GREAT ACHIEVEMENT IN LIFE


First Prize winner 2014 Teecoks writing competition; EJIKEME CHIDINMA from ANGLICAN COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOL, IPAJA, LAGOS STATE

Life O life, life wonder what life is all about. Life is all about challenges. Challenges are battles and battles are meant to be fought. It is through fighting that one can win his/her battle to obtain victory. Victory is meant for only those who fight. It is only the rich who are respected but as for the poor, they are not noticed.  A great achiever is always known to everyone. One thing is to meet the best, another is to pass the best and be the best. To be the best you need the attention of the best. Most great people in life always shed tears whenever they tell about their life stories like Ben Carson.

My story all started from a boy named Eze, from the lineage of Mr. and Mrs Okoro were intelligent couple. Both of them took first position and second position while they were in school.

Eze was a very hard working boy but he had never made his parents proud of him. He attended Dominican Nursery and Primary School Oshodi, Lagos. Right from his primary school he always aspired to be the best in his set and make his parents proud of him. His elder sister Ada was not even bothered about her life but was an average student.

When Eze was in Primary three, he took nineteenth position out of thirty students, but he changed his position to tenth because he was scared and afraid of what his parents were going to do to him. Eze was not himself when he gave his parents his report card, he was nervous so his parents suspected him. His parents took him to the school authority for pleading because they knew a bigger problem was ahead for Eze. Eze was very sorry and he pleaded that it was because he wanted his parents to be proud of him that was why he did it, but he never knew it was going to bring shame to him and his family. He was almost expelled but was later forgiven.

Eze continued his life but hoped that the Lord of the eleventh hour (Math.20) would intervene in his case. When he entered JSS one at Doregos, he determined to take first position. He struggled very hard but he was only able to take first position in his class. Happily enough, Eze ran home, he could not just wait to get home. When he got home, he instantly showed his mother his report card. She was very glad. She gave Eze different gifts.

Thoughts ran down Eze’s mind “ I didn’t take first position overall but why is my mother so excited?  This was the first time in Eze’s history that the sight one i.e (first position) appeared in his report card. Luckily for Eze he was able to take first position in his class throughout is junior secondary school. When he was in JSS three, there was a girl named Febechi. She was very brilliant but still she couldn’t take first position. She only came third while Eze took first position. Eze soliloquizing said “why can’t I be the best, why am I just only the first in my class?

Then, Eze was thirteen years old and was in SS1. HE didn’t even have hope of being the best in his class because the girl, Simisola in their set who maintained overall first position throughout their JSS1 to JSS3 was in his class. He wondered “where can I be when Simi and her other classmates are in my class, I think they are better than I am”. Well, he actually did his best low and behold he came third, Simi as usual came first and Febechi came second. Even though Eze was happily that he came third, he still wondered why Febechi was better than him.

It was a great shock to everyone on the prize giving day that Febechi took the prize for the best science student in SSS 1 because that was the first time Simi did not receive any prize on prize giving day. Eze was not surprised because he had a feeling that Febechi was capable of over taking Simi. He said to himself “I must be better than Febechi not matter what it takes, even though it means becoming a boarder like her”.

During the long vacation, Eze also had intention of becoming a boarder. Ada bought inspirational novels titled “Gifted hands” and “think big” by Ben Carson. Eze also watched a film (Korean) titled “Samuria High School. He learnt a very great lesson from the film and novels. IT was then that he fully realized that he could also be the best. The main character in the film “Kotaro” made a statement which touched Eze. He said “we all have to be determined and inspired; we always have to fight our battle if we want to win”.

When Eze became a boarder, he was very determined and inspired. Each time he thought about the movie and novels, tears rolled down his face, every one in his class would gather round him and ask him why he was crying but he would not answer any one. He also cultivated the habit of prayer before reading any of his books. Each time Eze remembered the reason why his parents made him a boarder he also became sorrowful. The main purpose for his becoming a boarder was to be a Prefect and be the best, also make his parents proud of him.

As the first term of that his SS two was running to an end, the last week before examination, there was an essay competition for schools within Lagos State. Eze saw it as an opportunity and chance that God wanted to use for him to make his parents proud of him. Before he wrote his own essay he prayed thus “God please just for once make my parents proud of me, my mummy helps other parents’ children to win different competitions yet her own children have never been noticed or victorious . So help me Lord to win this competition”.

Wow!! Finally, Eze won the essay competition and was the best essay writer in Lagos. He was very popular; he also won a lot of prizes and scholarship. Now Eze knew what it is to face challenges because he had to read very hard and burn his midnight candle. Finally, he became the best in SS two and also the best graduating student in his set.  Later, he was made the head boy. Subsequently, he became a surgeon.

Each time he had the chance to tell people about his life story, he always remembered his pains and struggles he passed through to be a great achiever.

Always fight your battle and commit it to God’s hand because it is through fighting on can win his battle.

 

 

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WAR AND ITS AGONY

Second Prize winner 2015 Teecoks writing competition; OKORAFOR PEACE from BABINGTON MACAUALAY JUNIOR SEMINARY

Agony, life was bearable before all this started. I had never known war, never taught of it, never dreamt of it.
I sat down remembering the conversation with mama yesterday. We had been talking about the war. Mama said enough had fallen and she felt Aba was going to remain strong. Nodding, I agreed and wanted to share the same faith as mama.
I shook my head as if my doing that was going to make me forget about the war. I decided to think of my wedding with Chike, of becoming a mother and wife at fifteen years of age. If only the war could stop only for a while all this would have been possible. Umm the war again. I laid down on the mat staring at nothing in particular.
All hail the East! All hail Biafra!!
These were the words I could hear. We were all there, smiling Ojukwu was there smiling on his neatly pressed uniform. “the war is over”, he announced “Biafra is victorious, Biafra forever!!” as he said this the drum rolled, the Atilogwu dancers were ready, the youths lifting themselves high, women dancing like boneless humans, children raising the Biafra flag and the military men laughing and raising their wine filled cups high like drunken fools.
The joy was so much and I didn’t understand it anymore. I saw Ebere hugging Chidi, she caught my eyes and started walking towards my direction. Although she was my friend I was not ready to start another endless chatter with Ebere.
“Nene, Nene” she said hugging me.
“Ah! Ebere everyone seems so happy what is going on?” I asked hugging her back.
“Haven’t you heard that we just defeated the Nigerians?”
“Ehn Ehn”.
“Yes oh! Those Hausa’s and useless Yoruba’s that have not seen the four walls of a school. I still can’t believe they imagined themselves winning us”.
“Exactly! I’m just happy it’s all over” I said trying to end the conversation.
“Who isn’t, I just feel for those who lost their lives during the war”
“Umm” was my only reply.
“I even heard Gowon laid down flat for Ojukwu. Ojukwu is planning to promote every soldier that participated in the war”.
“Really?” I asked suddenly very interested.
“Yes na, Ojukwu is even planning on building a University at Enugu”.
“I thought this war would never end with those good for nothing Hausa’s thinking themselves better than us. They thought we would not survive the war. I heard they cannot speak simple go and come” I said.
Ebere laughed “yes oh! My sister. Ojukwu was even nice, he did not kill the Hausa’s so much, he just made them run naked to be flogged making sure Gowon headed the team”.
I laughed we began to look around. I saw Chidi approaching us.
“It seems like Chidi is coming here for you” I said. She looked up and smiled “let me go Nene, we will talk later” she said hugging me.
“Ok bye my sister”
I was alone again observing everyone around me. Mama was dancing rhythmically to the music, which made me smile. Never had I seen her this happy. Suddenly I felt a hand slip around my waist. Looking up, it was Chike.
“Chike” I said full of joy “I wasn’t expecting to see you” “Neither was I” he said coming to my side, he held my hand, everything seemed so perfect.  He was handsome, his youthful feature was very obvious now that he was standing beside me.
“You’ve grown he said breaking the silence” “hope the marriage plans are not stressing you?” he asked.
“No” I said smiling.
Suddenly the drums stopped, the dancing stopped. Chike straightened everywhere was quiet.
“It’s Ojukwu’s final and most important speech for the day” Chike said.
“Oh!” was my reply.
“I thank you all for your support” Ojukwu began “The Central Bank of Biafra will be situated at Port Harcourt” everyone clapped, silence again. He continued to talk about his plans for Biafra and Biafrians. He demanded for a moment of silence in honour of the dead and decorated the evening with the new soldiers. It was a very long speech which ended with long live Biafra’’
Suddenly, I became afraid, my heart began to beat faster, it suddenly felt like we had not won the war. Like, I was standing between life and death, like the Nigerians were close making us waiting to execute their plan. Chike saw my face, he squeezed my hands, smiled in a reassuring manner, when suddenly I heard “Gbam!”
“Nene, Nene” mama was tapping me. ‘Wake up Onitsha has fallen. Another bomb just exploded .Aba is about to fall, get up quickly.’
I stood up quickly “But mama, I thought Biafra was free” “you have been sleeping. There is no time to waste, Chike just died. His town was just invaded” as she said this, she packed all she could.
“I just spoke to Chike” I said.
“You must have been dreaming” she said dragging me” lets quickly go to Umunede.
With so much agony, I carried my bags quickly. Never would I marry Chike, Biafra would never win the war, and we would never be Biafrans forever. Quickly, I took a glance at the almost empty room, closed the door after mama. I allowed the tears to flow freely, Chike was gone, so would Biafra. Biafra’s victory was nothing but a dream.

 

 

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FINDING SOLACE

First Prize winner  2015 Teecoks writing competition; ABDULFATTAH NUSAYBAH O from INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, AKOKA

 

‘A kwe abinchi? Is there food?’ I asked the maid. She smiled nodding, going into the kitchen.

‘Safiya! Abubakr! Time for lunch!’ I called as the maid laid the table.

My siblings came running playfully down the stars followed by our parents holding hands as they gently climbed down.

Suddenly, everything became fuzzy…

I groaned as I open my eyes to the soft rays of the late morning sunlight streaming through holes in the roof.

It was a dream.

The same dream I had been having since I got to the camp a week before. The camp was buzzing with activities. I immediately noticed new people had arrived. I stood up from the thin mat I had been sleeping on moments before, walking lazily towards the open building entrance.

Someone was walking towards me in the distance, I squinted, my eyes narrowing and they widened when I realised who it was ‘Zeinab!’ ‘You were attacked too?’ She nodded sadly. The usual glow in her eyes were gone.

‘Ya Allah! Kina lafiya?’ ‘what about Danladi?’ I asked anxiously ‘they took him’. ‘I’m fine’ she said, her second statement sounding like she was convincing herself.

I gasped staring past Zeinab. Her brother was a kind-hearted soul. He did not deserve that.

‘Are you okay?’ She asked snapping me out of my thoughts. ‘I’m not. Our lives are being destroyed by ignorant men who say they are fighting for Allah. Both our parents are dead. I can’t’ find my siblings. Those men took your brother’ ‘How can I be okay?’ I asked angrily with teary eyes. Zeinab hugged me saying ‘I believe in God’s plans, Hadiza you have to be patient.

I stepped back, staring at her, unable to comprehend her statement.

‘Ina kwana, mujel’ A man called out to us from the dining area. ‘Finally, breakfast’ I told her and walked towards the man. Few days later, a new group of people arrived. They all looked unfamiliar but I recognized a face.

‘Danladi!’ Zeinab screamed his name and ran to hug him. ‘Salam Alaykum’ he greeted, his face blank.

‘Walaikum salam, kana lafiya?’

I watched the siblings in silence as they conversed, feeling uneasy.

Something was not right.

‘Ayna zan samu abinci?’ Danladi asked Zeinab in a flat voice. ‘I will go look for food for you’ she responded and left. ‘I’m doing this for our parents, or all of us’ Danladi said to me. ‘Ban fahimtaba – I don’t understand’.

‘I’m sending a message to Buhari. That’s why the men took me’ ‘what message?’ I asked in a small voice.

Danladi laughed and answered, ‘ka tsaya, you’ll soon find out! ‘Senator Okechukwuemeka Adamu was the one who gave us the order’.

I just stared at him shocked. This wasn’t the Danladi I knew. Whatever the message was, it sounded politically motivated. Not religious. I wondered if he had been brainwashed. Politics had never been his forte.

‘Be careful’ I said warily.

He smiled knowingly, speaking in that eerily flat voice, ‘I have to go now. It’s happening soon’.

My pulse quickened, ‘what’s happening soon?’

No answer.

Danladi just smiled knowingly again as I watched him walk away.

Minutes later, Zeinab appeared with a covered plate of food. ‘Where is he?’

‘Something isn’t right. He left.’

She frowned, ‘What do you mean?’

‘Danladi- He’s up to something and I have a bad feeling about it!’

Zeinab’s frown deepened, ‘what’s he up to?’

‘I don’t know Zeinab. I don’t know’

‘Let’s go find him then’ she said pulling me towards the main building of the camp.

When we entered, we spotted Danladi exiting through the back entrance.

‘Danladi!’ Zeinab called out.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

He didn’t even turn back. I looked around curious to know where the sound was coming from.

Out of nowhere came a loud deafening noise followed by a rocking explosion.

The impact of the blast threw everyone in different directions across the large room.

As I lay on the floor amidst scattered bodies writhing in pain, I wondered what message was being sent to the president this way.

Gondori, IDP camp in Borno bombed, scores dead and others critically injured.

Searing pain racked through my body as I turned on the floor to look at Zeinab lying across me, blood trickling down the left side of her head.

‘Zeinab’ I croaked. No response.

‘Zeinab’ I called again, sobbing. I couldn’t lose her too. She believed in His plans. I didn’t. This was too much. I had no one left. My parents were dead. I couldn’t find my siblings. Danladi was now a terrorist. I was alone. Would this ever be over? Would I ever find my siblings? Would I ever find solace?

 

(Finding Solace)

 

 

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