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Flirting with your Possible Selves: The Story of Three Young Khaki Boys from an Ancient Town || Muftau Gbadegesin

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The trio of Alabi Oladeji Jeleel, Hardeybaryor Olomitutu and Abdulwahab Abdulrahman grew up separately but in the same ancient town that according to Robert Smith, was founded in about 1555 by Alaafin Egunguoju. The town’s name: Igboho.

While Jeleel and Bayo are my bosom friends, Abdulrahman however was my student for almost two years or more. But how they ended up in khaki despite their ambitions are what I will shed light on.

By the time I dropped Jeff Goins Art of work, I have became convinced that the quest to discovering life mission or calling or task is an ongoing exercise that never end. I also became convinced that sticking to a course of action without a hunch to try other directions might be antithetical to growth both personally and professionally.

I as well became aware of the need to tinker with lots of stuffs and engage in as many activities as possible, this I learned will expand, stretch and sharpen one’s horizon and experience towards life’s unpredictable and uncertain circumstances.

Understanding life through that lens opened my eyes to the practical concept of growth mindset as espoused by Professor Carol Dweck of Standford University which brings us to Olomitutu Adebayo.

For almost two decades and counting, the friendship between Bayo and I to say the obvious can best be described as that of tom and jerry. Intimacy is an understated word.

We attended same primary school, same junior secondary school and same college of education. He was a damn introvert: reserved, reclusive and respective. The type you can never throw up for tough military job.

So, to say I was shocked and dumbfounded when Bayo rolled out his Nigerian Army story would mean to do injustice to my feeling. By the time I saw Bayo in Khaki, he was a transformed and new breed soldier.

At one of our meeting, I teased Bayo about his experience in both the six months rigorous training and life inside the Burning Bornu state. “Life there” he says with a husky voice was “nerve wrecking as living that epicenter of war was as heart warming as it was soothing”. In other words, Bayo didn’t fight his fate, he kept his calm and let things happen while he follow his inner voice.

He was in the foremost Federal school of surveying Oyo for almost four years learning the curves and contours of his course. At our last meeting, he wore his spectacle and smile boyishly.

Sometimes in 2018, I happened to meet Abduljeleel by chance. The month was June and World cup was ongoing. France was pummeling Peru as I sat quietly to discuss about life with him. He walked me through his journey so far but never spoke of his military ambition. I later learned he picked the race to NDA based on opportunity that knocked his door. Opportunity always come to the prepared mind.

Abdulrahman had the grit, the zeal and zest of anyone with eyes on the khaki. He is presently a trained naval officer. While in class, he exhibited the trait of committed and determined student. He was a strong boy with unshakable and unflinching dedication to a course. I knew he was primed for big and surprising things and when I saw him in khaki, I know the sky is just his launching pad.

So, the story is short. Flirt with your possible self and give room for tinkering and toying as you navigate your way through the brambles and nettles of life. “Your calling is not a job” Jeff Goins declare “it is your entire life”.


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