There was no going back. Unemployed for years, evicted from his home and unable to send his kids to school, Mr Olanrewaju could see the solution as clear as day. He was going to end his life and put himself out of his misery. How did this ambitious family man get here? How had he fallen so far?
Earning a living in Nigeria requires an almost superhuman level of grit. Whether you own a business or work for one, everyone has a battle that isn’t commonly spoken about; the struggle that happens on the inside. In a country where uncertainty is the order of the day, not many people understand or even believe that if you keep pushing forward, you can get past the darkest days in your search for a comfortable life. This was a lesson that Mr Olanrewaju had yet to learn and what would almost cost him his life.
Frustrated with the state of things at his 9-5, Mr Shobayo tendered his resignation and turned his back on a company that had drained him of his will to work. At the start of his departure, he was confident that despite the overwhelming job scarcity in Nigeria, he was skilled and experienced enough to land a more rewarding job. That confidence quickly faded as the months rolled by and the joint family finances ran dry. His dwindling confidence turned to uncertainty, his uncertainty turned to fear, and before he knew it, the family man was wracked with desperation. In his desperation, he began to sell anything of value around him. First, he sold his cars and a space bus; the latter was his wife’s designated vehicle for dropping off and picking up the kids from school. Mr Shobayo was no selfish man by any means. Yet as the days passed, he felt the word described him perfectly. His decision to leave a paying job with no substitute robbed him of his purpose, pride, and confidence. He had no idea that it would soon almost rob him of his life. He was still many months away from such an event as he boarded the last passenger onto his space bus. The once-established blue-collar professional had to resort to transporting passengers from Sango to Abeokuta.
Despite his best efforts, things would only get worse for Mr Olanrewaju. What he hoped would last a few months had snowballed into years. It was barely a few minutes past midday when he heard a knock on the door. He trounced towards the door and wondered who it might be at this hour. His heart sank as he saw the faces of his young children. White streaks painted the sides of their faces where tears had run down their cheeks and dried.
“Why are you back from school so early?” he asked, but deep down, he already knew the answer. His children had been sent home because he had not paid their school fees for so long. As he let his embarrassed kids in through the doorway and to their rooms, he questioned if he was truly worthy of calling himself their father. The thoughts of ending what he felt like a miserable existence began to foster themselves firmly in his mind. You might think things couldn’t get any worse for the Shobayo family. However, after two years of unpaid rent, Mr Olanrewaju Shobayo, his wife and his two children were evicted from their home. With nowhere else to go, he had to move in with his mother-in-law. This was the breaking point. This was the moment that the last cable holding up his sanity snapped. This was the event that pushed Mr Olanrewaju over the edge. With a family that loved him despite his shortcomings still alive and well, Mr Olanrewaju attempted suicide. Twice.
To learn about how this fantastic story ends and what triggered a turnaround in Mr Olanrewaju’s life, watch our Youtube video below;