So like almost everyone else I heard of some dude that snuck past airport security and into an Arik air-plane for a domestic flight. The Naija FM presenter that broke the news to me also noted that said male was from Benin and ‘Benin no dey carry last’.
I was quite amused, and assumed that this was simply a very determined male that had found a daring way to fly to his desired destination without paying for a ticket – and got caught in the end. I marvelled at the sheer amount of analysis, planning and cunning that the undertaking would have required. Not to mention the level of courage as this person had clearly mastered fear.
Presumably, the security services would be very enraged and thorough with the suspect. He had not only committed crimes, but had made a mockery of their professionalism while at it. A prison term was likely, I thought.
But after that, the fellow’s life could truly kick up. Forget all those endless and generic movie/music star endorsements. Any company brave and bold enough to sign up this guy -despite the potential backlash- to promote them could reap massive waves of positive publicity.
I could almost visualize the magnificent adverts laced with subtle undertones, and prominently featuring Nigeria’s Mr Fearless.
“At XXX industries, we stop at nothing to fly you to your dreams”
“If you can imagine it, CC Bank will make it happen”
“ABD Contractors are the gold standard in private security. No one. No ONE can get through”
“Load 200 credit daily and stand a chance to win your OWN aeroplane! *Wink* “
I might have gotten a little carried away, yes.
Imagine how I felt today, when I saw a picture of Mr Fearless. Frowning. Looking a little irritated at being dragged by the police and disturbed by the press. And only fourteen years old.
PICTURE SHOULD BE INSET HERE
Everything I said about being impressed previously, multiply by two. Daniel Ihekina is my new Nigerian hero. This child genuinely understands the meaning of passion, laying down your life and success at all odds. His goal was misguided but his audacity is undeniable.
We have almost all considered running from home at one point or the other,when we were younger- but we never left. And if we did, not like this. We didn’t dare. It never crossed our infuriated little minds to do it like this. Or we imagined it, but never tried. Never succeeded.
Daniel wanted to leave Nigeria. I doubt that his parents were actually horrible to him, or sufficiently cruel to warrant this but clearly he thought so and did something about it.
As far as I’m concerned, this is a portrait of the true Nigerian spirit.
Fierce. Remarkable. Indomitable. Vastly talented. Endowed. And greatly oppressed by the environment.
Even a 14 year old didn’t think he could survive on his own in his native country. He was brave enough to stay still in a tire compartment as the plane flew – but not enough to stick around in Nigeria when an opportunity for escape seemed to present itself. This should be a sobering thought in the mind of our leaders.
1. I’m glad he was caught and it wasn’t truly a lengthy flight to the USA. That could have been tragic.
2. I’m not suggesting that children should run from home.
3. Laws are there for a reason. Even as you chase your dreams, don’t break the law. If you dislike specific laws, obey them as you ethically try to change them.
4. After all the investigations, the SSS should consider grooming him to join their ranks at a much later date. Nigeria would be a lot safer if our security officials were this committed and dogged in the fight against crime.
The next time you attempt to entertain the thought of giving up on your legitimate dreams?
Please. REMEMBER Daniel. ”