Bí onírèsé kọ̀ tí ò fín igbá mọ́, èyí tó ti fín ò leè parun.
Even if the calabash carver no longer carves, those already carved will remain.
I got into University at the age of 17, very naive and glad to be free. Nothing can be closer to freedom than when a teenager doesn’t have to be scolded by his mum for obvious exuberance.
But how do you handle a case when a classmate already in his very late twenties wants to be your friend? I knew I had watched Segun Ojo around the Engineering class but we had too little interaction.
I liked to play football but I was a horrible player, even ordinary ball control was enough to display my naivety. In my secondary schools, I was the type that got to the field early but won’t make the “set”. Most times, I settled for the goal keeper, posting average performance.
So I burst in the field and I wanted to play ball. Yeah, I wanted to play. I asked Segun for the ball which he gave. I just could not bring it down. He knew I was an “otu”. He turned around and found another player.
Since then, we became friends . Can I really call Segun a friend with the long age gap between us.? That was the first dilemma. I decided to call him “Sege” since that sounded easier rather than sayIing “Brother Segun” in University.
He would finally rescue me from distress in the University. That’s why it is hard to forget. I hated Technical Drawing a lot. I mean a lot. My impatience for the lines and edges was soon telling on me. It was tearing me down.
Few of the nights I moaned on why I did Engineering was the day before a test or exam, it was technical drawing. But, Segun was always there. He had a way of doing it with great skill and simplicity. It was like he was born to draw, technical drawing.
He would repeat himself to me over and over without being burdened. He was cheerful and while the drawing lasted, he had this “quickie rice” – rice, oil and a last minute addition of eggs. You couldn’t miss it.
After teaching me how to handle it all, I would then go back to Metro hostel, where I lived. Then I would forget and go back to his house. Then, he was happy to tell me the set square should have been the other way. I passed technical drawing by a little margin escaping the dreaded “carryover”.
In that full stream of kindness was when Segun decided to give his room to me. Wow. One renegade was threatening him and his gentle spirit with leaving than finding strife. He said I should take his room and live there. I would later share that room with “Kush”. That was N15,000 for a year. Honestly, my parents could not afford that. I gave him all I had and he was happy to accept it. I was so glad to attend his wedding but its been a while I saw or heard of him.
I need to find him and crack new jokes. His kindness was sincere, a lot of grace and ease. I wish the world had more of people like Segun, it would be better with people like him who hardly do any harm but do good always. He nearly got expelled from the University for also wanting to do good, but his innocence saw him through. I also remembered those trysts to Osiele to find babes even though I returned with void.
He made my life simple on that early question – “how to make friend with someone who was years ahead of you”?
It is always possible if we shed our garment of pride and let kindness fill our spirit as a child’s.