At about 10:15 am on Monday morning Owobale Community High School was experiencing recess. This is the time when the fourth period is about to begin. Just as the vigour of the teachers were winding off like a mechanically powered torch light, a motor bike cycled in. Disembarking was a bearded Alfa man looking like an Afghan Ayatollah.  Alfa graduated from Owobale Community High some 27 years ago, 1985 to be precise. He walked to the principal’s office and demanded that he wanted to have his WAEC certificate. Requests like this, was news that make principals with underhand motive excited. My principal being one of such salivated with hope that extra cash for fuelling his car has come.  Clearing his throat he asked, “Why haven’t you come since to collect your result?” before Ayatollah could answer, my principal interjects amidst his suffocated response, “well your fee for late collection is 3500 naira”. Mr Ayatollah tried to question the reason for the charge but seeing that my principal wouldn’t budge he began to plead with the principal for due consideration. He stated flimsy reasons like “I found it difficult to locate the school; it had changed a lot since I left”. A joyous thrill danced in my principal’s belly as he knew, “this one would drop at least 1000 naira” he thought.  Before my principal would rejoice for his ‘kill’, he went to verify the particulars of Alfa and alas! Like a choice lamb taken for sacrifice only to be tagged unclean, Alfa was an old student of the school but had flunked his WAEC exam I think he had F parallel. When the news of his performance was relayed to him, Alfa almost slumped. He needed the result to execute a small government contract he just won. The result was supposed to be a minimal competence requirement to execute the job.

Going back home after the close of the day, my principal relayed the story to me and was bitter that he missed an opportunity to make 1000 naira. I played the story over and over again in my head trying to figure the level of fool hardiness that would make one not to bother about the fruit of his labour until it was 27 years overdue! Alfa clearly didn’t plan on making it in life with his certificate but the

sad-faceneedlessness of a certificate doesn’t eradicate the need for education. Maybe in his heart he wanted to seek alternative ways to succeed without conventional education, but I am sure the need for the WAEC certificate would have popped up once or twice and he ignored it or silenced his inner voice. He didn’t even collect a statement of result. To me, he didn’t deserve success. Alfa symbolised people who give up on preparation too soon either because they are too impatient to wait for the right opportunity that gives their preparation maximum expression or the simple lack of foresight. Foresight which is a combination of insight and hindsight is critical to making use of opportunities. Alfa had too much hindsight but lacked insight. He secretly wished things would stay the way they were, but they never did. Success is not all about the attainment of goals what brings fulfilment is its pursuit and to stay enlivened, this pursuit has to be continuous. There is utterly no use for opportunity when the requisite preparation is not in place. So the challenge is that there is a dearth of preparation not opportunities, thus making success elusive for majority of people. So no matter how long it takes for opportunities to manifest, one should not be weary of preparation. To the extent one prepares for success, is to that extent the level of success is scaled and handed to him by God.

Alfa came to school in high expectations but could barely mount his motor cycle. I am sure the ride home for him that day would be his longest.

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15 thoughts on “THE STORY OF SUCCESS

  1. Wow, what a lovely write up. It goes to show that one should always be ready for opportunities whenever they present themselves.

  2. A nice write-up but u could have substituted alfa’s name with another….that choice of name alfa can spring up religious controversy,jst my opinion tho,and I’m a christain….all in all,nice one and all d best.

  3. Nice write up oscar. Personally think Ayatollah should be more appropriate for an iranian instead of afghan. Can’t wait to start seeing ur work. More hyaluronic acid to ur elbow.

  4. Success is not d absent of plan..I think both of dem are interwoven u can’t get one without d other.. Alfa obviously didn’t think he would ever use d result n am sure d he didn’t even work for d opportunity probably it was out of sheer luck it was given to him n still he messed it up.. This goes to show dat wen u fail to plan u plan to fail..

  5. Moral of the story ‘don’t wait till the last minute before you prepare yourself for success’ Success should be plan in progress, grab every tool required before the appropriate time. We should learn to project and foresee…

  6. Most people belittle simple life tasks that goes on or rebounce back on key decisions of the future. So whatever you do now, do so with a sense of purpose and direction. Nice

  7. Good read, coincidentally I was having a certain life changing conversation at about the time I was reading this, and my take home was; Reality shapes our ideas with time and this two meet at a certain point call NOW! Don’t let NOW elude you.

  8. A good story as the saying goes as u lay ur bed so u lie on it. How can u write an exam and then fail to @least check your result. This is weird cause after each exam comes a promotion. Unfortunately for this man when his time for promotion came it was smwhat too late. What is what doing @ all is what doing well. Let this be a lesson to the younger and older generations alike. I wonder where this man will start from?

  9. This is a great write up which show committment and intellectaulism from the author, the lession from this story is that without commitment success and never be achieve. A failure is success without philosophy and a life with dysfunctiontional parenting leads to a dysfunctional adult therefore parents should over see what happen to their children when it come to formal and informal education. Well done prof.Onu

  10. Lovely write-up. Personally I have something to take from the story, which is proper preparation and discipline is key(But God’s will must also be there). It makes the task less difficult. I had a situation where I lacked proper preparation and discipline cost me that objective. Nice one bro. Keep it coming.

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