I was awakened by a sharp knock on the door; I opened my eyes and peered at the small silver clock on my wooden side table. It was 4:15 am. I pulled my duvet over my head and turned to the other side.
Knock, knock, knock.
I groaned. I stood up reluctantly and took slow, heavy steps towards the big brown door. I looked through the peep hole, it was Alex, my roommate. I turned the key twice and pulled the door open.
“Why did ii..it take yo…you…you forever to open the door? She stammered . It seemed like she was shouting.
“Why didn’t you take your key? I mumbled as I walked towards my bed and slumped on it.
I looked at the clock again, it was 4:20 am. I had returned from an all night rehearsal by 4am. I slept off once again grateful that the next day was a Saturday.
Hi. My name is Ademide Smith, but my friends call me Ade. I was in my first year in the University studying Pharmacy. Well, I really didn’t enjoy Pharmacy, it wasn’t something I wanted to study anyway, I really love to act and dance, left to me, I’d have gone for Theatre and Performing Arts but my parents being medical doctors wanted me to follow in the line. My elder brother, Olamide studied Civil Engineering and my immediate elder sister, Temi studied Medicine, so I was only left with the choice of Medicine or Pharmacy.
After the first semester, my GPA was at 2.03. I did not show my parents my result, I had simply told them my result was not available yet. One day, I was discussing with Alex, remember her? Yeah. My roommate and she told me I could change my course. “My dad will disown me if I tell him that” I said in a low tone. Alex laughed so hard I could see tears in her eyes. “You don’t have to tell them now” she said still laughing hysterically. I didn’t know I had bought the idea until I found myself walking confidently to the administrative building, the admissions office. So before second semester I had processed all my papers and changed my Department to Theatre and Performing Arts, and my parents had no idea, I had only told Made my sister and she had promised not tell anyone.
I started by acting as a minor character for a group assignment in 200 level. In second semester, my Department organised a stage play, I auditioned for the lead role. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the lead role, I got the role of a minor character again. Whenever I auditioned for the lead role, I was denied for some reason and always given a minor role. I summoned courage one day and asked the President of my Department and he said, “you are kinda new here. We can’t give you the lead role just Yet. We already have students who are great at that.” I looked stunned, I couldn’t even give him a reply, I just walked away. By the end of second semester in 200 level, my GPA had risen to 3.00. I still never showed my parents my result, I always had one excuse or another. At this point I had stopped going for auditions, I wasn’t even comfortable being a minor, there was even no point trying only for me to be a minor character.
One Friday morning, I laid in my bed staring blankly at one of my textbooks, when Alex barged into the room. “Ade! Ade stand, take a look at this.” She said excitedly handing me a flyer.
I looked at her and grabbed the flyer from her hand and read it’s content. “Abeg. I’m not going for any more auditions.” I said as I returned the flyer to her and laid back in bed.”What? Why?” She said as she sat on the edge of my bed. “There’s no point now. I work my ass off, rehearsing and then I’ll go for the auditions, only for them to cast me as a minor character. I don’t want, I’m really tired. Alex hissed so loudly, it echoed in my ears and voiced out “Story. You are going to try out o. You no know say person dey try until him get wetin him want. Sit down and be saying “I work my ass off” work harder aunty.” She said as she stood up and made her way to her bed.
On Saturday morning, I dressed up and walked casually to the main auditorium for the auditions, after which the director said he’ll call me back. I left disappointed because I felt I didn’t do well and they’ll probably never call me back. On Thursday afternoon, I was walking back to my room when my eye caught a familiar picture, I stopped and read through. I could feel myself smiling widely. It was the banner for the next stage play, I could see my picture, the one I took the previous day for the play and my name was boldly written to play the lead role in “Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again” by Ola Rotimi.
I had done it. I was the lead actress in a play by a famous playwright and I was to act in an actual theatre with a lot of dignitaries there to watch me. I felt really proud of myself as I bounced towards my hostel.
After this, I received endless calls to be the lead actress in various stage plays, both in school and outside school. I always had all night rehearsals and most time returned to my hostel by 4 am or even 7am the following day. My parents? Yeah, they eventually found out and were nothing other than proud of their little girl. The lesson learnt in the story is all about following your heart and pursuing your desired career. Never study a course just to make your parents happy; that way you have a high tendency of being a failure and living with depression. Humans are gifted and we should put our talent into our passion and see if they can make us great or make a living. People scream around saying there are no jobs in the country. My question is, if a job comes around are you ready to take it up? What qualities do you have that stands you out from the rest of the world applying for same jobs? Opportunities will always come but before it comes you can turn your skill, passion and talent into a money making machine.
This piece is written by Adesola Adesesan (2017) while the photo sources is Google Chrome.