As my phone rang, I looked up at my branded Chelsea wall clock with heavy resent and the time was 1:00am. Staying awake till the early hours of the morning was a normal ritual because that's the time for more creative juice to flow. I was typing away on my Hewlett Packard laptop at my reading table and when the phone rang, I reluctantly threw a gaze at the screen and the caller's name was boldly displayed in Times New Roman font, "Eze Umuasa" (King of Ladies).
Mark my friend earned the name because of his expertise in sweet talking any lady he fancied and having her under his sheets in no time. I resented him for that, but sometimes wished I had his charm. When I finally picked up the call, his voice was rather perplexed and cold. Without waiting for me to hail him as usual, he coldly announced.
"Beck...Martin...I am confused."
I took a long hiss and after three seconds, I asked if he had impregnated any lady or contacted HIV. Luckily, he was clean and planned on visiting a new catch by the weekend. "So what's the source of your confusion?" Mark knew I stayed awake till early morning so he never gave a damn whether I am awake or not. I have very poor skills in asking a lady out and he attributed it heavily to my Secondary school training by the missionaries. I was only afraid of my weak pocket and the fear of being asked to finance a contract of Peruvian or Brazilian hair.
"MBN, you know I love modelling and mass communications. I fancy writing and speaking as well. Last month, I fell in love with business because my mum allowed me to manage her supermarket for two days and mehn...I loved it."
"Did you steal her money to give that over bleached fair-skinned girlfriend of yours?" I cut him in. He said no and moved on quickly. I knew he was lying but I didn't care. I enjoyed from the spoils most times.
"But my problem now is that I don't know which career line to follow; modelling, presenting, business, writing, etc. I need your help".
We both kept quiet for about five seconds and when I was able to comprehend what he just said, I replied in a sarcastic manner.
"So Mark, you stopped me from what I was doing by 1:00am in the morning to announce to me that you are confused? Do I look like your therapist? And by the way, are you calling me on a free night call or something?"
The last time I was on a free night call was in late 2011. I met my girlfriend early that year and we were still drunk in love so we salvaged any little opportunity we got to tell ourselves sweet nothings. At some point in 2014, she demanded I write a written love letter with my awful handwriting and send to her. I was nearly in tears as I begged her to exempt me from the punishment and promised to make up with a 3-star dinner at any hotel of her choice in Awka. She never gave in. So I ended up tearing up the middle of 40 leaves exercise book and positioning my leo-smart blue pen, I started my painful journey; 'Ditto, I pick my pen from the garden of love and the basket of romance...'. Don't worry I survived the onslaught.
"Beck, this is not a free call and I am serious. Please get talking before I snap out of my mood."
"Bia guy, you dey watch mojo again?" Mark has a special collection of it and he is proud of it.
"Mba nu (No naw). This is a serious convo MBN. What will I do? My parents are on my neck and I need to decide. And if I don't, my dad will send me to his friends up north. Please."
After hesitating and extracting a promise to send me a #750 recharge card the next day, we settled to business and he was comfortable that we are enjoying his airtime. Within the next 15 minutes, I briefed him on "Focused diversity." I told him about the video talk of Emilie Wapnick and how she was able to inspire thousands of people around the world to be experts in many fields. Repeatedly I yelled at him.
"You can be all you want if you are focused in all of them."
The perfect way to achieve that is to take it one after another. If you love presenting and it is the first on your scale of preference, go for it and give it your best shot. While on it, you can develop or improve on your writing skills by writing new programmes or improving on already existing ones. For whatever its worth, you don't have to suspend your passion or talent simply because you feel you can't measure up in all of them. When you are focused in your diversity, you can achieve so much both for yourself, your immediate society and the world. Leonardo Da Vinci was popularly known as an artist but he majored in several other fields and excelled in all of them. In the 21st century, the world needs one individual who is able to multi-task and still come out with the best results. With advancements in technology and society, you can achieve that.
"Thank you so very much Beck. I think I know what to answer my parents by tomorrow morning. As for that #750 recharge card, gehrarah here mehn." He hung the phone at exactly 1:25am and I was fulfilled he will make a good decision for his life.
We have no reason to relent or give excuses why we can't achieve our dreams or become that which we want. Be focused, open and diversified. The opportunity may not be available now but it will still come. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be bold, you will win.
Till we get to the Promised Land, I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.