Monthly Archives: February 2019

Life Necessities

When I think of some of the things we did or experienced in the boarding house, I sometimes wonder how we survived without disease outbreaks.

I remember the periods we had no water; the rain just like yesterday’s heavy rain was welcomed with a grateful heart.

We opened the gutter slabs in the hostel and allowed the first stream of rain water to wash away any debris from the gutters. Once the stream of water was clear and we could see the bottom of the gutter clearly, we would begin to scoop the clear water with a bowl or cup into our buckets.

This water served for bath time and for garri 😀

During these water scarcity periods, we sometimes had to walk miles to fetch water from a village stream which was actually a pond because it never flowed. It was stagnant water in a large mass. The villagers washed their clothing on the brink of the pond and scooped water out of the large mass to rinse the clothes. So there was a possibility that soapy water from the brink splashed into the larger body of water.

We fetched our water from the large mass of water. Did we care whether there were soap splashes in it? The road to the stream/pond was so steep that coming back, we had to be careful not to trip with the buckets on our heads. We would cut banana leaves and place it on the water in our buckets. The idea was that the leaves stopped the water from pouring backwards as we came down the steep road. Thinking about it now, I don’t know who came up with that logic but it definitely worked for us.

The first bucket of water was for the kitchen where we would write our names down. This signified that we had earned our dinner. We would then go back and fetch another which would be for personal use. I remember there were a few seniors who were particularly wicked and sent juniors to get them a bucket of water from the stream/pond. Such juniors ended up going three or four times on a journey which was full of torture.

The water we fetched always had tadpoles swimming in them but that did not stop us from using it to drink garri. Once your bucket of water is settled in the hostel, we scoop out all the tadpoles and leave the water to settle. We would then blow the top of the water with “mouth breeze” and viola, it becomes purified 🤦‍♀️ ; what were we thinking. Students that had alum were considered kings. They broke the alum into their buckets to purify the water.

It is difficult to understand how we never had typhoid or cholera outbreaks. We however lost a student to typhoid in my final year. It shook us and it made us realize that we were all exposed to death.

Water is definitely an important necessity of  life.

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Photo credit: https://www.aces.edu

Lost Opportunity!

Tolu opened the door to her boss’ office and walked back to her desk. She began to pack up her things and put them in a box. She was surprised by her boss’ reaction to her resignation.

It had become a sing song that he was doing her a favour during her appraisals. He always told her that she deserved a below average but refused to score her that because he did not want to get her sacked.

“Before you will go and tell the whole world that I was the one that made them sack you.” He would always say during each appraisal process.

Tolu got tired of hearing the same thing every six months when her appraisals were due. The constant reminder of her inability to meet her job expectations affected her morale.

 

On her way home a year ago, she bumped into the car of one of her course mates from the University. She had been lost in thought and did not notice that he had stepped on his brakes. When she realized what had happened, Tolu covered her face with her hands and burst into tears. She had just gone through another round of appraisals and each time felt worse than the former.

“Hello!!!! Will you at least come out of the car?” Tunde said as he stood by her side.

“I’m so sorry. Please, it wasn’t intentional. I’m really sorry.” Tolu said as she sobbed.

Tunde gaped at her; his mouth open in surprise. “Tolu!”

She looked at him carefully; shock and embarrassment registered on her face.

“Let us clear off the road so we don’t obstruct traffic. Just park over there.” Tunde pointed to the kerb.

Tolu simply nodded.

When they were both off the road and parked at the kerb, Tunde strolled towards Tolu’s car and sat in the passenger seat.

“What is wrong?”

“I am okay now.” Tolu replied. Even though, they had both graduated with a first class from the University of Ibadan, she could not really call Tunde her friend. He was just a course mate.

“I understand if you want to be alone. I just feel maybe if you shared your problem, we could discuss it and maybe find a solution together.” Tunde shrugged.

Tolu took a deep breath and sighed.

“It’s fine.” Tunde said as he opened the door to let himself out.

“Tunde….I’m really sorry about your car.”

“I have comprehensive insurance.”

“I….I….I am having issues at work.”

Tunde sat back and closed the door. “What kind of issues?”

Tolu told him about the appraisals she had earlier on in the day and her previous appraisals. They discussed at length about her job and Tunde encouraged her to apply to his organization. He worked in a rival company and there was currently a vacancy for the same role she held. He told her maybe what she needed was a job change to prove if she was actually doing that bad.

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As Tolu boxed what was left of her drawers, she remembered her interview with Orange Financial Services. The interviewers had been surprised when she did a short presentation of the issues bedeviling the financial services industry and how the issues could be resolved.

Tolu had been careful to present only two points whereas she had done an extensive research and had a ten-point agenda.

Orange Financial Services wasted no time in making her an offer. She was offered three times what she was currently earning and was asked to resume immediately. They told her they were willing to pay off her organization her one month’s salary in lieu of notice.

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The door behind her opened and her boss walked out of his office. “Please reconsider my offer, Tolu. I have discussed with HR and we will match what Orange is willing to pay you.”

Tolu smiled. “No, Thank you sir. It is time for me to move on. Like I said earlier, it has been five years working with you and I’m grateful for the opportunity you gave me.”

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Photo Credit: https://www.123rf.com