November 8, 2013
Its 4.00am. My alarm clock goes off. I’m late already. I didn’t have dinner last night; didn’t have time for one. I am reminded of this by my groaning stomach. Still I forge on, starting my day with a simple prayer for strength. God knows I need it in this turbulent ocean of never ending struggles called DELSU. Next, I read my bible. I may be late but this is a necessity I cannot do without.
4.30am. I study my books. Nothing like waking up to your books with your brains fresh, the pains of yesterday flushed down the toilet bowl. Today I‘m brimming with energy and I’m ready to dive into the rigors of the day. Yes, indeed, today, I am ready for DELSU.
6.00am. I take my bath and go through the boring routine of preparing for lectures. My clothes are creased like the Atlantic Ocean waves. But I don’t mind. I last saw the flicker of my candle light bulb, two weeks ago. And even if NEPA was magnanimous enough to restore power, I bet that it wouldn’t last long enough for me to iron a shirt, never mind my pants.
6.30am. I’m off for lectures. I stay off-campus. From my residence,which is tucked in the bowels of Abraka community, to the main campus is quite a distance. The trek certainly takes its toll on me every day. But I can’t complain. My friend and neighbor, Blessing, has to attend her lectures in the new campus, under construction which happens to be two times the journey I make. Who am I to complain?
Yes it’s a hard life in Delsu. But the day normally comes with its highs. Like interacting with my creator every morning. Sometimes I feel like I am going through the toughest spell anyone could possibly face. I doubt if the biblical Samson, with his famed strength would have survived this. Yet I manage to make it through everyday only by God’s grace. Thank you Lord.
Did I mention that I make my daily exodus to the campus with my neighbor called Believe? Every intention of complaining of Delsu’s toughness evaporates into the air when I am around Believe. He never fails to lift me up with his unbelievable dose of optimism. Sometimes I wonder where he gets his optimism from. Just like his name, he gives me a reason to believe.
As I approach the main gate of Delta State University the sights and sounds of students hustling and bustling hit me. They never cease to amaze me. I wonder, how many of them are like me, whose motivation to forge on is hinged on the hope for a better future. It’s not something they can see or touch. But for them it’s always worth a try. And so I try along with hem.
Campus. Dilapidated structures. Cramped and stuffy lecture venues. Sweaty students and lecturers. Still, there’s this usual normalcy that pervades the lecture venues of DELSU. It’s the spirit of academic comradeship that even money cannot buy. Life yet goes on for us. I call it the ‘DELSU ATMOSPHERE. Everywhere you turn, cacophony of voices mirroring the joys, courage and determination of DELSUITES rent the air. It never fails to lift my spirit.
And my lecturers; from my faithful HOD, Mr. Ekeli, who despite his age never ceases to pour out his soul to us to Mr. Odia, who always persists in correcting our ‘dull’ brains with his incisive teachings to Mr. Anyanwu who continually challenges us to look beyond our vista. Then there is Dr. Mojaye, who looks beyond my inadequacies as an editor and continually drills into the future Babatunde Ajose. They are simply brilliant.
Then to my colleagues: It is near impossible to be down when you sit close to the ever lively Justice Akorhe. Built like an Iroko but with the heart of a jester, Justice would go as far as lifting me on his shoulders just to cheer me up. Blessing Oladotun Aduloju or Blessing Kaku as we call him is quite an individual. He happens to be the most comically enigmatic fellow I have ever come across in my life. His rare sense of humour and enigma is matched with a mind so brilliant, that I often struggle to keep up with him. Then there’s Henry my namesake who has the triple traits of being serious, unserious and an incurable polygamist. I can’t forget Emuobo, my personal ‘assistant’. Her consistency inspires me.
3.00pm. I need a break from the academic rigours. I take a stroll down to the male Hostel, Abraka Hall. I am immediately confronted by a scream emanating from one of the rooms: ‘ABRAKARIANS I JUST EAT GARRI SOAKED IN WATER!!!’ He gets his reply: MAY POVERTY NOT RUIN YOU! WHY NOT EAT RICE AND CHICKEN FOR ONCE? This coming from two rooms whose only mode of communication is by screaming. I join in laughing at the comic relief. Nothing beats the stress of Delsu like taking a walk through Abraka Hall.
11.00pm. I walk down the classroom blocks. The darkness of the classrooms is lit up by burning candles. Typical Delsu students! Nothing stops them. Not even NEPA. I join them in burning the midnight oil. I should turn in but I have no choice.
Yes it’s a hard life to live. But it’s the only life to live and a million dollars will never wipe away the DELSU in me.
Mr. Henry Omafodezi; a consultant with Mediacraft Associates is a 2005 graduate of Mass Communication from Delta State University, Abraka.