THIS THING CALLED BAD ATTITUDE…

Ethan was clearly a brilliant chap. He aced all of his courses and finished on top of his class with a first class honours in information technology. As an undergrad, he had added two internationally recognised certifications to his feathers. Occupying himself with online trainings in key aspects of his field of interest was his extra-curricular activity.

Meanwhile, while he strove to achieve academic excellence, he engaged himself in a couple of side hustles as well. The idea was to boost his pocket and resume alongside thereby getting ready for the cooperate world.

Smart move you’ll call that. In a country where businesses required a minimum of 3-year working experience from a fresh graduate, anyone with as little as a grain of sense should begin to save for the rainy day.

This position is mine“, he affirmed as he prepared himself for the interview he had that day with ITech the most relevant IT firm in the country, and his dream workplace too.

Yea, he had just returned from the compulsory one-year youth service program (NYSC). A pure waste of good time in his opinion. Anyway, he landed on his feet upon his return and got an invite for an interview for the post of UI/UX designer he had applied for a few months to the end of his service year.

“The interviewers can try all they want. I’m the man for this job”.

That same morning, on the exclusive part of town, Mr Smith was in a frenzy, trying desperately not to be late for work. He hurriedly arranged his papers in a bid to dash out of his apartment. He had worked late into the night dealing with some office work and finally slept off a few minutes to 3 only to wake up with a start just before 6:45am.

Locking up the front door of his apartment, he made for his car and tried to start it immediately. But much to his chagrin, the engine refused to come alive after several attempts. Unknown to him, he had forgotten to turn off the tail lights upon getting home the evening before. The light was on for hours until it finally drained the car battery.

Damn“! He cussed in frustration. “This is a bad time for this ride to develop a fault, not when I’m already running late“.

Meanwhile, it was still way too early to get his mechanic to come fix it. “Thank God for Uber”, he sighed as he reached into his pocket for his phone. He began to navigate through the Uber app in order to hail a cab but discovered he couldn’t connect at all. Upon closer look at his device, he realised there was no single bar on his network.

Phew! Heirtel has done its worst“. At that point, he knew he had only one choice – an unpleasant one at that: Take public transport aka ‘danfo’! He hadn’t taken a public transport in 4 years. As far as he was concerned, those buses are mobile contraptions to be avoided.

But since when did beggars become choosers. He found his way to the bus stop and joined the teaming number of workers struggling for spaces on incoming busses. After a seemingly endless period of struggle, he finally got into a physically battered one with bare woods as seats.

As he made his way to the rear seat where there was available space, he stepped inadvertently on the well-polished shoe of a young man. The victim moved his leg immediately and railed at him.

Are you blind or what? Don’t you know you just stepped on my shoe? Why can’t you watch where you’re stepping”?

Wow! Mr Smith was dumbfounded. All these just because he stepped on a shoe? He took a good look at the assailant. The young man looked too well-groomed for his ill manners. But rather than hit back at him, he simply apologized and took his seat.

Sorry for yourself“, the young man re-joined, hissing perfunctorily.

An elderly woman was unlucky to sit beside him. Because she was closest to the door and was barely sitting with a pair of her butt, she turned to the young man and appealed to him to “kindly ‘adjust’ a little” (move over) so she can sit a bit more conveniently.

And where do you want me to move to, he responded. You shouldn’t have joined the bus if you knew the sitting position was inconvenient for you“.

Other commuters tried to make him see reason but he shouted them all down. He even used the f-word on one. Mr Smart took all these young in and wondered what the world has come to. The younger generation and their ways.

In the meantime, he decided to alight a walking distance away from his workplace so he could

Fast forward to an hour and a half later, that same morning, Ethan had already successfully gone through the first phase of his interview and was left with the final and determining interview with the head of HR.

After waiting for a couple of minutes to see the boss, the secretary ushered him into the office of the HR boss. Upon hearing the door open, Mr Smith looked away from the system he had been staring at to see who the newcomer was.

Alas, standing before him was the young man from the bus, the rancorous one. His personality was too striking to be easily forgotten.

Small world!

Interestingly, Ethan couldn’t recall having an encounter much earlier with the man who was about to decide his fate as a potential employee in the workplace of his dream.

He offered the young man a seat and asked if he recognized him, perusing his CV.

I don’t think so, sir” was Ethan’s courteous response.

That’s strange. Just a couple of hours ago, on the bus going to Kingsway, you lashed out at a man who stepped on your shoes. Remember“?

Ethan looked closely at the man before him for a minute and then his countenance changed, looking crestfallen as reality dawned on him.

Yes, I was the one you lashed at. Now that I think of it, I may have overlooked your verbal assault at me and considered you for this position regardless. However, your overall conduct on that bus showed that yours is a case study in vulgarity, one that is impossible to overlook”.

“I must confess you look good on paper and surely have the technical skills required for this post. However, there is more to the job description than the technical-know-how. It requires a person with a human phase – one who is empathetic and can relate well with people”.

“I’m afraid I have to turned you down“.


Someone once said that a bad attitude is like a flat tire. It won’t go anywhere until it’s fixed.

Physical endowments and unique abilities are great requirements. However, a right attitude is a necessity.

Many times, folks need only to look in the mirror to check what the problem is.


Image Credit: Scruggs Auto

© ayansola ibukun

ACHEBE 3-DAY PROVERBS CHALLENGE: DAY 3

It’s well that ends well! Today ends the 3-day proverbs challenge from the works of the master story teller Achebe. There’s a lot more than has been shared here however. You can always get your hands on his works and enjoy it all.

Here we go…

☠ The death that will kill a man begins as an appetite.

🐜The fly that perches on a mound of dung may strut around as it likes, it cannot move the mound.

🎶 Even the flute player must sometimes stop to wipe his nose

⚱️A man who visits a craftsman at work finds a sullen host.

💪 We do not bypass a man and enter his compound.

🎶 When you see an old woman stop in her dance to point again and again in the same direction we can be sure that somewhere there something happened long ago which touched the roots of her life.

🙀 We should first chase away the wild cat; afterwards, we blame the hen.

💯 He is a fool who treats his brother worse than a stranger.

🙍‍♂️If a man seeks for a companion who acts entirely like himself he’ll live in solitude.


Thanks for been part of the challenge. Blessings!


Image Credit: BBC


©ayansola ibukun

ACHEBE 3-DAY PROVERBS CHALLENGE – DAY 2

Hello good people!

So it’s the second day of the 3-day Proverbs Challenge from the stables of Achebe and I’m set to regale you with more of his interesting proverbs.

Meanwhile, permit me to serve you an ‘appetizer before the main course’. It’s a short excerpt from his magnum opus Things Fall Apart. Each time I read through that section of the novel, I can’t help but laugh. It’s about a man Obiako who went to consult the Oracle in order to find a solution to his hardship. I think you’ll find it interesting…

‘Obiako has always been a strange one’, said Nwakibe. ‘I have heard that many years ago, when his father had not been dead very long, he had gone to consult the Oracle. The Oracle said to him, “Your dead father wants you to sacrifice a goat to him”. Do you know what he told the Oracle? He said, “Ask my dead father if he ever had a fowl when he was alive. 😂

😎Okay, enough playing around… Now to the main course…


🐀A man of sense does not go on hunting little bush rodents when his age mates are after big game.

🛑Until a man wrestles with one of those who make a path across his homestead the others will not stop.

🍠 Sometimes when we have given a piece of yam to a child, we beg him to give us a little from it, not because we really want to eat it but because we want to test our child.

⚕ A disease that has never been seen before cannot be cured with everyday herbs.

🦎 The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did.

🐦 Eneke the birds says that since men have learnt to shoot without missing, he has learnt to fly without perching.

🌿 When two brothers fight a stranger reaps the harvest.


Thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow is another day…


Image Credit: BBC


©ayansola Ibukun

ACHEBE 3-DAY PROVERBS CHALLENGE!!!

He is referred to as the father of Modern African Literature and perhaps the most read African author. But more importantly, he is my most favorite author from Africa. His name is Chinua Achebe.

Among other things, I find his use of language intriguing. The way he infuses the traditional African worldview (the Igbo culture particularly) into his works is such a delight. But how can you even refer to his works without a recourse to his rich use of proverbs? According to him, “proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten“.

I love proverbs and Achebe never fails to supply them in great measure. I thought to share some of them with you. Hence, for the next three days, I’ll be treating you to some of the proverbs used in his works. They are full of wisdom and witty at the same time. Enjoy!


😱 It is praiseworthy to be brave and fearless…but sometimes it is better to be a coward. We often stand in the compound of a coward to point at the ruins where a brave man used to live. The man who has never submitted to anything will soon submit to the burial mat.

🤝 When a handshake goes beyond the elbow we know it has turned to another thing.

🔥 You do not put a piece of live coal into a child’s palm and ask him to carry it with care.

😨 A coward may cover the ground with his words but when the time comes to fight he runs away.

🎭 The world is like a mask dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place.

🦎 A man who brings home any-infested faggots should not complain if he is visited by lizards.

☠ The death that will kill a man begins as an appetite.


Thanks for reading!


Image Credit: Paris Review


©ayansola ibukun

OF COSTLY ASSUMPTIONS AND REGRETS

The wedding was the talk of the town: one that will go down memory lane as the most elaborate and glamorous in the history of Golf town. It was the wedding of two celebrities.

Jane couldn’t be more grateful for the effort her committee -of -friends put into the successful outcome of her wedding: Tayo saw to it that every guest had more than enough to eat and drink. People still kept talking about the breath-taking wedding cake Mariam baked for her– free of charge. Sade was responsible for securing the five-star hall used for her wedding reception. Even Bola’s genius on matters of aesthetics was at its peak with the superb interior-decorating job she did on the hall. Indeed, all but one of her close friends came true for her.

Linda, her loquacious friend, was supposed to make the toast at the reception. Not oblivious of her elusive nature, Jane had made the proposition to her much earlier and Linda was more than willing to play the part. She gladly promised to make a ‘wow’ toast. But despite her initial request, Jane kept reminding Linda of her role, even two days to the d-day.

NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!

The d-day came but Linda didn’t show up for the church wedding. The plan was for Linda to make the church service and then follow the convoy of the newest couple in town to the reception. She was supposed to intimate the bride’s maid of her presence once she got to church. Her worries grew when Linda was nowhere to be found, even after the service was over. How to get a replacement for Linda became her only concern. Thank God for Segun, her husband’s best-man who saved the day. His was a job well-done for an assignment given at short notice.

A week had gone by after her wedding, yet Jane hadn’t heard from Linda. Not even a common SMS came from her end. Not even a call to explain and apologise for her unbecoming attitude. As far as Jane was concerned, whatever tie existed between her and Linda has been severed.

Although Jane often felt this prompting in her mind to check on her – just for the sake of closure – she strongly resisted the urge. “Why on earth should I call her? After all, her absence at my wedding wasn’t her first. She went ‘awol’ at Fisayo’s graduation ceremony. Even when she was supposed to supervise Temi’s birthday plan, she excused herself at the last minute…. ‘Something came up’ was all the excuse she gave. If she could behave that way in previous occasions, why should mine be an exception? Best we go our separate ways”. Those were the current of thought that battled in her mind.

It however never occurred to Jane that things may not be what she thought it was. Flashback a day before Jane’s wedding, Linda had taken – off in her car en route Jane’s wedding. She had rehearsed the brief speech she was going to give before making the toast. She couldn’t wait to get to the church and share in her friend’s joy. Mega town, where she lived, was just a three-hour drive from Golf. So she started her journey at exactly 6:00am, hoping to get to the church on or before 9:00am. Since it was still dawn, she had no issue with traffic which meant she would make prompt arrival at the church.

She had driven for the first two hours without any incidence until she got to Goza bypass. The bypass was a sharp bend that led straight to Golf highway. So sharp was this bend that, at quick intervals, many vehicles had bashed into one another, causing ghastly and sometimes fatal accidents. Careful drivers therefore decelerated before they negotiate the bend. Linda didn’t see the need to be so cautious since traffic was still at its lowest.

Little did she know that by negotiating the bend at her current speed of 110, she was running into disaster. She made a left-turn towards Golf road and changed gears. Just as she made the turning, she came in contact with terror.

The approaching lorry driver, having developed a brake fault, lost control of the wheels. The lorry swerved, went off its lane and turned towards the direction of Linda’s car. “Oh my God!” she gasped. Before she could make any attempt to dodge the lorry, it ran with full force into her car. In the split of a second, Linda was gone. It was a terrible way of dying!

Having finished her chores for the morning, Jane decided to go on Twitter to see what was trending. It was her first visit to the social media since her wedding. She scrolled through the series of posts on her wall and indulged herself by reading those that caught her fancy. Just as she was about to exit the app, a fresh tweet by her friend Fola came o . The picture attached to the tweet caught her attention immediately. It was that of her estranged friend Linda. What was more unsettling about the tweet was the bold RIP text inscribed on the picture. ‘RIP?’

Is this what I think it means or something else, she asked of no one as sudden fear gripped her. No, this can’t be real. Fola must have used the acronym to mean something else. Her heart had begun to race; her body trembling. She refused to agree with the gloomy thoughts running through her mind and decided to seek clarification.

Picking up her smartphone, she located Fola’s number and dialed it instantly. The line began to beep and after a number of beeps, Fola picked the call.

Hello Jane, whatz up…?

Hi Fola, Jane rejoined abruptly and went straight to the point. I just saw your tweet about Linda… What’s the RIP business all about?

Haven’t you heard, Fola replied after a short pause. I thought you already knew about it.

Knew what… Knew about what… What in God’s name are you talking about?

Linda is dead! Fola responded with a shaky voice. A cold shiver ran down Jane’s spine at the receipt of the news.

Dead? How?

Yes, dead. She died in a terrible accident, on her way to your wedding. How come you’re just hearing this? I couldn’t call you all this while because I didn’t know what to say to console you; knowing that she died on her way to share in your joy. Hello… hello… Are you there? She asked, noticing that she wasn’t getting further response from the other end. Fola checked her screen only to discover that the call had been terminated. She was speaking into thin air.

She died on her way to your wedding. That was the last thing she heard from Fola before the phone fell off her hand. And that statement kept resonating in her head. The wave of guilt and pain hit her as she began to weep uncontrollably. While Linda sacrificed her life on the altar of her wedding; she, due to her costly assumption, had held Linda prisoner in her heart.

MORAL OF THE STORY

©ayansolaibukun