Dear Rachael Wanogho,
I can’t remember the first time we met; but I like to think that there was snow dripping off the Ekehuan clouds on that day. I remember thinking, very early in our first year that . . . that you were the most beautiful girl in the world. The thought didn’t last though. I guessed I moved on, or maybe I just didn’t have the mental intelligence (like I have now) to comprehend the simple but intimidating nature of your fine face.
It dawned on me early in life though that physical beauty was like a passing cloud. I don’t want to stand on a soap-box, but what stays true, and what has defined the greatest women in history is not the quality of the pancake or eyelashes, but character blended with the desire to attain. I don’t know if you have these things, but . . . let me tell you a story.
I was enjoying Play Station with a very good pal in the hostel (of course he was thrashing me), when the power was interrupted. He grunted in disappointment, and I breathed a sigh of relief, content with the thrashings I had received. There followed a silence . . . silence as thick as morning fog during harmattan. I broke the fog.
“Which of the girls in our class do you think would become highly successful?” I liked to ask people these sorts of questions. It rattled you, and made you want to think, as when you are inside an examination hall trying to crack the code of a crazy question.
He looked at me, his chubby, handsome face suddenly serious and thoughtful. We were lying side by side on his bed like relaxed lovers.
“That’s a difficult one oh!” He said, after pondering in silence for a few seconds.
“Well you’ve got to try. Which girl in our class do you think would become highly successful?” I liked to repeat questions when I was having this kind of discussion.
“Most of them are . . .”
“Not going to toe a career path?” I interrupted him.
“Yeah, I think so. But there are still a few ones who I really think are going to make it big.”
“Tell me.” I urged.
He mentioned some names.
“Why did you include Rachael?” I was particularly interested because I had thought of the same name while I was engaged in my own quiet brooding.
He fell into a short silence. “The girl is independent. She carries herself differently. And I think she has the drive to achieve stuffs, to become relevant and important. I don’t see her as the kind of girl who would want to depend on a guy.”
I remember this conversation very clearly. I remember the solemnity on my friend’s face; the way he said the words he said, and the solidity of his speech – he was sure of what he was saying. And trust me Rachael, I felt the same way.
We are not great friends, I know. And truth be said, we may never be. When we leave Ekehuan, barring some random pokes on Facebook, we may never keep in touch. But the distance of our friendship does not diminish the quality of my thoughts about you. I think you are a great girl, and someone with great potential for ultimate leadership.
Time is limited. I have to get back to Professor Sambe’s avalanche of assignments, and I don’t want to waste your time also, because I know the academic work in our finals is as heavy as the cross of Calvary. But remember, dear friend, you are like raw gold which common men don’t appreciate until it passes the test of fire. When you totter on the slippery grounds of tribulations, rise up again. You can fail, but ensure you fail forward. Life’s storms may come, but plant your feet and stand firm. And whatever happens, never fall into despair. Cling onto hope, and whatever gives you the assurance of tomorrow’s brighter offerings.
From a friend who believes you have a fine face.
P.S: A very good friend of mine Ivy Obenga Mefia, a 300 level student of the Department of Theatre Arts and Mass Communication needs to undergo surgical operation for a displaced retina. She needs 400,000 naira. All we need is 400 persons to give 1000 naira as soon as possible. You can make your donations to these account numbers. First Bank: Obeng Ivy Mefia, 3035937987 and GtBank: Obeng Ivy Mefia, 0130695842. Or you can call Richard on 08034349405. Mahatma Gandhi once said: “the simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” And remember, no one has ever become poor by giving. No one. Thanks. God bless.