Today, I’m a happily married father of four with a regular flow of income. And above all, I feel really fulfilled. But things were not always like this.

At the beginning, I grew up to know myself as the moody boy that was so shy he wouldn’t say anything in public, especially not in the classroom. I grew to know myself as that boy that would consistently score zero in mathematics class and the teacher would ask the whole class to shame him. They would mock and taunt him with derisive songs specifically composed for ‘the poor pupils’.  

If I say I was disadvantaged as a child, I know you would understand by now. Even though life seemed fantastic, despite all these odds, later as a teenager I realised a lot was wrong. Then, I could account for why there wasn’t any head start; for why my thinking was extremely constrained and why I didn’t think much about success. Well, the whys I’ve since understood are just too many to be exhaustively listed.

But a time later came in my life when I asked myself: For how long would I continue to allow my past to dictate my present and my future? It think this was the turning point in my life.

It was at the turn of the century when there was a frenzy and everyone had something or something to say about the preeminent new millennium. I could tell the whole world was brazenly passing me by, leaving me behind. After all, who was I? But the truth was I had become agitated too – I was getting older yet there was nothing to show for my days of toil.

So, I started asking questions that revolved around what I wanted to do with my life. These question obtruded into my thoughts in a barrage over some weeks.

I can still remember the day I decided to leave the city for my village, having made up my mind there wasn’t a viable place for me in the city. None of my friends thought I could do it or that it was rational. They thought success only resided in the city. Meanwhile I knew I wasn’t happy, I knew I didn’t have any defined ambitions, I knew I  wasn’t then equipped for the future… But I wanted to live a kind of today that could conquer tomorrow for me.

Therefore, leaving was exactly what I did; I left the city for my village!

Now back in my village, I decided to go back to school. I put in for the university matriculation examination and enrolled in an extra mural class to prepare me for the exam. But while waiting for the exams, I became idle and moodiness stepped back in. I needed a time filler.  

This was when I stumbled on two related but different activities that I later found solace in. Partly as a hobby, partly as a means of making ends meet, I cultivated a backyard garden. A little time later, I got some hybrid local chicks and started tendering them. Or maybe they were the ones tendering me, because the effect on my wellness was spontaneous and miraculous. I came face-to-face with wonders.

Day in day out, I watched over the chicks as they unnoticeably started growing. I started spending hours just watching the birds move around and seedlings raise the soil, ready to pop out.

Now I have to confess here: there are many things I had done on mere impulse only to later realise their importance. For instant, I realised, much later, some health benefits of gardening which I had unconsciously enjoyed.

And financially, both the garden and the poultry were so very useful. The proceeds from sales of some of them were used to sponsor my large part of my university education.