The Quest.

“…hello young man, what do you think you’re doing?” “How do you mean Sir?” Tunde probed his boss. “ I got your resignation letter this morning, and I kind of wonder what the hell is wrong with you. I mean…” Tunde’s boss sounded piqued. “…Sir, I wish I could explain this better, but I can’t seem to find the right word to do so. But trust me, I’ve counted the cost, and…” “young man…” Tunde’s boss cuts in “… I really think we shouldn’t be discussing this. You still have a month to go, so I’ll see you then. In the mean time, let me have a report on the story you are doing” “okay Sir.” Tunde said closing the door behind him.
The story that afternoon was not the news on the street, but the news in the newsroom. Tunde is one of their few die-hard journalist, so everybody was taken aback that he’s leaving them in a month time.
Later that night
Tunde’s dad was busy at the living room with a copy of the punch line newspaper, with a pair of glasses perched on his nose. He whiled away time awaiting Tunde’s arrival. He was already dozing off when Tunde came in…
“Dad, why don’t you go into your bedroom…” “oh, you are back. I’m actually waiting for you, we need to talk.” “So what is it all about?” Tunde said taking his seat beside the old man. “It’s about your job. I learnt you are quitting…” the old man waited for response but it wasn’t coming. “You wouldn’t talk to me. You know what? I don’t seem to be getting this right; I mean…you are one of the best in this job, and what more, the job is quite rewarding. Take a good look at what you’ve achieved in just 2 years on the job!” “that is it dad. There you go again…” Tunde snapped. “This is fake, this is you, this isn’t me! Does it not bother you that I’ve lived all my live living your ambition? You’ve never for once asked what I wanted for my-se-l-f. I think I hate it here…” Tunde snarled as his dad watched him disappear into the staircase. The night was so quiet in the house as even the cockroaches around could feel the mood.
A month later…
The last couple of weeks has been really eventful; hopes are high everywhere: Tunde’s boss expects a change of decision, ditto for hid dad and colleagues. Giving more hope to their hope was another memorable event; Tunde has just picked up an award – Best Reporter, Investigative Journalism – in the Professor Lambert’s annual award for journalism excellence. No surprise, he was thoroughly shaped by his dad, a doyen of journalism. To them all, they thought this new success will influence his final stance.
It’s time for an in-house party in honour of Tunde’s achievement. The hall was filled to the last chair, with everybody awaiting Tunde’s speech, and then he mounted the podium…
“…first of all, I’d like to thank God. It’s all about Him. He made this possible. Also, I’d like to dedicate this award to my dad, it’s his award…” the audience thunders a clap as many turned to steal a look at Tunde’s dad, all wearing a smashing smile…
“…lastly, I’d like to dedicate this award to my colleagues, and my boss. You all made this possible. It’s my parting gift to you…” there was a sudden drop in the mood of all members of the audience. It finally dawn on them Tunde was serious. “…in the past one month I’ve had sleepless night trying to convince myself I want to do this. I can’t seem to find the right word to explain my decision to you all, but I can assure you this is good for me. While I take my leave, I implore you to be true to your self. Live your dream, your purpose, and not another man’s ambition ‘cos the pains of your dream soothes more than the joy of your fantasy. I love you all!”
Tunde obviously had dropped something as the hall was dead silence. His boss sounded quite incoherent in his closing remark. Tunde spent the next 10 minutes exchanging hug with an army of admirers. That was his last day at punch line communications.
Two weeks later…
It was 6:45pm in  Ikot Afanga, and the sky was already closing it’s face. The bees buzzed lazily around, while a few crickets began tuning up for their evening of song. Tunde’s bus stopped in front of Ette’s  store, the head of the youths in the community. Almost everybody turned around to see who will come out of the bus parked in front of Ette’s store; they were all shell shocked at what they saw, the youngest Corper to ever served in their village. While some were struggling to carry Tunde’s bag, some were struggling to carry him like victorious warrior. A few others who didn’t know him tried stealing a look as he took his seat beside the ludo board, the usual evening ritual at Ette’s shop. Back to base; Tunde spent some 10 months here 3 years ago doing his youth service. The village still hasn’t change; no electricity, no good road, no drinkable water, soldiers of biting insect, name any drawbacks. No regret anyway, this the new life Tunde would settle for.
“Ette, na wa o. So una still dey suffer like this for this village…” Tunde questioned as he tried to ward off mosquitoes from his delicate skin. “Corper, na so o. Abi wetin we go do? Man no die, man no rotten…” “wetin una go do ?” Tunde sounded amused, but continued his bantering… “where that una shameless man?” “which one?” Ette asked. “The one wey be deputy speaker for house of assembly; the man no fit do anything for this community?” “that one… no mind that one abeg…” Ette filled Tunde in on their present predicament in the village. They spent almost all the night catching up on old times. Tomorrow is Monday, struggle continues…
Monday morning at CSS, Ikot Afanga…
It’s another Monday morning, and the only spectacle usually on display in the community is the students’ exuberance. Lateness and indiscipline has been an issue of concern the school authority, and the community itself. Tunde decided to come see whether things has changed. his bike stopped in front of the school gate at about 9:15am, and students still roam the street, but immediately they saw Tunde they all took to their heels. Tunde came in company of Ette. Though the students are untouchables to their teachers, but Tunde was a pain in their butt during his service days. While the teachers were all wondering what’s chasing the running students, the students in the classes came out in droves to welcome their cane-wielding Corper. The Principal was not left out as she came out to see who’s responsible for the rowdiness that suddenly engulfed her school, and she was shocked to see Tunde who by now was moving towards her office to exchange pleasantries…
“Nma, emesiere – o…” “emesiere – nde…Tunde!” the principal curdled Tunde as they both exchanged pleasantries in Ibibio language… “so you never forget our language…go back to your class, stupid children…” the principal barked at the students as she led Tunde to the staff room. The school’s activities was paralysed that morning as the teaching staff spent the next one hour with Tunde in meeting. Tunde effortlessly explained his mission to them…
“…like I use to say then that I’d be back here one day, I’m back now; and I need your support to be able to finish my task within a year. Now, this is coming to you at no cost, I mean you wouldn’t have to pay me for this. It’s my own little contribution to the future of this community…” at the end of the meeting, the school appointed Tunde as the head of Corper’s service department, a post hitherto held by a teacher. He spent the break time with the students before leaving for his house. It was a busy day indeed for Tunde.
The next six month…
Armed with his laptop, internet modem, camcorder, bicycle, Ette, and two Corper’s Cds group namely MDGs and PETs, Tunde went half way with his mission in just six months. Starting from shooting a documentary film on the community, to writing proposals on the initiation and execution of fundamental projects in the community, Tunde never rested a bit. He became a major influence on the Corps members serving in the entire local government by providing them with ideas, and engineering their Cds projects to suit the fundamental needs of their host community. At the passing-out-parade of the batch B Corps members for that year, all the state award winners came from Tunde’s local government. This proved a big break for Tunde.
Dinner party, Government house…
The banquet hall was appreciably crowded, with all sorts of eatables on display. It’s the dinner in honour of state award winners, and the one man that’s wanted everywhere – Tunde. There were giggles and cackles everywhere in the hall as people engaged one another in tête-à-tête; soon the commissioner for youth, sports, and development interrupted the flow…
“So ladies and gentlemen, join me as we toast… to us, to them, and to our young man here…” the commissioner said pointing at Tunde. Soon, the governor himself started…
“You see, my boy, let me start by saying a big thank you to you. I must say I acknowledge and appreciate what you’ve been doing around here. And this will surprise you; I do get all the petitions and proposals you’ve been sending to my office, and while it seems I’m not bothered, I’ve actually been working on them. Let me give you a good news, we have signed contracts for the delivery of 15 primary health care centres, 200 borehole projects, rehabilitation of schools across the local government, and most importantly, the construction of all the access roads in in your local government. When I say signed, I mean signed and sealed, to be delivered in 8 months…” there was a thunderous applause in the hall as everybody gave kudos to the governor… “…and sorry, my governor forgot to add this: the electrification project has also been signed…” there was another thunderous applause for the governor. The night ended on a high note for everybody. For Tunde, it was the most fulfilling moment of his life, having his efforts rewarded in this manner; it doesn’t always come this easy. The state award winners were all given automatic employment, their first task being to assist Tunde in monitoring the delivery of the various projects awarded. Ikot Afanga was a bee hive of activities for the next 7 months. The students did crash job here and there, petty traders selling stuffs here and there, and the village youths all got one permanent job or the other at the various construction sites. Hmn… the dream of a man.
Somewhere in Lagos…
Mr and Mrs Olusola had just finished at the dinning when the network news started. Mr Olusola headed for the living room to listen…
“Good evening viewers, my name is Fatimah Abass Fatimah. Tonight on news at nine…” Mr Olusola watched on with keen interest as the news caster dolled out the news one after the other until it got to an item…
“Mama Tunde, come come come…” Mrs Olusola dashed to the living room to see what the interest is all about.
“… a 27 years old young man received national honour…” Tunde was one of the national award recipients for the year. He was nominated by the Akwa-Ibom state government for his efforts. The news caster rounded off…
“…he dedicated the award to his mother whom he said has always encouraged him to live his live to…” “…mo so ri re o, eleda mi mo dupe o…” Mrs Olusola didn’t bother to finish the news before she started dancing round the living room. Mr Olusola reconciled with his son that night over the phone, while both parent went to bed proud of their son. Hmn… how success attracts friends.
The End
I finished this story on the 18th of March, 2011, but it started making more meaning to me after I had a life-threatening accident on the 20th of March, 2011. One thing I said when I was going down was: “God, is this how I died,” and He said: ”No son, this is how I renewed your life and re-established your destiny.” Trust me, I’d have died a day to my birthday. This made me remember a sentiment I’ve always shared concerning birthday celebration; “it’s never a time for one to lose his head celebrating; it’s a time to ask the golden question: “why did God gave me another shot at life?” I’ve always reflected on the outgoing year to see whether I’ve only lived my ambition, or lived God’s purpose for my creation. Since I couldn’t parcel cakes and drinks across to you all, this is my birthday gift to you all.
Remember, every birthday you celebrate is another shot at life. God is only giving you another chance to live more conscious. I believe in you to fulfill your destiny.
With Love,
Alamu Samson.


8 thoughts on “The Quest.” by alamusamson (@alamusamson)

  1. Hmmmm. This is a good tale. Reminds me of my NYSC days in a similar rural community.

    Keep writing and Happy Birthday to you.

  2. Serious tense issues.

  3. Arrangement is completely non-existent; tense issues…no paragraphing makes the story hard to read.

    Edit. You try.

  4. @alamusamson, I like that you are trying to write an inspirational story, but it has all kinds of issues… fractured narrative, many typos, and a plot that is not very realistic. You need to work on this.

    1. I’ve seen the comments made; trust me, all corrections taken already. However, I wish to state here, that all the works were written well over a year ago and I only decided to start my stay in Naijastories with my old works, hence I submitted all of them at once for preview. I couldn’t have possibly effect all your corrections immediately. Expect a better me!

    2. I’ve seen the comments made; trust me, all corrections taken already. However, I wish to state here, that all the works were written well over a year ago and I only decided to start my stay in Naijastories with my old works, hence I submitted all of them at once for preview. I couldn’t have possibly effect all your corrections immediately. Expect a better me!

  5. @alamusamson, not going to bother criticising the work but i must say, the message @ d end is totally worth it. U no, when we add anoda yr, we begin to think for festivities, rather than evaluating the past year and how we intend to start the new year. 2012 will be wrapping up in less than 3 mths, some are planning how much money to be made, what next to gain, but the question, are we planning how to make our life count?
    good work!

  6. *sighs

    I think this needs a re-write.

Leave a Reply