On A Sunday Morning, two items of heartbreaking news broke. One is about a 21-year-old man who allegedly murdered his former boss, the owner of “Gokada” and dismembered the body with a hacksaw; the other is about a 22-year-old University Of Port-Harcourt undergraduate who was arrested in Agbor by EFCC operatives from Benin. The boy under reference along with his mother and girlfriend was paraded by the said operatives in Benin yesterday. It was reported that the arrest was effected following the presentation of a petition by FBI to EFCC. Among the trio, the following chattels were recovered: a Mercedes Benz C-class, a GLK and a 5 bedroom duplex, etc.
The 2 matters are still under investigation and I shall say no more, After all, the presumption of innocence inures in their favour.
Back to the real story, The year was 1988, my pocket money than was 15 Naira, There was 10 Naira from my dad and 5 Naira from my mum. School fees was 20 Naira, while boarding fees was 180 Naira. Parents thought my brother who was in Upper Six (A Levels) and I had come of age and they for the first time handed our fees (cash) over to us.
There was a pair of trainers (one of the old and reliable brands, but since they are not paying for adverts why should I say more) I had eyes on for a long time and since I now had 215 Naira in my coffers, “the devil” (that devil dude don suffer sha!) drummed it into my head to “borrow” 40 Naira out of that money to acquire the trainers. Like a sheep being led to the slaughter, I obeyed that “silent but ever consistent” voice. After all, it was what we in The School parlance termed “ose igberaga” (literally meaning the “week of pride” and figuratively meaning the “week when everyone is bouyant”).
I cordially requested the pleasure of my partner-in-progress -Pastor K and we hit the shop. Lo and behold, they were still there, waiting for me to grab them and without even any form of interrogation, I picked them up, went to the cashier, paid 40 Naira, and ownership passed to me on the spot. I felt good. That was the first time I was purchasing a chattel for myself, with my (borrowed) funds.
Mid Term break came, my parents sent the driver to come and pick us from school and I hid my trainers in the inner side of my bag. Meanwhile, remember that I was yet to pay back the borrowed fees. Then came Sunday, it was church time and yours truly went to the corner of his “Jimtex” bag where the trainers were hidden and “rooted” them out. I was just a little child at the time, or how best do you qualify me when I ought to have known that my parents would ask me questions about where the strange foot wear was from? Such never went off their 5G radar.
Dad saw it first. That meant real trouble for me. He asked questions about how I got the shoes. I told him I bought them with my pocket money. He then sought to know how much I parted with. I lied that it was only 12 Naira. This man so flogged me en. He called me names and concluded that I was extravagant, how could I have spent so much on shoes at 15. In his time he spent less than 50 shillings on sandals. Meanwhile, in my heart I was just praying, let him not discover the real price. I was in luck, he never found out. I didn’t need those shoes at the time, it was actually done out of peer group pressure. I wanted to be like my contemporaries whose source of funds I was even too young to comprehend.
For your information, nothing moves me these days, if you like own a private jet, I will only wish you well from the depth of my deep mind and not lose my sleep for 2 seconds. Time and chance happeneth to them all.
How did I pay back the loan I took right? Or have you forgotten? A gist for another day.
The afore-written gives you an insight into the kind of parents we had in our time. Today, criminals who parade themselves as parents encourage their children and wards to take to criminal acts. They actually conspire with them and share the proceeds! Today, many parents live in houses built or purchased for them by their conspirators/children and they are actually feeling sexy.
I will forever be grateful to my parents for not sparing the rod.