“Losing my mum and dad at the age of 4 is the darkest moment of my life. People don’t know why I am so passionate about quality education for every child and the inspiration behind the Sera Schools Initiative, an NGO I run which is committed to helping indigent students in public schools across the country. It is the woman in this picture.
I know she can’t read what I am writing here because she sacrificed her own education for me but I am glad her children can read it and my success today is her success. She is another Mother Theresa the world is yet to celebrate but I will. She is the major heroine of my success. She picked me up when everybody abandoned me.
Let me tell you little out of the many stories.
May 9, 1994, is a day I will never forget; it was the darkest moment of my life. I was just four years old then, and I woke up that day seeing people crying in our compound. What happened? I didn’t know until I saw my mummy lifeless body being brought into the partially completed building we were living then. Mummy died that day, and it was like everything was over, our world collapsed unexpectedly. My dad had died earlier, death taking my mum away again was like God decided to punish us for a reason we never knew.
Being the 2nd to the last born, I was abandoned with our last born Gbemisola as family members came around to pick the matured ones among us. Sister Morenike was just 19 then, but she refused to follow the person that came for her, she dropped out of school and started working to provide money for my grandma who was taking care of us then.
Grandma couldn’t live long, she couldn’t get over my mum’s death, and she too passed away shortly after. Sister Morenike came back, she took me and my little sister who was a year old then and took us to Akure. She was 20 by then. She became my mother and that of my little sister. She put us in a lesson which was where I received my first education since she could not afford money to put us in a school. She told us that though she may never go to school again but that we will go and that she will do whatever she can to make us educated.
Lovely sister, though I was 5 years old then, I can still remember how you worked in a food canteen washing plates and many times you always bring your food for us to eat.
After some months in the canteen, you raised money and venture into hawking small white beans that was common then to sustain us. From there you moved to hawking Maggi when you discovered that you could make more money there to feed us. You will hawk from morning to night to have money to buy akara and garri which was our best food then.
You later moved to Oja-Oba to start selling Okra and pepper, and I have to join you at the age of 7 to start hawking, and it was in the market under you that I learned most of the things I know about business today. I can remember how rain always beat us in the market and how we always cried together anytime our sales proceed got stolen.
You sacrificed everything for me, and today I am a better person, at least I am now a graduate serving in Lagos State and not an okra seller as many of my mates then are still in Oja-Oba in Akure. I am shedding tears already I have to stop here. Thank so much for beating me anytime you discovered I didn’t go to school. The only assignment you could only do for me while I was in primary school was Yoruba, but I am grateful you helped and taught me, even it was just one subject.
Aunty “Meeke” was what I shortened your name Morenike to then because I was used to calling your name from morning to night. I cannot thank you enough. You became illiterate so that I can be educated; you became poor so that I can be rich. You sacrificed everything for me. I owe you so much even God knows that.”