Fadeke is the only child of her parents. Her father died when she was four, burying her mother’s dream of having more children with her husband whom she loved so much and leaving her with the sole responsibility of taking care of all her daughter’s needs.
It was really tough for Mrs Olanrewaju to take care of her daughter because she was an orphan herself and her husband had hailed from a very poor family hence leaving her not many options but to take full responsibility for herself and daughter.
She was a primary school teacher in one of the South Western states of Nigeria. Her husband had taught in one of the secondary schools before his demise.
They lived in a face me I face you building where they had rented two rooms before the tragedy of his death. One of the rooms served as the living room while the other as the bedroom. Fadeke and her mother lived in that apartment for ten more years after the passing of Mr Olanrewaju.
There was no way Fadeke’s mom’s salary could cater for all their needs. Their expenses grew as Fadeke grew. When it was becoming almost impossible for them to make ends meet, she took a soft loan from the staff cooperative society at her place of work. She couldn’t apply for more money since she could only receive 300% of her savings as loan. You can imagine how little her savings were considering how meagre her salary was.
She decided to start a small business with that money.
Thankfully, she closed from work by 2 pm and so she resumes at her shop immediately after. She had learned how to sew clothes when she was at the College of Education.
She informed her colleagues, church members and neighbors about her new business. It wasn’t long before things began to change for the better.
It would have been easy to assume that she quickly got many customers because people pitied her condition but that was definitely not the case. She was a talented designer. All her works earned her accolades. Besides that, she ALWAYS met her deadlines; which was something unusual with many tailors in the area. Her integrity further endeared her to more people.
It wasn’t long before she became renowned in that area. People came from all over the town; which was by no means a small one, to seek her services.
She had to change shops because she wanted to improve on the standard of her work environment. The interior decor was so on point. The wall colours were just a perfect match with her storage units. The shop was really well organised. And it was all her idea. Her shop was unarguably the best looking in that environ, irrespective of the trade carried out in those other shops.
She had several apprentices and that earned her even more income but she made sure to supervise keenly, every single piece made in her shop.
However, it was no longer easy for her to meet up with the demands of both jobs but she kept both anyway.
She had great passion for teaching and sewing at the same time.
Besides, she wouldn’t pass on any opportunity to earn some more money because she had vowed that her daughter would not experience the kind of economic hardship she had experienced growing up. It however meant that she had to work overnight on several occasions. Offering her daughter the best life she could possibly afford was a priority for her, so she joyfully made the sacrifice.
Fadeke graduated from the Nigerian premier University with a First Class honours in Economics as the best graduating student from her class.
Her mother’s joy knew nothing bounds. She had broad smiles on her face as she walked down the aisle to join her daughter for a series of pictures with the principal officers of the University upon presentation of her award as the best performing graduating student for the session. The smile she wore on her face clearly spelt fulfilment. She kept it on all through the day. Passers-by kept congratulating her on her daughter’s great feat. She was proud of her daughter and of course, herself.
A man walked up to the stand her mother had set up for entertaining Fadeke’s well wishers after the official ceremony was over, to congratulate her on her exceptional academic performance. He also congratulated her mother for her support as Fadeke had mentioned when she delivered the valedictory speech.
He had come to felicitate with one of the families that he attended church together with, whose first son was graduating from the same University.
After a short chat among the trio, Mr Smith asked a question that left both Fadeke and her mum wondering what was going on. . .CLICK HERE FOR THE NEXT PART OF THIS STORY
© OMOSEBI Mary Omolola, PhD