I was a motor Mechanic Apprentice at some point in my life, even though I had always wanted to be a Medical Doctor, and I worked very hard to actualize my dream. But, I derailed badly, and abandoned my study at the famous Government College Ibadan (GCI), Nigeria in Class Two. The reason being that a senior boy called me a leper; a very degrading tag in our culture!
For the benefit of my non-Nigerian readers, please note that unlike in the developed world, being a motor mechanic is not necessarily a great achievement in Nigeria! I will say the profession is not much fancied in our society, and it is prevalent among those who don’t have funds to further their education past the most basic level. It is also prevalent among those who for one reason or the other are academically untrainable. Majority of Mechanics in our clime are hard up!
I was under the tutelage of ‘Baba Yellow’ (Yellow Man) the Mechanic’ without my father’s consent, as he was then abroad and my mother could not sway me to change my mind. Baba Yellow was a good man; he had a couple of wives, several children, a rented apartment, and an old green Opel Record car. A lot of people streamed to his garage daily to fix their cars, and he had many junior mechanics, and apprentices working for him. To me, he was a star, and I wanted to be like him!
I settled down very quickly at Baba Yellow’s garage, and before long, I picked up some traits associated with the place, a few of which are, scruffiness, playfulness, talkativeness, waywardness, and dishonesty.
Above was my life till my father returned home abruptly from his trip abroad one night, and he was very angry with me, when my mother updated him on what I had become in his absence. The next morning, he bundled me back to school amid deafening protest from me, thus ending my dream of becoming a motor mechanic like Baba Yellow; a huge victory for my parents! As luck would have it, our Principal accepted me back, and protected me. He also did not announce my escapade to all and sundry, thus saving me an unpleasant backlash.
Yes, I derailed big time, but God restored me back to the path He intended for me initially by using some senior boys to help me settle down quickly. Sina Fagbenro-Byron, among others, showed me love, which I lacked before I dumped School. Decades later, he also encouraged me through an email to continue my activities for God; he never knew that I had abandoned Him at that time. That email jolted me back to God to date!
God also used Yinka Adedayo, Lanre Amos, and Adeniyi Adekunle to strengthen me academically. The solid foundation they laid for me paid off in the end, as I went on to pass the School Certificate Examination with distinction, and then study Medicine. May the good Lord reward these gentlemen richly, in Jesus name. Amen.
My experience as a returnee subsequently inspired me to show sympathy to the people I met in GCI and beyond, each time I had to. My Medical training, which became possible because I went back to school by the grace of God, also allowed me to help numerous people back to good health. Besides, my training in medicine and other fields is now instrumental to our being able to preach Jesus Christ via our activities, to several thousands of people, in over 110 countries, in all the continents of the world, every month. I give God praise!
Friends, do you think you have derailed badly like I did as a consequence of your actions or inactions? Did you derail because of an earlier occurrence (viz. divorce, ill health, job loss, imprisonment, etc.)? Do you think you have lost your way, target, respect, position, voice, etc. thanks to it? Do you now see yourself as a bad parent, child, student, professional, friend, leader, Christian, etc.? If you do then, I have good news for you! God can still get you from where you are right now, to where you ought to be in life (Psalm 32:8). Just relax, He is in control!
But you have to play your own part very well too! Firstly, you have to be honest with yourself, and admit your mistakes (Proverbs 11:3). Secondly, you have to ask God to forgive you, and He will (1 John 1:9). Thirdly, you have to trust Him to direct you back to the path of glory and honour, which you ought to be; He will as well (Proverbs 3:5-6). Fourthly, you have to stand firm at all times, so that you don’t fall (derail) again (1 Corinthians 10:12).
May the good Lord prove Himself very strong in your life, restore you back to the position you ought to be in life and keep you there, so that you can become who He wants you to become, help humanity with your skills, and finish your earthly race superbly, in Jesus name. Amen.
P.S. I dedicate this write up to my Sister, Aderonke Ilemobade Adegbulu, who passed on to glory on the 27th of May, 2015. She used to enjoy my ‘Mechanic’ story, and narrated same to her friends to honour God. Continue to find perfect peace and rest with the Lord your maker my darling Sister! Nothing will ever stop me from loving you!!
Jesus is Lord!
Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu.
Dr Stoney is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies