I woke up this morning to the news of someone being burnt to death because he stole. It was really upsetting because personally, I do not think someone who stole should be put to that type of horrible death. In addition, some people mentioned that the society had failed him – that was the supposed reason for resorting to theft. It got me thinking. I have never had it really easy in my life. I really struggled to get where I am today. I realized that complaining about the environment wouldn’t get me anywhere, wishing I had opportunities like other people wasn’t going to help my situation, nor would sitting around and waiting for a miracle from heaven going to improve matters for me. I decided that no matter how unpromising the environment looked, nor my lack of a silver spoon at birth, all I needed to do was to look beyond my environment and decide not to be limited by it. I resolved to work hard and buy my ‘golden’ spoon myself. Lol!
I have the permission of my friend Seyi to share his story on how he was not limited by his environment…
Seyi was born into an extremely poor family, his father was an illiterate and his mother left him when he was a baby. His father desired that his son would go to school. Seyi went to a free primary school and knowing his father would always ask him what he did in school every day, he made it a habit to pay attention in class and always took down notes. He later attended a low standard secondary school, which was because his father could not afford to pay the fees of a good school. Seyi worked extra hard in challenging environment but fortunately passed his exams and got into the university. Of course paying school fees and feeding was extremely difficult, Seyi had to devise a plan to succeed.
Seyi studied hard and then started to teach the rich students in the University in exchange for Money, Food and Transportation. He worked really hard to ensure that he got the good grades to be qualified to teach people. I remember, a few friends and I had to contribute some money to buy him his first pair of Jeans in 300l. Seyi never let all these affect him; he had just about three shirts and two pairs of trousers which he always kept neat and ironed. He carried himself with so much positivity and he kept saying to us that he was going to make it and buy a car for his father someday.
Seyi graduated from the University with flying colours and he got posted to Zamfara state (at a time no one wanted to go to that state) for his one year youth service (compulsory one year to serve the Nation) There he got to write a test to work in a bank and of course he passed. A few months later, he was asked to come in for an interview and Seyi got the job.
Today, Seyi is a senior manager in one of the big banks in Nigeria, he is highly successful in his career and he is happily married with two children.
You can be who you want to be if you set your mind at it. Even your environment or background cannot limit you.