Have You Ever Considered One a Close Friend and later Found out that He is Your Relation?
I remembered back in my secondary school days when things were very difficult for me financially.
After so many years of staying at home because of the lack of money to go to school, I could neither read nor write at the age of 13. Later I was registered at one Commercial School where I became a drop out again because of the lack of money. I left the school in 1st term Jss 3, that was in 2000. By 2003 I should be in SS 3, my poor mother and my pastor then, who became my mentor, managed to register me at Secondary Technical School Afaraukwu, Umuahia Abia State. However, the condition for me to be accepted into the school was that I must go back to Jss 3. After being encouraged by my mother and mentor, I have to go back to Jss 3. So that, instead of being in SS 3 in 2003, I was sent back to Jss 3.
Meanwhile, I have come to know Jesus Christ back in 2000 and have surrendered to Him, hence I joined the school's Christian fellowship known as Scripture Union (SU) and became the Bible study Coordinator in that Jss 3. In SS 1 I was elected to the office of the Scripture Union President. Then, the issue of money arises again. It was during my time that secondary school was divided into two sections, namely, Junior and Senior Secondary Schools. After what was called Junior West African Examination Council (J]WAEC), those who pass have to register as new students into Senior Secondary School One. Since I have no money to register, I was sent home. Later when all hope was almost lost, God provided money to my mother and I was registered into SS 1. And I'm grateful to God for that.
There was no hope to complete my school because of the lack of money until I met one of my best friends, who turns out to become my cousin-brother from my maternal home.
He joined us in a senior secondary school as a new student. He was invited to attend the Scripture Union program, after the sermon, he repented and came to fall deeply in love with me and was ready to stand by me not knowing that I was his relation. We were four best friends and all of us were members of the Scripture Union. Abraham Chukwudi, Ndubuise, my Cousin Emmanuel Chukwunyere and myself were four best friends.
This is how Emma and I came to know that we were related to each other: It was the period I lost one of my maternal uncles to death and I resolved to go to my maternal home to visit and consol my grandmother for her loss. I wanted my three best friends to accompany me after school, so I have to inform them. When I did, Emmanuel, my unknown cousin said that he lost his uncle too and it was in the same village my diseased uncle came from. Therefore, we resolved to visit mine first and then go to his. But amazingly, when we arrived at my maternal home, we discovered that the same uncle that I lost was his uncle too, and the home he intended to visit after mine. We were amazed, and to be sure, we went back home and told our mothers the story and the name of the other person's mother and our mothers confirmed that we were cousins. The happiness was much that we embraced ourselves in the school the next day we met ourselves. Quickly, the news that the big boy Emmanuel Chukwunyere is a cousin brother to SU Presido spread like a wildfire around the school. Emma was a big boy financially then because his aunt from his paternal home and the husband whom he was living with were wealthy. And with his support and that of my then Principal Mrs. E. O. Onyeweaku, I was able to finish my secondary school to the point of being the school's Senior Prefect (SP) without dropping out again as a result of the lack of money. I came out of secondary school in a grand style than I entered.
And as a graduate of the University of Uyo, Nigeria, and of the Assemblies of God Divinity School of Nigeria (AGDSN), when I sat back and thought of this, I became grateful to God first, then to my cousin, my mother, to my mentor, and my then principal, and even the family that saw to it that I became a graduate.
This is a true-life story.
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Nwoko Solomon Ikechukwu