Preaching To The Converted

Some time ago in the fall of 2006 [so I think], I was with my classmates under a huge Mango tree and we were discussing life after school. My goons and other crews were there. It was our last semester in school; and a pensive period for us all. 

Everyone was bragging.

Someone said his uncle was a director at CBN and had promised him a job at the apex bank. 

Another interjected. He said he has a deep-seated connection to Chevron and they are just waiting for him to graduate. 

Another boasted he’d already sent his credentials to his friend at Port Harcourt and an NNPC job was waiting for him. 

Then National Assembly, commercial banks, and multinational companies, almost everyone boasted of either a connection or a job waiting to be grabbed.


I sunk into my seat. 

For the first time, I realized I had nobody, and nowhere to go. 

I quietly stood and left unnoticed.

I cried home.

In my room, on the floor, with a locked door, 

I cried bitterly. 

And started talking to an imaginary God. 


Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t a God-buddy.

I don’t go to church. 

I don’t pray. 

I was a freethinker.

And I was every bad thing you could imagine on campus. 

From brotherhood to hard substances; alcoholism and sometimes pimping. 

And with my rugged brothers around me, 

No evil could befall me.


However, that day was a stark-naked reality. 

I discovered I was lonely and alone.

I was deeply heartbroken and needed someone remote to share my burden with. 

So, I spoke to God in a language I understood. 


God, you know I don’t have anyone except my poor mother. 

A nurse whose salary was barely enough to sustain the family. 

I don’t have any rich uncle I could run to for a job. 


So what is my fate after school? 

Would I join the bandwagon of jobseekers in my hood?

Would I be sitting with the ‘egbons’ at the junction when everyone had gone to work? [They’ve graduated for about 3–5 years and no job].

Make way for me Lord.

Be my uncle in Chevron, NNPC, CBN, and the multinationals.

Then I cried more.

Somewhere in the mix, a strange serenity rested on me and my talk changed to whisper.

I started whispering to my Godfather. 


In between the conversation, I slept off.

Then I woke to a renewed strength. 

To new confidence from above. 

That I was my own miracle. 

That I was my rich Uncle I sought. 

That I was the one to make it happen for me.


So I started learning. 

I learned to bend the rules but never to break them. 

I learned not to take a stand with anyone against The Family.

Not to ask for the second favor until the first is refused.

Not to let the world know what is on my mind.

Building and innovating.

Living my life not to be careless.


Dear Godfather, I have come to say ‘mingwo’. 

May I walk and never stumble. 

And if I stumble may I stumble on fadaka.

And the most succulent part of opekpe.

May my life be sweet. 

May I see your goodness and mercy, 

All the days of my life.



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