Editorial: My Stay In MAPOLY And After, What Transpired
Health is the most precious thing and it is the source of all happiness. The way the nine planets revolve round the sun is also the way the good and the bad happens to man. Whether the good or the bad, always be thankful. Thank God for dirty dishes because they have a tale to tell.
In October 2016, the good and the bad happened to me. I was given admission to study Pharmaceutical Technology in Moshood Abiola Polytechnic after leaving Secondary School in July 2016. It was such a good news in early October.
At the end of the month, something unimaginable happened. I lost something priceless, I lost something invaluable, I lost something precious, I lost my voice. I thought it was something for a limited period which hitherto, am still struggling with it. What else did I not use? Is it drinking warm water, gaggling hot water with salt, taking aboniki balm with hot water, using lozenges sublingually or what? Though, it was caused as a result of allergic reaction. Ordinary catarrh caused it. What a shameful thing.
Academic activities started in MAPOLY on Tuesday, 13th December, 2016 (the previous day was Maulid Nabiyy public holiday). Two friends of mine and I, whom we graduated from the same alma mater resumed to school on that day.
Biodun (an engineer to be), who was admitted into Civil Engineering Department and Bolu into Pharmaceutical Technology, same as mine. We all boarded a bus from Panseke to School, on getting to the half-way, the driver told all the passengers to start passing transport fare to the front.
I and my friends paid and almost everyone did so. A guy who had N500 with him passed the money to the front and asked the driver to give him N450 change. Meanwhile, he has collected N50 from another person. Instead of him to request for N400, he did not do so, but he later collected N450 change. None of the students knew anything about this, since the guy is sitting beside me, I knew what was going on and he also knew am watching him.
On getting to the School gate, the driver discovered his money remain N50. He asked everyone, “who is yet to pay?”, but no one answered. He stopped the bus at the School gate and asked everyone to get down.
No N50, No moving. I wanted to tell the driver what happened, but the way the guy was looking at my face, if I should say anything, something might happen. Some begged the man to continue moving, still, he insisted. Everyone had no choice than to trek from the School gate to his/her various departments. On our way, I told my friends what the guy did and the one who is dark in complexion, Bolu, told me I should had talked.
The other one understood my action since we were both short in stature, he knew if I said anything and the guy slapped me, nobody will defend me. We got to our various departments in the long run.
Things were going on well and even to be in higher institution is something not different from Secondary School. My fellow students called me different type of names; that small boy, a 16 year old boy, that boy that talks like a girl, oni voice turkey and sometimes, some will ask me if I had swallowed a coin, but still, I wasn’t bothered about whatever anyone called me.
In class, whenever any lecturer ask questions, there are two students, Uthman and Racheal that will always make sure they answer it. Thanks for making me take my studies serious. I asked myself then, “am I also in this class?”
Things changed, I started going to School Library. Since my alma mater didn’t have one, I made sure it was part of my daily agenda to attend the place. There, I met two friends, Pelumi(a pharmacologist to be) and Omoniyi, I moved closer to them, they taught me what I don’t know and we started moving together. Thank God I associated with eagles and that was how I learnt how to soar to great heights.
Before the beginning of first semester exam, there was a guy named Adams that do use a 20leaves note to write all notes and I was using 12 subjects combined note. I do say to myself, “how will this one pass when he will come to class and put down almost nothing in his 20leaves note“. But not knowing, he will eventually be one of the best in class.
We finished first semester examination. Everyone was anticipating good results while some already knew they will carryover a particular course, PCT 110 (Intro. to Pharmacology), because the exam was tough.
The day the HOD came to class to call the results, I was not on campus. That was the day I packed out from home to stay in a nearby place to school, some were happy about there results, while some were ruminating.
One of my coursemate told me HOD wants to see me personally and tell me my result. Though, I was happy then, but later on when I heard the result, I felt somehow, Adams who was using 20leaves to write was one of the best, he had 3.60GP(out of 4.0GP). I was surprised about his result but that was when I knew, “it is not about what big you have, but how well it is.”
I later went to HOD’s office and he told me I had 3.50GP(out of 4.0GP). He was happy about it and told me to write another jamb since am still young then. I thanked him and left. When I got out of the office, I was not happy at all. I thought I would have something like 3.70GP or more.
Since that day, I started to move closer to him, Adams. I knew for someone to be at the top, he must move closer to those at the top.
Life in MAPOLY was not easy then. Work upon works, class upon classes, note upon notes and school was becoming more stressful. By the start of second semester, MAPOLY began to have problem. The Government wants to upgrade it to a University. The Staffs did not agree to it because the upgrading will not benefit them. We had to embark on a four-month strike which started from October 2017 to January 2018.
By the time we resumed in January, nothing was upstairs again (Brain had dried). We started examination from January 15 to February 2. Thank God this time around, my GP increased to 3.60GP(CGPA 3.55GP). I knew I was improving but still, I was yet to get there.
Ori mi gbe mi debi rere; kese mi tun sin mi debe. We were given opportunity to go for a four-month SIWES programme. I submitted my SIWES letter through a nurse, Mrs. Peter to Sacred Heart Hospital, Lantoro, the letter was signed before the commencement Of Second semester examination.
On Feb. 5, 2018, I started working in the pharmacy section in the Hospital. Other students from my school were also granted the opportunity to do their training in the hospital.
There were four pharmacy units present in the hospital. Three students were distributed to each unit. I and two other students, Halimat and Ebun (whom were like sisters to me) worked together in Sales room pharmacy unit. The unit sells drug used in Maternity ward.
My stay there was lovely and thanks to a mother, Mama Stella and other technicians working in the unit. I was transferred to another unit in March. It was the OPD (Out-patient department) pharmacy unit. This unit was the best of all, this was where my love for drugs increased. The way drugs were stored in this unit, especially the stock room is similar to how foods product are stored in grocery.
I wrote jamb when I was in this unit, but I had a low mark, 256. I chose pharmacy in Obafemi Awolowo University, but by the special grace of God with the work of man, I will get it. Pharm. Toyin who was a graduate in OAU gave me the hope that if I can pass very well in POST UTME, I will be admitted. I got a lot of textbooks including Lamlard and starts preparing for the exam.
There was a woman, Mrs. Atanda, that do come from Dentistry unit to greet her staff friends in OPD unit. She developed interest in me by asking about my admission processing since she do sees me reading everyday. She linked me to the HOD of the pharmacy unit, Pharm. Caleb(he was one of those that helped during the admission process). Since a problem shared is a problem solved, I told Mrs. Atanda about my ailment. She told the Doctor in her unit, Dentistry unit, Dr. Adeniyi and I was linked to a specialist Doctor, ENT Doctor in Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta. These two mothers showed me love and cared for me. Though, I have nothing to give but God will reward you more abundantly.
I went to the Hospital and was given drugs and asked to go for a test which cost N8,500. It was during this time I stopped taking Prednisolone in which I was dependent on and Chlorpheniramine (Piriton) I was tolerable to. I started taking Loratidine from then in which all was to treat allergic reaction.
I used the drugs which suppressed something, but they were unable to do anything to the low voice issue until an X-ray showing the neck region is seen. Thanks to all the Technicians, Pharmacists and other Staffs in OPD unit.
I was transferred to another unit in April. The IPP (In-Patient Pharmacy) unit sells drug to admitted patients. Staying here was good, but not as the previous one. When I was in this unit, something terrible happened in which I will never forget.
Every Friday, each student will have to present a topic to other students which were supervised by Pharm. Chris. He made sure we all gathered every Friday to lecture one another on a topic, until it got to my turn.
On that fateful day, I prepared for the topic which was to be presented. I started by presenting off-hand, but by the time I used more minutes, my voice broke. For that moment, I couldn’t say anything. While some understood my condition, others were not even concerned, after some second I was able to talk again, but my mind was not even there anymore. I had to finish the presentation somehow and went back to sit.
The tutor in charge finished everything and everyone went back to his/her various units. When I got back to my unit, Pharm. Franscisca in IPP unit asked about how it went and I told her everything that happened there. A technician who was present when I was narrating the story told me what was happening to me has happened to her before. She said her own lasted for three years before she was able to talk louder. With that words of hers, I felt relaxed, but I was thinking how I’ll use three years in this condition. Then, it has started for a year and half. I knew that, “everything was just a matter of time.”
In May 2018, I was transferred with my two friends to the last unit, OPD Private unit. I used less than two weeks here before I resumed back for new session in MAPOLY. It was here I met a caring mother, Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo, Pharm. Chris and others, they all tried their best in making me and my friends happy.
Thanks to all the Technicians, Pharmacists and other Staffs in Sacred Heart Hospital, Lantoro for making my stay a lovely one. Thanks to Seyifunmi, Uthman, Neyo, Titi, Deborah and other students; they all made my stay a copacetic one. Though, thankful words don’t cost much, yet, they accomplish so much. If not for this four month training, studying Pharmaceutical Technology would have been a waste of time.
On May 13, 2018, I resumed back to school for my second year as a National Diploma student. How to go about SIWES defence was the first thing we faced. Thank God, it went well unlike the presentation I did during the training. No voice breaking and even I was able to say everything off-hand in which most other students found difficult.
We took a course that involved practical in that semester, EED(Intro. to Entrepreneurship). It was such a strenous practical. I was given the position of a treasurer, but as they all know me, I liked to control. During the practical, I made sure I was the leader, the secretary, the treasurer and even the marketer. The occupants were just there to take the position. We did beanflour named Charisma Bean Flour. With the help of Moses, Rukayat, Kafilat and other five students, the practical was successful.
During this semester, I had to prepare for my POST UTME exam in OAU. Whenever I get to school early in the morning, I would bring out my small phone to write some answers to some questions from a Whatsapp group, Jacko cites (God bless the admin). Some of my coursemates made jest of me saying, “You will be given plant science or portugese language last last.” I knew it’s only a failure that quit. Though my jamb score is low, but I knew I could still make it.
On June 1st, I went back to the Hospital to present the X-ray showing the neck region which was requested for, some months ago. When I got there, the ENT Specialist examined it and told me there is nothing wrong with it. He asked me to go for another one, the Videology Screening which costed N20,000. He gave me back the draft to keep.
I left the hospital not knowing what next to do, till I got to school that morning, it was Army Arrangement song sang by Fela that I was singing. I sat down in a corner in class thinking about different things. My boss, Adams, came to me and asked what happened, I told him everything, he patted me and said,”it is just for a matter of time.” These words made me feel better, because I knew “Asiko ni gbogbo nkan.”
On 31st August, 2018, I travelled to Ile-ife for my POST UTME exam. I had to stay at my brother’s place, Jubril (an Engineer to be). He told me about how admission processing is and how life on OAU campus was. I was given some special things to read, so I had to read overnight since I knew this will be my first and last POST UTME exam.
On Saturday, I went to the exam centre in which I also saw one of my mate from the same alma mata. The exam contained 40 questions which was to be answered for an hour. When I was answering it, I mistakenly pressed the start page and everything went blank, I stood immediately and shouted, “excuse me Ma” with my thin voice. Thank God, the page was brought up.
I continued answering the question until I came across a hot chemistry question, my pen dropped and rolled to the back of the CPU. I knew if I should try to take it, the system might likely shut down. Thankfully I brought four pens to the centre, I finished the exam and went back home to my brother and his friends.
In less than a month, the result came out. I had 32 over 40(Aggregate 72.4). Though it was a low mark, but I tried my best.
The day some people are laughing is the day some are crying. On tuesday, 23rd of October, 2018. I laughed in the morning but later cried at night. That day was my Departmental party, there was a lot of merrymaking and rejoicing.
I was given the opportunity to see some hip-hop artistes; Zlatan, Areezy and Eleniyan whom were invited by the Civil Engineering Department. That day was such a lovely and memorable day, I left school around 6pm. On my way home, I checked my phone and saw a missed call from my best friend who we attended the same secondary school together. He called around 5:09pm and since I didn’t have airtime I could only hope he called back.
At 9pm, I checked my WhatsApp to read messages. On getting to my Secondary School Group, I saw RIP. I lost my very dear friend, Koleoso Abdulgafar, I blamed myself not calling back when I saw the missed call. I did not know my friend wanted to give his farewell message. One thing I liked about him was his contiguous smile, no matter what happens to him, he will always laugh believing all will be right.
I lost a very dear friend, I lost my gist partner, I lost Gafar. May your soul rest in perfect peace.
November 23, I was given admission into OAU to study pharmacy. Throughout that day, I was singing, “Ka sa ma jo ma yo” (Selfmade by Lyta). I was happy to the extent I forgot to read for a test I had to write the following day. I thanked God for the opportunity because I knew it was not easy to gain admission into OAU.
Some days later, MAPOLY went for another strike from Dec.12 which lasted for 3months. The year ended well. I wished for two things at the beginning of the year; admission and my ailment problem. The former was granted and the latter is still ungranted.
I resumed back to school after going for 3months strike(making 7months strike during ND). My final paper exam started from the 25th of March and ended on the 6th of April, 2019. My stay in MAPOLY was copacetic. If not for the 4months training I went for, I would not have loved the course I went to study.
I appreciate some friends of mine for making my stay good. Thanks to Samson, Damola, Stephen, Ope, Funmi, Toyosi, Ganiyat, Solomon, Barakat, Qudus, Toluwalase and many more others. I really appreciate my supervisor, Mr. Fasasi for his understanding. Friends are important but Family is more importanter. Without the heart, the body is nothing; without the root, the tree will not stand; without the shell, the yolk will not survive; without the sun, the solar panel will not work; without my Mother, who am I? Thanks to my father and my brother, Afeez, for their financial support. May Almighty Allah continue to bless those who contributed positively in my life.
One thing my coursemate will miss about me is that, they will miss a great note writer. I’m known as someone who can write anything write able, I can write note from PDF, from Google, in fact, the whole of Ababio textbook. Though, giving the note to others to copy and snap waz not something easy, but at least I was happy some were benefitting from me.
To others who steal my notes to read for exam, don’t forget that,”whatever you did for me, you did for yourselves“. I hope when I get to my new school, I will be of help to some of my course mates. Other people smile makes me feel better.
Life is not like shortcuts on keyboard, you can’t fast forward it, you can’t Google Search it, but the only thing you can do is to experience it. I faced a lot of challenges in which many are not to be discussed. No matter what condition you are facing, know that it is just a matter of time. Always smile, because smiling adds to your value. Don’t forget to be time conscious and remember:
Time waits for nobody…. Asiko ni gbogbo nkan.