MIM Inspiring Series: How The Silver Spoon I Was Born With Became A Wooden Spoon

Seeing others sharing their stories on this platform has inspired me to share mine. I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but along the line, the silver spoon became a wooden spoon and even disappeared. We literally fed with the bare hands of life.

My dad was dragging ‘bae’ with his boss. We were told of how he rudely tried rubbing shoulders with his boss. Now no need telling tales of how such ends in a typical Nigerian organisation. He lost his job. My mum was a typical full time housewife, not because she was lazy, but dad never allowed her to work. It was like the world would come crashing down on us.

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Few months later, he traveled to Abuja to protest his dismissal with higher authorities leaving us behind to feed on ‘hopes”.Few months later, he traveled to Abuja to protest his dismissal with higher authorities leaving us behind to feed on ‘hopes’.

Few months later, Dad traveled to Abuja to protest his dismissal with higher authorities leaving us behind to feed on ‘hopes’. Mum had to start a mushroom ‘lesson’ for neighboring kids who were equally poor and many owed us for months. Talking about being in lack of the three basic amenities of life, I’ ve been there.

Food? Heaven bears me witness that I’ve gone seventy two hours without. We didn’t only run out of food, but couldn’t go to beg neighbours again. Not because they wouldn’t, but they were also managing. Besides, all the grocery stores nearby had warned us strongly not to come for credits again, until we offset the bills we owed.

I couldn’t go to school. Instead, we stayed indoors crying and praying until a family friend came visiting. She then gave me a hundred naira when she was leaving. This was in 1996.

Clothing? Only one school uniform and school sandal saw me through ss1-ss3. Mum too wore just one ‘cupion’ lace to church every Sunday for over four years, such that they named her ‘Iya oni white cupion’ (mother of white cupion lace”)

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II patched my uniform in several holes, and my sandals became so flaccid that a classmate once told me to remove it so that they could swear with it when they were arguing one hot afternoon. I took my books to school in polybags, and I dared not make moves to remove my books when class was in session. Many thanks to the former Governor of Lagos state, Bola Ahmed tinubu, Neco was the only exam I wrote because it was free. Tinubu paid for all ss3 students in Lagos public schools in 2001.

Now to shelter: After three years of owing rents, our landlord had no other choice than to evict us. Truth be told, he really tried. Thank God dad had great taste for expensive electronics and household items when he was working, so we sold most of them to feed and many others we disposed when we were evicted from the three bedroom apartment in which we lived. Our church allowed us to sleep in the church, which we did for twenty four months.

(I had to pause this write up to sob). All through the rough roads, mum intensified her efforts in converting her mini lesson to a school, and the proceeds from here she used to train me through school. We were able to rent a room in a face me and face you apartment, in which we lived in for ten years. Mind you, my church wasn’t completed, it was a makeshift structure planed sideways and halfway. This was when mum developed pneumonia and I ulcer that we nursed till date.

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Many thanks to God that I attended a state owned university with many irregularities. I didn’t pay school fees from two hundred level up on till my finals. During my final clearance was when mum ran from pillar to post to raise money for me to finally graduate and serve my fatherland. I’ll not forget to mention that my dad too came back, also hustling and tried his best, I must confess.

Few years after graduation, I got a moderately good job, and just because we had lacked so much in life, we were able to manage through to put up a six bedroom flat where we all lived as one. It’s my seven years on this job, and for someone like me, being paid about two hundred thousand on a monthly basis, life is golden.

I’m not there yet, but I no longer lack the three basic amenities of life – food clothing and shelter.

I live among people who were once like me, and I ensure that they never go back empty handed when they visit me. I hope this inspires whoever in a little way.

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