Literature: The Costly Mistake by Chinelo Ifezulike
The Costly Mistake by Chinelo Ifezulike
The Costly mistake is the story of Daniel’s gradual fall on his journey towards greatness. It was a frightful and pathetic fall that cost him and his friends a lifetime of misery. Daniel hails from a humble, but noble family. His parents were gentle and they worked very hard to give him a sound education and proper upbringing. At Little Stars Nursery and Primary Schools, Oboji, he was a star, highly regarded in academics and morals. He had a group of friends with whom he left the school in flying colours. Three of them were posted to Metropolitan Grammar School. The others are Udoh and Uchenna. Their remaining friends were posted to other Schools.
Daniel did very well in his junior secondary school years at school. In spite of the punishment from the senior students, he and his crop of friends made it their sole duty to excel in both academic and extracurricular activities. He won laurels for himself and the school in various competitions. Daniel, Udoh, Uchenna, and one other boy, Wilson, made up their minds to heed their parents’ advice and focus on their studies. Before they finished with their junior school education they had become worthy ambassadors of their school. Daniel beat them all with the Noma Noddles organized Essay Competition he won for the school. He became an instant celebrant, a source of pride to his parents, principal, teachers, and fellow students.
It was at this time Tony and Stephen chose to enter into his life. Tony was a truant who does not believe in working for success. He lured Daniel into an amorous relationship with Stephenie, a loose daughter from a wealthy home.
Daniel joined Tony and his group to engage in examination malpractices to ensure success. They had a group of teachers who colluded with them to earn extra money. Mr. Jide Ofor was the kingpin. Mr. Offia and Mr. Chiwataly were his partners. They collected huge sums of money from Tony and his friends and gave them good scores or worked answers to examination questions. Even in their final year at school, Daniel, Victor, and Stanley continued to toy with their studies while Udoh, Uchenna Wilson, and some other delighted students studied. When their school certificate result was released those who worked hard came out in flying colours, while Daniel and his accomplices were caught cheating and apprehended.
Daniel and his friends could not make their school certificate. Many of them dropped out of school immediately but Daniel and a few others decided to enroll for GCE in a special centre where they could be helped to pass with good grades that will enable them to gain admission to the University but it did not work out well. The chaos that followed the widespread irregularity at the examination centre led to its cancellation. After several failed attempts to get a secondary school certificate, Daniel decided to learn a trade. He went into the sales of industrial chemicals. As a result of his poor knowledge of business, it collapsed. And because he had no basic qualifications he could not secure a job. He, therefore, turned to the job of a bus conductor.
Uchenna who had graduated as an industrial chemist was cruising away in his Toyota Camry along upper Iwekaen Road when he saw Daniel doing a bus conductor job. Daniel was shocked and embarrassed at the turn of events. Uchenna discovered sadly that Daniel’s accomplice at school was an addict and an armed robber, Stanley became a political thug, ending with one hand amputated after a fierce battle with other thugs.
i. Hardwork and Dedication
ii. Examination Malpractice
iii. Idleness and Laziness
iv. Bad friends and Association
v. Bad parenthood and corrupt teachers
vi. Truancy and violence.
Briefly discuss the characters of:
iii. Mr. Jide Ofor
The costly Mistake by Chinelo Ifezulike.
Reading Assignment: Setting.
The Costly Mistake