Bills! Bills! Bills!

I am a product of boarding school, went to primary, high school and varsity away from home. Within a year of finishing my varsity, my father booted me out…not in a harsh sense…in a nice way, organised me a flat, furniture and said, “I wish you the best in life.” I was over the moon because in my mind, the meddlesome parents were out of my life, I was finally going to live the life that I always dreamt of. And I did…for a month. Here is the background story.

From as far back as I can remember, the one thing that my father wanted for me was to get educated, even though he wasn’t close by, he would always write letters to encourage me to read hard. Being at boarding school, the one thing one always wants is money and letters encouraging one to read without money, were rarely welcome and sometimes, would not be answered. But my father was never lazy to write even though he would have been ignored. He would constantly write, his number one concern was to make sure his girls made it to varsity.

Not sure whether it was the fear of disappointing the poor man or the fear of being a failure that pushed me, but luckily enough, I got enough points and got accepted at varsity. The week before going to varsity, he called me out to the balcony, then he said, ” Janet, you have done quite well for yourself until now. Now as you go to varsity you have to realise that you have to do the best that you can to work hard, pass and enjoy yourself. This is the only time that you are left as a youth. After this, it will be bills, bills, bills.”

I can honestly say that I took his advice to heart, I went to varsity, I worked hard, I passed and I enjoyed myself. Then worked for a whole year whilst staying at parents’ house, food was provided, used my money for all the stupid things that all the other youths use their money on. Life was good. Then comes the day that my father finally said, ” I wish you the best in life”. He left me with enough to go and with my salary, I managed to go for a month. At the end of the month, the bills started coming in, electricity bill….was shocked, people pay this much for electricity, then the rates bill came….you need to pay rates for where you stay…the food bill….people fork out this much money on food per month. Now, the bills, bills, bills period had come. It was rough but I had been warned.

Now 10 years later since he has been gone, I think of what a wise man he was. He did the best that he could and warned me about the harsh realities of life. He told me to work hard but make time to enjoy myself because that time would never come again.

I wonder how many of us in life ever realise that once the time is gone its never coming back. There are things I wish I had done more of, I had said less of to my dad but that is that. That time is gone.

Use your time wisely, this moment will never come back again.

A tribute article to A E Madaka

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