Determination: (Struggles of an African Child) Episode 1-Episode 8 Compilation
Some could have been born into fortunate families with a sliver spoon in the mouth, this is why it's some times hard to actually comprehend why some people are poor, they term it to things like laziness or maybe lack of education.
So I decided to write this novel to narrate the struggles of a typical African child, who came from a poor background but is so determine to make it.
But it definitely won't be easy, the road is full of ups and downs, in this novel we would get to see if she scales through
Will she be successful? I can't tell so let us explore the life and time of "Alice" together.
It was exactly 4am in the morning when Alice suddenly shouted "I shall make it, I shall make it".
This was the noise that woke her mother up. She looked towards the direction of the voice came from, she couldn't believe her eyes as she saw her daughter's face soaked with tears
"Alice what the matter with you?" Her mum asked.
But Alice couldn't say a anything. So it took Her some minutes to calm her down.
Finally, Alice asked " Mum is this how we are going to live our life's?
Her mum pretended she didn't know what Alice was talking about.
"Are we going to die in poverty?" asked Alice
Suddenly she said "No, I shall make it."
Alice was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Afolabi
Mr Afolabi is in his early forty's with five children, three girls and two boys. Mrs Afolabi was just thirty three years of age.
They've been married for the past seventeen years.
Mr Afolabi is a farmer while his wife is a petty trader. They both work very hard every year but its never enough to take care of the whole family.
Doyin the first born had stopped going to school. Ope the second born has been driven home last session because she was yet to pay up her school fees.
And Here is Alice given a note from school to her parent indicating that if she didn't bring her school fees to school the next day she would be beaten and sent back home.
Alice interest for education is so high that even when there is no breakfast to eat to school she would still go to school happily. But now her education is about to stop like the others, this was the reason she couldn't sleep throughout the night to the extend that she shouted out her determination.
Mrs Afolabi laid her hand on her daughter's shoulder and said "my daughter we wouldn't die in poverty, I have strong faith in God that we shall make it as you have said.
Look my dear life is not a straight road, but full of ups and down. Some people are destined to be rich at their early age in life while some are destined to make it in the afternoon-some it is when they are old. My dear let have faith in God that, we too shall make it in our generation. Go to bed our God shall make a way for us.
Alice cleans her face with her cover cloth and goes back to sleep.
"Mummy Alice, make sure you prepare the food as early has possible, and bring my own along when you're coming". Mr afolabi called out as he prepare himself for the farm. They wanted to harvest cassava to make garri, fufu,and laafu e.t.c (Africans local foods).
So they agreed to harvest cassava from their farm so they can have food at home and also sell so they will have some money to spend. So Mr Afolabi left before six o' clock in the morning
Mrs Afolabi woke the children up and prepared them some breakfast, after they've all eaten, she took some food along for her husband and they left for the farm together.
Before they got to the farm, Afolabi was almost through with the work he was doing. Immediately the children got there, they began gathering the cassava together for them to be peeled and washed.
They were all very serious with the work. At about 2pm Alice asked her mother for lunch, but her mother told her its until they finished the cassava at the back of the palm tree. So with annoyance in Alice, she didn't take not of the thorn of the palm tree. So, she stepped her toe on it. She screamed loud that her mother had to jump up to see what has happened to her.
When she got there, she saw a black thorn on her daughters toe. She tried removing it but the more she tried, the more Alice screamed, So Mrs Afolabi called her husband to come and help her. Mr Afolabi came and after much struggles he succeeded but not without pull out some flesh, then blood started gushing out.
The blood was so much that Alice had to be taken home by her mother.
So they bound the wound with her mother scarf after applying some iodine, but the blood didn't stop.
Mummy bimbo advised Mrs Afolabi to take Alice to the health center, but which was about three villages away .
So Mrs Afolabi left a message for Afolabi, that they had gone to the health center to treat the wound.
Fortunately for Alice, the doctor was around, he attended to her immediately and he gave some injections which stopped the bleeding. The doctor gave her drugs to take home and ordered her to come back two days after to take another medication.
After the bleed stopped, Alice was surprised to see a young beautiful, smart lady dressed in white. So she turned to her mother, "maami, who is this lady?" Her mum answer "she is a nurse, who usually attend to sick people after the doctor might have prescribed the drugs for the patient". What of the big daddy in white? He is a doctor. "Mammi I wish to be like this aunty when I grow up" Alice said "God will help you my daughter" her mother replied.
They left for their village, it was late before they got home. But Alice could not stop thinking about the lady she saw in the health center to the extent that she narrated what she saw in the center to her sisters and brothers. She even asked how she could become a nurse. They advised her to ask the lady she saw at the center.
She did not tell her mother of her intention to ask the lady how she could become a nurse.
After she has taken her injection and the wound has been treated, she asked the lady " Aunty how can I become a nurse like you?” the nurse laughed and said "make sure you read your book very well, after your primary school education you'll go to secondary and from there you'll go to nursing school at the end, you will become a nurse.
"Bola, I shall make it no matter what it will cause me" said Alice to her friend who came to visit her after her long time absence from the school.
Both girls have been friends since they were very small. While they were playing one day, they both said to one another "I will like to become a nurse so that I can take care of the sick people in our village" said Alice.
"I will like to become a teacher so that I can be teaching students in school like Aunty Shade" said Bola.
Aunty Shade has been a wonderful teacher. She's loved by almost all the children in the school to the extent most of them wish to be like Aunty Shade.
Due to the way Aunty Shade carry out her official duties and her cheerfulness to all the people, the adults and the children of the village see teaching as a very good profession and encourage their children to face their studies so that they can be like Aunty Shade.
Aunty Shade visited the Afolabi family one evening, she advised and encourage them to get some money and bring it to her to add whatever she had, then she would go to the Headmaster to plead for Afolabi's children and they will later pay the remaining money instalmentally. Right from that day Mr Afolabi and his wife tried their best and even borrowed from friends so they were able to send their children back to school.
As Mr Afolabi sat down, thinking about how he could earn enough money to buy food and clothes for the family and still have some left to settle the many debt at hand, his friend Mr Alayo came in. Mr Alayo has been a very good friend of Afolabi. Both friends shared the same farm boundary in the outskirts of the village.
Their farm is surrounded by a river,so the land is very good for planting vegetables, pepper, melon and maize e.t.c
Mr Alayo said "there is a rumour that the locust has reached the outskirt village farming area and it has destroyed many crops" Afolabi was troubled so they both agreed to visit the farm the next day. On the outskirt was were Afolabi planted maize and melon he has not been able to visit it for sometimes to see how thing are fairing over there.
So the next morning the two friends set out very early to the farm site.
Unfortunately for Afolabi all his maize had been eaten up by the locust but the locust didn't eat the melon. What will my wife say when I tell her that the locust had finished the maize which we hope to use the money to roof the remaining part of their house. His wife was already waiting for him at the door when it was dark. Not quite long she stood there her husband came.
"How was the farm?" Afolabi wife asked. Afolabi sighed and said "it was bad, all the maize had been eaten up" he shook his head "I think someone has put a curse on me". His wife shouted" you shall not be cursed peradventure someone did, the head of my father, the head of my mother and my God will not let it work on you". She then took him and persuaded him to eat his supper which she had prepared.
The following morning Mrs Afolabi told Afolabi to let them go and harvest the remaining maize so they can sell it immediately and the money be used to clear part of their other farms so they will plant some vegetables. Afolabi yielded to his wife's advise and they harvested all the maize at the farm and used the money has planned
Mrs Afolabi was a very strong and beautiful woman. She always tried her best to make sure her family progress. But since the family needs increases daily, she decided to work with her husband in the farm on weekends.
Suddenly she fell sick and her husband tried his best to take care of her but because her sickness was of worries and anxiety, on the fifth day after her sickness she died.
Mrs Afolabi death was so sudden that her husband also wished to die with her but the sympathizers came to console him and also gave him a lot of promises to help him take care,of the children and play the role of a mother to them.
After a long time of mourning Mr. Afolabi accepted his fate. Alice was in primary three when her mother died, the people could not fulfill their promises so life was nothing but hell for the Afolabi family
On Monday, Mr Afolabi will go to the farm from morning to evening, then he would ask the children what they would eat, they will prepare the food together after eating, he would move around to ensure that all doors are locked
On Tuesday, he will go the other farm on the outskirt to pluck and harvest the peppers, tomatoes and cut vegetable to take to the market for sale on Wednesday. Afolabi worked almost 24 hours everyday.
The stress Afolabi was passing through in order to keep his family alive was heavy so he decided to marry another wife who could help him take care of his children.
Afolabi new wife name is Tina. After some months Tina became a thorn in the flesh of the children. Whenever Afolabi is around, she behave like an angel but in his absense she becomes a dare devil. Life became unbearable for Alice and her Siblings.
One Saturday, Alice went to Bola's house and told her "Bola, I'm sorry I will not be able to go to school again" Bola was very sad about this decision and she said "No don't give up, with God all things are possible, don't worry whenever you ask you father for anything and he says he can't afford it I'll ask my parents and they will give you"
Life was already hard for Alice but it took a turn for the worse when Tina brought the idea that Alice should be allowed to hawk pure water on the streets and also mango or orange at their seasons. Mr. Afolabi had no other option than to accept.
So Alice the nurse to be became a hawker but she didn't allow this to alter her determination of becoming a nurse. With the help of Bola her friend and some concerned people, Alice finished her Primary school education.
Bola's parents were very kind to Alice, they paid for her common entrance examination form. Which she did and passed successfully.
The moment Tina learnt that Alice was going to secondary school; she began victimizing her, reporting her to the father and always complained about her.
A month to Alice resumption into secondary school, her father traveled outside the village. On the third day Tina sent Alice out of the house warning her never to come back else she will die like her mother.
With trembling and fear Alice went.
With fear and trembling Alice went to knock Bola's room Window. Bola asked who's there?and she said it's me Alice. Bola was shocked to hear her friends voice at that time of the night.
So, she woke her mother up and they went together to open the door for Alice, it was a bitter experience for Alice.
Alice narrated her experiences to Bola's mother.
Bola and her mother went to Bola's father to ask if Alice can stay with their family for sometime.
Tina, Alice stepmother didn't even lose a sleep after she sent Alice away, When Afolabi returned from his journey he was shocked to hear Alice has been driven out of the house but due to the stress on him, he could not fight his wife rather he went out to look for his daughter and he later discovered that she was with the Bola's family.
It was later arranged that Alice will go to the town to stay with Bola's aunt at ibadan.
The night before Alice departure, Bola's mother called her and said "Alice as you are going to the city remember the the daughter of whom you are. Don't join bad gangs, be the good girl we know you to be". Very early the next morning Bola escorted her friend to the motor park. She waited for the bus to move before she went back home.
Auntie dupe was already at the Garage motor park to receive her new visitor. By the description given to her, she could easily recognize Alice, Auntie dupe was very nice towards Alice she only advised her to be a good and hardworking girl.
Alice easily makes friends, so people love her and they were ready to render help to her. Mummy sola, a woman selling fried yam and beans in front of Auntie Dupe's shop called Alice and asked if she could work for her. “what is the nature of the job?" she asked "well every weekend you'll help me wash my clothes, mop the ground, sweep the house, fetch water and we will pay you at the end of the month.
Alice started working at Mummy Sola place. Two month later, Mummy Sola's son came back from England and was impressed by Alice seriousness and excellent behavior. So when he was to go back he called Alice and gave her some piece of advise about she can make her future bright, he also gave a huge amount of money. Whenever Alice came back from school, she'll help Aunty Dupe sell her good at the shop. She will work at Mummy Bunmi's house on Saturday morning in the afternoon she will work with Mummy Soji. She works in about four different places, soon enough she was earn some money so she later decided to send some money home for her brother's and sisters.
When Mr Afolabi received Alice letter with some money inside he was very happy, he went to Bola's family to thank them for all the help they've rendered to his family.
Alice determination helped her to complete her secondary education, and she remained humble and respectful even after her secondary education.
She was very useful to Aunty Dupe she helped her prepare fufu, hawk it and she also give much time to her book which is to prepare her for the senior school certificate exam.
With full confidence Alice went to her school to check her result, and it was not surprising to see her make distinction in most of her science subjects which is the primary qualification for her admission into nursing school.
It was a wonderful day in the house when Alice collected her senior school cert. result, shoe now believes that truly her dream shall come true. Alice obtain her school of nursing form and she wrote the exam. After her exam she contemplated maybe to go back to her fathers house.
On the other side, life was not easy for Afolabi as Tina was not cooperating with him as expected. Immediately Tina gave birth to her second child, she called Afolabi and said "look enough is enough" I cannot continue in this way with you, you just have to go and add more work to your work, so that you will be able to take good care of the family or I will announce you to the whole community" "how can one continue to eat two square meal everyday even as a nursing mother never! I cannot continue this way". Afolabi sat down and wept. He remembered his late wife.
She never looked straight into my eyes, she never spoke to me harshly or rudely, rather she would always encourage me.
To be continued....
This is a orginal story written by me on my former blog and as i promised to bring all episodes compilation from my former account before continuation...this is that promise been fulfilled, so i'll continue from episode 9 from now on, so sit back and have a nice read. You can see all Original Story Posts: Here