I am walking down memory lane. I can see myself wearing a blue T-shirt on top of a black snoop-dogg jean pair of trousers. My feet are covered with a black All-star sneakers. I am stepping on my trousers all the way and the edge of the trousers is dirty already but I don’t care as long I am swaggering that’s all that matters. I walk down and I realize the queue in front of UBA. There’s a family friend around to help me get a post-UME form.’ I hate this school’, I say to myself ‘it’s not like U-I’ I continue. Weeks pass by, I have written the post-UME exam. I had prayed fervently that I should not be given admission to LAUTECH. I was hoping I would enter UI as a direct entry student courtesy GCE A-levels. Alas, the premiere University had decided to ‘normalize’ the school calendar so they went for a long break. I am tired of staying at home.
I can see my name ONAWOLE ABDULMUJEEB TOLU, PURE AND APPLIED CHEMISTRY. I am in front of the senate building in LAUTECH and I am looking at the admission list. Of all courses in the world CHEMISTRY! I did not like CHEMISTRY, no that’s an understatement I loathed chemistry. No form of excitement is on my face and my friends who accompanied me look at me like an ingrate. That was five years ago.
I have just concluded my final exams. My last paper GNS 208, FAMILY, MARRAIAGE & KINSHIP(What a course to round off with). I ponder and tell myself so you are a graduate of chemistry, What do you even know in chemistry? That ‘s a complicated question. I sigh and then feel a sense of regret. Regret for not doing so many things I ought to have done in the last five years. I regret pulling out of the STF, I regret avoiding the Shura (consultation) committee when they sent for me. I regret not memorizing more Surahs from the Qur’an. I regret not visiting the health centre every week like I planned. I regret not improving tremendously on my qira (recitation) of the the Qur’an, I regret not following Abu Khalid on his Adenike Dawah trips consistently, I regret not being a consistent academic tutor, I regret not giving in charity more, maybe I could have stopped some of my colleagues from dropping out of school, I regret not being a consistent tutor,I regret not being the best in my department, I regret not starting CATENATE earlier. I regret not being friends with some people earlier, the mountains we could have moved together, I regret so much…
But I could have been worse. I could have had a long list of all the girls I had laid or could have earned the nick name ‘brewery’. I could have been football crazy and cut classes like I just did not care. I could have cheated and been caught and be given extra semesters or worse rusticated. I could have been a club boy or just continued swaggering. I could have… but Alhamdulillahi I am not any of those but I still regret. True are the words of my Rabb:
‘…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.’Q2.126
I wanted to transform to OPTIMUS PRIME but all I came close to was becoming BUMBLE BEE and yet people think I am a STRANGER I am not I am still ‘becoming’. Now 5 years is gone and I realize this is the end of the beginning. I have never felt so much love by so many people, knowing what it means to be called ‘omo iya’ and now I am about to leave and you all make me grieve. They say home is where your heart is. Home is where you can return to. You all have made LAUTECH a home for me. But when I leave that’s when I would need your calls and messages more than ever before because I would be on my own. So please do not say AbdulMujeeb Onawole has graduated and so you do not call anymore, you do not send me messages to remind to be a better Muslim. To the muslim community in LAUTECH, THANK YOU SO MUCH for making me a better Muslim. It’s been a wonderful 5 years. I love you all for Allah’s sake and I miss you already. PLEASE FORGET ME NOT.