At Twelve years old, Tunde (name changed) was the first in his class, his name never left the mouth of his teachers.
“Tunde is so brilliant”
“Tunde is a very good boy”
“who knows the answer?........ Not you Tunde”
At Thirteen, he was the class prefect, the girls all wanted to be his friend, everyone wanted to sit close to him during the exams.
At Sixteen, Tunde was made head boy, he led with much Grace and Dignity, everyone was at their best behavior, they wanted to please him, the little pupils sang his name, the Junior students told his story to their parents, The seniors respected him.
At Seventeen, Tunde finished school, he was never beaten to first position, his WAEC results all cleared with A1’s. He won a scholarship to study at a prestigious university, one of the best in the country.
A year later, he was in campus, a “JJC” as his new friends called him, he was a small fish in a big pond, a leaf on a mango tree, a needle in a hay stack. He defied the odds, kept his grades high despite peer pressure, little steps on his way to a first class finish………….or did he?
Then came Mark, the very opposite, grades at the low, party every Friday nights, obsessed with bosoms and Gluteus. “Mama Yemi” had never had a better customer since she started selling alcoholic beverages. The day he attends class is the day hell bought air conditioners. This was who Tunde called friend.
“I wont be like him, he is my friend, I look out for him” Tunde said
At Twenty one, Tunde looks at the ray of sunlight streaking through the small window of his cell, tears welling up in his eyes, his life so promising destroyed before his eyes, fearless rats running around him, he shouts “what have I done! Had I known, had I known”
It started with: “One drink, One stick of cigarette, One visit to a night club, One introduction to a friend of Mike, One meeting a Saturday night, One visit to a secluded gun shop, One visit to Mr Rowlands house a Sunday night, One Kidnap of the vice Chancellors son, One visit to Fidelity Bank to fifteen years in Jail”
We must have heard stories like this before, it is the selling point to most Nollywood movies, but to some people, each time they hear it is like the first time they have heard it. Until the world stops, drops and rolls, once brilliant youths will take up arms, join cult groups and waste away, but you can be one of the few, the fly who sensed that the corpse is about to be buried, the rabbit who noticed the corn is in a half closed basket.
Cultism is a maggot, a half baked bread dipped in vinegar, a pretty vampire smiling at you with perfect white teeths, a babysitter with an obsession for knives, a bear trap in a comfortable looking sofa. The sooner you see its center onion, the better your life expectancy. Don’t be like Tunde, if only he had known, now you do.
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