

And finally to those guys who thought it necessary to produce PC thank you very much, I am one of your best products and to Microsoft thank you very much, I am one of your best products and to whoever started internet and reduce the cost of using and maintaining it thank you very much, I am one of your best products and finally to Yahoo and Geocities (I actually wanted to quit Yahoo and put my story on other free websites when I heard that Yahoo is closing Geocities but then I changed my mind, how can I say thank you to Yahoo if when they say I should pay, I decided to go to other free websites? I just decided to stay put in Yahoo, in fact, if perchance I did not register my site - it is cheap enough for me to afford, what is not cheap for me to afford is a credit card, how can I get a credit card when I dont have any solid base for credit? And those who have credit card will charge exhorbitant price for it, well, any which way, guys, in case I did not pay for the Yahoo site, just wait for me until I finish my book for you to read the rest of the story, but for now, I think I should be writing regularly now to keep you abreast and if I should stop, I am sure my JOGS mates know when I would like to publish my book, you dont need to guess too far, so you guys should just plan towards it), thank you very much, I am one of your best products.

And Hmn! White Man, should I say thanks? Yeah, but before I say thanks I am one of your best products (people have been telling me I think like a white man a long time ago), I will like to say sorry. I mean SORRY! I mean it, it is just that it has been erased from the memory of man and and only few people extract their .cab files. 'God does not need to know, he already has all knowledge' one of those pastors in Ghana used to say, I listen to him sometimes, he talks sense; and if you are a child of God, your father will tell you what you need to know; and from my own .cab files that I have extracted, after careful study and personal questions, I came to the conclusion that we people down here pushed and pushed and pushed you people away until we could not push you again and since your abode was cold and harsh, we left you alone there and as God would have it: 'THE WORLD IS NOW BETTER FOR IT'. In fact, I did not say you should believe my claim or support my claim, all I know is that our ancient forebears, I mean in those hundreds of thousands of years ago had a civilisation that was superb and better and greater than what we have now;(hundreds of thousands? Hmn, in fact, millions of years ago!) really did very very bad, silently and consecutively for many many years. We became so powerful that almost every individual is authority unto himself. Even ordinary hair of the head became a weapon of evil machinations to such an extent that you just need to remove a spec of dust from the back of your ear to injure another person. We became arrogant and proud, and individually everyone became law unto himself. In fact, the Jurassic Park is true, man created even animals, and of course when the great cataclysm came we were swept away as in a twinkling of an eye, those who had created powerful enclaves in caves and mountains and deep waters saved though, yet, they could not come out for the radioactive substance that remained can even kill in seconds. So the knowledge got lost and expertise got finished and our gadgets became oracles (who told you IFA is all about divination - IFA is Mathematics, in fact advanced algebra!) So we were left with nothing, absolutely nothing and we started hopping from trees to trees, treking from land to land since the order before was survival of the fittest it continued, our beauty changed to something else. I think I should not just talk about this again, this will be in another book. Now, I can say, White Man, thank you very much, I am one of your best products, do you know what, I think to me, your best product is not mirror, but internet! (Yeah, that reminds, I need to say thank you to whoever discover soap! Yeah, soap, how come we don't celebrate soap, I learnt some Indian tribes have festival of colours, but I have never heard of any society celebrating festival of soap!).

If not for the internet, how could I have upgraded my intellect, in a country where there is no electricity, no money to go to school (in fact because you refused to join the 'class' and get money the way others get it 'inhumanly', 'immorally' and in evil manner, they would insult you, make jest of you and even tell you to your face that you are not ambitious, that you don't have a goal, that you don't have a purpose, alas, then came the internet, in fact white man, I give you 10/10 for that. You saved me, in fact, without internet, where would I have gotten the money to buy big books to read, those available, outdated, dusty and tearing in libraries all over, Ha, you really really impressed me with this internet stuff. So man, don't allow them to tell you that you don't have a goal, tell them that you are more purposive than their corrupt spirit and mind, tell them that every man has all the qualities every man has, tell them that you read my book and that I say this. I remember Mr. Oresanya used (Hey, Mr. Oresanya, Mr. & Mrs. Segun Kuku, Muyiwa Oyekan's mother, thank you very much I am one of your best products) to hang a Leo Tolstoi's quotation on the wall in his sitting room that reads "Man is like a river..." - you guys should check the internet for the rest, I want you also to explore and learn - Ok, if you don't want to read Tolstoi, at least you are reading my life story, I will put it like this, have you been to the motor park before, yeah, so you see, the driver of a vehicle will have all the patience in this world to allow his vehicle to be filled, no matter how much shouting the passengers do, unless his bus is filled, he will not bulge, but immediately the car is filled, the same person will be so much in a hurry to reach his destination, voila, and they tell you are not patient enough, they tell you you are not fast enough, or smart enough and you leave them alone to mismanage your life for you! Hmn! O ma shee ooo. In fact, at least you play lotto, we who like football sometimes indulge in football pool, what is behind these motives? Hmn, man, wake up! Kia kia, Ji! It is because you have a goal to achieve and in fact an impressing need sometimes and since your society is so corrupt that you cannot even finance it, you start thinking of other means of getting it and what is that? Goaless, purposeless? In fact, some people insult the intelligence of some of us when they use that, in fact I see you often with ludo, draught, and what have you, what is the purpose of every move you make in it? Jesus Christ you are supper ooo:when that guy replied, I believe, let my believe help my unbelieve, JESUS THE CHRIST ANSWERED HIM SPEEDILY!).

The only thing I want your democracy to do now is to patiently, meticulously and systematically criminalise apathy and 'kenimani'(how do I translate kenimani, it is not selfishness, because selfishness is virtue sometimes, is it greediness, sounds close to it, but I am sure it is neither of it) anyway, you legislators of the world, don't allow those wicked colleagues of yours who would have put something in their mouth, or eat something to influence you spiritually so that you can take and believe the rubbish they are telling you and hence arouse you to violence, wickedness and ineptitude dissuade you, if you could please find a way to criminalise apathy and kenimani, I am sure then we are on a path of peace in the world.

When I said that thing that day at her sitting room, she was surprised, I am sure she knew I was intelligent, but did not know to what extent, but what I told her that day really took her by surprise, she did not believe it. I looked at Mr. M. O. Eperokuns face (Matthew Olufemi), I could see admiration and appreciation, I was contented that at least someone understood. When later in the day we went to harvest some fish at Mr. Eperokuns fish pond near the house, I made sure I caught a big fish that day to say thank you sir for sincerely seeing through my personality. (Added September 7, 2009; 14:14 GMT)

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

  

 

 

 

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