You are the first one in your family to step a foot in the university. You have been smart since days of yore. No one matched your wits. Some even claimed your brains were bigger than your head. Some, some were convinced it’s fish. Your mom sells mongers fish – that’s how she manages to stabilize your education and basic needs. She does all that on her own, because your dad, well your dad is a deadbeat. You hate talking about him. You can’t even remember his face – though your uncle says you resemble him.

Your good grades landed you to a medical school, your dream course. Focus was still your middle name, and stood tall in your heart like the middle finger amongst it’s fellow fingers.

This only lasted a semester. Short like the normal life we had in 2020.

Poor boy. All your hunger for books, strength in focus and vision for your future started drowning in drugs, casual coitus, bad company and everything bad. You literally became a bad boy.

Medical student doing drugs. Medical student bissecting people’s daughters like his life depends on it. Medical student grooving with bad company as if unemployment isn’t really a hurdle in our country. Pun intended.

You skive all your classes to meet up with your gang for a puff and pass. Your lungs are full of smoke. The determination fire that was in your heart is perhaps suffocated by the frequent smoke in your system. Your lectures don’t matter, you think. You are convinced that you will wake up a billionare like the drop out Mark Zuckerberg, or the drop out Jay-Z.

You even change your lifestyle. Your mom brought you up to be a presentable man. She invariably filled your wardrobe with official wears, presentable attires. Here you are, look at you, boy. Your trousers hardly know if you have a waist. They sag to expose your black keister. Your shirt, that resembles a scouts attire is filled with badges of ‘ganja’ symbols. You now want to breed dreadlocks on your once bright head. Your fingers that once wrote clean grades are now heavy owing it to the numerous rings (petco/ mangoto). Swag? Your walking style – one hand in the pocket, the other swaying around, legs pushing you to bounce – body leaning on one side. Odi wa Migori you are.

Petco/ mangoto

Life is easy. HELB loans comes to your financial rescue. You are able to survive through campus life. You’re a businessman on the side too; aren’t you a plug? You sell dope to the dope boys. You are young and rich. Illegally affluent.

You call mom once in a while, not to ask for pocket money, but to lie how med school is taking you well. She counters with a torrent of joy on how you make them proud. On how you will be the saviour of their family. On how you are the hand that will pull them from abyss of poverty. On how you are their pillar of hope. On how she prays for you day and night – she asserts, more than often, that she is glad that God has answered her prayers.

Sometimes, after such calls, you drown in guilt and regrets. You wish you could have followed her truck-full of advice. You wish you could have reversed time and changed shit. Your life is a mess. Your life is a maze.

All the fun, bliss and fuss of campus have snatched you your focus, your dignity, your character. And your future too. You have changed. Depression is knocking at your door, quite harshly. Poverty promises to linger in your family and so is shame mixed with embarrassment.

Your mom, single mother surviving on a fish hustle, is happy her son will be the future Ben Carson.

If only she knew.

Mr. Ogonji is a highly professional and talented journalist with a solid experience in covering compelling stories, reporting facts, and engaging audiences. He is driven to uncover the truth behind today's most pressing issues and share stories that make a genuine impact.

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