Fiction: Little by Little, A Little Becomes a Lot


There is a unique personal calling for every individual that has passed through the sands of time. If you have ever wondered what essence it is to be good and inspire the change that withstands time, you need to read this story; after all, a Tanzanian proverb says, "Little by little, a little becomes a lot". The littlest service you have rendered to the world today might be the source of sunlight in someone's world just like Sandra's was like in my life.

The Prosperity Ark

The Turning Point

It was 2002. Civilization had only just started spreading in the cities of Nigeria. Afro hairstyles were gradually going out of trend and were being replaced by braids for women and buzz cuts for men. I was ten, a little shorter than my agemates and a little thinner than them too and so, I had become the source of everybody's scorn - one whom everyone spits and bites at whenever they were vexed.

I was used to it and to be candid, I did not see it as a big deal; it seemed pretty normal to me. After all, my mother's boss will always say in her broken English that we were in a dog-eat-dog world where the strong preyed on the weak and being weak, I had to endure whatever I faced.

I lived in an old apartment with my mum in one of the slums in the city of Lagos, Nigeria and although our house was as tiny as a hut, it had the warmth of a true home - not until some hooligans hired by the loan sharks dashed into our little home. Smashing, breaking and vandalizing everything in their way, I watched wide-eyed as our little home became a wreck and skeleton of its former state. My mum tried fighting it out with them but it all ended with her bashing her head against the door and slipping into a coma.

I was spellbound. I could not fathom how everything turned around for the worse in a split second. I was sitting down there in a daze as I watched well-meaning neighbours help my mum to the nearest hospital and suddenly, I heard a voice clearly telling me, "Someday, you'll end up like your mum if you refuse to leave here."  The voice was so clear to me that I turned to our neighbours to confirm if they had heard anything but apparently, no one except myself did hear the bizarre voice. 

When I realised this, it frightened me and without saying so much as a word to anyone else, I fled.

Meeting Sandra

It was on December 24, 2002, when I got to the city of Ibadan, Oyo state. I was a loner in a strange land with no family, money or home to stay in. I wandered around and while scavenging in the streets, I met Sandra. Sandra was the typical big-eyed, tall and brown-skinned Nigerian beauty with a soft voice like those of the Jiangnan women in China. As a female, I got self-conscious when I met her but she did not mind my unkempt state.

She took me to the nearest Baptist Church, got me cleaned and got new sets of clothes for me, fed me and finally took me home. It was the first time in a long while since I was treated like a human being by anybody. I shed tears that night.

Sandra took me to school, encouraged me to work hard and if at all, I had the motivation to succeed, it was because of the belief I saw her have in me and the faith she had so strong that I was going to be a prominent figure someday.

The Prosperity Ark

I believed I was going to be successful. I believed that if I continued with my trajectory at that rate, nothing could be my limit. In fact, I knew I could serve as a source of motivation to those children who were raised in slums like myself. But, you could believe all of that and yet, never experience a tinge of victory all your life. That was the problem.

Probably, because I felt I was going to end up like my mother, I retracted my ability to learn at every opportunity I got. I began to avoid Sandra and every acquaintance she had introduced me to until I was back as a loner, once again.

Hope Rekindled

As I began to withdraw from the new association I had gotten, my ambitions became farther and farther to me. 

One evening, I was headed back home from school when I beheld Sandra's warm smile right before me. I was transfixed and all I remembered was that the smile she gave me was the fuel for the repropulsion I needed at that time.

We headed to the Carousel lounge of the school together and we had a lengthy talk. From there, I realised that I should not live under the shadow of whatever had happened to me as a child - I had every right to dream big and to achieve good success. It was as if my head opened up and my mind began to picture doing big things. I began to see myself as the hope my generation needed and if the hope (me) becomes hopeless, then, thousands of lives relying on me will only meet their doom. I was revitalised! I had the impetus for action and I began to work harder than ever before.

The Prosperity Ark

Today, by that single act of Sandra - taking me in, sheltering me and encouraging me with her heart, I have become a journalist legally protected by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. By the authority in my office, I have brought to book the hooligans who made my mum meet her end and exposed the activities of the loan sharks who scam people, I have seen many radiant faces from the place of despair and today, I will be honoured with the position of the top editor of the National Broadcasting Corporation.

The little act of one lady produced me who is now changing the lives of many people and the world as a whole.


1. Strong Made Simple, "5 Quotes About Small Actions and Big Successes",

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