Photo Credit: Redbubble
By Chidiebere Kalu (Chidey)
Back in 2012, I had a serious feud with my mum! The feud ran into weeks. It was so godforsaken-ly bloody, my dad and my grandmother were just speechless and helpless throughout the period.
Uchenna was serving his country. Chekwas was in Abuja going through industrial training. Ezioma was in the boarding school.
So I was left with the old people in the nuclear part of my life – mum and dad. Grandma usually comes around though. And that was the first time I ever tasted what freedom felt like.
2011 was a crazy year for me. I left secondary school on a high, reeling from the 300 dollars I got from my school’s Old Boys Association branch in New York as the best Arts Student in the school. I was feeling fly. Smart Alec levels. Gaining admission was already ticked in the checkbook in my head. I wrote JAMB, didn’t finish the exam due to lack of ample time, but I still scored 259.
I knew that that admission was mine already, but God and the University of Nigeria had other plans.
Long story short, I wrote their Post UME, which had 15 questions for each subject, making it 60 in total. When the result came out, I sped to the cyber café with the speed of lightening. I knew I won’t score anything less than 45 out of 60.
I paid the computer operator. He logged in, the doggone page opened.
Government = 15
CRS = 8
English = 10
Literature = –
I was mad. I cried. I felt so bad, my dad wouldn’t take it. He couldn’t stand his boy feeling so down. First thing the next morning, we were at UNN.
Let me not bore you with my story of misfortune, when it’s already obvious I spent one year at home as a JAMBITE. But my dad still wanted me to go to a tertiary institution that same year. Against my wish, he bought a screening form for IMT for me.
At that point in my life, I was already feeling defeated. I saw it as a boxing match: Me vs UNN. I never loved UNN, choosing the school was wholely my dad’s choice. But for them to “disgrace” me thus, they must pay for it. And that means, I must go to that school! They may have knocked me out in the first match, but I bought a glove of revenge which I was already wearing on my hands, waiting for the second match which would be a make or break showdown.
But dad pushed me into going through the registration process. I obliged him. But I had a plan.
I hid the day of the exam from him and on the day of the exam, I pretended nothing happened. I stayed at home and watched movies all day. When the results were announced to be available on Radio Nigeria one morning, I put on my Morgan Freeman and Al Pacino cloak. Acting was on an Oscar level.
“Daddy, they just announced on the radio that result for IMT is out”
“What? How come?, he quizzed.
“Honestly, I don’t know. The whole thing seem to have been done surreptitiously in order to make some people to fail. You know, to make few people write the exam and gain admission with little or no fuss”
I sounded so convincing. And the man bought the story. He blamed the decaying system in the country, instead.
So that was it. I had another chance to leave UNN on the canvass or be given a shop in Ogbete market.
Before one could say Nwogbunyama Emeka, 2011 was over. Cue in 2012. Siblings gone and parents in their business points, I was the only one left at home; although I still moonlighted as a salesman in my dad’s textile shop at Ogbete and my mum’s garri stall at Gariki.
Oh how I hated staying in my mum’s stall!
It was in the part of the Gariki market called “Odu Imeobodo”, which is where foodstuffs and other local things were sold. You know what that means? The market was made up of 99.9% women and girls. I was the remaining 0.01%. But since my mum needed the money, I always came around to help. Whenever she went to Nara or Nkerefi to buy garri, I’d take our wheelbarrow and offload all of them from the vehicle to her store. Sometimes, it would rain and the road would be so bad and slippery, but I’d still offload all the bags of garri like a typical barrow pusher. Of course, I wasn’t paid 😂 After all, why didn’t I get admission like others? 😂
But that’s not why I feuded with my mum.
I feuded with mum because of prayers and the Bible.
*TO BE CONTINUED