Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Memories from my Childhood

At seven, attending the naming ceremony of my now favourite teenager!
My earliest memory is of being made to kneel in a corner facing the wall for pulling someone's glasses off their face, then falling asleep in the dark corner. That someone must have been one of my parents, more likely to be my dad; my mom would never let me fall asleep in a corner.

It is interesting that this is my earliest memory. Why don't I remember being taken to a park, eating an orange, or getting a toy? What about kneeling in a corner makes for a sticky memory?

My favourite memory of childhood in Ibadan is acting scenes from Macbeth with my mom. I was eight or nine, and we would spend up to a hour after school reading Shakespeare, talking about power and ambition, and generally bonding.

It will be difficult for me to spend as much time with my children as my mom did with me, but reading to and with them is one of the things I look forward to the most. In the interim, OreT needs to grow up quickly so I can bore him silly with children's books!

I was in a collapsed building once, and I still have the mark from being hit on the head by a roof beam. The interesting thing is that my mom sent for me minutes before the collapse, but I didn't answer. I was 'this close' to being decapitated by a ceiling fan, and I am incredibly fortunate to still be here. I don't remember who pulled me out, but thank you; thank you!

Premonitions are real. Children, listen to your mothers!

I recall getting a Carpenter to help us retrieve a 50 kobo coin from under a wooden window sill, so we would have N2.50 to buy a cup of Garri. I could not make this up if I tried. Only problem with this memory is I am not sure if I remember the incident, or if I remember being told about it. Regardless of the memory's status, the lack and hunger was real growing up.

I try not to remember this one, but it is seared into my subconscious. Needless to say, I am driven by an intense desire to provide for my own family and to help provide for hungry boys and girls everywhere.

I remember receiving confirmation of my admission into Loyola College, Ibadan (not affiliated to the Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja). We were all excited, and my dad wrote a letter letting me know how proud he was that I got into Loyola; he had been denied admission in his own day. He took me to the staffroom on my first day and told the teachers that I would be Senior Prefect and that I would have the best graduating result six years down the line.

I left Loyola for Wesley after three years, and did NOT become Senior Prefect at Wesley. I was too rash and candid to even have been considered, and was named a Laboratory Prefect only weeks to the end of the session. I did arguably graduate as best student in my set across both schools, measured by graduating prizes, UME score at first trial, and number of WASSCE distinctions.

Public education in Nigeria needs to become great again. Children whose parents cannot afford private education need to have a strong chance at a better life. Our public schools need to stop being markets, and should become strongholds of learning again!

*****

There you go.

Cheers.

Gbeks.

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