During my service year in one of the villages in Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta in Nigeria. Those that know the Niger Delta are well aware that it is mainly surrounded by one water body or the other. You can hardly move from one town or village to another without traveling on water. Before traveling for service I tried learning how to swim, I didn’t learn how to be a fish in the water but at least I learnt how to survive..lol.
It wasn’t even up to a week after we left camp that a friendly funny Hausa corper friend I met in camp drowned when the boat he and another corper were in capsized (as you guessed, both didn’t wear their life jackets). May their souls rest in peace. It was this period I learnt a valuable lesson about the importance of one of the key survival techniques ever known to man; swimming.
‘I am in a land locked city/country so I don’t need to learn how to swim’ is the excuse someone will give for not being able to swim. Another excuse could be ‘I don’t like swimming so why do I need to know how to swim’. Please learn how to swim not because its a hobby or because you like it, learn how to swim because it might save your life or someone else’s life one day. Swimming is also a form of exercise, helps with the arms, legs, chest, stomach and various parts of the body.
As a young boy growing up, I was told that to be a man and respected you need to know how to drive, the same way a lady should know how to cook. I don’t necessarily like driving but knew I had to learn it by force by fire. Then one day, I accompanied my dad to take his injections at the hospital and as we were coming back, the drowsy side effects of the drug kicked in affecting his sight. I could not drive back then so I couldn’t take over the wheel but we managed to get home, thankfully the hospital wasn’t far away from the house.
I heard the sad news of an ex classmate from Secondary school friend who died after the car he was driving crashed because he was driving drunk. The surprising part of the story is that according to the source, there were 3 other people in the car but he was the only one that died. Imagine if some of the other people in the car could drive and were sober, they would have stopped him knowing he was drunk and taken over the wheel.
We have become too lazy, too taxi or bus minded that we don’t want to learn how to drive. The excuse people make is that they don’t have a car to learn or a car to practice with and my answer is do you learn how to be husband/wife only when you get married? You learn the principles of marriage now before marriage and practice in marriage. Same with driving, learn how to drive because it’s important and could save a life one day and its fun (makes you feel in charge).
Note: Ladies, driving not only makes you look attractive, gets you respect from both guys and girls.
I started swimming lessons last month in a bid to move from survival type of swimming to Micheal Phelps type of swimming. I employ you to learn how to swim and drive before the end of this year. Don’t put your life (on the road or in the water) into another person’s hands. VERY IMPORTANT