My Life Story:Close Shaves with Death

I was born into the family of the Adegbemis in the early 70s. My father, Aderoju Patrick Adegbemi was an academic, a lecturer in The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. He retired as the Director of the Satellite Campus of the institution. My mother , Mary Modupe Adegbemi was an illiterate, a trader and a devoted housewife. We hail from Igangan, in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria.
I am the second born in the family, and life in my teenage years was very interesting because the family’s standard of living was above average, we were a middle class Nigerian family with good accommodation, feeding, education, and other basic needs met conveniently.
At a point in my teenage years, my father got married to a new wife, turning the home to a polygamous family. Typically, many of such homes are always bedevilled with domestic strifes, friction, unhealthy competition, and these usually affect the children negatively. The affected children will naturally be the ones whose mother is perceived to be less favoured by the father.
However, father didn’t joke with our formal education training, giving all he could equally to us. I am the second born in a family of eleven children. The increase in number in the family was a problem when my father had to face the austerity which Nigeria passed through as a result of bad leadership and corruption in the early 1980s.
At a time, he held a political office as the Chairman of my local government area, and much later as the Chairman of Glanville Insurance Brokers, a subsidiary of our State business corporation. Life was very rosy all of those years, until the austerity came calling.
I excelled in academics especially in my college days, even though I was a weak pupil in Arithmetic in my basic education years. The Arts and Social Science subjects such as English Language, Government, Economics, Biology, Christian Religious Studies, Yoruba Language, Literature -in- English , and others were my delight.
In 1986, I graduated in flying colours from the St. Patrick’s Grammar School, Bashorun, Ibadan, Oyo State , Nigeria. I had to wait for two years to gain admission into the university because I was being choosy of the course to read. I wanted to be a lawyer but I didn’t score the cut off mark for the course in my desired university. It was very competitive. Eventually, in December 1988, I went in for English in the Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos, Nigeria.
All along, I’d been a very studious, reserved but riotous jolly boy. I could remember saving for weeks to buy a beautiful book that caught my attention in a bookshop. I love to drink beer, smoke cigarettes and listen to music especially pop, soul, rhythm and blues, etc. I had a collection box of music stars such as Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Shallamar, The Whispers, Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Anita Baker, and a host of others. But may be because I attended a boys only college, I didn’t go after girls, I think it affected me much later in life. I felt uncomfortable in the company of the opposite sex.
Before and during the undergraduate days, I noticed my passion for creative writing especially poetry. It was much later I tried my hands on prose( stories) leading to over 11 books to my credit. Few of my works are Dangoloba in Gulala, a mystery narrative explaining the timeless code of good leadership. The king being the servant; the people, the king . The mystery of Dangoloba in a world of ideal society is coming at a time not better than this, when the human society is filled with self-caused hardships, pains, poverty and injustice. God in Hell is another one which is a riddle arousing the curiosity of the reader to find out why God can be in hell. In the same vein I have a series of collection of poems for basic classes 1-6 titled : My Teacher, my Guide, and others. I am a member of the Commonwealth Writers Association.
I love spirituality too, but I’m not a regular church-going Christian. I can’t forget three instances I cheated death in the past. One was when I took the family business Datsun Pick-up van out without my parents’ notice, they were actually out of town. I almost drove into a ditch but for a miraculous brake halt I can’t explain till date! Second instance was when I was mimicking detectives’ house raid, I took my father’s Laurena double-barrel gun, loaded it and carelessly messed up with the safety catch, and boom! I missed my feet! Thirdly, I cheated death on a visit to a male nurse, Mr Paul a staff in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria in the midst of communal war among the Ifes and the Modakekes in the early 1990s. My host’s house was attacked at night in a reprisal assault by Modakeke fighters, who were shooting and vandalising the property where my host was one of the tenants.
In the confusion that ensued, my host abandoned me, and I had to run for my dear life too. I removed my white shirt, put it in my bag and jumped over the fence of the house. Seeing a building a distance away, I thought I would run into it and explaine my plight to the occupants. Alas, to my surprise and shock, it was an abandoned house, earlier attacked and vandalised by attackers. What would I do? I decided to crouch at a corner of the room, praying silently for divine protection. The noise of victims in my host’s residence kept rising, and the sound of gunshots pervaded the night. It was a terrible night.
Suddenly, there was silence. But a few minutes later, I heard footsteps coming towards my hideout, I froze, and the footsteps kept coming with torchlights searching each room of the house till it got to me. ‘ We’ve caught you today! Where are your members? ‘ the leader shouted at me. Three guns were pointed at me and a blinding torchlight made me freeze. I replied, ‘ I’m the only one, I’m a visitor to a tenant in the house you were attacking! Please I’m not a tribe you are fighting, I’m from Ibarapa, a town in another state! ‘ The leader shouted at me to keep quiet and stand up. He told me if we got back to the house and my host could not identify me, that would be the end of my life.
We went to the house, but as we were going, I was in front , followed by the captors; I heard intermittently the leader telling the other gunmen not to touch me. Fortunately, Mr Paul, my host identified me. Those were my close shaves with death.
I have worked as a teacher for over a decade. It’s on record that I’m the first teacher to win the first ever spelling bee for teachers in Africa in 2016 .The event was organised by Spellbound Africa, a non governmental organization. It was held in Labour House, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.
Earlier, I took up a job as an editor in a Christian ministry editorial department, I left after salaries were not paid regularly and the job tasks kept mounting. Consequently, I got another job in book publishing house as an editor and I rose to the post of a Senior Editor before I resigned. I fell in love with publishing, I can read manuscripts from morning till night, stay indoors for days on end. I just love the words in black and white. Stirling-Horden Publishers, Ibadan, Nigeria was a high standard academic publishing house, the work experience I garnered stays with me till date.
Presently, I run a publishing outfit, Innovation Publishers, I also have a bookstore, Adeboye Bookstores and Stationery, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria; and a plan to expand.
I have two kids from two women. The first son is in Dublin Ireland, born to me by a runaway wife who joined me after putting to bed overseas and refused to come back home. I had to seek for divorce after waiting for years. My second son is here, coping with life and adding joy to the family.
I love being good but I’m very cautious of false friends. I have lost some good friends to untimely deaths in form of motor accidents and fatal sickness. Two of some of them are Segun Adeniyi Peter, a Masters Degree holder in Town Planning and my family estate manager, who lost his life when he fell off an overspeeding motorbike in the countrysides. Another, Segun Olatunde Peter, gave up after years of battling with jaundice and sickle cell anaemia.
When I remember them, I feel lonesome but I’m becoming more spiritual . I focus on doing good these days . I see life on earth as very brief, death will come someday. It’s a great joy to be appointed as the Executive Editor of Dicens.co , an online writers platform where content creators are rewarded with digital currency, Dicens, an asset running on Stellar blockchain and traded on stellar-run exchanges. Being part of a novel idea such as this gives me the avenue to fulfill destiny, among which is reaching the global community.

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