Congratulations my dear sisters. You have made it; yes you are finally in high school though two years apart.
As per the indigenous African understanding of the extended family, you are my sisters. You are my family. You are part and parcel of my life.
Therefore, I cannot help but be proud of you. Miraculously, you dodged numerous social, political and economic hurdles to accomplish what thousand of your age mates within and even without our borders dreamt of but could not achieve. Consequently, you have gone ahead to claim your places in some of the best secondary schools our education system could offer. You have made our family proud.
As a family, we can finally claim that we are making progress after decades of ridicule, disdain and scorn.
Again, kudos, for this no mean achievement. Your names are now boldly inscribed somewhere in the annals of history as perfect examples of exceptional human beings who defied the odds to progress up the intellectual ladder.
But unknown to you – and probably many others of your age mates – the real battle has just began. Yes, the odyssey has just commenced.
You are now embarking on a journey to define your destiny, a sojourn into the unknown, a long vagabondage into uncharted territories, a safari into alien lands, a venture into territories unfamiliar to most of our kinsmen.
Yours is simply a risk filled expedition, a do or die escapade to help the rest of us shape the destiny of our lineage.
It is an adventure in which our help might be inadequate, our assistance barely enough, our aid insufficient, our guidance hardly satisfactory and our helping hand scarcely there. Many a times we might simply not meet all your expectations. Of course, such unfortunate circumstances will be purely a creation of fate. Otherwise, we shall do our best.
On this note therefore, the best I can do for the two of you at this defining moment as AN ELDER BROTHER – and probably for those who shall come after you – is to simply and selflessly give all that I can.
FURNISH YOU WITH SIMPLE YET KEY FACTS ABOUT LIFE.
ON THIS ONE, I AM NOT JUST INDEBTED TO THE CURRENT GENERATION OF OUR KITH AND KIN BUT ALSO TO THE FUTURE ONES; AND PERHAPS THE REST OF THE HUMAN RACE!
In my most sincere opinion, this is the only way through which I will have fulfilled my obligation to you.
PASS ON TO YOU FACTS THAT ARE SIMPLY FACTS. FACTS THAT ARE STUBBORN. FACTS THAT DON’T CHANGE BECAUSE YOU DISAGREE WITH THEM.
And below are the facts.
ONE, some of us made it to where you are long before you; perhaps as twist fate. There was High School for us long before your nursery school teacher trained you how to properly carve out the letters of the alphabet on an exercise book. (I hear today there is a Pre-Unit or something of the sort).
Many years ago, we saw it all, tried it all, did it all and experienced it all; and of course there were even others before us who studied when education was education, when Form Four was like Cambridge.
But perhaps more important for you to know is that, many more will join Form One Centuries after your have left that school you are now proud of.
That is how mysterious and probably immortal life is. Life is a paradox too complex for the human brain to comprehend, at least for now.
You are neither the first nor the last. Simply reap to the maximum, all the prospects that come with being in high school.
TWO, there is nothing new under the sun. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
THREE, every choice you make has a consequence.
FOUR, be wary of world. It is full of trickery. It is full of treacherous people.
FIVE, remain true to the calling. Be yourself. Simply pursue that safely hidden pleasure that made you study hard to make it to secondary school no matter what it is. Love and relentlessly pursue you passions, they are the only real possession you have in life. Eventually, they might be your breakthrough. Even the most illustrious careers and professions originate from the simple things that we cherish.
SIX, be adventurous. Try all new opportunities that fate brings unto you. You never know where your fortune lies. Actually, what humanity perceives as the conventional routes to success rarely take you there.
SEVEN, give every person you come across an opportunity to speak their mind. Even a mad man has something to say. You gain more from listening than speaking. But above all, pray that the Almighty gifts you with the ability to differentiate the right from wrong.
EIGHT, make peace with all people for the relationships you create today define you future.
NINE, avoid loud and confrontational arguments. Very few if any have merited from them.
TEN, avoid suspicious company and choose your friends carefully for very few real ones exist. The easiest way to know a true friend is by gauging their reactions to your successes which supercede theirs. Only genuine friends will celebrate your victory over them. Never fake affection.
ELEVEN, always strive to grow both in stature and in wisdom and continuously assert your place in society. Remember, no one remembers the person who came second.
TWELVE, read all legible literature. In the most boring book might be that revolutionary idea that will help you transform the world.
THIRTEEN, you are children of the universe with no lesser rights. Live every moment as it comes. Celebrate every breakthrough you make.
FOURTEEN, Do not cry too much over failures for behind every setback is a lesson to learn. Life is too short for anyone to remorse over the past.
FIFTEEN, Respect your parents even when it is crystal clear that they might not be correct. They are the Supreme Being’s authority representative over you and their power to bless or curse is undisputable.
ABOVE ALL, GIVE TIME TO GOD. EVEN THE MOST SECULAR CAN NEVER ESCAPE HIS OMNIPOTENCE, OMNIPRESENCE AND OMNISCIENCE.
All the best in your prospects.