Fife Ogunde: Promising voyage to freedom (30 Days, 30 Voices)

Fife Ogunde

I have always been good at covering issues so pretending that all was fine was not a problem. That did not change the fact that I was morally bankrupt, visionless and without self-esteem

I have always been regarded by everyone close to me as one ‘filled with potential’  I carried the tag throughout my primary and secondary school as well as my A-level days. Expectations rose with every new academic year to meet with underachievement.

I got into the University with great expectations. My parents genuinely believed I was going to come back with a first-class degree in Law. I also had a strong belief that the period would be the place where I would finally ‘show the world what I was made of’. There was however one problem. My moral uprightness and academic excellence account was in the red and no one knew.

The semesters rolled by. The grades came in. It slowly began to dawn on all that the wait to ‘fulfill potential’ was longer than they thought. I gave myself over to frivolities and became no more than a ‘local champion’ at best. In terms of living right in God’s sight, the report was worse. Church on Sunday though never missed was a mockery compared to how I spent even the rest of the Sunday, not to talk of the week.  I sometimes tried to get priorities straight by will-power, but it was always an epic fail.

By final year, I was an absolute mess. Even my staunchest supporters had again resigned themselves to the familiar underachievement story. All they prayed for was a ‘late surge’ to get a good grade and not make it seem like they wasted money. I have always been good at covering issues so pretending that all was fine was not a problem. That did not change the fact that I was morally bankrupt, visionless and without self-esteem (who goes clubbing every single day of the week severally for crying out loud?)

Then the miraculous happened. By God’s help and action on a last-ditch ‘I believe in you’ speech from the parents, I was assured of a good grade as long as I did not fail any course in my last semester. I was about to ‘celebrate’ the time left foolishly by going all out with the ‘American Pie’ lifestyle when a certain fear of certain issues in my life which I cannot explain here gripped me. It became so great I could not eat (not exaggerating) or read. Nothing I turned to gave me hope and nothing I tried shook it off. I knew, like lost sheep, the good shepherd had to find me or I was doomed.

I called a friend who had only gotten serious with God a few months earlier. On an unforgettable night, every single thing I had heard about Jesus in theory was made real. Words to explain this fail me but it was nothing like I had ever known. Where I was lying all alone and a mess, he said I should forget all that was past, let him in and let him do the rest.

Today, I cannot say I have fulfilled my potential (it’s not like I have won a Nobel Prize). I have nevertheless gained so much more in Him than anything I could have dreamed of. That night was the beginning of what I now know as the best years of my life. I no longer work with ‘my potential’ but ‘God’s plan for me’ which is far more beautiful than I could come up with.

I may not know much but I know this: No one can transform lives like Jesus does. I am a living witness. If you have never known Him, you need to. If you have known him, never let Him go. If you have been achieving things without Him, let Him come and take things to a whole new level.


Oluwafifehan Ogunde is a lawyer,writer and aspiring teacher. He has a passion for impacting the lives of fellow young people to enable a change in the stereotype of laziness,immorality and immaturity associated with youths to enable maximization of God-given abilities. He is a fitness, healthy living and sports enthusiast who loves playing and watching football in his spare time.


30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians to share their stories and experiences with other young Nigerians, within our borders and beyond, to inspire and motivate them.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (2)

  1. Template story for any sinner that was genuinely saved and acknowledges the saving grace of Jesus Christ. similar story lines…

  2. This is my story!! Nice to know I’m not the only one that went through this and YES!! Jesus saved me and I’m alive today, although mine threw me into some real bad depression..but I’ve put my hand in God’s hand and I’m letting him lead me, trust me I’ve never felt this good in my life, the music, the careless life, all that… I’m leaving it all behind cos what I got now is so much better..still in Uni tho but I thank God for saving me on time…..JESUS SAVES PEOPLE may sound corny but you won’t understand it till it happens to you, just let him in and don’t hold back for anything..bye.

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cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail