Only time could tell what Kunle’s fate entailed. He had refused to further his education having sat for his Senior School Certificate Examination (S.S.C.E) in spite of the fact that he hailed from a revered academic home; his 56-year-old father was an astute Professor of Linguistics, and 53-year-old mother – a Masters degree holder in History Education – was a teacher of a reputable government owned secondary school in the city of Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
The couple, Prof. and Mrs. B. O. Ola kept wondering what had came over their first child who was supposed to take the lead among their five children in terms of academic quest. What baffled them most was that Kunle wasn’t a weakling academically, thus shouldn’t be marred by apathy in that regard.
Rather than thinking deeply on how to add a crown to his shoulders, education wise, he had chosen to desperately pursue a career in music, forgetting where he was coming from or the background he was linked to. Hence, they were of the strong notion that the 19-year-old chap who concluded his secondary education two years back was being faced by a hallucination. Indeed, Mr. Kunle Ola was academically and morally sound, and had tried to remain one of the best among his peers throughout his primary cum secondary schools’ time.
But, how his psyche abruptly became so fixed to pursuing a musical career was something that kept his friends and relatives in a serious sober mood. To him, attending a tertiary institution was a complete waste of time, energy as well as resources since there was no white-collar job that awaited any undergraduate.
His parents had employed several avenues for the umpteenth time toward urging him to jettison the ‘weird’ idea, all to no avail. “Kunle.” Prof. Ola called as he was seated in his home lounge alongside his wife who sat very closely to him, in a sofa. “Yes, daddy.” He answered from an adjacent side. “Please, can you tell us,” the don rode on. “What exactly prompted this your sudden quest?” “Sudden quest?” the chap reiterated.
“Yes,” said the Prof. while his wife listened attentively leaning on the settee. “Your sudden quest to pursue a musical career?” “Dad, I have been into this for almost a year plus..” Kunle argued. “So why tagging it a sudden quest?” “I know,” the Prof. concurred. “But all these brouhahas started after your SSCE.” He said, paused.
“I could recall that you were so passionate about finding yourself in the university all through your secondary school time.” There was a brief silence. “So, why the unannounced change of mind?” the don supplemented. Kunle was quiet, speechless. “Were you influenced by some friends or what?” quoth Prof. Ola. “Dad,” Kunle called. “I was not influenced by anybody.” He clarified, paused. “Rather, I am only pursuing my dream.” “But son,” Mrs. Ola interrupted calmly.
“This wasn’t initially your dream, like your father pointed out” “Mum, what did you mean by initially?” “Meaning,” Prof. Ola came in. “This was not your earlier plan.” he said, paused. “You have always dreamt of becoming a workclass engineer.” Kunle dished out dazzling smile. “Dad,” he called, looking at the don. “Mum,” he added, turning to his mum. “With your level of understanding, you should know that change is constant.” “Hmmm…” Prof. Ola released a deep gas, shook his head. “Son,” said Mrs. Ola. “I still believe, you can have a rethink.” She asserted, paused.
“Remember the son of whom you are.” “That is the problem.” Kunle ranted. “Every time, remember the son of whom you are.” he said, frowning. “Am I a criminal, or have I done anything unlawful?” “What has come over you, Kunle.” Prof. Ola inquired furiously. “Am I not old enough to nur-ture my own dream?” the chap thought aloud. “Or, don’t I know what is good for me?” he continued, not minding his dad’s tantrum.
“Will you shut up?” roared the don. “Do you realize you are seated right before your parents?” “Na wa ooh…” Mrs. Ola exclaimed, marvelled. “Or, have you lost your senses.” the Prof added. “Dad, I am sorry.” tendered Kunle. “Mum, please I am so sorry.” He supplemented. There was tranquility. “Just that, I don’t see any reason I shouldn’t be allowed to pursue my dream.” He broke the silence. “As my parents, I expect you to support my ambition rather than discouraging me…” He enjoined submissively. “Support you?” his mum interrupted.
“Support you in what?” “My musical dream, of course.’ “Is that a dream?” she quarreled. “Who told you that you can get anything done in this twentyfirst century without obtaining a basic education?” “Mum, I have acquired basic education.” “S.S.C.E?” “Yes mum,” replied the chap. “That remains the standard basic education anywhere in the world.”
His dad shook his head sympathetically, remained calm and silent. “My dear,” Mrs. Ola called tenderly. “For your information, First Degree is currently the required basic education anywhere across the globe.” She informed strongly.
“The era of SSCE has gone.” “I totally disagree with you, mum.” “Will you shut up?” the don came in again, in a weird mood. “I can see, you are really sick.” He observed, paused. Kunle was completely cold over the roar. “Have you seen your son?” the don ranted, fixing his eyes on his wife
. “You better talk to him.” He added in a jiffy. “My son..?” Mrs. Ola said, surprised. “So, he is no longer your son?” “How am I sure he is?” He thought aloud, sighed, looking at Kunle. Kunle was shocked, remained in cold mood. “Prof…” the wife calmed him down over the last utterance.
“What are you up to?” She supplemented. “Dad,” Kunle broke his silence. “So you have disowned me, simply because I have chosen to pursue a career of my choice?” “What stupid career is that?” the Prof. queried, stood up fiercely. “If you must continue with this strange quest of yours, then be prepared to relocate to your own house.”
The wife was so bemused over the outburst, couldn’t utter a word. “Dad…” Kunle exclaimed, flabbergasted. “Are you actually sending me out of your house?” “You heard me right,” the don reiterated. “Didn’t you?” He said, frantically walks straight to his matrimonial room. “Son, you better have a rethink.” Mrs. Ola conscientised, stood up and joined her hubby.
“Mum, so you are siding him?” quoth the poor chap as he watched his loving mother take a bow. What transpired afterwards ought to be a narration for subsequent edition, so keep a date with us. Meanwhile, if you were in Kunle’s shoes, what would you do thereafter? Think about it!
- Nwaozor – novelist, playwright and poet, is Chief Executive Director, Centre for Counselling, Research & Career Development – Owerri