“Hard work pays” is a general saying of the world. Often, I hear people say “hard work pays” but could not get a deeper meaning of the quote. On a real sense, I never knew that hard work was not just an act of doing something with compassion, commitment or effort but it is the ability for an individual to create a new path in life by making determination (your companion), focus (your footsteps), effort (your map) to guide you and success (your destination). And I never discovered this until one day.
I discovered this in my primary school, then I was in lower basic one./ In my early days of school, I was not stable in my academics. I was the playful type and my play blinded me and could not make light for that seriousness and that studious spirit to penetrate.
It all began when I was in lower basic one. I just managed to pass to the promotion examinations and got promoted to primary one. During the first term of class one in primary school, I did not have a good start. It’s like when people say “when a person wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, things do not go actually as planned till the end of the day”. In class, I was very attentive, ready to learn and always did my assignment. In spite being active I loved play too much and they say “all work no play makes Jack a dull boy”. My mother would also say it goes same way that is “all play no work makes Jack a dull boy”.
The term was finally coming to an end and was going to be wrapped up with the examination. The examination started with mathematics and to me the examination was tough and then my mother laughed when she heard me say that and she told me my problem was play so she said in life every person must be determined to achieve a goal.
The result of the examinations was out this was the day when each pupil will be given their report card. On that day my mother went to get my own, when she came back she said that I have always remained in my position and have never left. So she said my dear sit up.
The holiday had begun, my mother was teaching me how to write neatly and how to stay awake from 12am midnight to read my books but before she started she told me to focus, that focus brings out a good result. Little did I know that my mother was preparing me for a journey to success.
At the end of the holiday, my hand writing was outstanding. My mother was impressed and told me that if I remain dogged in my efforts I can beat the best to become the best .
It was the third term, the term that ends the session for the year and promotion for the pupils. At the first day of school, my teacher was astonished to see my new handwriting. She could not be sure of what she saw so she called me to confirm what she saw. She told me to write on a piece of paper on her desk. She was amazed to see the same handwriting on my note book. It even got to a point she would show my handwriting to the other arms of the class to show them how neat they are .
My mother told to me not to be carried away with praises because I was not there yet then she said hard work pays. She said ”my dear work hard and if you do the sky will be your starting point”.
That day I kept on thinking of what my mother said earlier, then I questioned myself can I be hard working? Can I achieve success?. Different thoughts went through my mind then it was clear to me that my mother has been teaching me. It was then I realized that determination, focus and effort were the recipe to success.
Throughout the term I faced my studies, those friends I used to play with they were not my problem now, and my problem was if I could make it in my examination.
The third term examination was already knocking at the door. I was excited because I know I was going to make it through the examinations all because of what i have done by burning my night candles from 12am – 2am. The examinations were finally over and all pupils were waiting for their result.
I waited anxiously for my result. Every second that passes by was like minute and minutes like hours and hours like days. All these I felt waiting for my result.
At last the long awaited day has come, I was so excited when my report card landed on my palm, immediately I opened it, I looked at my position, took the first position. It was as if I was in a dream. I pinched myself to wake up but find out it was reality. My mother was excited and she told me she never gave up hope in that she knew I can come out first position in my class.
In addition, my aunt at Abuja booked me a flight to Abuja I was like on top of the world. Since then I have maintained my position and have won a lot of awards for my intelligence through determination, focus and efforts.
HARDWORK AND RIGHT FOCUS[THE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS]
Hello? Hello? Janet can you hear me? It’s me roseline, im held up in traffic could you please reserve a seat for me at the front row in the class?. Thank you so much, I will explain to you later why I am late. Roseline hanged up the phone. She had a very important class that morning but her grandmother fell down the stairs and since she was the only one at home, she will leave for school. She was already running late as at the time she left her grandmother’s ward and now the traffic was not helping matters.
Roseline finally arrived class about five minutes late and thanked her stars that attendance had not been taken. She quickly made her way to the front row carefully avoiding the intense stares of her fellow course mates and the lecturer. After she was the comfortably seated, a shrill voice came piercing through the ears.it came was the lecturers. “Young, having interrupted my class, step forward and give me a concise and clear explanation of the topic written on the board”. Rosaline was stunned and she made her way out with the aim of pleading with the strict lecturer but before she would utter a word, the lecturer said, “You can go on am all ears”, she looked up and saw the topic “philosophy” boldly written on the board. She had read a book on it but never knew it would come to in handy someday. As she was still thinking, a voice brought her to reality saying, “Young lady, if within the next fifteen (15) seconds you still don’t know what to talk on this topic, it would be good as dropping this course for the semester. She was immediately shocked and soon started talking. She gave series of definition of philosophy by philosophers like Russell, Sidney hook and many others. She emphasised on Ludwig wihgenstein who defined it as “battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language”. She went further to discuss the misconception, methodological features, and the tradition of philosophy before she finally concluded. The lecturer was surprised at how well she delivered as though she was pre-informed. He ended the class after things adding a few because he felt she had said it all.
Janet and some other course mates of hers commended her for a job well done. Roseline later explained later to Janet her bosom friend, the reason for her usual lateness.
They both thanked God that all was well with her grandmother.
Mr Darlino, the strict lecturer was greatly puzzled when he got to his office as to how bold, daring and intelligent such a young lady was. He immediately made up his mind to know more about the young scholar.
Some weeks later, roseline wrote her first semester exams. She did exceptionally went and moved to her 200level. All things were going smoothly until something went wrong.
Roseline friend Juliet became very ill and her parents asked her return home for better care and treatment to be administered to her. She was too sick to go home on her own so Roseline offered to get a cab and were almost at Janet’s house when their car ran into an oncoming fully loaded truck. It was a fatal accident. The driver died on the spit while Juliet hand mild injuries because Roseline suffered the most causality. They were both rushed to the hospital by concerned sympathizers. Roseline was in coma while Juliet was conscious and reviving treatment.
Roseline was in coma for about eight months while Janet was already writing her final exams in 400level before Roseline was bitterer that she had missed a lot and Janet continually apologized because she felt she was the cause of her friend’s plight. Tirelessly hard to make up for the lost time. She became more studious she ensured that she attended every class and even night classes and she also brought few hand-outs and borrowed from new course mates glace she could no longer afford them.
She was so stunned when she saw her 200level results very nice she was elated and glad.
Mr Dalino, her philosophy lecturer was surprised to see her in 300level. He then asked her why she was still in 300level when she ought to have graduated and she told him the tragedy that befell her. He told her not to be greatly depressed with her far friends had anything she absolutely hesitate to come to him she expressed her gratitude and promised not to let him down
Rosaline had a very smooth and enjoyable school years courtesy to Mr Dalino who gave her the assistance she needed to forge ahead with life. She soon graduated and was ready to serve her fatherland when she was posted to serve at the northern part of the country, she decided to start a tomato farm from to earn a living coupled the meagre monthly amount from the government for up-keeping before her one year service was due.
She had become a very good tomato dealer who supplied companies to make tomato paste with the help of Mr Dalino, her God sent helper.
She was now a very wealthy and famous entrepreneur and graduate. When she was leaving for the south. She set up a committee to oversee the affairs of the firm and she also visited regularly o ensure that things were in order.
Roseline was forever grateful to her loving grandmother who took herm when her mother threw her out accusing her for bringing a misfortune to her and her husband
She made sure her grandmother had a fulfilled life. She reconciled with her parents and never fulfilled to acknowledge God and Mr Dalino who made her dream realistic.
FROM GRASS TO GRACE
Nkechi was fed up with life. life had been so unfair to her and her siblings. it was quite unimaginable that her parents neglected her and her tender siblings to the village life and travelled to the city without even leaving a note as to their whereabout in the populous hustling city of lagos.
She got home that day after school only to find her little siblings crying. She inquired from them and they told her that they were hungry and haven’t eaten since morning. She was shocked and rushed inside with the intention of asking her mother why she would leave the kids hungry till such late hour but what she saw made her gasp for breath. The room was practically empty; no clothes on the tray, no bed, no furniture save for the kerosene lamp at the tail-end of the room. She then came to the realization that their parents had actually left them for good. She remembered the discussion her parents had about two nights ago to sell off their litttle tangible things and elope to the city. Who would have thought that they would leave so quickly? They actually left their four children with Nkechi as the eldest at the mercy of the villagers.
Nkechi became the breadwinner of her family at age 15. Being a very smart girl, she decided to grow vegetable farm at the small piece of land at the back of their hut. She had sought for help from her relatives but they all turned her down saying that she and her siblings must have an evil aura for their parents to abandon them. Thus,she decided to resign herself to fate but to take responsibility for her future and her siblings.
Since the government provided free education and books and the children were allowed to wear house wares (uniforms were unavailable). Nkechi enrolled her two immediate youger brother and sister while she stayed back at home to care for her barely two years old brother and also do some available menial jobs to make ends meet.
Very early everyday, Nkechi would wake ozo her younger brother,together they would go to the stream, fetch water for people who would pay them. fetch water for their personal use, sweep the compound before they would prepare food. When all these are done,they would wake Nnesinachi and Tochukwu up, make sure they bath and eat. After which, Nnesinachi and ozo would get ready for school while Nkechi and Tochukwu would set out to people’s farm for the day’s work. When school closes, the other two siblings would join Nkechi and baby at people’s farm to assist her.
The happiest time for the children was during rainy season. Bushes on people’s surroundings and weeds on farms would grow very fast thus giving them an opportunity to get spare cash. They would also get to sell fresh vegetables from their farms and use the money for food and upkeep. This way, they were able to keep body and soul together
Nkechi then decided to go back to school. At last to finish her secondary school.
All thanks to free education, Nkechi and Ozo were able to graduate from secondary school. Ozo was a lover of education and he wanted to pursue higher degrees but his sister told him to put that thought aside first and focus on his apprenticeship and he could later continue schooling when he becomes a boss himself.
Months ran into years and Nkechi was now a full grown lady. She was about 21 years old while Ozo was 19 years old. Nnesinachi was 15 years and baby Tochukwu was now 7 years old. They had moved to the city when the missionaries came to the village about 3 years ago and took them along on their departure.
Nkechi now worked at the church supermarket.
After a careful observation of the priest, he saw that she was very diligent and commited in her service and he suggested to the other priest that Nkechi should be settled off because she had lived and worked at the church and the supermarket for too long. The priest after much deliberation,collectively raised money and opened a mini supermarket for Nkechi to her outmost surprise. She thanked God and thanked them as well.
She rented an apartment and she and her siblings moved in after staying at the church premises for over two years
She started running her own mini supermarket. One could quickly tell that she was efficient manager because in less than a year, she had so expanded the business that she had to employ more hands to help her out. She soon changed the mini supermarket into a big departmental supermarket where varieties of consumers goods where sold.
She studied part-time while she enrolled Ozo at full time school to study engineering which he claimed that he so much loves. Her other two siblings were also in school
As Nkechi sat down in her office, compiling the names of stocks needed and the quantity, her mind flashed back to when she was working under the scorching sun in one of the numerous farmlands,a voice greeted her calmly. It was one of the missionaries. His mother was the owner of that particular farm she was working on she didn’t know what else happened because they only exchanged pleasantries. The next thing she heard when she got home was that of a certain man came to their house and offered to take them to the city. After much description,she got to know that it was the missionary who came to see her at the farm. She immediately knew that his mother must have put in good words for her to convince her son to take them along. She was indeed thankful to the woman.
Nkechi was still lost in thoughts when a voice jotted her back to reality. One of her sales girls came to seek permission to leave early inorder to take care of her sick mother and Nkechi told her to leave right away and resume when her mother was fully recovered. She thanked her boss and left.
Nkechi then thought of her parents and wondered how they were. She decided to walk outside. At the entrance of the shop,a woman rushed in asking for cold water. The voice sounded familiar. When Nkechi turned she saw her mother again the first time in six years. she greeted her but she didn’t recognise her. She then asked the woman why she looked so unkept. When her mother told her about their ordeal and her mother was sobbing profusely and asking for forgiveness. Nkechi took her up from her knees and asked about her father, her mother then took her to the park where her father was riding a tricycle on hire purchase.
They all went home and all the children gathered. Their parents apologised for their actions. They told them that they left for the city not on their own free will but because loan shark whom their father was indebted to threatened to take two of their children work for him until their father could pay back his loan. They had to leave and work for the loan shark to save their children to work for him until their father would pay back his loan. They had to leave and work for the loan shark to save their children from the hardship that may go with working with their debtor. They once again asked for forgiveness. The children forgave them and took them in.
Nkechi later paid the balance of the the debts and took good care of her parents and siblings.
Ozo on the other hand successfully graduated from the university and secured a good paying job.
THE ODDS I FACED
The world looks so daunting and not promising… Hmms! My own has been characterized with so much challenges and afflictions. These are the words of Olusegun, a twenty three years old, son of late Mr and Mrs Smith Oladele of Odoere town in Ekiti state.
Segun is a promising child to the parents. They have both vowed to see him through the journey of life but death came knocking and the sun set up on the couple at mid day.
To Segun, all hope is lost… The shoulders to ride on has collapsed while the ladder of promise has broken and shattered to pieces as a result of the cold hands of death.
After the burial, Segun finds his way into the world which he dreaded even before the parents kissed the earth goodbye. He eventually found himself Lagos. The first three months of his sojourn was hell as he encountered series of misfortune and disappointment….When he lost his parents to the cold hands of death, the family shared his father’s property and left little for him.. It was with the little money left that Segun bought bike and started running Okada business. He did this for over a year before he was able to enrolled for his West African Examination Council (WAEC)…
While he was running his Okada business, friends and passersby laughed at home on how possible can he make it through school while running Okada.. Initially, he wanted to drop out but for encouragement from his mother’s sister, he persevered and stood firmly against the all odds.
Right after the exams, things became difficult and blur around Segun, the mother’s sister lost her husband and her business started to dwindle. Hence, Segun decided to sell his motorcycle and use the proceeds to support her aunty’s business. He resorted to hawking sachet water at the central motor park… As time roll by each day, Segun decides to take Jamb in order to further her education. Though the aunty promise to lend a helping hand along the line which she did. He studied hard while in school and did very well to graduate as one of the best students in his faculty… After graduating, Segun did not give up hope on becoming successful…. When went into fruits business where he prepares fruit salad and delivered to different offices at noon time from Monday to Friday..
On one fateful day while on his daily delivery routine, he came across Titi, one of his classmates back then in secondary school. Titi works with one of the biggest telecommunications firms in the country.
Wow… Titi, look at you
You look beautiful and stunning.. How is life generally? Segun asked..
Where have you been Segun? You stopped coming to school back then and no one could traced your whereabouts…
Hmmmm! I lost my both parents one day to car accident. I was so devastated and everything around me was not promising hence I left where I was before to meet my mother’s sister here in Lagos…
As the conversation continues, Titi inquire if Segun has gone through university education. She requested he send his CV to her mail box for onward process… Titi is the human resource manager of her company… And as God will have it, Segun studied Electrical/Electronic Engineering and the company where Titi works needs same personal and professional services very urgent…
Through Titi, Segun secured the job, given an official apartment and car… As each good day passes by, he was sent to the United States of America for further training on System networking and content development… What seems blur and unclear years ago when Segun lost his parents is not getting clear and smooth as hardworking is the best thing anyone can do to challenge all his challenges in this world that is not promising.
Segun was able to help his aunty to bounce back from her shattered and falling business and today, the sky they say is one’s limit but to Segun, it was his starting point.
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