It was a sunny day and my friend, Kafilat and I, had to trek for about twenty minutes to get to where we were headed. For some reasons that I can’t remember now, we had missed the photo session where passport photographs were taken for our upcoming WAEC and NECO. So we were sent from school to go to the college (our school was a staff school to a college of education) section to get our photos taken.
Getting to the college, we were met by about three elderly men manning the college gate. They looked tired and sweaty. It wasn’t after we left the photography office that I put much thought to their condition.
We met the absence of the photographer at his office and we had to wait for him. When he finally came, he was also sweaty and as soon as we entered his office, the blast of AC coming out of room soon dried up our sweat, him inclusive. He was actually sweating profusely. It really was a sunny day.
Then I remembered the elderly men at the entrance who were opening and closing the gate for people who they are old enough to father. They must have been feeling the hotness of the weather too, but their “office” wasn’t equipped with AC, and so they had to endure.
Then it dawned on me. If these men had gotten an education, maybe they wouldn’t have been gatemen, maybe they would have retired from work. There and then I made a pledge to myself. I pledged that I would get an education no matter what it takes. I wanted to be like the photographer, to have an office furnished with an AC, I don’t want to be under the scorching sun all day in order to make a living. And as myopic as this may seem, it was one of the factors that pushed me to work harder to pass my secondary school leaving exam at one sitting.