It is day 20 of the year and already so many people have died. I always thought of this but I did not realize that death will strike so close to me so early this year. The news shocked me when I heard it. You were gone. Abimbola Aweda Rest In Peace till we meet at the feet of the Lord and part no more. Adieu.
I am here again. The same event centre that I have been to for the past ten years. Like the previous years, it is the end of the year. The venue, tastefully decorated with the ushers dressed to perfection. The stewards and stewardesses were all impeccably dressed.
I arrived at the party after been stuck in Lagos traffic for about an hour. I was ushered in to see a lot of people elegantly dressed. I saw her gesture to me and I moved towards her as quick as possible while trying to avoid hitting anyone. I sat down beside her and as I looked at his face, I saw the look and it spoke volumes. I could hear his voice in my ears saying “You are late again. Do not give me the excuse of been stuck in traffic, because if you had left early you will not be late.” This night is going to be long.
Once again, he beat the expectations of the company. He is the marketing manager, he runs everything that has to do with the products and once again he has broken the sales record set by him as he did year in year out. He was called to the podium. He was recognised and celebrated. He is to give a speech and in that speech he is thanking his sales team allover the country for making things possible, his wife who is my mum and to me. He has a health programme on radio,he writes for a marketing journal,he facilitates sales conference allover the nation and above all, he is my father.
I always fall short. I sometimes fear if I will not be able to get out of his shadow. I am the only child and as if that is not enough, people say I am a spitting image of him. His friends constantly tell me to my face that I have a long way to go to beat all he has achieved. Nothing I do seems to be enough. I get that he wants the best for me, but nothing I do seems to shock him. Is it because he expects it from me or because he feels he can do it better? I have looked for things we do not have in common just to at least shock him but I find we are so alike. Maybe if I could draw instead of write then I might be able to shock him. I ask myself, am I getting into my chosen career because I am so influenced by him or because it is what I want? I realize I actually love what I do. I am just as competitive as he is and that causes a lot of friction between us.
The night is coming to an end and once again people are coming around to congratulate him and get to meet his family. I am proud of him but once again I feel the pressure like never before. I think within myself I am going to come out of his shadow but with a lot of diligence, discipline and working smart. It is not going to be easy but I am getting out of his shadow. If I die doing that then I know I died fulfilled. I just have to get of his shadow.