A few months ago, a very dear friend of mine was talking to me about her sister. She just finished school but no job was forthcoming; and in my usual manner, I said "Let her come to Lag and learn cake making. It's a good business". She agreed and Ogochukwu came to Lagos a few weeks later.
The first time I saw Ogo was when we christened our daughter, and she really impressed me. Ogo has speech and hearing impairment (deaf and dumb) but she is a graduate. I always shake my head when able-biodied youths give flimsy excuses as reasons for dropping out of school. Seriously, what can be more discouraging than being deaf and dumb?
Anyway, we discussed with Ogo - it was difficult, I must confess - and she showed a lot of interest. On my wife's advice, she was sent to a cake training school for 3 months. She completed her training about 2 weeks ago,and when I saw her lecture note, I was very impressed. What's more impressive is that she has started getting cake contracts, and uses the traditional baking method to bake the cakes. Yet, she delivers in good time.
Ogo has got me thinking: how does she even identify potential customers? How does she negotiate? How does she feel when she goes to cake shops to buy materials? How does she get people to trust her with their cakes? There's only one answer to all these questions: Ogo does not believe in excuses!
She made up her mind to live a meaningful life, and she's doing that already. She ignored her disability and focused on her strength. Unlike most of us, she doesn't need to shout to get noticed - she just leaves a lasting impression on you.
So,before you blame anybody for your minor predicament, ask yourself what you are doing to make things work for you. Before you contemplate suicide or any other cowardly act, ask yourself it's worth it. Before you blame the government and the leaders for the deplorable state of the country, remember that Ogo lives in this country as well.
As rough as things may be, we do not have any reason to give in to life's challenges or give up on life itself. If Ogochukwu can add value to herself and become the envy of her peers, what's your excuse?