Today, I wondered what I would do with my life as I overhead Nonye and Chinyere discussing career choices. Nonye’s voice was eager and shaky like a liar caught in a lie as she scrolled through Chinyere’s phone, repeatedly saying ” hewoo, network load now, chaii, my chest.” She had finished her exams a month ago, perhaps the results were ready. I mischievously grinned as i wondered if her current source of anxiety was going to beat my actions of yesterday.
Craving to make money early while neglecting the development of our competencies will be the death of the youths in our country”
Future’s roller skates
“Why we remain on earth , prayer shall not cease…”, Mama’s voice filtered into the room, as she had obviously returned late last night. She would come knocking soon; quickly I slid down the bed, as I had slept between my sisters. Nonye owned the right side of the bed and Chinyere, the left side. After my outburst yesterday, waking up early would begin my atonement, luck was on my side with the rain ushering everyone else into round 2 of deep slumber. I quickly went to Mama’s room and knocked, “come in”, Mama said.
She smiled with tired brown eyes and I concluded it was safe as I crawled across the big bed to relax beside her at 7:15am, “Mama , I am sorry, please forgive me,” I said.
She looked at me and said that she was too tired to be angry with me but she was certainly up to explaining that anger blurred the thin line between love and hate, “Let love lead your anger and it will pass the right message across,” she finally said.
Chinyere and Nonye sleepily walked in for morning prayers wrapped like mummies as they indulged in the cold weather, I quickly asked Mama,
“Mama, how can I work towards choosing the best course in school to make plenty money?”
“Chaiii, Old spirit,” Chinyere blurted out and Nonye’s head snapped up as we all burst out laughing at my question. The bed moaned lightly as Mama tilted her head at an angle that could see everyone’s face, sighing as she sat up. We all knew we were about to hear something worth remembering.
“Making money is good but the beauty is in the ability to have a steady income that can handle expenditure without experiencing high blood pressure or recurring empty bank accounts,” Mama calmly replyed.
Lifting her eyes knowingly, she zeroed in on Chinyere who was in her second year in the University, telling us to desire above all to work on our competencies despite the residual knowledge gained in school. She smiled at me as I tried to look enlightened about the new word “competencies“ although quite lost. She explained competencies as the need for the ability to always desire and take actions to work on being well qualified physically and intellectually, and its lack would mean money would never be sustained in our hands. Looking directly at Nonye “Choose a course you love that drives you to develop your competency and never let the inflow of money stop you from developing your competencies continually,” She said.
“In what way mama?” Nonye asked.
Mama simply gave an example of sending Brother Tobe during his secondary school long breaks to work in the French speaking Uncle Femi’s hotel for free and asking him to choose Mama Abena , who spoke and trained people in leadership as his mentor. She called it deliberate training and exposure for him to choose wisely. I could now understand why Bro Tobe always seemed so tush or better sophisticated, when his eyes had never seen the walls of a university or clouds outside our country. He certainly was enjoying studying International Relationship despite the teasing from Big Brother Nnamdi who loves to cook up a storm like Mama, yet he is studying Medicine and surgery and is currently preparing for his final exams. Still, i was not sure on what path to choose especially with my kind of result.
I looked at Mama while thinking “hmm,It seemed training with people far ahead was key, but for free too?” I remebered occasionaly taxing Nonye when i ran errands for her. I would certainly not rush into wanting to be a University student, especially so soon with so much thinking involved anyway. I wondered if Mama could get me a mentor at my primary school level.
Mama simply continued as she encouraged us to volunteer as much as we can while certainly clearing the air that the work in our home is to be handled first before running around outside. She even decided that craving to make money early while neglecting the development of our competencies would be the death of the youths in our country.
“God forbid,” Chinyere and Nonye chorused. Mama laughed and said, “the way both of you go broke after getting a nice sum of money, pray and start forbidding that your wealth is sustained till old age because God won’t change what he has empowered you to change, bow your heads to pray for the new day ahead o jare.”
I looked into my dark palms as the prayers continued, I wondered how I could put Mama’s theory to work. Surely, based on the discussion overheard between Nonye and I, Mae had asked a question beyond her primary school knowledge, and Nonye would not really understand till her final year in secondary school. Yet, it was clear that a certificate could get me employed but continually developed competencies would sustain my cash flow and rise in diverse places of work. I needed to know more about what Mama had just discussed. I had been scared of my future as I considered myself quite above average intellectually. Still, i had no special talent or skills beyond just brain power, what competencies could i improve on.
“Amen,” I quickly chorused alongside my younger sisters as a smile stole across my troubled face when Mama raised a prayer of thanksgiving for Nonye’s result that she had not seen.
Kai ! This woman had already deciphered that Mae’s question and Nonye’s interest had meant that Nonye’s result had been released. Well as the bearer of the news, I, Chinyere, would tell her after prayers.
To be continued next week…