This story is inspired by real life events, characters and plots have been intentionally reconstructed.
I wish death had a roster, maybe Dupe would still be with us. We used to do a lot of overnight reading at LLT 201, while together on campus. That was the location for all the serious students of OAU. Towards our final year, Dupe was rushed out of lectures and we did not see her for a while.
This was a girl that had so much zeal for God, in fact if God were killing people for lack of commitment, not her. A lot of times she would come to class, mask her dry lips with gloss. The only evidence that she was fasting was the way she would quietly leave our last lecture and head off to the sport center. I admired her a lot!!
*Sport Center is where a lot of students Pray*.
Exactly 1 month to our final paper, her visits to the teaching hospital became more frequent. Our mutual friend at Moremi Hall, would call me to go check Dupe at OAUthc. The way Dupe would smile, despite her obvious emaciation; she was a sack of bones, a total shadow of herself. I could not bear to look at her as we talked, I just kept whispering “God don’t take this one”.
I was scared to my pants every time my phone rang, I would fight with my worries while trying to study for the two of us. Every time we had papers, Dupe would come to school the day before the paper and I would help her through a bit. I have never seen anyone more determined in my life.
She was a relentless goal getter, she wanted to prove everyone wrong. She once told me her relatives in their hometown had sworn that nothing good could come from her mother. She was not just struggling to cross that second class upper bar, she was fighting for her dignity, her mother’s dignity.
I was her personal tutor, whenever Dupe lost track of a course she would come straight to me.
“You know your own brain is still young”
she would say. It cracked me up to see how she made jest of herself. From what I later heard, Dupe had done NCE, even had an HND before entering oau as an undergraduate.
We finished exams and I could not contain my joy, as we all danced around campus everyone had reasons for their excitement. I was glad that Dupe had gone through with all her exams, she was graduating with us!!
We all went home, rejoiced with family… We felt the river had spared us, we rolled down our sleeves, took deep breaths and scorned death!
Dupe fought for her last breath far away from us, where none of us could protest, we got the news in the comforts of our homes. She had gone to be with her maker……till now my heart demands answers! Why did she have to go through all that struggle if she was going to die??
© Damilola Jonathan Oladeji 2016
Remember, the learning drive is full of ups and downs. This blog will be my own little way of inspiring lifelong learners.