Whenever I got inspired to write, my piece comes with an idea for the title. My inspiration to write comes from everything positive. Every little dismissive event could just be an inspirational catalogue. This gives me a sense of concentration in terms of what the entire piece would try to discuss or preach. But writing this piece, frankly speaking, I wasn’t sure what the title should be, though I was sure of the message. Initially, I thought this piece would be about how I emerge the winner of the first La Casera apple story until I realized ‘How’ literary means ‘in what way or manner’ I achieved it. There was really no how to it. No formal plan, no meticulous or premeditated strategy. Thus How couldn’t have been proper in my opinion.
How about when? Something like ‘When I won the first La Casera Apple story. This was more like it. But then, this would only encapsulate the period I won it and nothing about the way it was indeed won. From more suggestions, I didn’t know if ‘Why’ I won it would be proper. But who cares? I just wanted to write about My La Casera Apple story.
After my NYSC, I got an offer to work with my sister’s friend in an interior decoration business. This I did for one month. Every day, my trip to Lekki took nothing less than one hour between which I would listen to radio programs with my phone. I would listen to news, songs and a particular early morning program that ends by 9 a.m. In one of those programs, La Casera initiated the story telling competition on radio. People would call into the studio to tell a story of how they took La Casera and what excitement or fun came out of it. Basically, the idea was to talk about their exciting experience drinking La Casera. For about a week that I followed it, I knew I could do better. I wasn’t sure I wanted to phone in so I decided to write my story and send as an entry on-line. On a weekend, I scribbled something down but didn’t finish since I wasn’t sure how the story should end. For a very long time I didn’t remember to go back to complete the story. Some weeks later, I remember I was on my way to Ibadan when I got an idea on how to end the story. But by the time I returned, I’d completely forgotten about it.
I wrote earlier I worked with my sister’s friend for a month and my masters program didn’t start so I started looking for another job. One day, as I was returning home, just at Ojota, on one of the BRT buses was the advert of La Casera Apple story, the website to send an entry and the date it would end- which would be in few days. Immediately I got home, I looked for my write-up, adjusted it, and concluded it over and over. I think I eventually settled on how the story should end by the fifth trial, not sure again. I edited it as much as I could which wasn’t properly done eventually…. Lol. By the next day, I went to the Internet Cafe on my street, bought Internet time, logged on and in few minutes, I was staring at the screen that showed message sent.
Few days after, I got a call from someone who said he was calling from La Casera company, makers of La Casera drink and he was calling to tell me I’d emerged the winner of the first edition of the La Casera Apple story.’ According to him, he was amused and couldn’t help but laugh because my entry was one of the last, if not the last entry they got and amazingly, my entry that won’t go through if I had waited one or two more days, emerged the winner. He promised to call me back as regards the date, place and time of gift presentation.
I didn’t know how but it seemed I flew downstairs to my mum. I wasn’t even sure of what I had on; I think my inner short with a singlet. All I cared about was that for the very first time, I felt I had achieved something outside my academic strength. It was indeed a turning point for me, mentally and psychologically. For a very long time, I had asked question on who I was created to become, of my gifts and of what to do to have doors open for me. I wasn’t sure how many people dropped their entries, but the competition was supposed to be nationwide. Emerging the winner was a big deal for me. Especially when I think I almost didn’t drop my entry.
This story isn’t about me. It wasn’t intended to focus on me but you. ‘But how?’ you may want to ask. This story is about a young man who didn’t know he had a gift that could put him in the news- as the story was covered in the dailies. It is about a young man who though had it all along, yet failed to look inwards. It is a story of gifts and purpose, realization and use of gift, unknown to known, doubt to belief, hopeless to hopeful, then and now. It is a story of fear of failure to wishing to be heard, a tale of a story being told. It is about you and me finding ourselves and becoming us. It is about that seemingly little ability that will fly if you don’t restrain it. It is about possibilities, I mean your possibilities. It is about the fact that you can just be whatever you want to be, you can achieve every realistic goal. Trust me, because I know you are possible.
Watch out for my book that would be published soon.
Title: Detour to Glory (finding your greatness through Joseph’s story).
I am Manuel Desola