While in the bedroom last week, at about 5pm, there was a knock on the door, it was my son Ashur. He came to seek permission to go to the field to play football. In the past, he would play in the street right at the fringe of our residence, and I would warn him to be vigilant, as those unruly boys could take advantage of his naivety. Hence, I figured this time, he wanted to keep me in the loop, the permission was granted expressly.

But then, almost immediately, there was another knock. I raised my head, “but Dad, my rubber Soccer Boot hasn’t been fixed yet”. I suggested that he used his Trainers. “But Dad, it has no grip like a Soccer Boot”. I knew exactly where he was heading.

Seated on my shoe rack was a soccer boot which I purchased three years ago, during the Men’s Fellowship Match and have used it only once ever since. His eyes have been on the boot over these years, and fits and all, my wife had been his mouth piece to convince me to releasing it but I had doubted its safety under his custody.

However, given that he wanted to go afield, I wanted him to look as smart as any good Dad would wish his kid. On my way out that evening, I stopped by the field to behold my boy; a beautiful sight indeed; like a typical professional sweating on the sidelines with other kids.

On returning home, two hours later, he told the drama that unfolded. He didn’t last in the game; he played for about ten minutes only. It was not long after the game started that he was substituted by someone Ashur knew full well was better. He knew the coach’s decision to feature him was influenced by his outfit, however, after the third touch, my boy heard someone behind him yelled, “a cire mana wannan yaro” – meaning, “pls, take this boy off the pitch”. Obviously, they discovered his outfit had killed tens of thousands but his skills only killed a thousand.  

Before now, he had told me how back in school, his inability to perform in the pitch relegated him to the goalpost as a goalkeeper. Even at that, on many occasions, he would use his foot when the use of hands or a dive could have saved the day. It appears my son loved the game of football but the game didn’t like him as much. However, that doesn’t mean my son is no good at all; he is a very talented drummer from childhood, and now at 13, can play a number of keys on the keyboard. Therefore make effort to discover your forte in life. In short, discover yourself!

I have two takeaways here:

1. Dressing:

Learn to dress well, for you may not have the opportunity to make a second impression. Some years ago, in partnership with one of our NGO International Donors, we completed the renovation of a three block of classrooms in one of our communities. We had invited some stakeholders for the Commissioning. On the D-day however, only a few turned up, the key individual to cut the ribbon was not among. On sighting a lady well dressed; expensive wrapper, good headgear and veil, we assumed that was the representative of the VIP. Surprisingly, on approaching her, she could not speak English. Later, we learnt that she was merely a women leader in the small community.

Good dress does mislead sometimes, but more often than not, it attracts favour especially during job interviews.  Never compromise your outfit!

You can read more on personal discovery and other related articles on my site; or get a copy of my book: “Handling Teenagehood” on saler: