In my twenties, I had made it to the university. I was tall, handsome and brilliant and eager to explore everything that was available. I had nearly given up on a career in football decided on a degree in law believing that my encyclopedic knowledge and persuasive skills would see me through anything. I was eager to change the world. But I didn’t know the University was eager to change me too.
In my first year, I became a student activist. I was introduced into the world of politicking and power. In my idealism, I was a little troubled by the way we made deals with the university administration but any objections I raised was quickly quelled by the student union president.
“This is how the world works,” my friends told me. How could we hope to change a world that was rotten, if we were rotten ourselves? I wondered. But I was too busy for self-reflection. In addition to working hard to maintain my grade point average and coping with student union activities, I had a girlfriend who was a beauty queen.
Tiwa was her name. She represented her hall in the beauty pageant and even before the day came, everyone knew she would win. She was tall, almost a few inches taller than me and she had this way of speaking through her nose that was such pure joy to me then. Her parents were richer than mine and so I was thankful for some of the ‘allowances’ I got as a student unionist for Tiwa was really high maintenance. My friends could not understand how I had got her to like me. But it was easy really. All I had to do was learn a few of the things which she was interested in like fashion and jewelry and expensive food and impress her with my encyclopedic knowledge. As I was not bad looking and I had some money to splurge she consented.
I tried unsuccessfully to get her to go to bed with me but she never let me go all the way. It still felt good to have her on my arm though. My friends made sure I had other more willing alternatives though. I also had my first exposure to marijuana. We were required to smoke some during a secret council we had but when I tried to smoke the thing I nearly choked. I discovered I had no tolerance for the thing. It was the only thing that remained to complete my image as one of the ‘happening’ guys on campus. I could hold my liquor down quite well enough.
I remember Salewa wrote me a letter in my second year. She had just received admission and was excited though she would be going to a different university. I didn’t bother to reply her. In my twenties, I was too busy trying to discover myself and the experiences the world had to offer me to think of things like loyalty and commitment.
In my twenties I was young and foolish, naive at first but slowly discovering the world for what it truly was. I still didn\’t understand a lot about the way the world worked till I got to my 3rd decade.
To be continued…