Jackson, the Wonder Boy

by Daniel Dela Dunoo

          Meet Jackson, aged ten,who hails from Adenta in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. He earned the nickname, the wonder boy because of his exceptionally good intellectual capabilities. This is a beautiful story; the story about Jackson the wonder boy.

            Little Jackson lives with his parents at Adenta, a town in the Adentan Municipality of the greater Accra region of Ghana. Ten years ago, he was born to Mr. and Mrs. Nortey in a prestigious clinic in the same locality. Jackson happens to be an only child of his affectionate parents who brought him forth twenty years into their marriage. Jackson was indeed a miracle child.

            Since the marriage of Mr. Kelvin Nortey and Mrs. Freda Nortey, they had longed for a child they could call their own. They did everything they knew to do but all to no avail. They sought for medical attention from Doctor to Doctor and conducted several tests but all these left them frustrated and disappointed. Surprisingly, there simply was no medical reason why Freda could not pick seed. Nothing suggested impotency or barrenness on the part of the couple.

            Mr. and Mrs. Nortey were careful to follow the advice of Doctors and dieticians to the letter but their state remained the same. They also sought for spiritual assistance; they sought prayer from one pastor to the other. As devout Christians, it was not uncommon to hear them pray for God`s miraculous intervention in their circumstance during their daily morning devotional sessions. Be that as it may, they were no strangers to heartache and desperation. The good thing, however, was that they kept their faith in God and remained steadfast in prayer.

            On this particular morning, Freda began to complain about feeling feverish and weak. Well, Freda and Kelvin initially presumed Freda was perhaps catching malaria. Kelvin made his way to a nearby drug store to purchase a malaria drug for his dear wife. Freda thus began a malaria treatment. The symptoms however persisted for days until Kelvin had to escort her to a nearby clinic. It was at the Clinic, that is, after some tests were conducted that Mr. and Mrs. Nortey received perhaps the most pleasantly memorable news of their lives. Dr. Theophilus broke the silence with the news, Mr. and Mrs. Nortey, it is my pleasure to announce to you that you are expecting. Expecting what? asked Mr. Nortey. Expecting a baby! Pregnancy tests conducted show Freda is pregnant. Great was their joy as they shed tears and audibly expressed their heartfelt gratitude to God for answering prayer.

            The news of the apparent pregnancy was refreshing and heartwarming but little did Mr. and Mrs. Nortey know that the period prior to delivery will be characterized by a lot of heart ache and ill health. Freda`s pregnancy turned out to precarious. She frequented hospitals and clinic because frequent ill health which doctors associated with her pregnancy. Hardly a week went by without noticing Freda battle with health issues such as fatigue, swollen feet, stomach aches, feverishness and many other symptoms. It was feared that if care was not taken, Freda might lose her unborn baby. Their fears got pronounced when seven months into Freda`s pregnancy; she was at the brink of miscarriage. One particular night, Freda was suddenly awakened from sleep feeling a sharp pain in her abdomen. She began to groan, holding on tightly to her abdomen area while still on bed. She felt a water-like substance on certain parts of her legs. She quickly flicked on the light in the room and to her shock; she discovered she had been bleeding. She screamedhysterically. His husband who was asleep until then, jumped out of bed. Beholding the bizarre sight, he rushed her wife in his vehicle to a nearby clinic. Her case was treated as an emergency.

            A Doctor attended to her at the clinic with zest and a sense of urgency. Mr. Nortey paced the corridors of the clinic in a state of fear and anxiety. No one could calm him down. Mr. Nortey shouted, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you dear Lord when he the Doctor in attendance informed him that both mother and unborn baby had pulled through. Apparently, there was no miscarriage; the diligence, commitment and competence of the Doctor and his supporting staff saved the day.

            Freda was however, admitted to the clinic and had to spend one week under medical observation and supervision. In the ninth month of Freda`s pregnancy, Jackson made his grand entry into the world. He looked so cute, delicate and pleasant to behold. He was the pride of his parents and the object of their lovefrom the very day he was born. More accurately, he was dearly loved evenprior to his being born while in his mother`s womb.

            Jackson was a cheerful, playful and very pleasant baby. Growing up, his parents continually showered him with gifts. Baby Jackson learnt to walk when he was only nine months old, much to the surprise of his parents and their neighbours. He will walk around rather than sit quietly. He seemed to enjoy the freedom that came from his ability to walk.

            By the second birthday of little Jackson, he could speak quite clearly though not fluently in both English and Ga. He was enrolled in school shortly after. Jackson was an extremely bright and intelligent kid. Learning to read in English at such a tender age came so easily and naturally to Jackson. He soon fell in love with story books. His parents, noticing his passion for reading, established a personal home library for Jackson, stocking it with lots of books, story books inclusive.

            While Jackson`s peers were busy playing and whiling away time, little Jackson would spend long periods reading a book after the other. He read children`s classics such as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Jack and the magic beans, and Sleeping beauty amongst others. By age five, he had read over a hundred books and still counting. It is not surprising that his teachers soon began to notice his extraordinary intellectual capabilities.

            His teachers and colleague pupils were continually amazed at his academic performance. He seemed to have a photographic memory; he could, with little effort, remember verbatim much of what he read and was taught. Jackson entered primary one when he was only four years old. At one point, the teachers in his school met with the headmaster to deliberate about the possibility of promoting little Jackson. Jackson`s class teacher stated amongst other things; Jackson is simply too brilliant for his age. His knowledge base far exceeds that of his classmates. He is a genius and we will be doing him a disservice if we retain him in primary one. I propose that Jackson is promoted. The head teacher agreed. Indeed it was a unanimous decision reached by all the teachers present to promote Jackson right from primary one to primary three. Jackson`s parents were subsequently notified and consented without much difficulty to the head teacher`s decision to have their four-year old son promoted. Jackson`s parents were fully aware of their son`s superior mental abilities. Little wonder they agreed to his promotion.

             Surprisingly, just one term into Jackson`s schooling in primary three, it became obvious he needed to be promoted further, his age notwithstanding. Well, Jackson was promoted again and this time to primary six. This seemed ridiculous, especially to many who were unaware of the remarkable intelligence of this little kid. A four-year old boy in primary six seemed to be unheard of. Little Jackson excelled in primary six to the astonishment of both teachers and pupils.

            Some teachers sometimes had a hard time answering some of the questions that were thrown at them by Jackson during teaching sessions. They somehow managed to cope. By this time, Jackson had earned for himself many names. Some called him little professor, while others called him the whiz kid. There were others who called him Albert Einstein and some others called him the genius. Most however frequently called him Jackson the Wonder Boy.

            By age nine, through a series of promotions,Jackson was already in his final year at Presbyterian Boys Senior High School (PRESEC), located at Legon in the Greater Accra region where he continued to excel above his class mates who were far older than he was and was at this point preparing for his final exams.

            As a little boy, he was bullied a few times by colleague students. However, many loved him and shielded him from bullies in the school. Jackson`s teachers were perhaps his strongest fans. They simply loved this cute looking genius. Jackson never ceased to make his parents proud. He received many awards whiles a student. It was common to see and hear Jackson teach the entire class when no teacher was present. There were also occasions teachers called on him to explain some concepts to his classmates and he was never a disappointment.

            Jackson maintained his lead; no student, however intelligent was ever able to perform better than Jackson throughout his three years in the senior high school. It was always a foregone conclusion that Presbyterian Boys Senior High School would come up tops whenever Jackson was part of the school`s panel in their participation in inter-schools competitions such as the famous Brilliant Science and Maths Quiz.

            Barely two weeks to the final examinations (West African Senior Secondary Certificate Exams), Jackson fell sick and was admitted at the hospital. His parents, teachers and classmates were visibly worried and concerned about the fate of their beloved Jackson.Somehow, just a week later, Jackson began to respond to treatment. His condition of health which had deteriorated began to improve. Fortunately,Jackson was discharged from the hospital two days prior to the examinations; he had recovered from an extreme case of cholera, the disease that had kept him hospitalized for days. Jackson sat for all his papers, to the delight of all who loved and cherished the wonder boy.

            Owing to Jackson`s ill-health, his parents and teachers were concerned he might not do too well in the examinations. A pleasant surprise awaited them. A few months down the line, the results for the examinations were released. Surprisingly, not only had Jackson out performed his classmates but was adjudged the best student in the entire country for that particular year. Consequently, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a degree programme in Computer Science in the reputable Harvard University, United States of America.

            Jackson`s performance brought a great deal of fame and goodwill to his former school, Presbyterian Boys Senior High School. Jackson`s parents and teachers were proud of little Jackson. However, a dilemma existed.Jackson`s parents wondered how they could allow their little son to school far away in the United States, knowing pretty well their son was not even a teenager and thus obviously needed their presence. Upon further reflections and discussions, they decided to sell much of their assets so that they could raise some money to relocate with Jackson to the United States.

            A few months later, Jackson and his parents had successfully travelled to the United States where they had been privileged to be offered a ten year legal stay. Jackson was soon enrolled at Harvard University but lived with his parents in a neighborhood close by. He commuted to campus on a regular basis and his parents were able to keep an eye on him.

            Jackson soon made many friends on campus. Some were drawn to him by sheer curiosity while others took a genuine interest in him. Both lecturers and students were surprised to see such a kid, and more so, one from an African country pursuing a degree programme in such a reputable university. They were more surprised when in the course of time, little Jackson was coping well with his studies. Much more than that, he was ahead of his classmates. None could match this little boy`s level of intelligence. His lecturers naturally became fond of him. Soon, Jackson was the talk of campus. However, he managed to keep his cool. By this time, of course, he had become accustomed to receiving attention from both teachers and students alike.

            While Jackson was doing well in school, his parents were working hard at low paying jobs to foot the bills and take care of home. This saddened Jackson and was a constant source of worry to him. He knew too well that if it had not been because of his education, his parents would not have abandoned their lucrative jobs in Ghana for menial and low paying jobs abroad.

            Jackson soon came up with a brilliant idea. He would research on how computer games are created and create a collection of thirty high class computer games that he would eventually sell to make money for his parents. He discussed this fascinating idea with his parents and they were more than willing to encourage their son to pursue this dream. However, they made sure to also encourage their son not to neglect his studies. Mum and Dad were sure their son could pull off this feat; they had raised a son who was nothing short of a genius.

            Jackson threw himself into hisdream of creating a collection of games. It was not uncommon to see Jackson spend literally hours in the school library and behind his laptop. Initially, progress was slow but with time, he began to move at a faster pace. It was his intention to complete this project before he turned eleven.

            Jackson was so excited about this project that he began to tell some of his friends what he was doing. Of course, some doubted whether he could succeed in this venture. A few believed he could pull it off; two of those were Kelvin and Nick who were rascals and truants. They soon devised a plan to steal Jackson`s collection of Computer games and to sell it to a reputable company, TechGames Limited. They pretended to like Jackson and drew closer to him as time went by. Their intention was to get a continual flow of information from Jackson about the progress of his work.

            Jackson kept working tirelessly on his collection of games until he was finally through. Excited, he told Kelvin and Nick about it. He went ahead to show them his collection of games on his laptop. Jackson intended to break the news to his parents the next morning.

            While Jackson slept in his room that night, Kelvin and Nick sneaked into their house and into Jackson`s room. They had master keys with which they opened the doors leading to Jackson`s room. They took Jackson`s laptop and made away with it.

            When Jackson woke up the following morning, the first thing he did after saying his prayers was to go for his laptop which he had placed on his desk prior to going to bed. He had planned to break the good news to his parents, show them his collection of games and hand it over to them to be sold. Jackson was heart-broken when he could not find his laptop. He searched and searched his room but could not find it. He eventually could not hold back his tears when it dawned on him that several months of his labour had been stolen; he broke down crying. Jackson`s parents rushed into his room; they had heard him crying. They calmed him down and asked, Son, why were you crying?. Jackson replied, Someone stole my laptop; someone stole my collection of games while I slept last night. His parents were surprised that could happen. They hugged their little son and tried to empathize with him. Suddenly, Jackson remembered. He had stored his collection of games on his hard drive. Moreover, he had designed software for his laptop and mobile phone which could track the whereabouts of both gadgets as long as he had one of them. The only thing necessary to activate this tracking system was for one to attempt to use either of them.

            Jackson headed for his hard drive, connecting it to his fatherscomputer; they saw the collection of games. How glad they were. Jackson told his parents about the tracking software he had designed and how it worked. All they needed to do was waiting until Jackson received a signal on his phone. They quickly lodged a complaint with the police.

            Kelvin and Nick were at their hideout, an abandoned building in the woods. They were excited to have stolen Jackson`s laptop. They said to each other, We will register and sell the collection of games and the laptop. We are rich! Yes, we are rich!. They had no idea Jackson had installed tracking software into his laptop. The very moment they booted the laptop, Jackson received a signal on his phone which showed him by diagrams and names exactly where the laptop was. The police were notified who soon caught up with Kelvin and Nick. They tried to escape but it was too late. They police arrested them and recovered the laptop.

            Once again, Jackson`s parents were proud of the wonder boy who happened to be their son. Jackson and his parents were excited. Once they received the laptop from the police, they began the processes of registering and marketing the collection of games. In the space of about a month, they successfully sold the collection of games with all its rights to TechGames Limited. They received a total of ten million dollars from the company that purchased Jackson`s work.

            Jackson`s parents invested the money into establishing a restaurant and named it after their son, Jackson Wonder Restaurant. Jackson had always made his parents proud, this time they made him proud. Jackson will turn eleven two weeks from now. He has high aspirations. He dreams of becoming a professor and a notable inventor by the time he turns eighteen.

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