THE BEST HOPE-GIVING STORY I’VE READ IN AGES
DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON(S) WHY YOU CAN’T MAKE IT IN LIFE?
In the village of Kara, Alata lives Baba and Mama Odo-ola. Baba Odo-ola was a farmer while his wife was a trader until she had an accident that confined her to wheelchair. As a result of the accident, Mama Odo-ola decided to start ogi business because she hate to sit at home idle. Both parents had 9 children among whom were Dotun their first child and Arire the last child. Baba and Mama Odo-ola did not have any form of formal education but were desirous of having their children go to school. They struggled to give their children the kind of education they desire.
However, they couldn’t due to financial constraints. While some of the children struggled to make it out of secondary school, some had to drop out of school to take on menial jobs. Dotun was among those who was able to make it out of school through self-effort and support of his parents. On completion of his primary school and realising that if he remains in the village, he might not be able to achieve something significant for himself, he decided to relocate to ‘Eko-Ile’ (Lagos) to seek greener pasture. On getting to Eko, he got a job as a house-help in the home of Pa Ajagun but Dotun was still nursing his desire of proceeding to secondary school.
The family of Ajagun treated Dotun fairly well and whenever the children returns from school, Dotun will curiosly check the classworks and he realised he could do most of the school works. This motivated him and he started saving his salaries. While other children from the village were buying clothes, shoes, etc., Dotun was saving his money and buying buckets, books, etc needed for his secondary school.
Dotun returned to his village after few years as a houseboy and enrolled in a secondary school which he successfully completed. Because of his desire to have university education, Dotun decided to join the Army. He was among the few successful candidates who made it out of the Army training school. Few years after he joined the army, he gained admission into university and was sponsored by the army. On graduating from the university, he was granted presidential commission and was elevated to the rank of Lieutenant.
Dotun later got married to a beautiful and humble lady, Aduke, from his home town. Out of his desire to assist members of his family to also realize their dreams, Dotun and his wife decided to bring Arire to live with them. His plan was to enroll Arire in a military school. Arire was already in a secondary school in the village for some years but he would have to start afresh in the military school because the school does not accept transfer students from other schools. Moreover, due to the low standard of Arire’s former school, he found it very difficult to communicate in English Language which would make him unable to fit-in. Realizing that his brother may not be able to go the school without coaching and helping him to refine his poor spoken English, he personally took up the challenge to help his village brother by engaging him day and night in extra moral classes. Dotun had to ban the speaking of his native language in the house to help his younger brother. After several months of tutorials, Arire wrote the entrance exams into one of the prestigious schools run by the military and passed.
Then, there comes another hurdle Arire must scale; the final interview which would be conducted by some senior military officers. Dotun knows that his brother must impress the senior officers to have a chance of being admitted, so he did everything possible to help improve his brother’s spoken English. He and his wife conducted a mock interview for Arire asking him the likely questions he might be asked. Where his response was not satisfactory, he was corrected. Even though Arire’s spoken English was a challenge, Dotun had no doubt that he would do well during the interview because of the efforts put into his preparation.
The interview was to last for one week and it included medical test, physical test, written test and one-on-one interview.
Arire passed the medical and did extremely well in both the physical and written tests. On the day of the interview, each candidate would enter one after the other and are asked various questions ranging from primary school subjects to current affairs. When it was Arire’s turn, he entered and a member of the board asked him to tell them about himself. He had no problem answering this because he had rehearsed it during the preparation. He also answered a few other questions well. Arire was later asked a question he didn’t know how to respond to, rather than answer yes sir, he responded in his native language “beni sir”. Members of the Board bursted into uncontrollable laughter. However, due to his performance in the physical and written tests, he was shortlisted for the reserve but was later considered. After the first term examination, the school commandant sent for Arire to know his performance, he was surprised to see that he took 13th position out of 40.
Dotun continued to rise in his military career. He was a very kind hearted man with strict moral principles and has great love for education. He not only help members of his family and members of his community to further their education, he also helped those outside his immediate community. There was a time some elders in a town not too far from Kara were wrongly accused of manslaughter and were moved to the far away police divisional headquarters in Oluyole city where they were locked up. After several unsuccessful attempts by the other elders in the village to get them released, a man in the town informed the elders that there is a man in Oluyole whom he thinks can assist the elders. They asked who he was. The man responded that he is a military officer from Kara village. The elders were surprised that there was anyone like that because they have never heard of him. They decided to travel down to Oluyole to see Dotun. He also was surprised to see the elders because he had lived a low profile life.
After exchanging pleasantries, the elders told him why they had come to see him. Dotun told the elders not to worry, that he would go to the police HQ the following day and asked them to meet him there. The following day, Dotun went to the police HQ to meet the police boss. The police boss confirmed that the elders in the custody were free of the allegations but those who had come to seek for their release didn’t meet the bail conditions. The elders in custody of the police were released even before the arrival of the elders from the village. On reaching the police headquarters, the elders were surprised to see that their colleagues have been released. They were all happy but at the same time surprised at how easy Dotun was able to secure their release. The elders went back to thank him with various gift items but Dotun humbly declined. They thereafter went back to the village to see Dotun’s parents to thank them for what Dotun did. His parents felt highly honoured because the whole village had become aware of it.
Arire performed well in the final year examination and followed the footstep of his elder brother. He also went to the university Dotun graduated from. He finished with a good grade and sought for presidential commission in the military. Arire was enlisted into the officers’ cadre and before the end of his training he was sent to London to complete his training because of his performance. While in London, his outstanding performance also fetched him the highest award for international students.
Dotun rose to the rank of Colonel in the Army and one day he decided to go and see the family of Ajagun where he had served as houseboy. On getting there, Pa Ajagun could not recognise Dotun again and he had to introduce himself. Pa Ajagun was shocked to see the boy that once served his family as a houseboy now risen to the rank of Colonel in the Army. Out of the joy and surprise, Pa Ajagun called his son, Gbenga who now live abroad to tell him of the surprise. Few months after the visit, Gbenga came home and visited Dotun in the office to confirm what the father told him. He was also full of surprises.
Perhaps you think because of your background, you can’t make anything out of life, maybe the story of Dotun should convince you that you are wrong. Life is never fair to anyone, only the prepared and determined makes something meaningful out of it. Being successful doesn’t have to be having all the wealth in the world but living a truly purposeful life that impacts on others positively. By the definition of wealth or riches, Dotun does not fit into that definition yet he impacted the lives of others positively.
After you have realized your dreams in life, do not close your eyes on others. Be like a ladder that others too can use to get to the top. But for God and Dotun, his younger brother, Arire, may have ended up like other kids in the village whose potentials were never realized let alone live their dreams. What you do today is what you will be remembered for tomorrow.