Day 9 — — Irawo: The Star that shines (I)
Irawo university centre is a private hall of residence I stayed in during my university days. It was home and would forever be home. Before coming in contact with Irawo, I never understood the concept of forming bonds outside of relatives. Irawo became family without doing anything extra ordinary. I like to think that without Irawo, I wouldn’t have made it through school. She provided that warmth and comfort necessary for success. She did this by providing cultural, spiritual and human formation.
My work has me dining with top corporate executives and not once have I felt out of place. Though it is true that I give the gratitude of my primary formation to my immediate family, Irawo nurtured and sharpened my concepts. It was a house of diversity with people from all ends of the world across age groups and in diverse professional disciplines. Without being extra, we were able to coexist and learn from each other.
God bless the catering for taking good care of us. Having left Irawo, I realize how expensive it is to maintain the same level of comfort that was provided for us. We were fed like royalty, every meal was a hit back to back. Our rooms were cleaned everyday and sheets/towels changed weekly. Our laundry was taken care of with so much love, socks and underwear washed and lovingly ironed. All you had to do was pick and wear. In my 5 years of being there, not once did the shower not run or heater not work. In Irawo, you get to see that things can work in Nigeria.
Everyday, at about 9pm, we gathered to gist and exchange stories for 30 minutes about how our day went. In these gatherings, you perfect the art of communication, sarcasm, jab throwing, jab accepting etc. Every birthday was celebrated, every event in our individual lives was celebrated. We mourned together and rejoiced together. We remain eternally grateful to the men and women who made this a reality some 50 years ago. We thank God for their faithfulness and continued service. We hope that sometime, in the very near future, we would be able to pay forward in our little way.
To those who are currently in Irawo, appreciate the selfless service. Do your bit in making it pleasant, squeeze all you can from this fountain of goodness and when you leave, never forget the road that leads you home.