ACHEBE, a diminutive but brilliant lad (13), dreams of becoming a great sprinter and attending a Federal Unity College a few miles away from his hometown (Amasiri), after his primary school. But MR OKECHUKWU, his uncle, who’s a laundryman in Lagos comes home the eve of Achebe’s National Common Entrance Exam, and at his mother’s asking, agrees to travel with him to Lagos.
While in Lagos, Achebe is enrolled in a community high school where he does not only suffer bullying from a senior but is also mocked by a few of his classmates for being the oldest student in the class, and shortest in the school. LOTANNA calls Achebe a short, dimwitted village boy, and when the latter comes top in his class, the former becomes hateful of him and vows to make life insufferable for him. During inter-schools relays, however, Achebe seeks to represent his school but MR. OLATUNJI, the coach, will not choose him given that he’s short and untried.
Yet, Achebe endears himself to his coach by gifting him a souvenir on Saint Valentine’s Day. Because he feels indebted to him, Achebe’s coach tries him out and finds him a good replacement for KELVIN—a senior and a bully— who, alongside his cohorts, has been expelled after being caught by a security guard while steeped in alcohol and making out with other fellow female students. A day to the inter-schools relays, Achebe has a scuffle with Lotanna and this attracts a-two week suspension for both by the school authority. At home, Achebe sits all day and despairs his chances of not going to participate in the relays again.
Through the help of SEGUN, a kind senior, Achebe travels miles away from his suburb on the D-Day and arrives at the venue for the games despite many setbacks. He runs for his school. Although Achebe is neck and neck in the race with competitors from other schools, he emerges the winner and is decorated with many gold medals.
For making his school emerge the winner in the relays, Achebe is celebrated and his initial two weeks’ suspension revoked while Lotanna returns to school at the end of his suspension. Meanwhile, Achebe’s will is rewarded as the commissioner for Youth and Sports chooses him among other sprinters who will represent the country in an international athletic championship game in the United States.
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