At a college of medicine in a Nigerian university, a doctor walks into a lecture theatre and greets the students, “Assalam Alaykum". The students replied in unison, “Walaykumus salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.” The doctor addresses the class,..“How's everyone? Today is my first day in your class and it is my good fortune to be with you this time. Before I introduce myself to you there's something I want to tell you. If there is anyone whose circumstances do not allow him or her to purchase my textbook, he or she should simply write me a note after class and send it to my office. He or she will be excused from buying the book.” A student asked, “How come sir? All our teachers before now made it clear that those who don’t buy the textbooks will fail that year.” He replied, “That does not apply to me. I am speaking only of my own textbook.” A student laughingly remarks, “In that case sir, everyone is going to claim difficult circumstances and no one will buy the book.” And the doctor replied, also with a laugh, “No problem. I will allow it. This being my first day with you, let me tell you a little story.” And he began..... "Many years ago, there was a roadside mechanic who died of a liver condition. His name was Mr Moses. He had a wife Mrs Victoria who was a petty Garri (cassava flakes) seller in the open sun and rain of a core northern Nigerian market called Yankura, Sabon gari. It was a very poor family. One of their son's name was Oshiorenua. At the market one day, another poor garri seller asked: “How are you, mother of the doctor?” Mrs Victoria: “We thank God oo, the weather looks bad. Seems like it’s going to rain heavily today.” The hours passed, Oshiorenua came to the market. He told his mom, I need 8,500 Naira tomorrow, to buy books, a stethoscope, theatre gown and a white lab coat." Mrs Victoria replied: “Must it be tomorrow?" Oshio replied: “Yes Mummy, that’s what the professors told us.” With no idea how she was going to get this large sum of money, she said: “Ok, you go home and study while I put in a bit of evening work.” Oshio: “But the weather looks bad today, mummy. What are we going to do?" She replied: “It’s OK. God always provides for his own.” Oshio left. After a long day selling in the open market and making a meager sales profit of 400 Naira profit that day, she decided to go home. It was a bit late. There were no buses but many passengers. Not wanting to spend any part of her profit that day, she decided to begin the almost 10 km long trek back home. On her way home she came across an anxious, visibly shaken and well-dressed woman who was calling for help..."madam please help me"
Mrs Vicky turned and stopped...The woman: “Would you please stay by me and take me home? I will pay whatever you ask.” She continued “I have no money with me right now." Mrs Vicky: “What payment are you talking about, ma? As long as God protects you, that is enough. I’m going to take you to your doorstep, and then I don’t need anything else. There is still good in this world, ma!” The woman looked at Mrs Vicky in amazement. The stranded stranger spoke with refined accent: "I was attacked by gangsters who robbed me of my car and my money and threw me out at the place you found me at." Mrs Vicky: “Really? Then let’s go to the police station and file a case.” The woman: “I just need to go home to take my drugs, I am hypertensive and also to check on my family. Then I will go to the police station.” Mrs Vicky: “Never mind the stolen car or anything else. The important thing is that you are Ok. Money comes and money goes.” As they were going along they came across an overloaded taxi and flagged it down. While in the overcrowded taxi, there were argument about the fare between the passengers and the adamant driver. It turned out that they were abandoned in the rain when the taxi in which they were travelling, at exorbitant rates, broke down. Now the cannot pay as much as they earlier bargained. Madam Vicky paid the extra 80 naira when they alighted. The were so thankful and prayed for her. All she jokingly asked them was, “Please it better you pray for my son, Dr Oshiorenua.” They were now left alone in the taxi with with the other well dressed lady who asked her how old her doctor son was. "He is 18 years old. The woman replied: "he looks a bit young to be a doctor.” Mrs Vicky: “Actually, he is not yet a doctor. He is still a first year med student.” The lady replied "Oh I see!" They reached the woman's house. She said: “Please wait for me. I beg of you. I'll just change, take my medication and I want you with me in the police station. I know its late and I am asking for too much. Please." Mrs Vicky thinking of her son, yet said: “No problem. I am waiting.” The woman had barely entered the house when Mrs Vicky heard him screaming... One of the CO gas pipes had sprung a leak into the house. The woman’s house help and two children were lying unconscious from inhaling the gas. They carried them with help of the taxi driver into the taxi cab and rushed off to the hospital. Once there, they were successfully resuscitated and stabilized. The woman: “I owe you my life and the lives of my family. Just a few minutes would have been too late and they would have been…” She put her hand in her expensive designer's handbag and offered Mrs Vicky a very large sum of money… which Mrs Vicky refused! Mrs Vicky: “Madam, I will not accept one kobo. Even if you were not robbed, and this calamity had not befallen your family, I would still not take anything from you.” The woman couldn’t understand: "But why?.... Ya Allah! What a good woman you are! Please, you must tell me your name and address. Even if you refuse to take any compensation, at the very least we are sisters now. Do please tell me your name.” Mrs Vicky: “The honor is all mine.” And she told the rich woman her full names and the slum she lived in without traceable address. The woman: "And your doctor son, what is his name? Oshiorenua, wasn’t it?" Mrs Vicky: “Yes.” The woman: “Now you know where I live, Mrs Vicky. You and your son must come and visit us. We are family.” Mrs Vicky: "By God's grace, we will come to see how your children are doing.” The woman: “I will be waiting for you then we will come to know your home.” It was late when Mrs Vicky got home and told her son of all the night’s happenings. Oshiorenua: “Did you really manage to get only 400 out of the 8,350 Naira, mummy? Why did you refuse the payment from the woman? I might be thrown out of med school tomorrow!” Mrs Victoria: "My son, listen to me. What brought you all the way to medical school and protected you all the way was the good I did to hungry and weak strangers for God’s sake. I know for sure that God will compensate me for it, many times over one day. And then, our lord Jesus CHRIST in the Holy Bible tells us: ‘Whoever hides the fault of others, God will hide his faults on the Day of Judgment. Whoever removes the worldly difficulty of his brother, God will remove his difficulty on the Day of Judgment. And God is at the service of anyone for as long as they are at the service of the weak and the needy." She continued, "Jesus Christ also said, whatever you do to those in need, the neglected, the poor, you are doing it to me". Oshiorenua, knowing that he was going to receive another long sermon if he persist, said "I just fear for tomorrow. I so much want to make you proud by becoming the best doctor I can" Mrs Vicky: "It is all good, my child. Just go to college tomorrow with the 320 Naira balance I have and leave the rest to God" Grudgingly, Oshiorenua said: " I will.” The next day when he was in class, a messenger entered his class and announced his name: “Would Oshiorenua please come to the Dean’s office?” He stood up in consternation and trepidation: “Me?” The messenger: “Please come with me. The Dean wants to see you.” With all sorts of fears and thoughts of what may possibly be wrong rushing through his mind, Oshiorenua went up to the Dean’s office. Thinking...why did the Dean want to see me? Did I do something wrong? My papers? With a heart that was beating almost audibly against his ribs, he entered the Dean’s office. The Dean: “Are you James Oshiorenua King?” Oshiorenua, unsure of himself: “Yes, sir.” The Dean smiled broadly: “And your mother sells garri in Sabon-gari market?” Astonished, Oshiorenua said: “Yes…but how do you know that, ma? Has something happened to my mother?” The Dean: “No, nothing of that sort. But something bad would certainly have happened to my two children and house help, had I not met your wonderful mother last night after my car was stolen.” Oshiorenua: “Then Prof you must be the woman my mother told me about last night?” The Dean smiled: “Yes, that was me. So now you see. I will be waiting for you and your mother to visit us today.” Oshiorenua, extremely excited: “Oh, we will come by God's grace, we will certainly come, Ma!” The Dean offered Oshiorenua profuse thanks. He then asked her permission to rejoin his class. As he was leaving, the Dean called him back. “These are your textbooks, your lab coat, pen touch, sphygmanometer, patella hammer, theatre gown and your stethoscope. Please accept them.” The student modestly tried to refuse these gifts, but the Dean insisted and simply wouldn’t take no for an answer. So he accepted. With the story at the end, the teacher/doctor addressed his students. "Now it is time to introduce myself. I am James Oshiorenua King, ....the son of the garri seller and very poor roadside mechanic. The male students stood up in standing ovation while most of the female students began to cry.