Narrated BY ERIC THOMAS… Retold Here Ipsissima Voce!

There was this young man who wanted to be successful, so he went to a sage to seek for counsel. He told him he wanted to be on the same level he is.  So the sage said, if you want to be on the same level I am, I’ll meet tomorrow at the beach by 4am. The young man thought to himself, ‘hey, but I said I wanted to be successful and not learn how to swim.’

However, the next day, the young man got to the beach at the appointed time, already prepared with his swimsuits on et al. The old man grabs his hand and asked, ‘how bad do you want to be successful?’ He replied that, ‘real bad.’

So the sage told to him walk into water. He did as he was told until the water got to his waist. At this point, he was thinking to himself, ’this old man must be crazy. I told you I want to be successful and not learn to be a lifeguard.’

Nonetheless, the sage instructed him to go in a little further. He went deeper into the water, until it got to his shoulder. The sage insisted that he go further. He obliged until it got to his mouth. He became scared and attempted to run back, thinking ‘this man must be really out of his mind.’

The sage said, ‘I thought you said you wanted to be successful.’ He replied, ‘I do.’ Then he told him to walk a little further, and then suddenly, taking the young man by surprise, he shoved his head into the water and held him there.

The young man struggled to get out but the sage was strong and held him down. Just before he was about to pass out, he raised him up. The young man immediately gasped and took short sharp breaths.

Then the sage said, ‘I have a question for you…’ He said, ‘when you were under water, what did want to do, what did you want most?’ The young man replied, ‘I wanted to breathe.’ To which the sage replied, ‘that is the secret of success. When you want success as badly as you want to breathe, then you will be successful. There is no other secret.’

LESSON: Many of us claim we want to be successful but we do not want it bad, we just kind of want it. We do not want it as desperately as we want to party, we do not want it as desperately as we want to watch soccer games or as desperately as we want to chat with our friends on BBM or Whatsapp. And until we want with a burning desire, and we sacrifice everything (our time, money, family, leisure, friends, habits etc.) in order to get, we may never get it. We have to want success so badly that we refuse to sleep. We have to desire greatness so badly that we forget to eat.

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle
~Abraham Lincoln.






Almost on a daily basis, my mom, a high school guidance counsellor, comes home with various stories about the various grotesque and delinquent behaviours indulged in by her students. Sometimes, she would talk of students trying to initiate others in a cult, some arrested by the police for theft and burglary or those who threaten or make successful efforts to ‘discipline’ teachers. At other times, she would make mention of cases of an older lady seducing her junior into indecent sexual behaviour while alone in a classroom, of students caught watching pornographic films, of those engaging in homosexual relationships and many who camp in the forest area in the school premise, doing all sorts of things like cooking for themselves, drinking alcohol and God knows what else. Whenever I hear such reports, I just shake my head and feel sorry for the kids, and this generation at large, for the evils that continue to hold us bondage.

However on this particular day, she narrated a story that got me giggling and which deserves to be presented on stage as a short comical play. Hence, my decision to not liberate from the tentacles of my pen (or is it, in this case, my keyboard?)

Here it goes:

There is this girl of about 17 or 18 (let’s give her an ad-hoc name, Sade). Her mother was dead worried because of her ill-health. Being a certified nurse, she conducted some medical tests for Sade, testing her for malaria, typhoid, diarrhoea etc. However, they all turned negative. She administered some drugs for the girl to take, yet the illness persisted.

Then she decided to collect some of her urine, and test her for pregnancy. Lo and behold, little Sade don carry belle. On discovering that her mom knew of her gravid condition, Sade temporarily fled her home.

Meanwhile, her mom had done some sleuthing to find out who are boyfriend (and partner in crime) was. She paid him a visit. And had both him and his brother arrested (for rape? Can’t say without knowledge of the girl’s true age).

Sade later showed up, only for her mother to commit her into the hands of the Law Enforcement Officers too. She asked her to be placed in detention to teach her a lesson (only God knows on what charge).

That is not all o.

Finally, while Sade was writing her statement at the station, she accused her mom of giving her drugs with the aim of aborting her pregnancy. And what did the Police do? They apprehended the mother too. J All of them (plaintiff, ‘accused’ and victim) are now in prison for crimes unknown.