It was very early in the morning and still dark when I woke up to someone shaking me roughly “oh….. lemme jhoor” I mumbled, half asleep.
“Timmy!” I sat up at the sound of that familiar voice. It was Samuel. “Let’s go for morning devotion.” He said yawning.
I got down from my bunk and stood for a while. I listened to the distant sound of the Islamic call to prayer, all repeated twice.
Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah
Ashhadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah Hayya ‘alas-Salah
La ilaha illallah
Samuel gave me a playful punch to enable him know if I’m fully awake. He picked up my jacket from the wardrobe an covered me with it.
“Let’s go for morning devotion.” Samuel repeated again. He forcefully dragged me to the chapel and we said our morning prayers like we’ve always done everyday.
“Here we go again oh Lord. May the new day bear more fruits than the previous days. May we find every reasons to live and rejoice. May we be wanted for good things only. May we not be unfortunate. We’ve never spoilt someone’s life, may someone not succeed at destroying our lives”.
“May those that talk bad about us perish in the lake of fire. May we find love. And most importantly, may our troubled minds find peace. May we not fail in life. May we fufill our purpose in life. All these I pray through Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.”
“Amen, Amen, Amen in Jesus name.” The whole students chorused.
We dissolved after saying the benediction and everyone went to perform his or her duty. After that, we went back to our various lodge to prepare for school.
Samuel, Feranmi and I got to school before assembly was due. Feranmi and I went to join other prefects.
The assembly took place in the school hall which stood firmly behind the lawn. The school band had positioned themselves at a corner inside the hall beating the drums softly in preparation for the assembly. Few of the teachers were outside waiting to punish the late comers by either beating them or instructing them to pick the dirts on the floor.
“Attention everybody! the National Anthem.” Olufunke the female social prefect called out. She was tiny or rather a small girl who had a small stature, smaller for her age. She smiled, dimples showed on both sides of her cheekbones.
The band started beating the drums and the students joined in.
After singing the national anthem and the school anthem, the Principal, Mr Oluwashina came to address us for a while and later brought a young lady to the podium. He introduced her as Arinola and he also added that she’d be igniting our sparks shortly that morning. We all understood what he meant by that.
The lady mounted the podium and introduced herself once again.
“Good morning once again. I am Miss Oseni Islamiyat Arinola. I am a writer, a motivational speaker, an online air personality and also the CEO of BIA, an acronym for Be Inspired With Arinola, a television program where I interview great minds and also engage them in meaningful discussions.” She said
“Without wasting much of your time, let me deliver the wonderful package I have for you today.
In our country presently, there are no jobs, no money, no empowerment programs. Outputs are getting way up than inputs in multitudes. Sellers are increasing in numbers everyday. They are now more than buyers.
Everybody has been led to believe that buying and selling is now the key to wealth.
You see sellers everywhere you turn to. Junctions, streets, airports, schools, church, even on social media platforms too. The 5% that are rich in Nigeria are getting richer day by day. Millionaires are becoming billionaires. Billionaires are becoming trillionaires. The cycle goes on and on. The rich wants more and more and more and more and more money. Hence the saying ‘no amount is enough’.
The poor on the other hand are moving from poverty to abject poverty to extreme poverty till death knocks. The rich are giving God all the glory when asked to come and share the secrets and principles of their success. Then they turn around and say the poor is poor because the poor doesn’t know how to invest.
But they seem to forget that, everybody can’t be entrepreneurs. Everybody can’t be investors, everybody can’t be sellers. You can only be a seller when there are buyers. The poor on the other hand is just out there to earn something that’s sizeable enough to satisfy his needs. But nothing comes.
To feed in our country, a land flowing with milk and honey has become something difficult. A poor man cannot afford three square meal a day. It’s either two, one or nothing at all. People are pursuing fraudulent means to make money. They’ve done the quick math. If you can trick 100 people into giving you 1000 naira, at least, that’s something. That’s quite a lot of money. You turn to see young pastors and fraudulent imams everywhere. In school, on the streets, In public transports, in lecturers offices, laboratories, hospital and clinics, even in our various hostels. You find them in all the absurd places you can think of hoping to become like Baba Adeboye, Baba Oyedepo and the likes one day so they can count their blessings every gathering day in forms of tithes and offerings.
Go to the seminaries and bible schools. Look at their ever increasing population. Some youths have turned to music to find a lifeline. With or without talent. People can’t afford their needs. They can’t think about satisfying their wants. Ten thousand naira doesn’t make sense anymore in today’s market. You can’t successfully buy five foodstuffs with it to support a family of four.
People are on the streets living like stray dogs”. She paused for a while and then continued.
“Children now filled the streets now more than ever. Selling bread, drinks gala and pure water in traffic. Pregnant women joined them in this hustle too. Fathers are frustrated. They work sooo hard all their life with nothing to show for it. So little to show for all their sweat and overtime. Mothers are giving up. They’ve hustled hard for years and they’re still suffering. Our young ladies have been frustrated into the hustle of prostitution with their legs wide in exchange for peanuts. Men have betrayed their brothers because of money. Men have spilled blood because of money. They are that desperate!
Yet, there’s still not enough money to go around.
So in a case like this, what do we do?” Miss Oseni asked without expecting an answer.
“Dear students, pick up a side hustle fast immediately after graduating from High School. Not everyone of you will get admitted into higher institutions immediately you graduate from high school. When you graduate from high school, No one will rush you. No job will rush you. No University will rush you. So it’s just you. You alone.
Especially if you don’t have anyone in high places that can help you secure an admission in the university. You will be at home asking mummy for money to sub when you will hear that one of your mate that you studied and graduated together here had made it in life. It’s not magic!
You’re on your own. with you graduate time is really going fast and before you know it, it’s been 3 years. You won’t realise how useless you are until the day your younger siblings will use style to abuse you for still staying at home while your mates are in school changing the world positively. Don’t even let that day come at all. Find something to do immediately after school. Go now and discover your purpose. Find something meaningful to do with your life. Or the world will leave you behind.
I love you, I don’t want you to end your life like the ones roaming the streets. Discover your purpose and find something meaningful to do with your life. Good morning once again.” Miss Oseni said as she finalized her speech and left the podium.