#ThisIsNigeria: A man at 16. Young, not Dumb, definitely Broke

Okay so, I’ll make my story as brief as possible, so as not to bore you and at the same time light up some fire in you. My name is Olanrewaju Dayo Lekan, 300L Microbiology. University of Lagos.
On September 23, 2014, the uncle who has been a pillar to both my mum and I by paying my bills since I was in kindergarten (my dad left when I was 3months old) kicked me out of his house because his wife wasn’t cool with me! I was 16 at the time. At 16, I was practically not ready for real life, to hustle and get to feed myself, talk less further my education in the University of my dreams (UNILAG). Family begged, friends begged, phones calls here and there “please take him back, he won’t do it again…please sir, please sir” No, my uncle didn’t take me back.
No family was neither ready to take me in or help me and grandma who was willing to take me in was threatened of her monthly allowance if she tries to take me in as it was the same uncle who was footing her bills; food, clothing’s, house rents alike. I had no plan. I was Young, maybe Dumb and Definitely broke to get an apartment.
I left the then house at Ogba with hands full of loads moving about the street until I ran into an old family friend who saw me then took me to his place; A gate man house. He was a gate man. I stayed with Uncle Patrick for about a month then he was gonna leave the job since he got something better to do. Now there I was, had no home, had nothing. The only chance of survival was for me, a 16 year old boy to become a gate man since I’ll have the gate man cave to my self.
December 2014, I started the job of a gateman (permit me to say gateboy) in Awosan Estate, Opebi. Ikeja. Weeks rolled by, yes I was learning real fast to be alert, I got accustomed to the sound of horns, I legit memorised my employers car horns. It was a rented apartment of about 3-bedroom flat each, so I had four families to cater for as a young boy of which two were Indians! The Indians would never sleep in heat so I get to wake up at whatever time of the night to either quickly go put on the Electric generator whenever power goes out “NEPA” or quickly put off the Electric generator whenever the light gets restored because I would get my 15k salary deducted if fuel is wasted due to my lateness!
Note: Of the 15k, the uncle Patrick still takes about 7-10k every month.
The routine continued day in, day out. Then I was able to save a little change, I got Jamb form! Yaaaaaaay! I enrolled for an afternoon tutorial somewhere around the area which I quickly rush off to whenever all the tenants were out. I’d lock up the gate then quickly rush off. Sometimes I’d get back before them, sometimes…some unfortunate times, one or two would be back before me and would have been blasting their horns thinking I was asleep or something then I’d show up running. Most of the times I get insulted, mouthlashed and so on but none ever got to me because I knew what I wanted. Apart from just opening and closing gates, turning on and off power supply to all four tenants, I also get to wash nothing less than 5 cars everyday!
April 2015, complaints were getting too much from all the tenants except of course the Indians who didn’t really care about my shortcomings on the Job. I was young and getting tired of the stress, sometimes I sleep into the early morning because I sleep late and too much complaints got to the owner of the house and I was given a 2-weeks’ ultimatum to vacate the gateman house as my service wasn’t needed anymore. They said they wanted someone older, a pro at “Gatemaning’.
I used the two weeks to scout for jobs the little " SSCE-packed” CV could get me then I got called for an interview at Greater Washington Limited; an airline logistics company in Ikeja and I was hired as an Office Assistant with 20k salary and an apartment in the company building for staffs who lived faraway…I always lived faraway o, I legit moved in my loads and started living there.
Small boy worked for about 3 months, raised small cash, plus stipends you get after running errands fast, put into savings, I and a friend got a room apartment at Abule Egba, Lagos. So finally, I had a place to call home where I go to on weekends. I was growing up.
Did I forget to tell you I wrote Jamb and scored 271…yaaaaaaayy! Bobo is going to school! I was still working with the company, I enrolled for a post Jamb tutorial also somewhere around Ikeja where I go to for class after work from 6pm. I was working and going for tutorials. See, where all the strength to do all these came from, I have no idea! Not one…but I believe God was in the entire journey. Mum would call to check up on me and I’ll be giving her ASSURANCE that the boy is doing fine,just so she’d be at rest since she always wanted me to come stay with her in Ibadan where she stays but my Lagos boy mentality was “who on earth relocates from Lagos oooo, to Ibadan!. Who?” “Mummy I’ll survive in Lagos, I’m fine” I’d assure her.
I figured my salary wasn’t doing enough since I was to start saving for school, so I picked up the Job of a personal coach to about 3 GCE students, paying 2k each weekly and I go twice a week. I was getting extra cash with me.
Post jamb day came, I did the normal wizkid whack dress, wore shades o to go write my post Jamb in the Prestigious University of Lagos! Results came out, I was about 12 marks above the required cut off mark for Microbiology so I knew I was gonna cruise into Unilag without “CONNECTION” as always rumored…“without connection, you no fit enter Unilag o blah blah blah”. Number 7 on the merit list, boooooom! I was admitted. Omo see dance!
Got to the office the following week, news bursted; the liveliest OA was living the office to go to school, everybody was happy yen yen yen…UNILAG yen yen yen. The office was in a merry mood when the Chairman of the company strolled in, he got angry and of course the HR did the normal billing; certain amount was deducted from everyone’s salary.
Truth is, amidst the joy and merry, I was scared deep down because I couldn’t afford the school fees within the time given. I could lose the admission. I was happy but clueless on what to do. I called mum and grandma to break the news to them, both of them shed tears of joy never expecting me to come this far then both said they had no money too! Okay I had to look for a way to get 55,500 within a month deadline.
Noon same day in the office, I got a call that the Boss wanted to see me. For the records, Mr Owolabi would only see you for two reasons if you’re not a top Manager; To promote you, or to fire you!!! I was an ordinary Office Assistant who just triggered uproar in the office because of one yeye admission o, what’s there to promote?!
I got into his office, he had this angry look on his face then started “I heard you gained admission”…" Yes sir" then he went “so that’s why you’re disturbing my office”…" I’m sorry sir". Still angry, he said “how much is your school fees sef that you’re constituting nuisance around here” I answered “Sir I’m very sorry, it is 55500 but plus accommodation fee, it is 80500 sir” then he yelled at his P.A who quickly rushed into the office, ready to go print my sack letter; at least that was what I thought would happen. Then the shock of my life came, he said “Place this idiot on a 4-year scholarship, fully tuition paid by the company till you leave Unilag, now both of you get out of my office!”.
There’s the moment we all just sit on the floor with our eyes lined with tears but we are not wailing. That was mine…God showed up when I least expected.
I’m in my 3rd year in Unilag, I’m an Comedian, an Mc and a Hypeman; these are what I do to fetch me money for upkeep but for the past 3 years, ive never had to worry about my school fees, what has been my major heart ache. I hope this encourages someone to not give up, no matter how tough it gets, no matter how tight the corner we find ourselves.
See, I’m no where close to where I wanna be o, but I’m on my way! #ThisIsNigeria




:clap: :clap: Bravo.

@Mira I think this is one of the #Thisisnigeria entries.
Kindly look into it


Wow… This is one of the best… Welldone popo



This is amazing!


This is a Simple re-assurance say GOD DEY! :grinning:


That Mr Owolabi sef !!! “Hey you come here ! Place this idiot on a 4year scholarship !” :rofl::rofl::rofl:
What a WOW!!!
*Close your eyes let us pray…
Heavenly Father, the owner of the very breath in our nostrils…




Best read today. I like your style of writing.
Stay grateful to Mr. Owolabi.


Short of words…


This story! Wow


WOW!!! Now THIS is Nigeria where kindness abounds in the midst of wickedness!


I can’t beleive I shed tears. Please stay focused!!!


This is motivational and inspirational…:pensive::pensive:
Never give up!!!


Oh my! :cry:

This is beyond amazing! Beyond amazing!!

Bravo @Popo, bravo!!

If this is the definition of brief, then I’m in love with brief stories.

Thanks for sharing. Oya, invite your friends to sign up and like your post.

Feel free to mention zegist users here to like your post.


Keep pushing bro
God got you👊🏾

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Now I’ve found a favorite #thisisnigeria story.
I think something flew into my eyes while reading it too.
God is great!


Ah I’m sorry o, hope you gotten thing out of your eyes


Wow. This is very inspiring man :clap:


Hustler from small​:sob::sob::sob::sob::sob:
God got you always :raised_hands::raised_hands::green_heart::green_heart: