Thursday, 19 February 2015

Decisions That Changed My Life: The Teenage Epiphany

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

A few weeks ago, a friend Urigi asked her blog-readers to share experiences that have inspired, or been a defining moment in their lives. I wrote a very long comment, then decided that I'd like to share that comment on my blog.  Here it is...

As a child I was intelligent; coming 3rd in Nigeria at 11, in the National common entrance examinations for instance, but also very lazy. As soon as I got into secondary school, my grades basically plummeted , mostly because I couldn't be bothered with the classes and/or studying. I just really wanted to be left alone in peace to read and read and read! They eventually became so bad that my father had to resort to bribing me with cash for every A I got. As an original money-loving naija babe, this incentive made a huge difference, and I started to work hard ;)

Anyway around the age of 15, I suddenly realised that I didn't want to be like my evil cousins who lived with us and had done their WAEC/JAMB at least 9times since I knew them. One in particular always seemed so stupid and uncouth! Even as a kid, I knew that a lot of the stuff she was was either illogical, ignorant or just plain untrue. At the time, I thought this was due to her ignorance and it really motivated me to be different. I wanted to know more about the world and wanted to breakaway from that ghetto of mediocrity. I had ambitions; to become exposed, to experience other cultures, learn foreign languages, to visit other broaden my horizons. And I knew that I could only do this if I had an education.

That term at the end of SS2 (penultimate secondary school year in Nigeria), I woke up and promised myself that I'd do better the next year. And I did. I cleared my WASSCEs/NECOs and got a very good score in JAMB; enough to study geology at FUTA. And although I never went to university in Nigeria, this experience taught me that I had the power to dictate the direction of my life. Since then, my life's motto has become very similar to the sentiments that the English poet William Ernest Henley tries to convey in verses 1 & 4 of his poem Invictus.  I realised that I really am the master of my fate.


  1. **In DBanj's voice Ooosssshhheey! File ah! dont touch It mbok.. Our Egbon is smart like that jo, and the crowd goes... Yyeeeeaaahhh mehn! So you came 3rd in national common entrance?! NATIONAL!!! **Faints.. **Wakes up.. Chisos! A neFer Hexsperred it faaa!! So i have beem interacting with a lady from Albert Einsteins lineage all the while?! Choi!! can i get an Autograph biko?! **Shines teeth.. I didnt write that thing oh! my Brain couldnt carry it jo, so i jejely went to private School :(.

    Truly yeah Egbon, as i read along with the ghen ghen poem above, this line sank into my 23 years 3 months 8 days old coconut confused head: "I am master of my fate, i am captain of my soul" You know yeah, I have made so mmmmaaannnnyyy stupid decisions in my young and confused life, Did i regret most of dem choices?! Yep.. Do I regret them now?! Hell No! What i do regret is the time i spent REGRETTING those choices, as they were not in every sense of the word MISTAKES as they were lessons. Unknown to me ehn, while I spent a good part of my life regretting them, I unconsciously was being... **Scatches head.. **thinking.... whats that big ghen ghen word Clara used again oh! **Scrolls up.. Ehen plummet!.. I unconsciously was being Plummeted :) into sadness and depression instead of being happy, and i have realised that in all sincerity, the results of these decisions will be felt by none other but myself ehn, but to that I say so what?! I made those mistakes to learn. Now that i am a tad older, i am learning to take life as it comes, basking in the euphoria of every moment and enjoying both my good choices as well as my wrong ones, cause in as much as i am master of my own fate, it means i am controller of my own happiness.. and what better choice is there than to be happy?!

    Turn down for what.. **Wears Mr Nigeria smile.. With our Egbon Clara toh sure baje baje, we only turn up in style.. And the crowd goes yeeeeaaaahhh mehn! xx :)

  2. Hey Clara,

    What are:

    - National common entrance examinations

    Gruß und Kuss ,

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