Category Archives: SHORT STORIES

LOVE ACROSS BBM II: MARTINS’ EXPERIENCE

woman-with-round-earring-72Adeolu C. Alupogun-Iran

Kindly read the previous episode before going ahead with this. Though, belated but it is better late than never.

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After the messy birthday of Tade, Yinka and Martins became drawn to each other. The duo frequently exchanged voice call for hours, they evolved well within four weeks and we were happy. At a point, Tade will always tease Martins of robbing him of his only true girlfriend. But, “I’m glad you guys are getting along well”. Throughout those periods, Martins hardly say two words without mentioning Yinka. Within the shortest period of time that Martins met Yinka via BBM, he had tall dreams and plan for her, and this to me was unusual. Most times in my conservative disposition I often told him to slow down, “you haven’t met this lady yet, there are more to what you see and say over the phone”. “I know where that’s coming from” he would always say.

I was in Abuja on a business trip when Bosun called to inform me Martins had serious preparation to visit Yinka in Port-Harcourt. I was quite fascinated and proud of such brave move. Though we all thought it should have been the other way round, 21st Century seems to have changed a whole lot of things. A day before the trip Martin came home earlier than usual. Before we could query him, he cleared all speculations. “My leave has been approved, now I can go spend time with my Butterfly”. The next day he was air bound.

Yinka was at the airport to receive him; she was obviously excited to see him at last. Within minutes, the lovebirds were locked in passionate embrace. “Welcome to Port-Harcourt Sweetheart”, she said disengaging. “It is good to see you finally butterfly”. “Look at you, those pictures on your Blackberry dp didn’t represent at all”. How do you mean? I mean you are more beautiful compared to your numerous pictures I have seen. “I am flattered dear, but I hope it is as true as it sounds”. She said moving towards a Black Honda CR-V 2010 Model. “Lovely car you have here!” “Thank you honeypie”.

The ride home was long and cold. Martin was visibly tired and needed sleep as a result of the flight, but he shoved the thought aside. Martin engaged her in various discussions, particularly politics and Yinka was a handful. Butterfly, “since you have proven your expertise in Nigerian politics, what do you make of the presidential race?” “You know handsome, OBJ is a schooled conman and the North should be weary of him”, she said. “My observation so far, though, different from the make believe analysis common in the dailies this day. I have shared it with some of my pals but they differed, so I kept quiet. The long and short of it is that Baba Iyabo is rooting for the minority to be the President of this country”.

“His choice of Y’ardua is a ruse. The gist is Y’ardua is suffering from a severe cancer that has kept him out of his duties most part of his tenure as Governor of Kastina State. He has a short time to live and Obasanjo knows. Again, the choice of Jonathan as a running mate is all part of the game. When Y’ardua dies, Jonathan becomes the president. The northern kingmaker knows this too, but they will be so shocked by the time OBJ is done with them. Even OBJ too will be cut up in the web of intrigues that will follow, you just watch events unfold”.

Martins was enthralled by her analysis and he was pleased; he said to himself, “I made a good choice after all”. Yinka’s voice brought him back, when she said welcome home Ololufemi. He didn’t recover from his soul journey on time, but he did just enough to get by and he said thank you dear.

She wheeled in the small Saint Laurel bag Martins came with and he found a comfortable spot on the couch. He was visibly engrossed by the elegance and sophisticated nature of her living room. He browsed from one art portrait to another in sheer admiration; he didn’t even notice Yinka was behind him. Rhetorically, he said “could this be a lady’s living room?” “It was designed by one of the best interior décor experts in town and all I did was to open my purse and watch”, she said. He was startled as if he just heard and saw a ghost. “Sorry I didn’t notice you were here, I was engrossed by what you have here. Please don’t mind my chauvinist jab” he quickly added. “No problem, you are not the first to lose it here. But I’m glad you like it. Table is set and lunch is ready”, she said, hopping on his back as they both moved towards the dinning table.

“In a long while Honey; I haven’t had pounded yam and this is sumptuous. You are such a good cook but I doubt if you are better than I am”. He left his seat to meet her, he pulled her up and he buried his lips in hers. Yinka didn’t resist, she welcome him with hot passion, they lasted for about five minutes and Martins carried her into his arms.  Yinka’s heart skipped, she thought he would head towards the bedroom, rather, he took her to the living room. He placed her carefully on the three-sitter couch, he kissed her with renowned warmth, caressed her neck, touched her soft lips with his index finger and he placed a hot kiss on her forehead. This time Yinka was ready for a showdown but Martins fought hard the temptation to probe further and he stopped though not swiftly. To cast out any embarrassing look, he made up by tickling her and she laughed until her ribs could not take it any more. Finally, she found her voice; “I didn’t know you are such a bad boy, Handsome. You got me panting endlessly”. “Where are we going tonight Butterfly?” Pretending as if he didn’t hear what she said. Also, he wanted to know if the coast is clear for his ‘royal treat’.

“Since I got wind of your visit, I have had my eyes on the Silverbird Cinemas’ Screen list. Expendables is going down this evening, would you like to see it?” “Yea, that would be great! Is good to have Stallone back on screen!” “Oh mine I’m a big fan” Yinka exclaimed! “I still have a CD of his movie with Sharon Stone, and also Rambo; both are pleasant delight to me. I would like to see those again”, Martins said. “Oh that reminds me, a long time boodie called just before I boarded this morning and he is right here in town. Would you like to say hello after the movie?” “Oh sure! In the main time Sweetheart, let me tidy up the kitchen while you get some quick nap”. “Like seriously, I needed to close my eyes”, he said while they kiss again.

“Have you ever fallen in love so badly, you will do anything to make him understand”-Brandy- was having it slow from the CD player of the car as they both drove towards the Presidential Hotel along the airport road. Martins had all the plans perfected without Yinka having the slightest hint of what was to come. There was a competition on who knows Brandy’s songs the most. Martins missed with ‘Long Distance’ intentionally to allow her have a feel of victory and most importantly to avoid any probing that will give him away. “Yes, I won and for daring to compete, here is your fine ‘GC Ladies Mother of Pearl white ceramic bracelet watch”. “You got it!”, Martins said trying to focus on the wheel.

They arrived at the Presidential Hotel. Martins got down and quickly got Yinka’s door, while a doorman waited to pack the car safely and another led the way. “Welcome Mr. Martins, how are you finding your stay in Port-Harcourt?”  “Very well thank you”. The VIP Lounge was well lighted in blue, red and green light all jostling to take their turn. A soft music filled the background. Beautiful hostesses were strategically positioned to be beckoned for any services. At the far end was a table for two and the only table available. Finally, Yinka broke lose of the spell. “I thought you said…” Martins placed his fingers on her lips. Quietly, he led her to the table and he shifted the chair for her to sit. Yinka was obviously caught in the web of surprises and she looked on in amazement.

“Butterfly, please discard my earlier information, there is no friend anywhere. It was all made up to get you here. This is my friends’ plan they insisted I give you a royal treat tonight. They planned and executed it, everything you see here is their handiwork.” “Really I’m lost. I have no clue; you swept me off my feet. It’s just that Tade is in soup for not telling about this when we spoke this evening.” They had a quiet dinner, both secretly admiring each other while ravishing their meal. “Sweetheart, excuse me I want to use the gent.”

The voice jolted her but Matins was nowhere close to the band. She looked around but gave up when she couldn’t find him. “Luther Vandross song is very dear to Yinka; you can sing her one of those on your visit”, Tade told him at the club. When Martins emerged with ‘Endless Love’, Yinka could not hold back anymore, she stood up with both hands clasped on her mouth. She requested for a microphone and they both sang together. It was a fulfilling night for the duo.

“Honey your phone is ringing”, Yinka called from the bedroom. “Okay let it ring Sweet, I’m on leave”, he said from the kitchen where he was fixing breakfast. Moments later she brought the device, it won’t stop ringing. It was his CMD; he collected the phone and dropped it on the cabinet. “Butterfly I’m on break, no disturbances!” Yinka begged him to pick and he agreed. The phone rang again and he answered. “Hello, Dr. Martins, we have been trying to reach you since yesterday, we have an emergency and we are due for an operation by 2pm I need all my good hands, please come in. “But sir, I’m not in town…”. “Don’t worry, I have had your flight booked and I will forward the reference code to you right away. Your flight is for 9:30am”. And the line went dead.

“Duty calls beautiful, I’m sorry. It is the oath I swore, I thought I had gotten away but no”. “I understand Handsome, let me worry about that, while you go have your bath. A while later, Yinka drove him to the airport; the flight was delayed till 12:30pm.

Few months after Martins visited he had the ‘GC Wristwatch’ delivered. Yinka could not believe it when she saw the package. “Oh my God! This costs £430, 000’ Martin why now?” She screamed and made the entire office panic. Her secretary with other staff rushed into her office, they were dead scared. “Ma’am, hope there’s no problem? We were startled by your scream”, her secretary managed to say. “All is well Helen, you all may return to your desk”. When they left, she screamed again; they all wanted to rush in again but decided against it. “Helen, when madam don calm down small tell am say make she go see her doctor, you hear me so”, one of them said. And they all laughed, moving towards their desk.

Yinka was crazily in love with Martins but there was nothing he could do about that, her fate was sealed. She was due to walk the aisle in two months. She had her introduction two weeks after Martins left PH. Yinka had been betrothed to the only son of the Philips since she was ten. Her parents had been on her neck to honour that agreement and save the family from eternal embarrassment. “Should I go ahead and accept this gift? Stephen will ask me where it came from. How do I explain that? If I didn’t accept it will blow my cover and Martins would ask questions? What will be the implication of my action? What do I do now?” These were the questions that played on Yinka’s mind as she sat glued to her chair behind her desk. She shrugged; “I will accept and damn the consequences”. She called Martins to say thank you.

We were all at the club one Saturday evening and I was wresting with several bottles of valentino as the rest punched on the baileys. That evening we expected Claire to be part of the groove but she wasn’t. I was a little startled when she called my phone. I was tempted to hand it over to Tade thinking she has difficulty reaching him on his line. Reluctantly, I answered the call. “Hello Pretty…” “Shola leave that for now” she cut in. “The information I’m about to give you will sadden your heart, perhaps shatter it but I know you are the only one with the wit to handle such terrible news”. I only managed to say ‘go on’ and she let out the bomb shell. By this time I was fifty meters away from our table. ‘”Yinka is getting married next weekend”, she said. “What! No…no…you are joking right?” “Did I joke with that yesterday or something? I’m telling you what I know for real. If you doubt me take your pals home now, you all should listen to NTA 9:00pm news tonight. It will be aired during one of the commercial breaks”. “Who is the groom?”, “I asked I’m not saying anymore go discover it yourself”.

I hurried back to the table, wearing my best make up smile. Tade was ranting about Claire’s abscence, I managed to put that off. “She’s probably fixed and couldn’t come; you know the nature of her work young man”, I told him. With a glance at my watch I said, “guys all roads lead to my apartment we have had enough this evening, anyone interested in liquid can continue when you get there”.

We were stepping into the compound when PHCN took power, they chorused, NEPA!. I saw Ibrahim walk briskly towards the generator house after he had firmly secured the gate. The news was already on as the HD machine came up. “Gentlemen let’s listen to the news tonight, I can see Bosun and Martins already scrambling for the cable remote”. “That serves the two of you right” Tade said. They both kicked but Tade and I didn’t listen. Ten minutes into the news, the announcement came, Yinka was to be married to the son of Oyo State Governor. According to the public announcement it was to take place at Ado-Ekiti, the country home of Yinka.

“No it is not possible maybe there is a mistake somewhere. It couldn’t have been my Yinka. I still spoke with her on my way here. Maybe they bear the same name”, Martins said. He picked his phone to call her but the line was switched off. Martins was losing it. He was sweating like an athletic soul who has just completed a marathon. The 2.5 horse power air condition and the standing fan in the living availed less. We gathered round him to provide additional fresh air with the dailies and other periodicals.  Bosun held him to prevent him from any irrational step. He said, “I want to drink hot water. Shola please I feel so cold within. Tade see where love across the bbm landed me ehn..! Ha that wedding will not hold! No, it would not hold! He wept like a baby denied of succor. Yinka ba ma ti se bayi si mi, he said. Bosun, I thought I have found love!”. He was completely shattered.  Our pain obviously is beyond letters. We nursed our pain together without the slightest clue on the next move.

 @deolu_369

Photo Credit: Google

LOVE ACROSS BBM

Adeolu C. Alupogun-Iran

It was on Tade’s birthday and we all sat together after round of beating and water bathing. This has been customary to such occasions among us. We all settled into the couch anticipating who will come with the first package among his numerous admirers and three girlfriends. While waiting, we teased him about a fight that is likely to ensue, turning his well set living room into a boxing ring when they all show up and this made him almost laugh his heart out.

Moment of silence followed afterwards as a ping came in, Tade picked up his Blackberry device to check who joined the list of well wishers on his gracious day. He read quietly while we waited anxiously, expecting him to take the usual route of reading it out to us but he didn’t. He just smiled and dropped the device. Obviously we were agitated at this strange turn; Tade noticed but simply ignored it. ‘There won’t be a sacred cow around here today’ Bosun said. Martins picked up the device and we all tucked to read as well as confirm who the sender was.

Yinka has been a good friend of Tade for a long time; in fact they were at the same university, an opportunity which really fine-tuned their friendship. Often times, he has reiterated that whatever transpired between them was no business of ours and we have always respected that. This explained why he had acted the way he did. Quietly, we let go of the BlackBerry device and swallowed every word we were tempted to say. Before we resettle to our ‘waiting’ mission, Martins cleared his throat in a mischievous manner and we all looked at him. ‘Tade can I have Yinka’s pin please?’ he said. We were all dazzled! Martins had not met Yinka before but he has heard a great deal about her. We all knew what it was about, so, everyone kept mute; “I would have to ask her” Tade replied. “Fare enough” he said reclaiming his previous position.

The door bell buzzed and we all dashed across the door like kids expecting Santa. The drama is nothing expected of full grown adults like us, but mind you, it was Tade’s birthday and we were signed up for real fun no matter how childish. Finally, we agreed that I get the door while the others hide behind the couch and door. At the door was beautiful Claire, who obviously has been wondering what the drama was about.  She was about asking me where her dear Tade was, when he popped up behind the couch and just like whirlwind she was well wrapped around him in embrace. “Happy birthday dearie!” she said in a bed room voice. And of course! She did bring the first package.

Moment later Tade emerged from the room with the good news. Yinka approved I shared her pin with you, he said.”Thank you”, Martins responded with a smile. For a short while we lost Martins to Yinka as the duo locked horns on BBM. He often laughed and screamed while the tittle-tattle lasted. Martins indeed found a company with Yinka. This to me was very impressive.

The sound of the door bell startled us. The expression on our faces were chaotic, none of us attempted to get the door this time. Unfortunately, Claire surfaced and was at the door. Until then did it dawn on us that the unavoidable is about to happen. Within me I thought in Yoruba- ibi to ba le la ti ma ba omokunrin. Tade had obviously been unsettled, but a glance at me restored calm to his face. “The master must be prepared at all times”, he said in a whispering voice.

As soon as the door opened, Adeola cropped up with a hilarious scream ignoring every one of us including Claire the ‘doorman’. She hugged and kissed Tade, Bosun could hardly resist the temptation not to talk anymore and he said “hmm…just like one of the Nollywood movie scenes”. We could not but laugh, surprisingly Claire did too! Adeola wouldn’t have stopped if that did not happen. She left Tade to give us bare hugs while she cast a ridiculous glance on Claire. But Claire in her cultured manner ignored her and went in. There was a long pause. Tade excused himself and closed the right eye indicating “code yellow”. We understood perfectly, so with calculated precisions we managed Adeola while Tade attended to Claire in the room.

Just when we thought we had prevented the looming danger. Folakemi made entrance, barging in on us like when NEPA ceased power without warning. She greeted us warmly and dropped her package on the dining table. She was about reverting to us when she overheard the whispering from the room, she decided against it and headed straight to the bedroom. Without wasting time Martins pursed but he was too late. Before he could catch up, Folakemi had descended on Claire like a rushing water fall. Just before Tade or Martins could wrestle Claire off the ravaging Folakemi she was done with her victim.

With a swift turn she slapped both Tade and Martins. Though, Martins was at the receiving end because he wanted to hold her hand. Hmm…while we rushed in from the living room we left Adeola behind, who sat glued to the couch. We never knew she gave us a long rope to pull. We were still hovering over Claire who had just been bartered. Suddenly, the sound from the living room was more forceful than the last hurricane sandy that hit the US soil.

By the time we arrived, the well set living room had indeed been turned into a boxing ring. The two ladies were on the floor beating themselves blue-black. We all looked at Tade who obviously appeared like a person from a heavy rain, “indeed the master had been caught off guard” I said unconsciously. Adeola pounded Folakemi real good and we all watched to our delight. We only intervened when Folakemi attempted to employ the nearby stool. Preventing any lost of live. That certainly we cannot afford. Tade had met the duo through the BBM six and eight months ago. He did ask them out even before they agreed to meet.

The ugly incident had robbed us of our energy and sense of time. We never knew our guests for the birthday party had arrived. They all gathered outside in twos, threes and perhaps more wandering what was going on in there. It was way too embarrassing for us all. Tade out of fury threw both Adeola and Folakemi out, warning them vehemently never to return. Would the party still hold? This question disturbed my mind. My word bank seemed empty and I sat dejected, trying to forge ahead. Before I could finish booting, Tade was on his way out and we all followed him. We had no idea what would happen. We were face to face with people who had come with load of expectations; perhaps thought Saturday night will rock. Those expectations were certainly cut short as Tade announced the cancellation of the party without any emotion.

There was a long stand still; none of us knew where to start from. We sat looking like morons. The sound of a car about parking outside brought us back to life and we all gathered to check who would emerged from the car. Alas, it was Isabel the Minister’s daughter who was bent on dating Tade. We all clasped our heads definitely resigning to the unfortunate fate that marked the day. She was in company of two other ladies all looking radiant and party ready. Tade took Claire in while we attended to our guests. Isabel bounced in; we exchanged pleasantries with wide eyes. “What’s happening here? Where is the party? What are you guys doing at home? And where is my dear Tade?” I replied, “Which of these questions do you want answered first?” “Tade is not in and party cancelled”, Martins said in low voice. “Oh shit! Why didn’t Tade tell me?” She stormed out of the flat with her entourage in anger. Relief was what we all felt.

We spent the remaining part of the night persuading and apologizing to Claire. She was determined to bow out of the relationship with Tade but for the good will of his friends, she decided against it. It was indeed a dark day for Master Tade.                                                                                                                                                                        …to be continued

My Guardian Angel

Bukola Bayo-Philip

My eyes were filled with disgust as I stared at the dirty plates scattered in the veranda and gave my Step-Mother a cursory gaze. As much I as I felt like crying, I didn’t want her to see me as a weak person, so I decided to make her regret calling on me for such a dirty task again. “Make every plate shine like a mirror and no soaking of pots this time, I have had enough of your laziness!” my Step-Mother screamed at me and it felt so demeaning. I looked straight into her eyes and down again as I struggled with tears disgracing at a time like this.

All I could do was mumble and fume, swallowing the words trying to escape from my mouth like a bitter pill. My face was burning and twice its actual size, yet she was pointing at the plates while she held out the sponge to me. “I am not going to wash those dishes; Mama would never treat her precious daughter like this and I won’t take such because she is dead.” I didn’t say it out, just some of the words I chewed in my mouth. I looked at her again with so much contempt.Before I could realize, I hissed unconsciously, never thought it would sound so loud but she heard and then I felt a sharp pain on my face, she slapped me! What insolence! I held my face in my hand and my stomach turned as I groaned.

Step-Mother and I are two worlds apart and I will play the part of clearing an exit route for her. Staggering towards the plates, I kicked some out of my way and started throwing the others into the bowl of soapy water she had already arranged. As I angrily threw the plates in, I heard the sound of a broken dish. I dipped my hand into the bowl to see if it was truly broken, and my hand was covered with blood as I brought it out.

I felt so happy that I could not feel the pain. I dashed inside to my father’s door and I started crying loudly. I knew he was sleeping and that was a point that will make him angrily scold his wife for making me disturb him. “This is it!” I said to myself as father checked out the deep cut and poured dry gin on it. Papa did not say a word, and to my surprise, he did not call her for making me handle breakable dishes. He came out of his room thirty minutes later, took me back to the veranda and said “ Stella, you will have to wash those plates with your left hand until they are clean, even if it will take you the whole day.”

That moment I lost the battle and it felt like the whole world was against me. She has bewitched him now and I am going to die like a miserable person. I lied against her a week after and it almost cost her marriage but nobody said anything about it. All she did was wake me up the following night with a ‘message of repentance’, a boring midnight talk I so much hate. I prayed to God each night to send her away but I don’t know why he didn’t grant my wish.

All these happened fifteen years ago, and looking at that episode again, I realized how much an ingrate I have been. I was young, stupid and wrong. I played a lot of unsuccessful pranks on her and yet she loved me like her blood. I was just too foolish to realize that all those years we lived on her sweat and she never mentioned it. Looking at her today again as she smiled when she saw me in my graduation gown, for the first time in a long time I felt the urge to hug and tell her how proud I am to have her in my life, even when I lost my mother. Tears of joy rolled down her cheek when I hugged her so tight and said“I am indeed grateful to God for sending me a guardian angel”.

Mummy’s Wishes


Adeolu C. Alupogun-Iran

He quietly opened my door and snuggled up to me in bed; my eyes remained closed but I knew it could only be one person, Olubunmi, my favourite nephew. He pretended as if he wanted to catch up with sleep, but it wasn’t long before his cover was blown up. He tapped me and never waited for my response. He hit the nail on the head, Uncle, I just can’t sleep, I have my mind preoccupied. Still sleeping but I heard him well, so I asked him what the problem was.

He opened up: “Hmm, Mum said I must study law but I have a strong passion for journalism. She said we need a lawyer in the family. She pointed out, how Omowunmi made the family proud when she concluded her medicine study two years ago and now is my turn. Uncle, I am confused.” By this time he had succeeded in wrestling sleep away from me.

I became stiff, perhaps, startled can best describe my reaction to what Olubunmi just told me. I managed to keep my shock away from him. I drew him closer, thinking frantically about the best approach in communicating to him. I understood perfectly what he was passing through, because I was once a victim of career imposition but due to my stubbornness I got the career of my choice, not without a price though. Apparently, I wouldn’t want him to pass through what I went through.

Very early in life, I felt the pangs of parents’ vendetta against their own children because I dared disobey them on their choice of career for me. To me, I had learnt from experience and preventing my little nephew from such a traumatic experience was of utmost importance to me. I sat him down to really ascertain where his interest really lay.

“Why do you want to study journalism,” I asked him.

“I want to keep my society informed, and knowing I’m doing something for them will make me happy.” That’s his view of the profession. Though, I knew he would do well in any of the professions, yet a reassurance from him wasn’t a bad idea. “This is a difficult issue,’ I thought. A terrain I never imagined I would tread ever again!

I knew my sister; Olubunmi’s Mum was never in my support throughout those periods; in fact, she made sure all persuasions from well meaning people to my parents were fruitless because she was indeed very close to them. These memories came back fresh as I was trying to persuade Olubunmi that things will fall into place, but deep inside I didn’t know how. One thing was clear; his mother won’t ever listen to me. In order to make him happy I proposed he would go out with me later in the day, though I never intended to as I planned to stay in-doors and close out some official tasks during the weekend, I simply had to accommodate him.

As he stepped out of my room, my mobile phone rang; on the other end of the line was a good buddy of mine. Johnson was God-sent to me during my trying times; he called to invite me for their family reunion activities. He said I could bring my family members and the line went dead. My girlfriend was not in town so I thought of who to invite. Reluctantly, I sold the idea to my sister on phone and she bought it surprisingly.

Johnson’s family reunion was a three-day event, but we couldn’t get to attend until the last day. The family was quite warm and accommodating; we were shown the table and we sat among them. While we were settling down, a young man came on the small platform that had been neatly arranged to signal the commencement of the programme. He gave a short but concise history of the family: “In line with the tradition of the family, which strongly believes that the best way to learn and get more wisdom in life is by learning through other people’s experiences, he said.

“Today, our special guest will inspire you; his life experience will drill the depth of emotion from you. I know for sure most of us will leave this year’s reunion with changed perception on the issues his story would evolve round.” I was looking around to see who the speaker would be, when out of the blues I was introduced as one.

I was startled and visibly shaken, I didn’t know whether to stand or remain seated, before I could decide on what to do, two beautiful young ladies appeared beside me, obviously to usher me to the stage. By the time I stepped on stage, I had regained my composure.

I narrated my ordeal as a 14-year-old boy, how my parents disowned me because I refused against their wish to study medicine, how I enrolled to take West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for accounting and commerce to qualify me for a degree in accountancy. The frustrating role my sister seated in their midst played to ensure I never achieved my dream of becoming a chartered accountant at age 19. But all weapons mounted against me failed because of two persons: GOD and Johnson, my dear friend.

Today, I did not only achieve my dream of becoming a chartered accountant at 19, I also became a doctor of accounting with specialization in statistics and data analysis at 25. My parents never thought I could survive those dark hours and eventually rescind their stand and took me back after my first degree.”

As I rounded off every soul at that gathering was on their feet, heavily laden with emotions. I couldn’t move from the very spot I stood, I was equally overwhelmed. My sister obviously could not control her emotion, she was drenched in tears as she walked through the people to usher me back to my seat. All through the reunion programme she was visibly quiet despite various hilarious activities that formed part of the event.

Two weeks later I got a mail from Olubunmi, that journalism, his choice of career, had been approved by his parents. Evidently, Johnson’s family reunion event had performed the magic.