Story Title: The King’s Dream
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HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS Igwe Olisadebe Maduako, the traditional ruler of Obiru village, did not go to school. The son of the first British-imposed warrant-chief of Obiru, as a youth he was not made to understand the importance of education.
His father was a wealthy and established farmer in Obiruand never saw it fit to send his son to the white man’s mission school. He already had plenty of land, wealth, and yams. What else did he need? What could the white man give him that he did not already have?
And so, young Olisadebe took to his father and became a farmer, leaving western education to those who were in dire need of it. In the year he succeeded his father as the Igwe (king), the British discovered large coal deposits in the land around the village’s outskirts and Obiru suddenly became very wealthy overnight.
The useless ore drove the white men mad. They built a rail station at Obiru, connecting it to other faraway towns via a railroad. They carted in laborers from villages near and far to mine the coal, and with time, many of these foreigners decided to settle down and live at Obiru. They used their wages to build small zinc-roofed homes and they brought development and progress along with them.
These foreigners took advantage of the educational opportunities presented to them and sent their children to the white man’s schools, preparing them for bright futures as clerks, teachers, and other positions in the British Civil Service. In actuality, they were getting ready to assume dominance over Obiru. Unlike the sleepy Obiru natives, who were preoccupied with the mundane agricultural lifestyle, these foreigners thirsted for knowledge and through education they found favor and employment with the white men.
It was then that Igwe Olisadebe realized the importance of western education for he saw the danger which the educated foreigners presented to his people. He secretly vowed that his first son would be the most educated man in his kingdom.