My world revolves around the carpentry circle. I am married and blessed with children. Growing up in Lagos will give you a picture of how life is or has been. I remembered walking down to school early in the morning through the narrow ways amidst the city. Taking a task will not be suitable for you as a student, because you will be punished every day for late coming, due to the traffic of cars arranged in rolls that the car engine thought that the journey was over.
I came from a family of eight, five females and three males. My father was a school teacher, and my mother, a housewife who owned a provision store across the street looking adjacent to our compound. We wake up early to prepare for school, our mother cooks food that we will eat in the morning and take to school, sometimes my sisters will cook.
After school, I go to the carpentry shop. And when I am late, I will be punished. Sometimes we close school late, when all the students have left, our form master will release us from our daily routine punishment for always making noise or fighting in class. I always receive double punishment, one at school and the other at the carpentry shop.
After closing from service when we arrived home, I could remember vividly that there was no work at home, and our carpentry shop didn’t open on Sundays, so it was a resting day. I sat down, lonely, thinking for myself. Why will I always be beaten in class and at the shop? I said to myself, it all has to stop. I am now a grown-up person.
Suprise on Monday morning, I appeared neat at the assembly ground, something new and fascinating. It has been a long time since I was seen at the assembly ground. I respected myself that day in school and looked calm. A lot of my classmates thought I was sick, but deep down, it was maturity. When the school closed, I went home straight without longing through a farm in the courtyard to steal some mangos. On arriving at the shop, my master was surprised to see me. Were you sent by your father? he asked. There was no reply, but I only smiled and grabbed a wood I was working on.
So this was how my life started changing gradually like the clouds. Everyone was happy at home, mostly my father. I paid more attention to learning the carpentry work and look how it is done with Keen attention. As a little boy, I do what I can to know as many things as I can see.
At school, I do my homework and mind my business in class. My grades improved from the backbencher to an average student in the class. A surprising moment was our classwork when I got some excellent marks ahead of my friends in class. My teacher was amazed to see the improvement, which opened the door for me to work harder in my remaining years. After graduation from secondary school, I paid full attention to my furniture work. Seeing how I got too interested in the work, my master drew me close to him, and we started moving out to work together and get some little cash in my pocket. I now have some little money to provide for some of my needs. My life as a grown-up person had started when I realized my mistakes and thought for myself. Maturity comes as we grow older and our experiences develop.
At the age of twenty-five years, I got married. I married a girl from my neighbourhood. Our life flourishes with my work. One year after the marriage, my first child arrived. A bouncing baby boy who looks like his father. It was a joyful moment for the family; the grandchild had arrived.
I go out to my shop in the morning and return to have time with my family in the evening. When I got married, I was staying at a house I rented. Even then, I had a plot of land but yet to be built. So my focus along the first year of marriage is to build a house of my own. Doing it has not been easy as I thought. I had to stress myself, and my family understood the situation for their own good. That was after the birth of my first child. My house was completed and ready to move into it. And only a tiny part of the house is yet to be completed. But we moved in like that to save the cost of paying rent.
When I got a contract, I had to travel out of my community and leave my family at home. Or sometimes a friend will call me to work together. I make beds, chairs, wardrobes, cupboards, tables, and many things that can be made with wood.
There was a time I remembered, I travelled for two months for work I got to make chairs for a school. Table for offices and blackboard for classes. It has not been easy to leave your family to a place you never visited before. But it went successfully, and I learned a lot about other people’s cultures. This has been the life that revolves around the carpentry circle.
I live happily with my wife and family and am blessed with three children, a boy and two girls. I plan to go back to school to further my education so that I will modernize my work and use modern tools effectively. Sometimes back, I thought I couldn’t become a family man because of too much to do. Taking care of a family, my junior ones and other relatives have been the routine. But I am grateful and live happily compared to some of my mates in the same profession. Life is like a wheelbarrow, so we keep pushing so that we live happily.