The Head that Wears the Crown
Reaching Heathrow Airport in London was a dream come true for Adesoji Bamidele as his plane reached the landing area and ran through the runway. He remembered the days of reading from the TimeOut website where London's Heathrow Airport was named the tremendous global transport hub. Ever since, he had dreamed of visiting London someday via the world-famous Airport route.
For Adesoji, his journey to London was beyond the thrill of using Heathrow Airport; his parents' dreams of having one of their children on foreign soil were also pegged on his journey.
Hmm!... but is that all it was? (The narrator asked)
The young man was not just the first in his family to travel abroad but also the first child and the first son.
He knew that not only did his parents have high hopes for him but his siblings too, who were looking up to him to make it fast in London and bring them over to join him so they could also make wealth in London. To his people back home in Africa, it seemed as if London was a gold mine where people, especially young men, came to gather their wealth and support the people back home. His success was not only urgent but critical to the well-being of his younger siblings. His parents had sowed farms in the village and some other properties in Lagos State to sponsor his trip abroad. Not only that, but they also made him skip the Nigerians Youth Service Corps so that he could resume early at the University of Derby for his master's program in Leadership in Health and Social Care. A program with a total cost of £14,900 and over 18 million in Nigerian Naira, not including his travel costs and accommodation fees. This was a considerable investment, and he is expected to make returns. He was to run a full-time program for about one year, and of course, he had to secure a job fast enough to secure a more extended stay after his program. That was the plan!
Adesoji shook off his thoughts and went to the baggage reclaim area, where he retrieved his baggage and headed out to the taxi waiting to get him to the school. He stayed with a student who lived near the school until he could secure his apartment.
Life in London was not at all what it was painted to be. Everything was expensive, from accommodation to food, transportation, haircuts, and bills. The available student jobs were not paying much as he couldn't get a full-time job due to his college program. He knew he needed more than a miracle to get his visa extended; his visa would expire soon, and he could only get his stay extended if he got a full-time job or a post-studies visa, which he could not afford.
He was now eight months gone in his program and praying for a miracle. He couldn't afford to return to Africa and dashed his parents' hopes. He knew they had given almost all they had towards his education abroad, and his three siblings (Dayo, Desola, and Deja) were hoping they would join him there to continue their education. Dayo was in his second year at a university in Western Nigeria; Desola had just gained admission into a university in Central Nigeria, while Deja had just gotten into senior high school. That was a lot of responsibility for his parents, and their hopes were pinned on his success in the United Kingdom—Dashing their hopes was not an option.
Three months passed, and he now had just one more month to go. He had completed his practical clinical skills assessment; however, a clinical placement was not part of his program, and only a miracle could afford that.
Lonely, tired, and frustrated—He counted days as though there were months, but nothing seemed to come through for him, so one evening, he went to the church where He worshipped with other students every Sunday, but this time around, he went there alone because it was not a service day. He had taken a stroll from his apartment down the street and just kept wandering (more like he was searching for answers.). Then, he realized he was standing in front of the church. He exhaled (as if a sign of relief from a burden) and went it.
Amidst confusion and tears, he crashed down on his knees and said:
Dear God, Father of all
I come before you today not as though I have any wisdom or power of my own but here because I am empty, tired, and deflated with no one to run to but you—I have heard you perform miracles; can you please do this one thing for me? I will be grateful.
Feeling as though something had left him, Adesoji remained on his knees with his face bowed between his thighs for long hours until he eventually lay on the floor where he had knelt earlier and slept.
'Desoji had been in the church for long hours, and it was the morning of his last Saturday in school. He had one more week to go before his departure to Africa. He was grateful at least that his final month had five weeks instead of four weeks of other regular months.
(Who knows what could happen in this gift of one more week he had left?... (The narrator said thoughtfully).
'Desoji woke up and realized he had fallen asleep in the church. In my shattered state yesterday, what better place could I have slept than this? (He thought), and returned home.
Well, I could as well sightsee one last time before I pack my baggage (He said to himself).
So He went to different spots that he enjoyed visiting and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere. He even asked for help with some pictures from other sightseers.
Then he returned home, had dinner, and slept.
The following day, he began packing his bags and cleaned the house. Based on the agreement, He told the house owner one month ago that he was leaving in the following month. He finished packing on Wednesday, and his flight was booked for Sunday.
I can at least enjoy the last moments I have left here, alone by myself, reflecting on my beautiful stay in this part of the world (He said and laughed faintly).
8:45 a.m. on Thursday, his phone rang.
Reluctant to answer the call, he slid the answer button off his smartphone and said 'hello.'
Then the speaker on the other end of the call said, 'Oh, Mr Adesoji Bamidele, right?
'Yes' (He responded).
Oh! We are calling because we wrote to your college to recommend some talents in your Leadership in Health and Social Care program. We needed some young minds in the leadership team of our healthcare network, and you were listed among the top five. We understand that you are in your last week in Derby, but if you could make time for an online meeting before the close of work today, we would like to chat about our healthcare network and your interest in working with us. We also want you to know that working with us will award you a 5-year work visa to extend your stay in the United Kingdom further. Let us know your response in an email, which will be sent to you shortly after this call. We look forward to receiving your response soon. (The caller said and ended the call).
Dumbfounded and shocked to speak, Adesoji opened his laptop and went to his mailbox. A mail had just come in from the Franchise Healthcare Network, England. He quickly responded and joined the meeting at noon with the link sent in the mail.
The meeting was brief and airy. It felt as if they had already decided on him as one of their preferred candidates. So, within a few hours, he got another email about his work visa process and was asked to send all necessary documents, which He did. His application was completed and submitted based on super-priority, and he got a response before the end of the following day that he had been granted a five-year work visa.
He was to resume the new job orientation and training on Monday and was paid a training allowance just to get comfortable before paying his first salary later in the month. 'Desoji was also refunded with half of the payment for his flight ticket.
'How can I receive all these fearful miracles in one day?' ('Desoji exclaimed and wept for joy).
'It feels as though I am dreaming!' (He said).
The young people in the live conference for Young Healthcare Leaders (YHL) in the world gave a standing ovation and clapped—Dazed at Dr. Adesoji Bamidele as he wrapped up the story he had been telling them for the last hour.
Adesoji Bamidele, now a Ph.D. holder in Healthcare Leadership, has just launched his new book 'The Head That Wears The Crown.' When he wrote about his journey from grass to grace, he was listed as one of the speakers at the World's Young Healthcare Leaders Conference, held in Washington, DC, United States.
Dr Adesoji Bamidele has now become one of the most sought-after speakers in the world. His knowledge extends beyond the field of healthcare to life coaching and faith.
'Desoji's name was now written in the sand of time as one of the legends that walked the earth, and he continues to be a blessing to the world.
What caused the sudden twist in ‘Desoji’s story from frustration to freedom?! (The narrator asked). True heroes aren't born from grace (The narrator said and sighed)