Jinadu grew up in the rusty ancient city of Ibadan, in Oyo State. His neighborhood was a low class area of people who work their fingers to the bone to make ends meet. His Father was a bricklayer who struggled really hard to provide for his family and was a disciplinarian who was extremely firm on his children, and spared no moment for them to taste the rod once they erred. His Mother was a petty trader at Agbeni market where she augments what her husband provides for the family. She was a soft spoken woman who lived in fear of her husband and dotes over her three children. Luxury was a scarce commodity.
Jinadu grew up to the sound of the Muezzin calling out for prayers, and to the jostle of neighbors and families trying to prepare for the day. Most times he had to take his bath in the open because of the long queue of people jostling to have their bath. If he does not take his bath outside, how’s sure he will definitely be late for school and receive a whooping from the dreaded Maths teacher in his school. Breakfast was mostly Pap and bean cakes, after which lunch will be Garri because his mum won’t be home by then and dinner was usually a solid meal depending on what their Father desires.
In school, he was a good student, loved by the teachers and liked by his mates. He was studious and took to heart whatever he is taught. What essentially drove him on in the real sense was the whip of his father, who though was barely literate, but understood the need for education and the essence of topping the class. So each time he came home with his report card, what his father looks out for first, is his position in class. Anything below the 1st position means he will have to endure nights of pain and days of hard labour during his holidays. Which means no running around with friends and no visiting families. So he worked hard and studied seriously to ensure he topped his class so he could escape from home during the holidays.
The University afforded him an opportunity to escape from home and from the firm grip of his father. He felt liberty and exhilaration to be able to stay alone, without the hawk eyes oversight of his father. In far away University of Ilorin where he went to study, it was bliss for him. Incidentally and unfortunately, his father died and responsibility for his siblings and mother fell on him. Luckily, he was on scholarship, hence his tuition fees was taken care of. He had to start a photocopy business while in school to help out his siblings and his mum. It was a trying time for him.
He graduated from school top of his class, and he was immediately offered a job in the oil company. Suddenly, status changed, and all the poverty he had experienced growing up, now the gate to escape from it was suddenly opened to him! The allure of good life he had missed growing up, which had appealed to him all this while now seems to have been dropped on his lap. He heard a voice whispering to him that, now is the opportunity to erase the trace of poverty in his life, that he will be a failure in life if he failed to take advantage now. Within him, he felt like a bird let out of his cage and he took flight into the air.
Initially, he was conservative, faced his job and left for home. But his colleagues began taunting him, on the good life he was missing. The babes smiled seductively at him, promising him pleasures forever more if he went out with them. Business partners told him opportunities only exist and business deals were sealed in the club.
The allure of the fast, swift and smooth rise to the top appealed to him so much and he took the bait and plunged in fully. He got to close several business deals, met strategic people who were critical to his line of work and and to his rise to the top. He was driving on by the same fear that drove him on when he was a kid in school, the fear of his father’s chastisement. Now, it was the fear of been second best, of been left behind, of been not up to par with his peers who call the shots in the society.
He worked hard, partied hard, and lived fast.
Beep beep beep rang the phone. He reached out to grab the phone in his sleep and heard a female voice ask, “Is that Mr. Jinadu?” “Yes” he answered. The voice continued, “Just to remind you of the appointment you have with Alh Aliko Dangote by 11am today at 4 Points Sheraton.” He woke up with a jolt, his eyes cleared of sleep immediately. He had been to the club the night before and didn’t get home till 6am in the morning. This was to be the biggest deal of his life. He had spent hours and days trying to seek the appointment to be able to seal the deal with the richest man in Africa. Time was 9:15 am, and from his house in Lekki to 4 Points was 30 minutes ideally, but due to traffic can be more than that.
He dashed to the bathroom, took a hurried bath and dressed up. He hit the road by 9:45am, and there before his eyes extending for several kilometers was traffic due to a broken down articulated truck on the road. Traffic officials were trying to control the traffic and at the same time trying to move the truck away from the spot.
The time crawled to 10:30 am and he got impatient. He saw a Police Escort vehicle take one way facing oncoming traffic and he followed suite on the spur of the moment. And off they went at top speed without regards to the vehicles coming in the opposite direction. Several cars followed suite as well.
A few kilometres to 4 Point Sheraton, a car pulled into the road, oblivious to the vehicles driving against traffic. The Police escort car swerved suddenly to avoid the vehicle and in the process lost control and somersaulted across the road into other road users, Jinadu who was coming behind, and distracted by the car losing control slammed head on into the car which pulled into the road and everything went dark.
First responders to the scene confirmed Jinadu died on the spot after suffering a fatal head injury in the crash. It was a multiple accident scene that left the road locked down for hours. Four other people died in the carnage and scores injured….
At his funeral, days later, colleagues, friends and family could not hold back tears as he was lowered into the grave. Encomiums poured in, and people wept bitterly at his untimely death, praying he rest in peace.
But somewhere, in the cosmos, Jinadu was screaming in agony, pleading for mercy and in extreme torment, regretting and wishing he had been a little more patient on the road, that fateful day. And the voice that whispered to him to seize his opportunity, stood laughing into his face.