To say Ola was sad is an understatement. He was battered and his ego was bruised. He could not walk the streets without fearing he is being mocked. When he sees two people talking or laughing, he immediately assumes
he was the subject of their discussion. He felt used and rejected. He had been spent and dumped.
Thence, his self esteem went to its all time low as he now saw himself as unworthy of any girl. If he is attracted to any girl, his mind tells him that she will reject and slap your face. To him, all girls are face slappers.
His uncles did little to ease his woes as they continued their tales of adventure and misadventure to his chagrin. They continued their philandering acts telling him that he had learnt the hard way and that with time, when his right girl comes along, he will go for her.
Tope on her part still saw Ola on the street. But she was not remorseful for what she did. She carried on as if nothing had ever
happened between them. Her results came out and she cleared all the subjects. Not even a word of thanks crossed her lips to her
benefactor. What a bitter lesson Ola was taught!
Ola picked himself up quickly and faced his work. He avoided what could bring about any meeting between him and Tope. Whenever
they met accidentally, he did as if he had never met her. He channeled all his fury and energy into his study of his admission hinderance, Mathematics.
By the following year, he felt he had studied enough and made a go at the exams once again. This time he did the two GCE exams,
WAEC and NECO. When the results came out, there was a little difference in them. He had passed Maths in the two of them. In one, he had the last credit, in the other, he had C5. He was ecstatic. He felt on top of the world and kept muttering his thanks to his Creator, Who had made him smile at the end.
By this time, things were a little bit easier for his mother. She had gotten a job that pays manageably well. Hence, it was time for him to head back to the classroom.
By his twentieth birthday, Ola had gotten admitted into the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu Ode, to study Mass Communication. By that age too, he was given his first mobile phone. He believed his aunt that said that it cannot get worse, rather it can only get better.
His mum, coupled with his own savings over the years, got him settled in school earnestly. He brought with him to school his resolve of yesteryears, ‘no girlfriend, only studies, all girls are slappers’.
That was what rang in his brain as he made his way to class everyday.
His schedule was what could be called ‘the square schedule’. He leaves home to class, class to the mosque, mosque to the library, library back home. He had little time for extra curricular activities.
In class, he was as brilliant as ever. With both lecturers and students knowing him, though, unintentionally, just like the proverbial peacock with no hiding place. Due to his lackadaisical attitude, he had poor wardrobe sense, or say fashion or dress sense. He wears anything and any how to school. Yet, some girls in his class are attracted to him. They just loved his way of life. He was free with the guys and they discovered that he was a talkative. He taked and argued issues with them. But it seems he was shying away from the girls. The reason for this, they know not. Other than those with who he attends mosque programmes, he paid no attention to any girl.
One of such girls who likes him was Ronke. She had always looked at him as he explains things to the guys and those hijab sisters in the class. She knew the guy was raw and untapped. In her eighteen years on earth, she had not seen any guy display such raw power, finesse and intelligence as Ola possessed. She knew he needs only a little refining and whoosh, he will be a loverboy.
She wasn’t the only one nursing this ambition, twenty one year old Labake is ready to spend her money and time to get this handsome guy’s attention. To her, he needs a change of wardrobe and a little cash in pocket because she had caught him on two occasions trekking the thirty minutes distance between the school campus and Ijebu Ode town. She must have this guy close to her. She needs him. He is independent. He is shy and timid but what baffles her was that he was free with guys and those ladies that covers their heads. What did he see in them? She wondered. Maybe because they were Muslims like him. Anyways, she needs him too because she did not come to TASUED to count ceilings. She came there to get the grades and whatever lawful path that will help her achieve it, she is ready to tread.
Thus, two ladies lie in wait for him. Ola was oblivious of them. He continued his life as had been written for him.
His first year at the university was quite uneventful. He lived his life the square way. He had no friend except his neighbours in Ijebu Ode town. He minded his business and never interfered in anybody’s business. His first year performance was nothing but stellar. He stood at four point four. To him, it was too low, he needed to hike his efforts. He went on break a little satisfied.
The second year of his stay in TASUED began soon after the break. He maintained his former stance and mode of operation. Due to fiancial constraints, he had to take on a room mate at the start of the year. His room mate was a guy from his class who he had tested and trusted. They had a similar view about the female folks. Ola lived all through his remaining years with his best friend and roommate, Daniel.
Ola and Daniel became five and six. They were seen together everywhere. They were brothers.
His resolve and abstinence went on for quite a while till one day when he made a move that put brought on him what he had been running from. It was his second year second semester. On a bright Tuesday morning, the 200 level students of the College of Social and Management Sciences (COSMAS) [Tasued uses the collegial system of discipline identification and not the normal faculty used by some schools.] were having a general course, EDU 221 (Curriculum Studies), the lecturer was nowhere to be found. Ola had walked into the hall in his usual manner, greeting the few guys he had a rapport with and ignoring the ladies and answering the few who said ‘Good Morning’ with a smile like one who os going for a beauty pageant. He had seated himself for close to five minutes when the noisy class got him pissed off. He thought of how best to calm them down and found only one worth executing.
Damn it! He hadn’t been a teacher for four years for nothing. He stood up from his seat and walked to the podium. He picked up the board marker, cleared his voice and proceeded on his mission.
”Good Morning fellow students. I am sorry for intruding your private businesses. I just thought it would be worthwhile to spend the time usefully while waiting for Mr Ademola. I would be discussing the concept of curriculum with us. I don’t know much about it. But I will try.” he paused for effect as he heard murmurs from his audience.
‘Okay, I am sorry. Lemme leave. It seems I am disturbing some people.” he said as he made to leave the class frontage.
”No! No! Go on.” Majority of the class roared.
That was the leverage he needed as he delved into the topic tearing it apart like he was the course lecturer. He went on for close to forty five minutes before the lecturer arrived. Mr Ademola himself was stunned at the way he met the class. A graveyard was not as quiet as that class that day. This boy must be a genius. He thought to himself.
On seeing the course lecturer, he rounded up his tutorials and said,
”Curriculum planning and development is the bedrock of any country’s educational system as it determines the effectiveness or otherwise of the country’s willingness to develop in all ramifications. We shall continue our discussions some other time as our lecturer is very much around. Thank you.” The class roared with applause for the guy who had handled a course better than their lecturer. Mr. Ademola held his last statement in his head. It was the first question of their exams that year and it was compulsory.
Ola had unknowingly become a star. Many tongues were sent wagging about that singular feat he performed. His coursemates were held onto the bragging right in the whole college. The other departments were in concord with them.
Many students want to contact him. They needed his help in that course. It had been sounding like greek to them until he broke it into pieces. They wanted more.
After the class, he sneaked out of the class before he was noticed. But, he had not gone far when they thronged him asking for his numbers. They were mostly girls. The guys have no problem with him because he was free with them. Spot him and stop him anywhere, as far as you are a guy, ask any question and you are sure to get it on the spot. So, only a handful of guys asked for his digits. The girls were the treasure seekers. He gave them, albeit reluctantly.
When they got home, Daniel told him that he had just opened the hornet of bees. And he should expect to get seriously stung. Ola laughed. He won’t be stung again except he wanted it.
Ola knew just how to handle the crowd of girls that were about to stampede him. He would use them to his advantage. He just discovered that the key to his rise in G. P is to teach people what he knows. It brings out new ideas and perspectives to the courses and topics to him. Whatever they want, as far as it is related to education, they are welcome.
Labake sat in her room luxuriously furnished room. She looks downcast. Ola had not been picking his calls and she needed to talk to him about the EDU221 assignment. The cunny Mr. Ademola had asked them to submit a typed two paged lesson note in their subject area. She needed his help and she did not want to approach him in the class tomorrow. He will be too busy. And lately, a lot of girls in the class seem to be at war to get his attention, even those in other departments. She needed to strike while the iron was hot. She had to talk to him today. An idea occured to her. She called Daniel. He picked at the third ring.
”Hello,” she heard him say. There was music in the background and she wondered if they were at home. She knew anywhere Daniel was, Ola was bound to be there.
”This Daniel guy sef, since he and Ola had become room mates, Ola’s status don move up small. At least, he no dey trek go town again. Make I talk jare.” She thought to herself as his voice hit her ears. She was using her earpiece.
”Hello o,” Daniel said again wondering who was calling him and refusing to talk.
”Hello, good evening. I am Labake. A coursemate of yours.” She explained.
”Okay Labake. How can I do you for?” he joked as was his nature.
”I want to ask you about Ola’s whereabout, he seem not to be picking his calls.” she replied ignoring his joke.
”Ah! That boy, he isn’t around. O ti jade (he had gone out). He had a programme in his mosque. Maybe that’s why he isn’t picking his call.” Daniel explained.
Labake was exasperated. How can someone be so religious? Ah! That boy too dull!
”Ok. Thank you. I will call back later. Just tell him I called.” She concluded.
”Ok. I won’t tell him cos he will see your missed calls. Bye.” he responded in his usual style.
Labake thought that Daniel was kind of rude. But it wasn’t his fault. She had no business with him. She decided to call him later in the night.
Ronke had done her assignment. She had surfed the web and had downloaded the lesson note and did little adjustments to it. But she wanted to create a lasting impression in the mind of Ola. Since that Daniel of a guy had entered his life, he had almost totally ignored girls. That stunt he pulled in class the other day had proven that Ola is just too good. She needed to be around him.
So she brought out her phone and typed a message.
‘Hi Ola, you don’t know me yet, but you will soon. I am your coursemate and a fan of yours. I will need your help in some things. It won’t be unrewarded. I am sorry if I sound somehow. I will be spotting a red top on a blue jean tomorrow. Goodnite and have a sweet nite rest.”
Ola was in the mosque when both the calls and text came in. After the prayers, he read the text and smiled. He had expected such and was prepared. They would have to do it on his terms and conditions. So help him God. He thought and crossed his heart.
When he got home, he met Daniel at home playing the old school songs they both loved. The particular one that was playing was King Sunny Ade:
‘Esu biribiri pebo mi o,
Iwaju loloko n wa mi lo
Eyin ko loloko n wa mi lo
Mi o mo o…’
He sang along to it as he entered his room to find his brother, Daniel, on the bed.
”Ol boy, come see message o.” he said as he stepped into the room.
”Where the message now?” Daniel asked rising from the bed getting interested.
Ola showed him the message and they both tried guessing. They were poor in their guess work as they both realised that they knew little about the girls in their class.
They joked and chatted for a while before eating and going for their usual night stroll.
As they were coming back, Labake’s call came in again…
…to be continued