The Incident that lives in my life! - Sangúdi Sangúdi

It was on Thursday, the 7th day of February 2011, early in the morning, I had already taken my breakfast, ready to go to school. I was surprised to notice that my grandfather,  Mr Sang'udi James was already awake because it was unusual for him to be an early bird! Not a deal though, I greeted him and told him that I was ready to take my morning walk to school. He looked at me with his gentle eyes, I could tell the worry on his face!

_"Study hard my grandson" he finally opened his lips, giving out a weak but yet audible voice with strong and extremely powerful words echoing in the walls of my mind up to this moment.

 I was in the seventh grade at Bariadi Primary School where it was mandatory to be at school compounds early enough to be given a number, to avoid confrontations with the teacher on duty.

I was a running warrior, and so being at school on time was in no way to be a problem to my fast moving legs!

After three sessions,  it was a lunch break and therefore I was thinking of going home with my friends to take my meal, but before this thought could get the better out of me, the echoes of my grandfather's words reverberated in my mind_"study hard my grandson".

The echo of his words in my mind was stronger than the hunger in my empty stomach, and therefore I brushed the idea of walking home and decided to remain for a while, passing through what we had been taught in the morning before going home for lunch.

 

_An empty stomach is sometimes more convincing than an intelligent mind_I was about to open my exercise books when my mind agreed to what my empty stomach was demanding, giving up on what I was about to read and taking my way home to satisfy my hunger!

 

The meal was already on the table when I reached home and my salivary glands were already betraying my patience, but the voice of my aunt broke my heart._"Nyeha, have you forgotten that your grandpa loves eating with you? Can't you be kind enough to go and wake him up so that you two can eat together? He loves that you know! She winked at me and went to do her laundry. I blamed my mind for not remembering that my grandpa loved eating with me, but I was comforted by a thinner voice whispering "don't worry, it's not you, but your empty stomach! I smiled and went to my grandpa's bedroom to wake him up.

 

I woke him up for quite a long time, but he seemed not to hear my voice, and a voice inside of me murmured "your grandpa is having a rest, you know he is a night owl! Go and have your lunch, you are hungry, can't you see that? I gave it a score of a hundred and bought the idea that grandpa is still sleeping and I should not disturb him, and so I went on taking my lunch alone.

 

_"Aaaaah!!!! Couldn't you wait for him? You kid! It was my aunt again asking me why I was alone in the dinning taking the lunch. Aunt, I felt offended and spoke with my mouth full of food.

"I….I tried to wake him up, but it seems he is still…..".

"_Is it difficult to finish what you have in that bowel-like mouth first?" She was furious and I could feel it. I remembered we were told it is a bad habit to speak with a mouth full of food. I wanted to apologise, but I was late. She was already on her way to grandpa's bedroom.

 

Half an hour had passed since my attempt to wake my grandpa up failed, my aunt was now moving as fast as her short legs could carry her, to wake him up! She tried her luck unfruitfully. Poor us! A moment of pause came, then the coin dropped and everything clicked! My beloved grandpa had already passed away!

 

The death of my grandpa taught me that I can lose anything at any time. It taught me that nothing lasts forever, and when it's on your hand, live it to the fullest, enjoy it to the maximum and cherish it to the top! I asked myself a lot of questions without answers, the more I generated questions, the more my heart was in pain. I was heartbroken by the fact that my grandpa could not wake up and explain to me the meaning of his last words_ "study hard my grandson". I could not fathom the truth that the day before was my last day ever_to take my meal with my grandpa! I thought that I was just dreaming, I tried to open my eyes, but the scene in front of me didn't change, the tables didn't turn and the vision was in no way to be an illusion!

 

The death of my grandpa was unfathomable to all of us! I used to hear the stories of people losing their beloved ones, but I had not experienced it with that of my own. I found myself in the middle of nowhere, not knowing what to do because I came to realize that the support I used to get from him was not only gone, but gone in silence, forever!

This incident greatly affected the social and psychological aspect of my life. I started studying abnormally hard. I found myself able to be a night owl when I was just a small kid in standard seven, staying awake till midnight, studying without any supervision, and being able to wake up early in the morning, in fact early enough to avoid confrontations with the teacher on duty for getting to school lately. 

All that time I was praying to God to get me to a boarding school , particularly to Ilboru Secondary School in the Arusha region. I came to know this special school in 2009 when the late Reginald Mengi was the guest of honor in form six graduation which went live on ITV Tanzania.

 

Hosanna on the highest!!! The results came, and I had done it very well. I was the first student district wise and 22nd national wise. My joy was extended by the realization that I was selected to join a boarding school_in fact I was selected to join my dream school, Ilboru Secondary School.

I got to Ilboru Secondary School, my new home, and my brother and relative Joshua Donasiano (now a Medical Doctor) welcomed me in a new environment with the same energy and passion, accelerated by the echo of the words "study hard my grandson".  Josh, as we were simply calling him or "mdau" was my role model, a mentor and someone to look upon when I was at school.

Josh and his friends, Calvin Kyolike, Mathew Komba and others ( I can't mention all) showed me the way. They heart-warmly devoted themselves for my success. They were taking a good care of me in everything_and above all, they all believed in me! I can't forget the truth that I had finished the form one Math syllabi in January!!!

I must be honest here_I couldn't imagine the pain of letting them down and the only way of ensuring this wouldn't happen was by studying hard, concentrating in my studies and my studies only and of course passing my exams_ooh yeah passing my exams with flying colors.

_"Dogo nenda ka"confirm" banda lako buana" They used to tell me whenever I was going to sit for an exam. Their presence made me comfortable, and this comfortability had a lot to do with my academic success_and yes, by GOD's glory I provided the best out of me.

"Hakikisha ndani ya miezi sita umemaliza topics zote za kidato husika na uanze za kidato kinacho fuata"_Josh used to tell me this, though it seemed impossible to most of other students, but my case was different. I faithfully lived these words. And whenever I get tired, the echoes reverberate in my mind, "study hard my grandson".

I did not want to lose anything from what I had learnt from my grandpa. He taught me to be different from others, and yes I was different. Indeed, very different from others. I was running when everyone was walking, I was walking when everyone was standing, I was standing when everyone was sitting and guess what? I was sitting when everyone was sleeping!! I used to eat on my feet just to ensure that none of my seconds are wasted. I wanted to fully utilize my time in studying.

I really enjoyed reading and to this day I love reading. I didn't bother ignoring my empty gut for 24 hours or  giving my lazy body only three hours-sleep a day! There were times when I was harassing form six and form  five students (please forgive me my brothers) because they wanted to go to bed but they were asking each other how dare we can go to sleep leaving a form three kid in our class studying!! It was funny but they had to get used to it because it was not me but the echoes in my mind_"study hard my grandson".

I did not care to read form five and form six textbooks whenever I felt unsatisfied with my ordinary level books. I never realized that the echoes inside me were building a habit and constructing a character out of my senses.

From the time I started form one, no student from government school was known to be among the top ten best students, but 2015 was the proverbial moment for government secondary schools when I was the 5th student national wise in form four National examinations, placing the 3rd in boys categories with David Joseph from Ilboru being the 8th in boys category and William Kihanza from Mzumbe being the 10th in boys category, representing the only students from government schools appearing in National top categories.

The fact that I was able to achieve what was thought to be an impossible mission brought an incredible joy to my family, my mother, my father, my uncle and my aunt in particular. My friends also joined in the joyous moment to appreciate my achievements. My aunt in particular used to make jokes to me that I will become a Professor of Medicine!! Of course it is partly the motivation behind my passion in Medicine, which has driven me to pursue a bachelor of Doctor of Medicine at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.

My uncle once gave me a principle which I find it to be of much help in my life. He told me " Involvement and commitment equals solution! Sounds septical isn't it? Ooh yeah, maybe or maybe not! Wherever you are, my uncle and my aunt, may God bless for bringing out a good person out of me!

May I conclude by saying you may start a journey without having a clear picture of what's ahead of you, but there is something I can tell you;

Trust the process, don't be excited with mere events, have consistency and focus on your goals. Life is too short to be afraid. Don't entertain

shortcuts, your values, my values and so our values are hidden somewhere, let's trust the process. Sometimes it may seem to be like a drop of water in the middle of the ocean, but I promise you, none of the seas would have been formed if no single drop of water was available and none of the miles would have been covered if no single step was at first taken.

On top of that if you want to achieve something bigger it is okay to be abnormal, provided that your abnormality gives you a selective advantage towards your bigger achievement. You must know that a lot of sacrifices will be made in the long run and sometimes you may even be risking your relationships with others.

It is okay if you are becoming abnormal, you have to accept the consequences.

Sometimes uniqueness matters but the degree and direction of uniqueness matters a lot!!

 

Sang'udi Sang'udi

©2020


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