It was harmattan season, Davies, a civil servant drove along mushin with his rickety car. It wasn’t too long that the car stopped at the center of the road. It was a Monday morning, a very busy one. Impatient cars honked at him, some drivers cursed and yelled at him.
“Hey! get your toy off the road!”
Davies got down, already getting frustrated. He yanked open his bonnet, “Get out of the road!” another driver that almost hit him . Davies checked the carburetor…and then his watch. Damn! 8:00PM. He was getting darn late for work. There was no mechanic around. He tried calling his wife to send a mechanic, her phone was switched off.
“Damn” He banged his fist on the bonnet
“I can help you sir”
Davies turned around to see who spoke. The boy looked barely twelve. His clothes were torn and dirty and his teeth, totally brown.
“I doubt but thanks” He patted the boy to leave.
“Don’t doubt my abilities sir” The boy said politely
Davies was shocked at the boy’s fluency in English, ” I owe you if you can fix this” He gave him another pat at the back, this time a more assuring one
“Yes sir” The boy opened the bonnet wider and began doing his magic
Davies couldn’t understand it. He was moved by the boy’s courtesy, his manner of approach…He observed how meticulous he operated these things.
“What school do you attend boy?” Davies asked
“Not in school sir, Hope to be” he replied
“and how old are you?”
“How come you speak so fluently? where are your parents?” He became more interested
“I tutor myself, I save up little to buy books to read. You can call me an orphan, I don’t know where my parents are” He gave a quick shrug and bent over to face his work
“How do you survive, I mean, you are a very bright boy. Are you a mechanic?”
“No sir. This is my hobby, I just understand the language of cars. It’s almost like they speak to me, call me a car’s best friend. . I just do it for fun and if you deem it fit to pay me, it’s okay. But I’m a dustbin collector, that’s why I’m all dirty and that is how I earn my living” the boy dusted his hands
“I am through sir and I must say that this is a toy” He laughed
Davies couldn’t help but laugh, “I’m just a public servant trying to survive, like you. Maybe you will build me a car someday.What’s your name?”
“I don’t know but I named myself Ford from Ford motors”
“You have a dream son, you have a dream” Davies couldn’t hide that he was impressed, “Have my card please.”
“I’m grateful sir”
Davies checked his pocket. He didn’t have money. The only =N=500 he had was for a cleaner he owed at work. He placed his arm around the boy, “I’ll tell you what son, I do not have money here but do locate my house, its on my card, and come and see me. Come on Saturday”
“There is no need to pay me sir, I can see you don’t have much” The boy said
“No no no my son. Talents must be praised, rewarded. You deserve to enjoy life with this gift. Make a business out of this son. I’ll be expecting you on Saturday but come tidy, my..my wife…”
“I understand sir” He smiled
Davies pat him at the back the third time and drove away to work. He strongly felt the need to do something.
Davies checked the time every now and then It was getting late and Ford hadnt arrived. He had to set out with his family for fellowship at 6:00pm, the time was 5:30. Somehow he knew Ford will come.
Ford knocked severally at the door but no answer, He checked by the window seal to peep through.He saw a book right by the window seal. It was a manual, a manual to designing cars. He quickly opened it
“Talents must be praised. I waited for you”
20 years later…
Nigeria still looked beautiful, how he had missed home. He looked back to be sure the other car was tolling with them.
“Enter this street” He told the driver
“Are you sure you aren’t mistaking your house sir? The minister told me to drive you to Sheraton sir”
“Park in front of the old gate there. The minister is my friend and he knows I must do this”
He got down from the car and inhaled the air. This was where it all started, the house still looked the same only that a porch had been built.He just hoped and prayed that He will find him.
He brushed up his suit and knocked on the door.
“Good afternoon ma’am” He greeted. That must be the wife…
“Good afternoon. Are you looking for somebody?” She smiled politely, her gray hair protruding from her scarf
“Mr. Davies. Does he still live here?”
Davies walked up to the door now, “Yes he does”
His heart melted. This was the man, this was the man that…
“Good day sir”
“Good day, who are you? I’m sorry I do not recall you” Davies spoke, he looked old now, “Please come in”
“Oh, no sir, there won’t be any need for that.” He gently brought out a casing and opened it slowly. He then removed a card, a complementary card that looked so brown, old and dirty.
“Do you remember me sir?” He smiled
Davies, took the complementary card from him now. He didn’t want to believe it, It couldn’t be
“Talents must be praised…” the young man said
“Ford….” Davies looked up now, his hands shook
“It is me sir.” Ford smiled
His wife didnt understand, “Honey, who is this?”
“You never came back but I knew you’d take the book. It’s been so long son, so long. I can see destiny has smiled on you” Davies patt him gently
“You were the only man that ever gave me a pat at the back”
“The only man that gave me a hope. The manual turned my life around sir. It was not long I helped Chief design Engineer of Honda who was in Lagos on vacation, who made sure I am who I am today. Come with me sir” Ford continued
The other car that was tolled behind his when coming was a nicely constructed Honda.
“You said to me that day, that maybe someday I’ll build you a car. This is it sir, It’s custom made, I work at Honda motors now in the U.S and I designed this car for you. I owed you”
The wife was crying now, so was Mr. Davies, “Son…”
“Please take this from me sir… You are part of the ink that wrote the story of my life”
“How come you kept the card son?..how come?”
“This is my greatest possession and you sir, gave this to me” Ford said
“You deserve my blessings. I thank God I never despised you” Mr Davies said
“Someone is yet to know tomorrow sir” Ford in turn, pat him at the back.
No one knows tomorrow and no one ever will. The dustbin boy that packs your bin, the beggar in front of your home, the maid that helps you now, may not be in the same state forever. Treat people with care. Never despise anyone’s tomorrow. Many presidents of the world first lived in the slums, on the street, doing odd jobs for people. Who knew they would become presidents?
“Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in a one-room log cabin, located on a farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky (a state that permitted slavery at the time).
When he was only nine years old, his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died. A year later, his father, Thomas Lincoln, remarried a woman named Sarah Bush, who had a tremendous influence on the young Abraham Lincoln.
To support his family, Abraham had to work at a neighboring farm. Working denied him the opportunity to go to school, so the total amount of formal education he received was less than one year.
Although his formal education ended very quickly, his self-education was just beginning. An avid reader, he read everything he could get his hands on, studying a variety of subjects, such as mathematics, literature and law. Eventually this self-educated man became a lawyer.”
Abraham Lincoln is described as the greatest American president today but that wasn’t so in his yesterdays. Someone must have pat his back or given him a hand to lead him to his dreamland.
Lend a helping hand, Join a cause, Keep someone smiling! no one knows tomorrow! and hey, your background cannot stop you from earning a glorious future. It all depends on you. Your future is bright. Take it, its yours.