In ‘Story of my life’ Biade Fola tells the tale of hardship, frustration, and love in an uncertain adventure of ambition. ‘Story of my life’ Enjoy.
The Story of My Life (A short motivational story)
We were three friends when I graduated from the University of Lagos in 1998. Collins, Qadir and me, Sele.
They were the happening guys and I was the stale bookworm.
According to them, I belonged to the BC years. They won’t be seen with me if not because I was, according to them, their book man.
They had clubs and travels to handle so academics was a distraction but thankfully they had me to do their assignments and notes.
I won’t walk with them too but they my money men. I was as broke as shatter, I couldn’t call home for money. Mummy would tell me she had water for diner the other night and instead of collecting something I would end up giving her my sympathy.
I was Collins and Qadir’s book man and they were my money men.
I hated what I did for them and what my life looked like but the hope that things would be better after graduation kept me going, so I didn’t look back.
Poverty spat me so much that I couldn’t say Hi to Maria, the only girl my heart had sung from year one to final year.
I didn’t even have the money to take her to the cheapest eatery on campus, the Hoxofagus. It’s not like she would even follow me to that kind of place anyways, or so I thought.
I vested all my disappointment into making good grades so that I could get a better life.
Finally, in 1998, we graduated and a new reality in the story of my life slapped me on my poverty thickened face.
Collins was over 30yrs, so he filed for exemption and started a bank job in Ibadan almost immediately.
Qadir, served in NTA Ibadan and was retained after his service.
I served in a secondary school in Oro, Kwara state. After my service I rushed to Lagos for a job that was not waiting for me.
After three months, I had exhausted my hard saved NYSC income and transport and feeding.
In August 1999, I returned to Ibadan unsure of what awaited me except for free accommodation and feeding.
After, one month in Ibadan, I realized free food and house comes with their own insults.
I knew I was a beggar who had no choice, so I took in the discomfort and carried the gait of someone who enjoyed being ridiculed.
Just about the time when I was getting crazy from wallowing in the shameless difficulty, I stumbled upon a speech by Biade Fola, yes the same Fola who currently represents Osun west senatorial district.
Then he was council chairman, Ede North LG, he was addressing the Federal Poly, Ede SUG when they paid a courtesy visit to him.
So he said “Life is full of hassle and tussle. The struggles can either kill us or make us stronger. Whether the struggle kills us or makes us stronger is not the decision of the struggle but ours. We should make a decision to succeed and never look back”
The words spoke directly to my poor heart and I instantly vowed to succeed and never look back until I did.
To ensure, I didn’t lack for food, I started teaching English in a secondary school in Apete, Ibadan. They paid me 18,000 monthly out of which I ate and bought cheap clothes.
In April 2001, I took a trip to the University of Ibadan in search of a mentor. I told the first student I spoke with (Kemi is still my friend till date) that I dreamt of becoming a great writer and needed a mentor.
she suggested and introduced me to professor Leo Coker. The professor took me in and did a wonderful job on me.
I was still doing my high school job while learning and attempting to write a masterpiece.
Many a time, I’d see and hide for Collins and Qadir. They frequented the UI staff club on weekends, the same time I met with the professor in the same place. I couldn’t face them and their designer wears and cruise rides in my cheap clothes and Legedez Benz.
The banking reforms of 2005 later affected Collins’ bank and he was laid off. He put his severance pay into poultry but sadly that year was the birds’ flu epidemic year. It affected him bad… but he was a big boy. He went on to own two car wash stations, one football viewing center, and three betGoal shops. Qadir still worked for the NTA.
Overall, their situation was still better than mine. They still wore cute clothes and drove a car.
But now, the professor had gotten into my head. Material things had ceased to matter. What mattered was where I was going. I had no reason to look back.
I thought I had my breakthrough in 2007 when a publishing house in Lagos- The Pub Merchants accepted my manuscript.
They were impressed with my work and printed it in November that year under the title- “Death of the Struggle, Your Win”. So much for my expectations, the book did not do so well.
On 20/05/2008, ten years after my graduation my breakthrough came. I met Miss Adediwura, an executive at Mrace Books.
She had read my work and felt it was a great effort. “It would have sold better had it an attention drawing title” she said.
That was how I hit it. Mrace and Pub Merchants worked out something and reproduced my work under a new title “The Little Dirty Big Cute Secret of Success” with a rider (Successful men won’t tell you, but this book will!)
After a little over four months, life changed for me. Fancy suits, Italian leathers, even the pen I signed autographs with is a limited edition of Montegrappa.
Yes, guess who I saw at the public reading of my latest work? Maria Dene! My school crush. She’s a fan, she’s single. Don’t ask me what I’m gonna do with her*
That’s the story of my life. Life hit me roughly but I stood my ground, didn’t shake, didn’t look back until I get here.
Now the only reason I look back is to see how far I have come.
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