Oladele Peters, Moses Akale and Toni Adesida were all classmates at the prestigious Federal University of Technology, Minna, where they studied Architecture. They met as pre-degree students, Ola and Moses were 18 years at the time while Tooni was 16, all fresh from college but with one thing in common; a passion for houses.
Ola was the only one who knew from day one that he wanted to study architecture, Toni was more of interior design, but since they did not have the course at the university, she felt the closest to it was Architecture. Moses had no clue.
They had met during their first day on campus and bonded fast although from different parts of the country but from the same western region.
On this fateful day, while they were filling their forms for their course of study after the pre-degree program, Moses brought out a dice from his pocket – one for Estate Management, three for Quantity Survey, and five for Architecture. Those were some of the courses in the School of Environmental Studies. Two, four and six will point me to the School of Science, two for Computer Science, four for Geology and six for he was scratching his head and Ola shouted, “back to your village!”
“Nah,” Tooni joined in cheekily. “We’ll send him to biochemistry or microbiology. He could help with research in the cure for cancer. His gambling dice could help him there.” Tooni brought out a coin and started tossing it up and trying to catch while laughing hysterically.
Tooni and Ola never thought Moses was that serious, until the dice fell on five, and he settled to fill his form. They both were looking at him like he had grown horns out of his ears.
“You serious about this dice thing man?” Ola asked shielding his eyes from the hot scorching sun while trying to look at Moses with disbelief.
“I have used it for every major decision, and it is yet to fail me,” He explained shrugging his shoulders.
“For my senior school leaving certificate, I asked how many A’s. I threw the dice and gave me five. I got five when the result came out.”
“It gave you five for architecture now, maybe the dice just falls on five every time and you know it that’s why you put architecture on five,” Tooni argued.
She challenged him to change the numbers and throw again. He put architecture on one this time, and the dice fell on one.
“Unbelievable!” Exclaimed Ola.
“We should be using this dice more often,” Tooni joked.
“Who would you marry? How many children will you have,” Tooni chanted one of the folklore songs she used to sing as a child while pretending to skip with an imaginary rope.
“Wouldn’t life be so easy if all decisions I made were from the toss of a dice?”
“Should I eat or not?” Tooni laughed so hard she failed to see the look of anger on Moses’ face.
“That’s enough Tooni,” Ola called out nodding at Moses.
“I am out of here,” Moses hissed. You know where to find me when you are all done making fun.”
Tooni ran off to pull him back which did nothing to his 6.2 inches lanky frame.
“I am sorry,” she apologised, stifling the laughter threatening to erupt out of her as she replaced it with a smile that inflicted pains to her cheek muscles.
“You can use your dice for all you want just ignore us when we joke about it,”
Ola nodded at him when he came back. A nod that said it all.
Tooni looked at them both and shook her head.
“I wonder why I am still hanging out with you guys when you start all this your secret code languages.”
“You are better off with us that all the other hungry sharks out there wishing to devour you. We are here to protect you,” said Moses a little smile tugging at his mouth with crinkles around his eyes.
“Let’s fill these forms and get on with our registration,” said Tooni authoritatively, she hated it when they went big brother on her. She had enough of being babied at home. She was a big girl away from home in university and on her own, making all the decisions and able to protect herself. No one will boss her out here.
Thirteen years after, they have remained not only close friends but Partners in Architex Designs. A company they formed and ran together. It was a scary venture for them but after working in other Architecture firms and kept feeling there was something more they could offer. They decided to put money together and set up the firm.
In the early days, they face rejection after rejection that they contemplated shutting down the company. Suddenly, things turned around for them after they designed a house for one of the city’s top Bank Managing Director in Victoria Garden City.
They had only gotten the job because Moses uncle decided to take a chance on them. He gave them the job after much pestering from Moses. He got more than he bargained for as his house became a cynosure on the Island. His friends wanted him to connect them to his Architects.
He was so pleased with their work that he asked them to design the Commercial Bank’s new head office in Victoria Island. From that moment, they have received more contracts than they could handle having to expand from a team of three Architects to twenty, all in the space of two years.
Five years after they started the business, running a small architectural firm raking in billions of dollars across the country and continent. They recently got a bid to be the exclusive architect for a project in London handled by one of the world’s top construction company with head office in Beijing.
Moses despised dice back at college was still being used by him much to their chagrin. However, they had come to accept the place of the dice as the fourth partner in the company but not without Tooni and Ola’s objection.