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Monday, March 3, 2014

Memoirs of a Lagos City Hustler (LCH) - God save our land

Imagine you being the first child of a first child of a first child? Turns out I came from a long list of first childs, My great grandfather was a respected king which made my grandpa groomed for the throne. The man was a perfectionist( I heard) but in a tribe where there are seven ruling families, royalty comes after every seven generations. My grandpa died a week before I was born and naturally I was named Babatunde(meaning the father is back), I hated the name and all that came with it, my grandma would attempt to always peck me on the lips anytime she comes over to greet, as much as I loathe that, I was excluded from all chores and beatings(oh, I got a lot of that)whenever she was around.

I was also groomed like my dad, I did extra chores, read extra hours, punished more often, even learnt to cook before my rapidly growing sister who was just 2 years younger. I did not grow up spoilt and rich, but I had the basic amenities of a Lagos raised kid: I had a lunch box with a water bottle attached to it, I had 2 pairs of uniform, I had my own fair share of whooping and I got to play on the streets till 7pm. I was a brilliant kid(I'm not sure if I can say same now), and got into Lagos State Model college at the age of 8. By 15,I had written jamb twice before enrolling for Diploma in the prestigious UNILAG. Squatting, Cult threats, carry-overs, Breakups, Clubbing etc were just a few I went by for the six years I used in the university(well the repeating strikes added two more years)

I felt what it was like being a first child for the first time when I went for my NYSC in Yobe State, I was lost and needed to talk to the first before me, I used to be scared talking to my father until then(after all the beatings, you would too), he made me realize how fast I grew and how much gap was between us. I was attacked during the first set of uprisings of boko haram, I hid from the assailants in an abandoned ditch and made what I thought was going to be my last call to my Dad, he told me to remember all he told me(he was a retired chief Security Officer at a multinational), he told me not to be the hero, and to take a good look at the environment and resources around me to my advantage and after an hour long conversation before my battery died, he said to me "You went there to serve your Fatherland, you will come back to serve your father's land"

Those words kept me alive and I was rescued by the army 13 hours after, I became a stronger man in will and determined at goals, I took those beatings, those childhood experiences, the nysc experiences and channeled the experiences into being a better entrepreneur and in turn a better person.

P.S I was lucky, but in recent times, not many have been as lucky. For those we've lost, let's remember them and pray for their families. Let us also collectively raise our voices to pray that God would heal our land.......and rid it of all this blood!

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