About 2000 African youths was on a journey to a mysterious island. My tag number reads 192. This is a journey we must all make, for us to achieve all our goals. This is the only way to stardom. We all grew up with the same mentality of embarking on this journey. What makes it a tough one is that, there was only one route to this island.
The road was so narrow and my legs could hardly fit in. But, hell no! I must endure. I had to endure the pushing and the sweaty bodies surrounding me. Looking to my right, there were multitudes struggling to get on this same road. I dare not turn to my left, as I could expect nothing less. “Why are there so many people trying too hard to take this very path?” I thought to myself and I wondered if there was no other way. Moments passed and I got a glimpse of the island far ahead, sitting quietly in the middle of a deep blue sea, almost 7.8Km away. I could see the gold deposits sparkling and shining. The fountain of milk and honey gently flowing through the rigid paths, into the blue sea and it was a glorious sight. The multitudes struggling in the same path with me saw the same thing. This intensified our struggles and the competition got passionately high. It was a battle of the fittest. We are all heading to the island of gold, to dine and wine in the fountain of milk and honey. We all have the same motivations, the same objectives and we are all driven by the same purpose.
But something happened along the line. Out of nowhere, we all saw men and women of different heights and age. They were 200 in number, which is a fraction of those of us struggling on the narrow path. They were beating their chests hard to the sea. They’ve learnt the act of swimming and this they did, while the rest of us was combating with the same vision and also complaining about the road not wide enough and properly tarred. With the tag on the last man, I realized they were the last 200 men, struggling to get ahead us. They quit struggling and decided to learn the act of swimming and there they were, far ahead of us all. We couldn’t join them. No one could, because we all can’t even swim in a bowl and our time has been vastly invested. We watched as they soared to the top of the island of gold. We watched as they dine and wine in the fountain of milk and honey. Some of us envied them and some quickly turned back to also learn the act of swimming. Some gave up along the line, thinking it was too late for them to start all over again. Some died struggling and only few of us made it to the island days after the 200 has already exploited the place. Yes! We met gold on the island. But just that this time, we had to dig very deep before could find anything. It was no longer shinning and sparkling. It has lost its virginity days ago. The fountain of milk and honey had dried up. All that was left of it was a spring of two holes.
We all started the same time. But the wise ones went ahead. We were too late and now we had to struggle before we can find any treasure.
The gold, milk and honey symbolized fulfillment and accomplishments. The island itself symbolizes the pictures painted in our minds right from our childhood. Thoughts of us not amount to anything without education. And lastly, the narrow path symbolizes education, while the 200 swimmers symbolize those who discovered and utilized their skills. I could remember vividly in my secondary school, when my class teacher will come to us and say: “if you don’t study hard, you all will fail in life. Education is the key.” Each time I hear this, a question always rang in my mind. Which is: “if education is the key, why are most of our teachers poor?” A typical parent will choose education over the skills and talents of their children. They will always tell them: “go to school first and get your degree. Then you can do anything afterwards.” African parents made us believe that without education, we couldn’t stand among our pears or talk where they do. These ideas are wrong and it kills the talents and dreams of an African child. The irony of it all is that men who utilizes their skills, mostly gets ahead.
There are countless ways of getting to the Treasure Island. Education has been overemphasized in our society today and this has become our major problem. Be among the few who avoided the digging and struggling and had enough for themselves and their families. Be among the few who will not be too scared to start all over again. Be among the few who will choose to learn the act of swimming instead of struggling with the multitude.