ILLITERACY AND THE DISEASE CALLED POVERTY

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Gbenga dropped out of secondary school. Although a very bright student one thing or the other made him leave school.

His boyhood friend, Peter, however managed to go on with his studies, and at a time when it wasn’t easy to make a Division A, in WAEC, Peter did. He won a scholarship to study abroad and left for London where he did a first and postgraduate degree, crowning it with a Ph.D in Aeronautic Engineering.

He was a hot cake and had his pick of jobs abroad. Time passed and Gbenga forgot about his friend Peter.

Gbenga married, had 7 kids, and was in the village suffering.

One fateful day he went to the market in Bukuru, as he made to cross the road an oncoming car screeched to a stop, pulled over to the cab and stopped. A well dressed man stepped out, shouting his name. If not for the familiarity of the man’s features and voice, Gbenga would have run away but something made him to stop and walk back towards the car. He bent respectfully and greeted the man standing beside the well polished car.

Gbenguse, is this you? The car owner enquired, calling Gbenga’s nickname, way back in his secondary school days. It all came back, he hadn’t heard that name for decades, taking a closer look he discovered this was his one and only friend from way back – Peter! He took 2 steps back and shouted, Perosky danger! (Peter’s nickname) This is you? What are you doing here?

Pleasantries over, Gbenga narrated his ordeal to Peter who was actually in a hurry heading back to Lagos to catch a flight the next day back to London, he had no time. He pulled from his glove compartment a Union Bank Cheque Booklet, wrote a cheque of 5million, handed it over to his friend and zoomed off. In the euphoria, Gbenga did not even ask for Peter’s address, there was no GSM then so no phone numbers were exchanged either.

Of course Gbenga could read the words on the
cheque well, he quickly left the market and went home to tell the wife and leave for Union Bank at Jos to cash the cheque.

He called his wife inside and told her what had happened. He proceeded to tell her his intentions about the money.

He would give her 500k to start her business while he would build a house, expand his yam farm and then lastly, marry a second wife to help on the farm!

The wife heard nothing except two words ‘second wife’.

Enraged beyond words, she grabbed the cheque from her husband, chewed and swallowed it!

That’s the end of the story.

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