Time: At noon on Thursday
Setting: Modern living room furnished with sofas, designed to comfort with elegance and variety of artworks placed at strategic points on walls to reflect great philosophies.
(Scene opens with Uncle Joe sitting in the sofa right centre stage rebuking Alfred who was kneeling down centre stage)
Uncle Joe: Mmtcheww! You children of today think you know it all huh? Study medicine, you ended up in English class. Every business I introduce you to, you fail horribly at it. What at all are you good for?
Uncle Joe: Shut…(Alfred keeps quiet)I’m still talking. You either go back to banking and retail and make meaning out of your life or you look for another family…
Alfred: What! Uncle Joe…You’re such an African Father…
Uncle Joe: Come again (rises to slap him but Alfred blocked him with his right hand. Uncle Joe sits back enthused)…
Alfred: (rudely)For God’s sake, why can’t you just listen to me? Have you for once thought about what my passion or talent is?(Paused for a minute) I love to tell stories. I love to express myself through words to inspire…
Uncle Joe: Can you hear yourself? Stories? To which children? How will you look after yourself writing stories? At this age? At this time? In this Ghana?Will you stop behaving like a child and live up to your name?
Alfred: (aside) God help me…Help me convince him.
Uncle Joe: Is it not a human being I’m talking to?…
Alfred: Sorry (drawing closer to him on his knees)…
Uncle Joe: Mmmmtttchheeew..,Sorry for yourself (Alfred sits on the floor by Uncle Joe’s left foot).
Alfred: (softly) Uncle Joe, you are getting it all wrong…
Uncle Joe: (angrily) Reeaaalllyyy! Enlighten me then Pro,Pro, Pro, Professor.
Alfred: You’ve always told and taught me during my teenage years things that will develop me personally (Uncle Joe nodding his head). Over the years, I have adopted five of these principles as my Keys to build my life with and I need your support.
Uncle Joe: Mmmm…and what could these principles be? I’m listening…
Alfred: God help me..
Uncle Joe: Sorry?
Alfred: Nothing. I was just thinking aloud. The first Key is Stand For What You Believe In (Uncle Joe smiles). I remember you stood before Papa and said “I’m going to live my purpose whether you like it or not. Engineering is my passion: It is what I live for”(Uncle Joe smiles). Uncle, writing is the only thing God placed in my hands at least for now and I don’t want Him to take it away from me. Remember the parable of the talents? (Uncle Joe nods) I don’t want to accept the mentality of being a second place winner and wallow in what people think about who I am. In this life, You are the only rain that can water the seed in you to germinate sometimes so be it.
Uncle Joe: Interesting…
Alfred: The second key you thought me is Letting Go…
Uncle Joe: Letting go?
Alfred: Yes Uncle. I saw how your focus changed your circle of friends positively. The more you get separated to persevere in isolation, the higher your focus for what you wanted to achieve became clearer and that is all I want to do even if it looks like confusion to you now. I know God didn’t make a mistake.
Uncle Joe: Hmm! I didn’t know my words and actions were speaking to you that much (both smiled).
Alfred: They did and they were my inspiration for the very first article I wrote titled, Around the Apex of Circumstances.
Uncle Joe: Aaaah…The one you took the Award for the Best Creative Student? (Alfred nods)I remember that article especially the paragraph that talked about Frustration..
Alfred: (smiling) Great! You still remember the content?
Uncle Joe: (smiles) Have you forgotten who you are talking to?…
Alfred: (laughing) Well, that brings me to my third key which is Failures. I’ve realised that in life you have to lose to gain something of significance. If the purpose for which you are called does not cost you anything then you have to reconsider your plans and actions. It’s just like the expression ” if you are always receiving praise from people, you need to check yourself”. Simply, not every smile or praise you are given is for your good (Uncle Joe nodding and clapping)
Uncle Joe: You’ve hit the nail right on the head..Good, good!
Alfred: Thank you… I clearly remember how you toiled selling sim cards and credits just to make ends meet while in the University simply because your Purpose wasn’t in alignment with Papa’s goals (Uncle Joe nodding his head).
Uncle Joe: I told you that day at my small shop to never give up on your goals because they help you identify your purpose as well. Instead of complaining about a situation, why don’t you just be the change you want to see?
Alfred: Yes, Yes, very true. You also told me how the selling of the cards affected your study thus reflecting in the dwindling of your grades but you never gave up because your simple philosophy in life was “quitters never win and winners never quit“.
Uncle Joe: Hmmm… (both silent for a minute) So (Alfred cuts in)
Alfred: Uncle, Success takes time. These fingers (showing him his two hands)will never be the same which links to my fourth key: Times and Seasons.Our society and the world at large coupled with the huge impact of technology have pushed our mindsets into what I call the Instant Zone. We don’t even know what patience is anymore. We attach desperation to everything we do, say or even think.
Uncle Joe: (sighs heavily)Hmmm…
Alfred: Why? God’s miracles done through Jesus happened in Times and Seasons they were needed so he can communicate intentions or lessons. Our generation today try to live ahead of things we are supposed to enjoy in other seasons. It is always said tomorrow is yesterday waiting to happen because it comes after days, weeks and years of toils, suffering, progressive fruition of skills put to work for the final goal to come out exquisitely. Ecclesiastes…
Uncle Joe: I’m enthused at your expression of wisdom..
Alfred: Thank you Uncle and that brings me to the fifth key which is Favour. It is said that “words bounce back so be careful what you say“. You once told me how you returned one of your customer’s suitcase when he left it in your vendor shop back then. Your honesty earned you his respect and trust. He didn’t only fund the rest of your University fees but trained you in the Civil Engineering field (Uncle Joe smiling). That is what I call Favour; The Favour of God. Sometimes God tests you to see if you are ready for the next step of your Purpose. If he cannot trust you with little, how can He give you the bigger things?
Uncle Joe: Mmmmmm (shaking his head)
Alfred: (softly) He is testing me now to begin my writing which is little so that he can give me the bigger blessing associated with it.
Uncle Joe: (speaks emotionally with tears in his eyes and sighs heavily) Son, I am so sorry. I was so concerned about this economy that I even forgot there is a God who does exceedingly and abundantly more than what we could ask for. Alfred
Alfred: Yes Uncle
Uncle Joe: How much is a laptop now? Can you research about the materials you need to start your writing?
Alfred: (elated) Yes Uncle, Yes, Yes.. Thank you Uncle(both laughing). Together we can achieve more!!
Uncle Joe: Of Course! I think the yam is cooked now.Kindly check it and serve the food(rubbing his right hand on his stomach); Man is hungry! (he exclaimed whiles Alfred jumps towards the kitchen. Uncle Joe smiling, faces the audience)I am the change I want to see. Be one!
By Akua Mawulikplim Sarah Menieso