60-year-old Adalabu Seribor in uniform
*Says I perpetually feel the pain of being illiterate
- *Adds I do menial jobs for a living
By Chancel Sunday
BOMADI — “I DECIDED to go to school at this age because I perpetually feel the pain of being an illiterate in this modern world where everything has to do with English and education. I also do not want a situation whereby someone else would interprete or write for me if eventually I am chosen to hold an office in my community,” says 60 year old Adalabu Seribor.
The JSS II student of Izon College, Bomadi- Overside in Bomadi Local Government Area, Delta State, who lost his mother at a tender age said though he was privileged to attend elementary school like some of his peers when he was taken to Ekeremor community in Bayelsa to stay with a relation, he however dropped out when he chose to return back to Bomadi due to the strict regime of his benefactor, a magistrate.
This is a true life story of a man, who believes that anything is possible with determination. Adalabu Seribor, fondly called Oyibo by his community folks told Niger Delta Voice the reasons for his return to school at old age, a decision that has kept many people wondering what he wanted to achieve in school at such age.
Why I returned to school
Narrating his life story, he said: “I am sixty years now and the reason why I decided to go to school at this age is because I perpetually feel the pain of being an illiterate in this modern world where everything has to do with English and education. My mother died during childbirth when I was a little boy, while my father was a hunter. I was raised by a grandmother after the death of my mother and later taken to a step-mother when my father remarried.
“I went through discomfort and hardship from my tender age to adulthood. It would interest you to know that I was so tender at the time my mother died that I was crying for food while she laid dead. I went through struggles all through my life. I was opportune to go to school at my young age, when a relative, who was a magistrate at Ekeremor in Bayelsa State, took me to his house, but because of early morning beatings due to my failure to greet him when rising from bed, I fled back to my father. I had no opportunity to go to school since then, and continued doing menial jobs to survive, which I am still doing.”
On his decision to return to school at his old age, he said “I realized that without education one cannot do well in this present society. I also do not want a situation whereby someone else would interprete or write for me if eventually I am chosen to hold an office in my community.”
Makes a living pushing wheelbarrow
Seribor, who also explained how he managed to combine his studies and work, “I am a truck-pusher. After school hours, I go back home to look for work to do, which I have been doing to earn a living. I pay my school fees from there. I am determined to complete my education because of the pains in my heart. Have come to realise that one cannot do well without education in this society. I do all type of menial jobs for a living: I pack dirt from gutters, I pack sand, clear grasses in people’s compounds and pack soak away faeces in the dead of the night. I am a JSS II student and by the grace of God I will finish from this school.”
When asked what he planned to do in future after school, Seribor said: “When am through with my education here, I will proceed to Teacher Training College because I want to become a teacher. I want to teach and I advised young boys and girls wasting their time and years roaming the streets to go to school. If I can go to school at my age, then why are young people wasting their time and opportunity to acquire education?”
Mr. Christian Agu, a business mogul in the cosmopolitan community, described Seribor’s decision to acquire education at old age as unprecedented and historic.
He said: “I never believed that somebody of this age will ever dream of going to secondary school, it is quite amazing. I know him and I sometimes call him to work for me. But I never knew he had this determination. I want to counsel young people, who have the opportunity to go to school to emulate him.”
Also, his class teacher, Mr. Edesemi Anesah, said: “my encouragement to him is that he should hold unto his determination. He is the oldest student in the school and my advice to young people out there is to emulate him.”