“Obiora, my son.” Chief Okeke called in a low tone.
“It’s obvious that you are now an undergraduate.”
Obiora who happened to be Chief Okeke’s only son just secured an admission into Spectrum University to study Petroleum Engineering. The said institution was one of the most respected tertiary citadels of learning across the East, Nigeria.
That fateful day, which preceded the day he was meant to leave home for the campus, his beloved father was actually dishing out the needed counsels for the odyssey that awaited the chap.
They alongside his mother were seated at the family’s sitting room at about ten minutes to six O’clock in the evening (05:50 pm WAT).
“As my first child and only son,” continued Chief Okeke who sat directly adjacent to the chap in a three-in-one upholstery chair. “I want you to realize that a lot of responsibilities await you.”
His wife Lolo Okeke who was seated right beside him, nodded in agreement while Obiora listened attentively.
Chief Okeke being a successful trader, who was precisely into motor spare parts, had all it took to cater for the boy’s education both financially and otherwise but his utmost worry apparently remained the fear of the unknown.
“Most importantly,” he proceeded. “You must acknowledge that studying an engineering course in a university is not an easy task.” he asserted, paused. “So, I expect you to be extremely careful as well as mindful of your studies, which is the only way you can reach your success room.”
Everywhere was tranquil as he passionately tendered the words of wisdom.
“My son,” his mum chipped in. “You have to adhere to every instruction your dad is giving you.” She urged, took a breath. “You are lucky you have a very wonderful and caring father which every child ever prays for.”
“I promise, I won’t disappoint you dad.” Obiora assured. “And you, mum.” He concluded, looking at his mother’s eye sockets.
“I pray your wish would remain your motivation.” Chief Okeke thought aloud in a jiffy.
“Amen…” His wife emphatically complimented.
“My son,” he rode on. “All I want from you is to remain a good ambassador of this noble family.”
Obiora quickly folded his arms tightly, became apprehensive.
“Honestly, you have all it takes to excel.” Chief Okeke reminded. “Last time I checked, you had no reason to become a failure.”
The wife concurred via a series of nods.
“Before I conclude,” he proceeded tenderly. “I must let you know one fact.”
Obiora changed his posture. This time, he leaned his head on his right arm, which was standing firm on his right thigh.
“In my dialect which is Igbo language” quoth Chief Okeke. “University is referred to as Mahadum,” he informed, paused. “It means, know it all.”
The wife nodded, became more interested in the class.
“Therefore, you are meant to know everything about the world as well as all that is in it.” He said, took a breath.
Obiora remained still in his sitting position, wasn’t distracted by anything around him not even the trespass of a snake.
“But mind you,” his dad continued. “You are only expected to be part of those ones that are morally acceptable.”
Obiora nodded continuously for several seconds.
“A word, they say,” quoth Chief Okeke. “Is enough for the wise.” He concluded.
“Thank you, dad.” Obiora applauded, returned to his previous posture.
“My dear,” His mum followed suit.
Obiora quickly fixed his gaze on hers.
“I want you to take your prayers very seriously.” She instructed in strong terms, paused. “Endeavour to say your prayers at least twice in a day, in the morning and before you go to bed.”
“And,” she rode on. “Don’t ever forget to go to church every Sunday and whenever necessary.”
“Please my son,” she rode on. “You must note that your two sisters are looking up to you.”
Chief Okeke nodded in appreciation.
“So, you must always lead by example.” She landed.
“Thank you, mum.” Obiora excitedly tendered. “Thank you, dad.” He supplemented, looking at them respectively.
After Obiora’s first year on campus, he made excellent results in all his 100 Level courses, that, everyone in engineering faculty including his lecturers and fellow students became attracted to his person. This made him an envy of all, including dick and harry.
When they got the news, his parents were immensely impressed over the remarkable performance of their only son, though the said outcome wasn’t too surprising to them because Obiora had obviously been a very brilliant chap ab initio. He had maintained the brilliance right from his primary school days.
Owing to the fabulous results, his father Chief Okeke became more concerned over all the wants of the chap. In view of this, Obiora never lacked anything an undergraduate could boast of. Money was sent to him whenever he asked for it. All he needed was to ask, and it would be deposited in his bank account without much ado.
More appallingly, thereafter, they never took visiting him on campus as a priority again as they used to, since the chap had proven to them he was really taking his studies seriously.
One popular Igbo adage would say ‘Ana eji ututu ama njo ahia’, meaning literally ‘a trader will never know or can’t predict if there would be poor patronage on a certain day going by the pace of sales in the early hours’ session of the day in question’.
To be continued, please.