My parents gave birth to my eldest and my elder brother before they gave birth to me. While she was pregnant with me, she was convinced that I was a girl. She was so convinced that she bought female baby clothes. Why was she so convinced that I was a girl? I am glad you asked! As at the time I was born, I do not think ultrasound to determine the sex of a baby in the womb has been discovered yet. If it has, then it was not common in Nigeria then. According to my mum, I was so quiet in her womb. I did not kick and disturb her like her first two sons. So she was sure that the baby in her womb was a girl. However, I came out as a boy. So she gave out all the female things she bought for me to those close to her and went to buy male things for me, and that is how my life started.
After my birth, my mom said that my eldest brother was asking too many intelligent questions. She took it as a challenge and decided to further her education. That was how she went to college. According to her," a woman with such an intelligent child cannot be illiterate." When she went back to college, she took us to the village to live with my grandparents. At a tender age, I was staying with my grandparents and my aunties and uncles in our village. While I was there, I was too young to go to school, but my elder one was old enough to go to school. As the practice was in Africa then, the test to know if you are old enough to go to school was to put your hands over your head. If it touches your ear at the other end of your head, then you are old enough to go to school. If not, you cannot go to school because you are not good enough. That is how the test was for you to be considered to be of age to go to school.
so the test was performed on me, and indeed I failed it. My elder brother passed the test, and he was sent to school. Every day, He will go to school, but I will be asked to stay back home. In any case, they were talking to themselves, not me. I will cry and wail and shout at the top of my voice. I will roll on the floor and cause much commotion in the whole house. Why was I crying? Because I wanted to go to school! Even though I was not good enough and generally in an African setting then, when a child is crying, you either do two things, beat the child the more and ask them to keep quiet and close their mouth with their hands or give them something the like to 'bribe' them to stop crying. However, no one ever beats me to make me stop because what I was crying for was legit (you beat a child to stop crying when what they are asking for is detrimental to their wellbeing). My action was ironic because most children my age do not want to go to school, and they cry daily when asked to go to school, and their parents would give them money or biscuit or anything the like to make them change their minds but not for me. I was crying to go and not to stay home. Giving me something I like was also not working. I would not accept anything they gave me to make me change my mind. None of the tactics they tried was going to work for me. I will cry and make a hail of noise all day long. This action of mine continued throughout the whole semester, and those at home, my grandma, my uncles, and my aunties, could not bear it anymore. All I wanted was to go to school. Was it too much to ask? Is it a bad thing to want to go to school? So what would they do? When they saw that I kept crying all semester long and was not showing any sign of relenting, my auntie came up with a plan.
My auntie spoke which one of the teachers in the school asking her to allow me to stay in her class even though I was not registered as a student. The teacher was told that I was crying nonstop, so she agreed. When that arrangement went through, then they could breathe a sigh of relief in that house. There was relative peace because I stopped crying. I was always happy to go to school, so they sowed the uniform for Me and gave me a slate to write on. So I started going to school, but I was not a student, but who cares about being a registered student? As far as I was in school, I was happy and stopped crying, and they were happy too because there was now peace at home and everyone was happy. It was a win-win situation for everyone. Therefore, at the end of that semester, since I was not a student, my auntie went and bought a report card for me. She gave me the report card and told me that I passed to make me feel as a registered student. I do not know why they went through all those stress. I was not crying for a report card. I was crying to go to school. Well, maybe they figured out that is I do not have a report card like everyone else, and then they are in trouble again. Who can blame them after the unsolicited trouble I took them through? It was only wise to do the needful. I was told that I passed, and I do not know if I understood what that meant.
What is important to me was that I was going to school. I was fulfilled, and I was happy. The next semester I was registered, I became a bonafide student of the school, and I passed. That was how my journey in academia started. I kept moving from one class to the other, and the rest is history. From time to time, I will speak of my experiences at every other level, but this is how I started the journey that has lasted and seen me through to this level. I graduated with a first-class from the University of Benin. I have 3 masters, one in French from the University of Benin, the second in Linguistics from the University of Rouen in France, and the third in Theology from the Redeemers Bible College. I was the best graduating master's student in my class. I won the best lecturer in the faculty of Arts at the University of Benin in 2013, the President of the year award, and the Who is who in American Universities in 2020 at the University of Mississippi, USA.
The purpose of telling the story
Where am I telling this story? Because I know someone is reading this article that may have had a passion for something legit, but maybe your parents did not allow you to pursue it. They made you go to school to read a professional course. It is not too late to face your passion there in your fulfillment lies. There may be someone reading this article, and your child may be crying for something legit do not discourage them just because you think they should do something else to maintain the 'pride' of the family or because that is not what you want from them. That thing you are discouraging them from doing might be what God put in them to do here on earth. Finally, there may be some who are yet to have up springs be vigilant of their legit passions and see how you can guide them to excel in it, and you will be surprised how far they can go. In my next post, I am going to be talking about how I ended up doing linguistics.
Bye for now.
#school #mystory #Imustgotoschool
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