I don’t want to be a nobody.

Hello beautiful people! I hope you are letting life treat you well. Today’s post is a story Akinwale sent to me. I enjoyed reading it and I believe you will as well. And you would be seeing more of his writings as the weeks go by.

**

I laughed as I finally sat down to rest after a long day’s work on the farm. Garuba- one of my younger friends, who was bravely trying to retrieve a football from under a shade filled with hornets nests had just been stung! Even Wasiu, the most altruistic member of the group was laughing amongst the other boys.

” I thought you said that hornets don’t sting people, what happened now??” said tafa, the clown.
“That particular hornets didn’t get the memo” replied Gani.

It’s a good day when Gani makes jokes, he’s probably the most reserved person I know. For his age, he’s unusually softspoken, organised and reserved.

Garuba was still groaning and clutching his gradually swollen ears as Wasiu approached to help him up

“Leave me alone” Garuba snapped

This seemed to be even funnier to the boys as they burst out with more laughter than before.

Garuba was bad tempered and arrogant, he liked to put up a hard front, but beneath all that he was soft and squirmish inside, and everyone knew that. Even ray Charles could see through him. I don’t blame him though, he has a small stature and he’s had to endure bullying in his younger years so he puts up a hard front to ward off bullies and to avoid being cheated.

“Wasiu, bring him here” I finally spoke. That was enough, I had to play the role of the adult. The jesting was becoming too ridiculous.

“Bring me the keg of palm oil” I said, to no one in particular. After a brief exchange of faces between tafa and gani, tafa finally dashed off to bring the keg.

“Gani, you bring the mats” I said. I didn’t really need the mat but then, I felt it would be unfair to the other boys if they had stuff to do and gani was busy loitering. Delegation of duties is a part of the roles of an adult afterall.

They arrived at almost the same time and I began rubbing palm oil on the swollen ear. I really didn’t know why I was doing that or if it was applicable, but I figured it would work, palm oil seems to work on a lot of skin related infections and injuries. Our father applied it religiously for chicken pox, boils, ring worms and the likes. A common hornets sting shouldn’t be much of a problem.

“Uncle moruf” gani said
“Yes?”
“What do you want to be in future” he asked
“I don’t know” I replied

I honestly didn’t know, it’s a question I ask myself at times. I feel like I can’t compete in the ‘real world’, being a youth from a small town like ours. Ede is the only place I have ever known, I was born there and I live there. I had been to ibadan a couple of times to stay with my uncle over a couple of weeks and it really was a dream come true for me. The first time I got there, I saw large buildings and bridges, beautiful and well painted houses, but they were nothing compared to the ones I saw in lagos. I visited lagos once, for a day and boy, was I excited. It was really the ‘big city’ even bigger than Ibadan.

My dream is to study engineering in the university of ibadan then move to lagos to work. After which I will delve into politics at sometimes in the far future. But whenever people ask for what I wanted to be I would tell them that I didn’t know because, deep down, I knew it would be difficult. I am constantly in the farm to save up for school, and thanks to my younger friends, i’m doing okay. Uncle isn’t financially stable too, he would have sponsored me through school, I know he will still help, I just don’t want to overburden him. All those variable make my dream seem unsure.

“Is it better” I paused to ask garuba
“Yes, hope it won’t get bigger” he replied
“Ah, we’d have to ask the hornet, he’ll know better” I said
Everyone burst out laughing, while I proceeded to answer gani’s question.

“I do know what I do not want to be though”

“I don’t want to be that guy, at 80, sitting on his porch, listening to the news on radio or reading the newspapers and giving comments about how the world is turning out worse blaming everybody and not taking responsibility for anything.”

They seemed more interested now, they seemed challenged. This inspired me to continue.

“I want to be that guy that has the influence to make a change, to make things happen. Instead of passing responsibilities around like a ball in the all too common blame game, reffed by empty talk”
“I don’t understand” garuba quipped
“He probably wants to be a soccer commentator” tafa joked
At that, everyone laughed, including myself.

“You should go into comedy or acting, tafa” I said

“You want my father to kill me? Carpentry has been nailed into my lineage by god himself. He used his special hammer for us”
“My father is a carpenter, so is is father, his own father and so on. My jokes are not about to change that.”

That made me sad, this is one of the things I want to change in the world. We should let children choose their own destinies,you can’t force life on anymore. I scratched my head as I continued…

“What I mean is that, despite my occupation, I want to be influential, I want to be able to mentor people and give myself to the society, I just want to improve the quality of life.”

“I want to be what Nelson Mandela was to south Africans, I want to be what martin Luther King was to black Americans, I want to start a revolution, I want to be all I can ever be, I want my name to be a global brand”

“I don’t want to be a john benson”

“Who is john benson?” Wasiu asked

I smiled as I said “That’s the point.”

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