Ken as a young child was brought up in a well to do family in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. He was among those people who his parents wedded in the big city and also bore him and his brother Charles there; Lagos wedding for short. They had never traveled home to his village in the Eastern part of Nigeria. His parents are both from Nnempi, Oru-West L.G.A of Imo State.
Brought up under a strict Anglican background, his father had risen so fast in the Armed forces of the Federal Government. While he was 10 years old, Col. Ukadike obviously was a proud 38-year-old soldier. He never missed the opportunity of telling his son of his exploits and how other officers envy him. How he killed many rebel soldiers during the Peacekeeping missions in some parts of Africa. A man who despite his protruding belly still tries to bend over his shoulders like a 16-year-old, and in no time Ken started learning from the actions and carriage of a father.
When asked in school by friends, he says, “My father says I will take over from him as a soldier in the Army”. He then began to put so much pride and efforts in physical strength. Mrs. Ukadike, a passionate teacher and soft-spoken woman, was against the way Col. Ukadike was pampering Ken. Yes he had whatever he wanted, proud and sometimes arrogant.
“If he spoils tomorrow now, he will become his mother’s child, not his father’s”, were her usual expression. I n’emebi nwa, meaning you are spoiling this child.
Ken, innocent as he was found it difficult to have his convictions because the style of parenting of his father is different from those of his mum.
At an early age of 11 years he was to go to the boarding school. His father made sure he was admitted into the Command Secondary School, Oshodi, Lagos State. Most students there were children of high-ranking officers in the Armed Forces. The quest for relevance and popularity was the order of the day, as the children strive to make a fellow student feel bad that his/ her father is a colonel and yours a major.
Others who had civilian parents were the onlookers whenever such arguments ensued. It was always a heated argument. This became a basis to dress properly in order to attract the pretty ladies in class.
Ken on getting to CSS, Oshodi found it easy to adapt to the trend of events. He had his father’s name to defend and also wanted to be that lucky guy who gets the pretty ladies. And this he did pretty well and without stress.
As someone who had a voice to sing R & B songs, he was smart in class and answered questions in class also. He could make any girl fall for him; all he needs to do is to think up of a special number to present on Sunday and this he does most perfectly well that the following Monday clusters of girls are already talking about him.
He could just easily sit on his chair and desk and make some sonorous sounds in case another pretty lady decided not to go for break that day.
From a confused boy at home, Ken moved to one that was full of himself, egoistic, walking even better than his pot-bellied father and interestingly saying these words was a hard nut to crack- thank you, sorry and please. No one really noticed that, but you could see this young man has started living life to seek approval, praise and admiration from the ladies.
He comfortably started making other less privileged ones or those that their parents are not in the Force to feel they are nothing.
In no time our young hero started mingling with the big boys or boys who saw having their trousers below their waste as a show of swag. You have to sag to get the swag. They were the ones that left school more and obviously sleeping with some girls that had chicken brain.
Ken practically started living like his father whose pot-belly did not just come by ageing or eating alone. He started drinking. All manner of mixes of alcohol, that sometimes one wonders how they are able to afford such expensive drinks.
Yes you know it; they were extorting or scamming their parents. Lots of unrealistic items are developed every week, and for Col. Ukadike, his son must prove his worth in the Army.
Coming to boarding school, a bit far from home was like one of his best moments. He left school even when he has nothing to do outside. Due to the restriction for female students when school is in session, Ken and his fellow bosses, instead of waiting for holidays to get started began patronizing prostitutes.
“She didn’t allow me do o, she said my thing was small”, was the kind expression you hear when they are talking about it.
It is always called youth exuberance. Despite all these there were students who were mature, serious and compliant to the demands that their families expect from them, both among the military and civilian parents.
The WASSCE was around the corner, boys were becoming men and it is time decide who goes to university or sits at home for another one year writing JAMB again.
As it has always happened, those who would read will read and the ones who find it difficult to contribute money to buy exam papers- choks as it is called.
There is another category who believed in making use of a tripod formula- my head, choks and God. “Either of them will give me a credit”, some said.
Due to the time he wasted proving himself as strong and mighty, chasing girls; Ken didn’t realize that the notes were piling up and that he needed to touch everything from JSS 1 to SS 3. E don happen. So this young man fell under those who want to study and also bribe their way to get choks and still expect a just God to manifest in the exam hall.
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