10 April 2007


My respect and love for Princess just keeps growing.

15 years ago I was convinced I was adopted and like most teenagers fantasized about being rescued by my birth mother. With hindsight my birth mother did rescue me, time and time again. I was so caught up in this fairytale world that only teenage hormones can conjure to realize it at the time but now that I am older I keep getting those ‘Eureka!’ moments which make me rush blubbering to call Princess my heart almost bursting with love apologising for being such an ass growing up and thanking her for ignoring me and being my parent. I had one such moment recently. I had a conversation with a relative who had recently graduated from university with a 3rd class and was facing the challenges of getting a job in Nija. I had spammed everyone I knew with copies of her resume knowing that it would be an uphill task getting any offers ergo her class of degree. As we talked I recalled my university days. In as much as my mum respected that I was an adult and that I could be trusted to get my behind through 5 yrs of Uni by not being all up in my business (pretending not to know about all the partying I was up to) she was far away yet close enough to keep an eye on me. Then she used to say she didn’t know anybody (except God) that she could push me on to when I graduated and needed a job so she really couldn’t afford to be napping while I was in Uni. For her it was imperative that I graduated with a marketable class of degree so that I have no further delay moving on to the next stage of my life. One or two close shaves and 8 yrs later I finally graduated and while the ink was still drying on my certificate I got a job and I didn’t even have a resume. A couple of months after that through a referral from a guy I had only met once I got another job in Lagos. By investing in The Guardian newspaper every Tuesday for like 6 months I got another offer even after a friend at the recruiting firm who placed the ad asked me not to bother turning in my resume because I didn’t have as much experience as the client requested. I spent a memorable 2 years at this job and moved on to my next job once again by a referral (recall the guy who I had met just once that referred me for a position early on in my career as a working adult? He came through again!) I spent 3 years at this job and it was from there I moved to the US. Looking back, not once did Princess have to go see Uncle Lagbaja or Aunty Tamedun to talk to someone to hire me. Indeed with each move I made I usually called her on the phone and informed her I was changing jobs. I have hardly ‘arrived’ but I am getting there and it is really great to be able to look back and say I am where I am today by merit, perseverance of a determined parent and grace, well mostly perseverance of a determined parent and grace.

This is not to say my relatives’ parent was napping all this time as I realized when I called Princess to thank her for not taking it ‘easy’ with me. She surprised me by thanking me for listening to her and for the most part (wink, wink) being an obedient child. Apparently its one thing to show a person the path to take, it’s a totally different thing for the person to follow said illuminated path. Word.

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