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The Diary of Wynne, Mr. Jone’s friend

The Diary of Wynne, Mr. Jone’s friend

September 18th 2007

I grew up with Ikpeadiamkpo (Mr. Jones) in the little village of Itieidung in Ebietland.  We used to go to the stream together to fetch water. We used to jump from the tree trunk into the river together. We used to go to the farm together. We used to play local masquerade together. We ate from the same pot of soup and drank from the same gourd. If I could not be found and you wanted to know where I was, ask Ikpe, as we used to call him and if Ikpe could not be found and you wanted to know where Ikpe was, you asked me. Such was the strength of our friendship.

After graduating from the same primary school, we went off to different secondary schools. I went to a boarding school and Ikpe went to a day secondary school. I was privileged to come from a middle class family. Ikpe came from a relatively humble background. Despite the class differences, our relationship did not suffer in any way. Those of us who went to private boarding schools was because, our parents could afford it. I would have loved to have been in the same secondary school with Ikpe, but because of the fact that his parents could not afford it, I had to go alone. I was happy on the other hand, that Ikpe was going to secondary school as well. We both had dreams and continued dreaming big dreams. Ikpe wanted to become a writer, a well known writer, an author of international acclaim. I wanted to be a musician. This dream of becoming a musician wasn’t well welcomed by my parents. The question they often asked me was “How will you make a living?” To which I will always respond “From my music.”

“Nonsense” my dad would say. “How many successful musicians are there?” He would add.

“You better have a Plan B in case this music plan of yours does not work” He would always conclude.

This led me into taking the sciences in my senior years in secondary school seriously. I wasn’t particularly good academically.   I chose science because I knew I would be able to scrape an easy pass due to the fact the science subjects did not require much writing which I abhorred. It worked out perfectly well for me, solving equations and balancing equations. We both finished our secondary school successfully. Ikpe aced his GCEs. He made seven A1’s while I managed to scrape 5Cs and two Bs.

My father could not watch such a brain waste. He offererd  Ikpe scholarships straight away. Ikpe passed his University Matriculation Exams(UME) with flying colors and got his first choice placement in the university. My dad had to use his own connections to try to get me a placement in the university of my first choice because my UME wasn’t that great. On the one hand, it was a delight to see my friend do well while on the other hand I allowed bitterness to creep into me because he made things a little sour for me at home. My dad kept making references to him. My dad kept comparing me with him. This made me to start having a sense of resentment towards Ikpe but because we were good friends I hid it.

Five years flew past (for a 4 year course) because of the university lecturers’ strike year. It was a common practice to have university lecturers go on strike in Ebietland every academic year. This often distorted academic schedules and added an extra year of study for students. We both graduated. Ikpe graduated with second class honors upper division while I scraped a third class honours. Again, my dad was disappointed at my performance. I had everything any student could wish for at university but because I wasn’t focused, I underperformed. At this point in time after our graduation, Ikpe and I were not as close as we used to be way back. We had drifted apart gradually because when he used to come to our home to spend holidays, my dad trusted him more than he trusted me. He became my dad’s personal assistant. My dad told him stuff more than he told me and my dad found him a lot more responsible than I was. I didn’t like this idea. He was obviously a lot more responsible and accountable. I was heading down hill. The only thing I was skilled at,  was spending my dad’s money recklessly. That was the main reason why dad didn’t trust me and also one of the reasons why I underperformed at uni.

In order to save me and make me more responsible, my dad bundled me off to the United states where I had to start a new life. I paid a heavy price to learn frugality, value and some semblance of direction in life. So, when Ikpe was coming to the States, it was natural that, he would pass by me, spend some time with me before re- calibrating himself.

Deep down me, I couldn’t stand the thought of Ikpe coming to the States. I knew that it would be just a matter of time, Ikpe would be very successful and create a prospering life for himself. I knew he would be more successful than me.

I guess I kinda liked it that, anytime I visited Nigeria,  Ikpe would come to the airport to collect me and I would gift him some T shirts and pants. That used to give me some sort of superiority over him. We would go to the nightclubs together and I would spend the dollars. Again, this give me some level of ego over him. All the ‘losses’ I had sustained before due to his superb skills and abilities, I was able to get back at him now. Anytime I visited home I was treated like a prince and of course because I came in with my own money, I now had access to basically anything I wanted to do in Nigeria without my dad’s limitations or intrusions. My dad couldn’t moan like he used to do before, respect was restored to me. So when Ikpe told me he was visiting, I thought ‘darn!’

I had booked a holiday that was to start a day before Ikpe arrived the States on purpose. I didn’t give him any heads up, I just went on and boarded the plane and traveled to California and left him stranded. I knew that, being a smart guy that he was, he would get his way around and finally settle. I knew I would apologize to him and make up with him. But that  sense of power and being in charge made me feel so good. I felt like, his destiny laid in my hands.

Obviously that was a foolish thing for me to do. We have since made up and we are in the best of terms now. What moved me the most about Ikpe’s narration was the fact that he never for once mentioned I ghosted him. That, truly was remarkable and gave me the impetus to write my story, so that people would know that it is not good to let those things like jealousy, envy, strife take a hold on you. I have since made amends and obviously I am so happy for Ikpe. like I foreknew, Ikpe has made massive progress and has even had to bail me out once or twice when I was stuck in life. That’s how it should be -watching each other’s backs, collaborating and being happy for anybody’s progress.




  1. I know at times parents just want the best for their children, but there’s no harm supporting your children to pursue their dreams. Good read.

  2. What is good about this story is that for once jealousy and envy do not lead to the usually predictable end.wynne and ikpe started well.Certain situations in life that normally brewed envy among people reared their ugly heads that was going to throw a spanner into the relationship of Wynne and Ikpe.But surprisingly Wynne that was going to become the arrowhead of this discord had a change of heart,saw his own shortcomings, admitted them and saved a valuable friendship.Where the story became somewhat disappointing was the fact that it never touched on what experience Wynne had that turned him into a’born again’.This is what would have provided the lesson that every body could take away in how to handle deadly emotions when the other party does not deserve their venom.

  3. The story is really good for the fact that it reveals that jealousy and envy could be overcome and supplying an example in such a story like this as to how it could be overcome makes the story really worthwhile as educative.The personality of some people have become so defective it handicaps their imagination to use the story to help themselves without any lead from the story

  4. This is a good story spiced with ingredients that model the Nigerian/African experience in manner that becomes deeply personal for some readers. The transformation of Wynne’s attitude, particularly towards Ikpe is like the flower in the narration garden through which the moral fragrance of the story is sensed. The transformation however occurs almost abruptly like a sharp bend in an F1 track.

    I very strongly believe that these stories around Mr Jones are extractions from an evolving novel with the potential of getting an Orange prize, Pulitzer prize or Booker prize short list.

    Well done.

  5. This story is inspiring. I had read the first part (and wondered), but it refreshing to know that both parties succeeded in their own rights and the initial seed of envy that germinated due to his parent’s comparison eventually died a natural death.
    I know the father meant well for his sons ( both biological and adopted) by the constant comparisons, but parents of today ought to do better, by finding out what each child can do and then tailor their direction towards achieving that without wounding the heart.

  6. Such an interesting and deep story Sir.
    I have been a proponent to hear Mr. Wynne’s part of the story and I am glad it is finally here. Firstly, I am glad he is fine and I was worried thinking he might have been involved in a terrible mishap or car crash when he ghosted Mr. Jones.
    The story narration and buildup was so genuine and real and it must have taken Mr. Wynne a lot of courage to admit to feelings of jealousy and envy as most persons will rather conceal it and then go behind the scene to sabotage or stultifies one’s effort and although Mr. Wynne took it too far by ghosting Mr. Jones and I hope he is really apologetic now and has turned a new leaf.

    I personally think that envy is ingrained in human psyche and instead of gloating about it when we feel it especially when our friend or peer is doing better, we should channel it as a source of motivation to do better and improve.

    A great story once again!

    Cheers Sir

    • Thanks Elvis. I really like the angle you have brought into this story. I personally think that envy is ingrained in human psyche and instead of gloating about it when we feel it especially when our friend or peer is doing better, we should channel it as a source of motivation to do better and improve.. This is priceless!! Thank you so much for this insight.

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