I woke up suddenly with a throbbing headache. Yesterday was the send-off party for my childhood friend, he had finally landed the job at Google as the lead technology product manager for their innovative Department. Jude was always the smartest one, but certainly never the first to catch up. Images of last night were still a blur but we sure know how to rock the boat in Lagos. That sweet grin was wiped off my face when I realized it was 5 minutes to 9:00 am. I looked at the darn alarm clock. I could almost choke the metal off its coat.
“You were meant to wake me up at 8:00 am!” I yelled, staring at it like I expected it to answer. But in its definition, I heard the calm chime of the alarm again. Oh my, I had slept through it all.
I ran to the showers with all my senses on autopilot. Cold shower, brush my teeth, cold orange juice, a snack bar, an outfit to wear, and an Uber ride. This would be my first day at the Lagos Business School. I had missed out on the Friday class thanks to Mr. Google Employee, and I could see his efforts from yesterday had almost spilled into missing the lectures today. While I was waiting for the taxi, I started reading an article about the Dutchman that swam across the rivers for charity, but the phone call from the effective Uber driver didn’t give me the time to consume that inspiring peace till I got into the car. Azu the driver seemed to be in the best of moods and his attitude showed he didn’t share the enthusiasm or display a sign that I had a location to be at pronto. He jabbered off about the state of the roads and politics which are two things I know too much about to be caught pants down in a conversation… these topics never end. I calmly and politely ignored him while focusing on the inspiring Dutchman; oh, how I wished I could do make a mark in my lifetime.
It was quite a journey even for a Saturday morning, it took us approximately an hour to get there. But there is this serenity LBS gives. It feels like home but with that unsweetened choking aroma of learning and pressure. I could make do without the latter. I walked past the metal detector and into the class with the sort of swag James Dean would be jealous of, but I was sharply halted by an elder man in the middle of the auditorium his spectacles hung low like they wanted to wrestle with the tip of his nose and reach for his moustache. His voice was clear, jovial, and authoritative a mix I thought only existed with a Gin and Juice. The next words that followed were echoing in my ears, “Don’t you know the class rules?” At this point, I could feel over 60 pairs of eyes peeling across my frame and a stubborn sweat leaning across my eyelids. Obviously, I was the new kid on the block my dress style was nowhere near the 90s bands. I calmly muttered a greeting with the softest smile I conjure and told him it was quite unfortunate I was late and some other cooked-up tale. He smiled back and willfully requested I take a seat but not before reminding the class and myself that this should be the last time. He said LBS has a rule and deep-rooted standards and one of them is …with this cue the class echoed “Don’t come in after the lecture has started”.
His lecture was pleasant, jovial and I dare say interesting. He had this natural aurora of an entertainer, the sort of man who could tell that hilarious party joke which insulted the celebrant and still pull it off; Oh yes the Ol’ man had that Denzel thing. I always hated bookkeeping and accounting even though approximately fifty percent of my family members are chartered, accountants. After listening to his delivery for about 10 minutes LBS really felt like home and that fatherly figure with an invisible halo looked like the head of the house.
I wondered about his past or background… Well, his story won’t be told like Van der Weijde but in this story, he is as much a hero as the Dutchman.