The Chronicles of Azuka 'Episode 5' - Pat Ashinze

watch_later Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Several times, every year, Azuka would journey downtown from his University campus to visit his half-uncle, Prof. Nwibe Marcus, a billionaire and nationwide recognised clinical psychologist at Nobleman's university whose research articles, theses and journals on mental health had illumined a lot of obscurities concerning psychiatric affairs and had discarded many myths and hideous rumours on the said subject.


Truth be told, Professor Marcus was an achiever, even by achiever standards.
Having graduated second-class upper in Psychology at the age of 23, he had a jolly smooth sail throughout the postgraduate fields, spanking a professorial appointment at the tender age of 34.
His interest in the perambulations, the congeniality between the mind and body and the seemingly interesting infrequence of human behaviour drove him to focus his compass on Clinical psychology and it luckily paid off for him.
He would be 40 in a few days time and lo, he had already had the world reclining at his feet. Fine, he was a single father of 3 lovely boys having being widowed six years back following an uterine aneurysm that took away his dearly beloved Sandra away. But still, he stood, alive and well. Bless God. Bless Willpower.

As for Azuka, visiting Prof. Marcus was not because of the intelligentsia or literati or of something related to academic clerisy. No. Azuka visited Prof. Marcus frequently to escape the reality of his woes at the University environs. First, his grades were highly anaemic, his girlfriend Ifeanyi had ported away with Bertrand the Abuja moneybag whose face knew no smile or laughter, his brain was frequently fried thanks to incessant alcoholism, occasional weed puffs and _science studentship_ as the streets called it. And then for the food also. Chicken being a gold standard with beverages and strong wines.

Howbeit though, the epicenter of Azuka's fugitive visits was for the homely safety that radiated all over Prof's house. It was enough adhesive and attractant for Azuka. Azuka had access.  The guards never halted or froze him for clearance or whatnot. They knew him well enough .Azuka was lucky. Azuka was good. Good men are lucky.

Dang! Prof. Marcus was not just an academic genius, he was enviably wealthy as well. Borne as the last child of nine spawns, that was also sired from the least favourite wife for that matter, Prof. Marcus's father had willed him a hackneyed wasteland, some ignoble cash and a jalopy Mercedes car at the very moment of demise oblivious to the knowledge that the very filthy land was incalculably deposited with crude copper and columbite minerals.


The land would have been derelict as an asset until fortune gave Professor Marcus an ambrosial smile when American expatriates came over to Nigeria for wanderlust and work - only to discover that the said wasteland was an heavily pregnant mine that had suffered abandon and disuse. He was a research fellow back then at Nobleman's university and thusly, a lifelong, breakthrough deal was struck - this was how he became a Forbes' magazine interviewee.
God is funny. Very funny indeed.

Come to talk of Marcus's house, it was descriptively a mini-Eden.  It was situated on a twelve-acred landmass which was about a stone throw from the suburbs.
Painted in royal white like the beard of the biblical sages: the portable-sized edifice was built in an avant-garde form.
Fenced all over in a medium-sized, gothic-fashioned barricade style, the seven-roomed bungalow had a well groomed lawn that could almost compete with an average football field, a man-made stream, some flowers that were definitely not Nigerian in origin, a few sculptures, vintage galleries, spiral structures, a grand piano, a bar and little kaleidoscopes of colored glasses that adorned the window of the professor's study (which Azuka had no access to). The air of the house in its egyptian-perfumed entirety itself reeked of the fact that it belonged to an owner with great intellect and modest choices. It was plainly civilized luxury.

Yet still, despite the money, the fame, the vast knowledge, the influence, the big connections to fat heads and the glamour, The Prof had chosen to embrace a humble, solemnly private and plain life. He did not remarry. No one could be like Sandra. No one. The boys would have the society as their mother. Azuka knew this. The boys were still young. Henry, the eldest was just 9. Azuka wanted to counter and counsel Prof but what was the opinion of a poor man when the rich was burping and deciding. Maybe at another time. Not now. Azuka was wise. Wise men keep quiet and listen to reason. Family apart, wise men mind their business and leave all to God.


Heck, he was worth 500 million dollars. US dollars for that matter. Not Zimbabwean or Liberian. US Obodo Oyibo dollars. Azuka knew the worth. A good man must know things. Azuka was wise.
Azuka never boasted of knowing or having any affiliation to his half-uncle. Not to anyone. Not for the familiarity nor for the money or elitist status. As far as Azuka was concerned, he was not entitled to Prof. Marcus's money. Yes, Azuka was broke, deranged, youthful, reckless and _good_ but he was not slavish. The rich do not owe the poor anything. Azuka was wise. Wise men are not leeches. Wise men reduce and diminish their sense of entitlement. Azuka is wise. Wise men are good.

Epilogue: 
Azuka wants us to know that there is joy in self-discovery. He wants us to reduce our sense of entitlement and if possible, make them inexistent. He wants us to know that the wealthy do not owe the poor any dime, that choice is all that matters.
Most of all, Azuka wants us to know that everything is a product of time and chance so nobody has a right to be arrogant.
 
...
Written by:
Pat Ashinze,
For The People, 2018

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