Lessons from my father 9 | Fola Daniel Adelesi, ASM, ACL, WCC

I think one of the greatest decisions my father has ever made was the decision to let me attend Mayflower School, which was owned by Tai and Sheila Solarin. I didn’t really know beforehand why it had to be Mayflower but then I think he began to work on my mind from time to time. At some point I began visiting the school with my father because my sister was in the school at the time and I really wanted to see all those things she told me about that sounded like myths but were very real in a school like Mayflower.
I must say that all the stories presented before me obviously worked some magic because I suddenly began to talk about the school as if I had been there before as a student. When it was time to take the common entrance examination I knew there was no other choice so I went straight to Mayflower School. I was a few days behind other students, I remember, so I needed to settle down in the dormitory quickly and get ready for class work as soon as possible. I was taken to the hostel on a Saturday and my father deliberately came to check me on Sunday and made sure that my sister was always looking after me. By the way, she was in her final year and I was just coming in so she could make sure nobody touched me. She also took care of my uniforms at that time. All I needed to do was to submit my dirty uniform to her school daughter then and a new one would be presented immediately. To make it even easier for me, my dad took me to one of his Ghanaian friends, Mr. Mamma, so that I would have a fatherly figure in the premises. I was allowed to go to him to collect as much as I wanted and my father refunded what I at every next visit.
One would have mistakenly thought that I was okay with all provisions my father and sister had made but I suddenly began to cry that I was leaving. I just wanted my father to change my school. When he came in he insisted he was not going to change my school and he began to tease me. He told me to wipe my tears and stop crying because girls were watching. He also said, ‘when you get to senior classes and you want to woo any of these girls they will just say, are you not the ‘cry cry baby’ that was crying in front of his father?’ I managed to smile about that but he stood his ground. I had no choice but to stay and be indoctrinated. Eventually, the Sunday Community gatherings and everyday speeches by final year students showed me that I had something in me. I discovered myself in Mayflower School, got several platforms to express myself and became the Senior Prefect of the same school that I once requested to leave. When I look back I realize that at the time, there was no other school around that could have helped me the way Mayflower did in the discovery of my purpose. When people watch me present speeches today, those who knew me in Mayflower would not be surprised at all because they know that delivering speeches and listening to them was a part of the culture in Mayflower. As the Senior Prefect in Mayflower School I addressed over 4000 students on daily basis and now I speak on daily basis for a living. When I look back I am forced to say thank you to the father who was wise enough not to allow me leave my training ground because of the hardship I saw.

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