Whenever I read my own true life story, I feel brand new! It is my true life story. I have learned a good number of lessons from my own true life story. I chose to share a few of them with my readers.
Nevertheless, I will continue to share them as time goes on, to encourage and guide my readers on their choices of adventure.
True life story is one that provides a detailed life experience of an individual which occurred in the past. A true life story that fails to narrate the full event in one’s life is no longer a true life story. It has been believed that every true life story must not be fiction; it must be nonfiction.
However, one’s true life story does not end until the person dies, this made it a possible constant to update your life story as it deems fit. Some people have written an autobiography as a book using their life stories. Every true life story is an autobiography of that person.
It is always advisable to document your life story for many reasons. It could be for future references, to make corrections from your past mistakes, to encourage other people who may have been in the same situation you were in the past, and lay down rules for people to follow, or lessons for people to learn.
Every true life story is meant to add value to readers instead of making a negative impact on them. When you share your true life story, people learn from you. You would hardly notice that most times, people who read them learn from you; and that’s what we refer to as indirect mentorship.
The memories of some stories can’t die in our brains even when we want to let them go. Just like my own true life story, you also have a story to tell. I think that’s for a good reason.
A Total Recall: My True Life Story
My early days were amazing and funny, though, full of good lessons. Then, I hardly stay till school was dismissed, and this happened frequently. Without any good reasons, this kept repeating itself. One day, my eldest brother had to take me to school after giving me several strokes of a cane due to my refusal to go to school that very day.
I had in mind to become an inventor or study electrical engineering, and I had never wanted to become a priest until my mother brought up such an idea.
A day came when I stayed back from school, with a claim that I was sick but I was not, my classmates came to our house and dragged me to school, saying that the Headmistress sent for me. The Headmistress did not send for me, they just wanted to have me in school that day, knowing quite well that I do help most of them in the class.
READ ALSO: Priesthood: My Mother’s Desire
I started marking exam sheets from class five to six, was the highest scorer of the 1999 Common Entrance exams at Technical Secondary School, Eziobodo with a score of 72 (the highest score in my school then), and was awarded ‘Best Graduating Student’ by the Headmistress, Mrs. Ahamba. How was it possible? I can’t explain!
My mother had always taken me to church and made me committed to church activities, even when I didn’t know Catechism or how to say the Rosary. I hardly play much with my fellow kids to avoid being spoiled! But can I really get spoiled at the age of 8?
She wanted me to be a priest. She wanted to decide my future! At first, I was over joyous but at last, I regretted it. I regretted it because it took much of my time which was impossible for me to achieve my dream.
During my days in primary school, my mother could not open up about what she wanted from me! Though, she kept me in a sound state of Christian life by exposing me to prayers and church activities more than my siblings. I started praying the Prayer of Faithful at the age of 8, or thereabouts. I was popularly known and addressed as ‘Rev Father.’
‘One day, I will be addressed as Mama Father.’ My mother said. She continued, ‘I want you to become a priest.’
In secondary school at Eziobodo (2000 – 2001) and Emeabiam (2002 – 2005) respectively, I was doing well in science subjects and committed much attention to learning and understanding the sciences in chemistry, physics, and geography. My love for them dropped immediately I was misinformed by my Seminarian friend.
He told me that I will not be admitted into the seminary if I continue with sciences subjects. I never knew it was a lie until I dropped the science subjects and picked up arts subjects. My favorite subjects then were literature, government, and economics.
“O boy, don’t join us to toast girls, your mother said that you will become a priest.” My friends teased me. Uba Chima had always looked for my troubles for my priesthood aspiration. He was my classmate in secondary school. He can engage in fights with anyone during break and after dismissal. I used to avoid him for I was a quiet boy, though sometimes, I badly fought him after excessive resistance to his troubles.
In 2008, I took my senior WAEC exams at Newbreed Secondary School, Badiko, Kaduna, I immediately began to seek admission into the Seminary. My mother was very happy that I had finally accepted to make her desire come true. She was eager to do anything for me as much as I was eager to go for the priesthood.
I became obsessed with my mother’s desire and began to dream dreams about the priesthood. In my dreams, I often wore cassock and sultan, administered Holy Communion to communicants during Missal. I could not let go of the feelings for all that was to me, amazing and achievable.
As this continued, I was also busy thinking of how to acquire at least, a skill. My siblings especially, my brothers opposed it, even my mother.
“We are talking about the priesthood and you are here telling us you want to acquire a skill. So, if you eventually become a priest, would you be using your skills to celebrate the Mass?” They asked. “My friend, forget about acquiring any skill.” They concluded.
They were all in support of my mother’s opinion. We are eight children; six boys and two girls. I am the sixth child, and I senior of the girls. This gave my mother a strong reason to offer me to God for the priesthood. “I have six sons; I can offer one to God. I want to offer Godspower.” My mother gave her a reason.
At this time, I saw myself deepening my feelings and zeal for the priesthood.
We started going from place to place in the quest for admission into the Seminary school but to no avail. Owerri Archdiocese refused to admit me, Ahiara Diocese could not approve my application, I wrote to other dioceses but none admitted me.
Society of African Missions (SMA), often refers to as ‘SMA Fathers’, is a worldwide organization of Catholic missionaries where priests are trained. I visited their office in Maryland, Lagos with my eldest brother, Emeka for admission, but I was rejected to my surprise, even after scoring higher in my interview.
I was plainly told to return to Owerri Archdiocese that they can’t admit me. So, after uncountable trials, I resolved to get admission to a higher institution and forge ahead with my life.
On this journey in Southeast Nigeria, I was often accompanied by my immediate elder, Uchechi. At the Spiritual Year Seminary, Ogbaku, we met a Monsignor who told us to go home. “My son, go home. You can serve God without being a priest. Go get admission into the university and study; live a good life, love your fellow human beings, with that, you have served God.” Monsignor advised us. My heart became bitter. We left.
On several occasions in my dreams, I had been told that I will not be a priest, and different circumstances were used to illustrate in my dreams that, the priesthood was not for me. Yet, I didn’t give up. On one fateful day, I heard a voice around 5 AM that gently called me, “Ikechukwu, you will not become a priest.” Ikechukwu is my Igbo given name.
So many events proved that I was not called for the priesthood, which was the main reason I rejected the Seminary’s invitation for an interview after graduation from Abia State Polytechnic, Aba in 2015. That’s after 7 years of my quest for the priesthood.
In 2010, I gained admission at Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri to study Purchasing and Supply, after my efforts to secure admission at Nnamdi Azikwe University were unproductive. After my one year of Industrial Training at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), in 2013, I gained admission to study Marketing at Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.
In my first year in school, I had the inspiration to write a book. My friends scolded and discouraged me from writing, and advised me to focus on my education.
“Aha, guy what did you say?” Chibueze Anukam asked. “In the first year, how do you think you can write a book? From which knowledge or idea?” He surprisingly asked.
Chibueze was a close friend from Umukoto Nekede, and a course-mate. His mother once told me: “I wish you are my son! Everything about you is book; you are brilliant.” Bless her blessed memory. His family developed a special likeness for me.
“You do not have to waste your time writing books, you have no skill or capital to achieve this goal.” Okere Justice advised me. He later gave his support, and even requested to coauthor a book with me. He was my coursemate and roommate Ovuru Ntu, Ngor Okpala.
Despite the years of failure to secure admission into the Seminary, my mother kept on reminding me how I would have become a priest. “I am now in my final year in the Polytechnic, it will be impossible for me to become a priest,” I told her. “Mama, you knew I had tried my best, spent over five years in the quest for admission into the Seminary. Now, I have to decide my future.” I concluded.
“All I wish you is the best. You shall succeed in every good adventure you take. I love you, my son.” My mother blessed me.
My father had been a carefree person. He does not give much attention to our careers as he believes that we are all old enough to decide our future. In the events of my quest for the priesthood, he was absolutely behind my mother’s opinion.
On 27 December 2020 my book, Decide Your Future was launched in Nigeria, though it was first published on Amazon in 2019. It was really an honour to accord me the “first indigenous son that authored a book.” This was possible because of my hard work, persistence, focus, and God’s grace.
I have authored other books that were published on Amazon. This true life story gives me more energy to keep soaring high. My friends who tried to discourage me from writing now read my book!
“A Total Recall: My True Life Story” by Godspower Oparaugo
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