He is not tall. In fact i can reasonably say that height is not his strong point. Before that, let’s do a little introduction. In my almost four years as an undergraduate, i have encountered quite a number of types of individuals in different kinds of administrative positions. By administrative, i mean positions of authority that entail attending to students. Before i bore you, let me narrow this to the matter at hand. I've seen irritable, angry, hot-tempered, short-tempered, quick-tempered, rude, angry and irritable people. I am not trying to impress with language here. I've walked into offices as a green undergraduate seeking help and gotten treatments that brought tears to my eyes, meted out to me by fat women behind desks, who ignored their duties and munched egg-roll or boiled groundnuts, and gossiped about their office colleague who had stepped out to pee. I've been walked out of offices because a lecturer didn't like the fact that i did not immediately understand/hear what he said and asked for clarification. This is to mention a few. I've been yelled at, called names and looked at with murderous stares that would have reduced me to red pulp if looks could kill.
It is my nature to think up explanations for things that happen in life. And, the few times i have thought about this phenomenon, i concluded that it was a natural human response to the stress and routine of continuously attending to students. I figured that anyone, even me, might not react favorably if put under the same conditions as these people. Also, there was the possibility that they were undergoing some really trying conditions in their personal life. Like a child with cancer or a spouse with herpes. Right?
Then, i met him. At the first encounter, i knew there was a difference. He was different! He was calm, cool, nice, cheerful, charming, friendly and pleasant. He is a man that stays in the General office, Computer Science Department, Abuja building, University of Nigeria, Nsukka Campus, Nsukka. Enugu, Nigeria. We have not had that many encounters, but, every time i meet him i am amazed. It never matters if i am doing so to fix a late registration issue, or to make inquiries. His response is always the same; extraordinarily kind. No, make that ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidociously’ kind. Just today i had to do one of the routine things final year students have to do in respect of graduation, which basically involved appending my signature to a sheet of paper. I was running late. I heard/realized this on the same day that was declared as the deadline (after mildly disregarding it when a friend first told me)but could hardly do anything about it because i was baking and the cake was already on fire. I had steeled myself for a barrage of shouts and abuses, on the laziness of students and their blatant disregard for instructions. In fact, i even believed that i deserved it. Well, i go to the man i mentioned above, who is in charge, and the process goes as smoothly as it would have had i been the first to do it. He even joked with me! And, again, I’m amazed. I can’t believe how different he is, how exceedingly patient, how good. It is not every day that i meet people that make such an impression on me. People that defeat my airtight theories about humanity and i thought i would write an article about him. One strange thing that i just realized is: i do not know his name. I know he is probably middle aged, the kindest unassuming man in any position of authority in UNN that i know of. I know that what he lacks in height, he overly makes up for in character.
I know all this; but unlike the way a ‘bad’ person’s name is so common, unlike the way i would go out of my way to find out more about someone i perceive to be exceedingly mean, i haven’t chanced upon or been interested in his name. This man, who has been the epitome of an ideal person (at least to me), since my first year in School; this man that has never stepped out of this role.