I have heard the story of my birth a hundred times; any moment I misbehave my mum will be quick to remind me that I dislocated her pelvis during my delivery. At a time when every nursing mother should be happy and celebrate the introduction of her bundle of joy into planet earth my mum was somewhere in a hospital writhing in pain. Mum told me I came out too heavy and fat…it wasn’t my fault though. She said I weighed 4.5kg at birth. Mum spent weeks after my birth in the hospital; complications from my birth.
I grew up like every other normal kid under the guidance and tutelage of my loving parents. Life was not deluxe, but then my parents provided enough to make us comfortable as kids, I played the hell out of ‘Nintendo Game Boy’ (whatever happened to that game). We were privileged to have TV at home then(TVs weren't popular then) .Sesame street was my favourite TV show then...I wonder if kids still watch it now?
Continue after the cut....
When it comes to food I suffered and still suffer from ‘food faddism’. When it comes to food I can be very picky. Beans is a no-no, unripe plantain I consider alien to my digestive system, breadfruit, fufu, three-leaved yam all joins the list foods I would rather starve than take. But when it comes to my favourite, just be sure that I was going to need more. After I learnt how to call “mummy” I think the next phrase I learnt was “I need more”. Contrastingly, upon all the food I ate, when I looked at my pictures then, I looked like a professional midget, shorter than most of my mates…maybe because I was eating only carbohydrates. Never mind I am looking handsome now, tall like Kris Humphries and with a well built body like Peter of the P-square….for my mind.
Growing up though I did exhibit some delinquencies associated with juveniles. This is not to say that I was stubborn or a spoilt brat. I wasn’t and if I were, I was better than my siblings. Dad was a disciplinarian to the core. You dare not misbehave when he is around lest he flogs the hell out of you with one of his omnipresent canes and when he does, he gives you the cold shoulder to make sure you really got the message, so we lived in perpetual fear of him. My brother really got a greater part of him, he deserved it though…lol
I started reading when I was small, Chimamamda Adichie once said her mum told her she started reading at the age of three, I wonder how she was able to pull that off. So as I was saying I was introduced to books early in life and for some canny reasons I fell in love with books. Dad was a teacher then and he made us imbibe the habit of reading. I was a book warm, ‘lantern series’ were by best pick then, they’ve an amazing catalog of books. In addition to reading for fun, I read for bragging rights. Days are gone when kids brag about the number of books they’ve read. I guess what they brag about now in the number of social networks they belong to and the number of brain-damaging cartoons they’ve watched, thanks to Ben 10, Avatar, Tele-Tubbies and the rest. I shudder to think of what I might have been if I was forced to grow on these, but that’s by the way.
My parents were staunch Catholics so I had no choice than to belong, I was a member of some block rosary group and we gathered every evening for prayers. I have a picture I took with my brother that I normally relish with nostalgia whenever I see it. A little description of the picture would suffice here. I was standing together with my brother in a neatly ironed white shirt and blue trouser, my tummy protruding, our hands together in prayer and with rosaries dangling down our fingers. It’s a picture to behold. How innocent I looked!
In school I was doing well, always coming out tops, at some point I became tired. There was no competition of any sort. For most kids then I was some insurmountable student so there was no need putting up challenges. How happy the students were when I finally left the school…a breath of fresh air!
My new school? I came in with the same mentality I had in my previous school, that of a ‘perennial champion’. How wrong I was when after the first term exam I came a distant fourth. That was the first time I came back home without the coveted ‘First position’ and the beginning of so many others. Though I did improve in the subsequent terms coming 3rd and 2nd I never smelt the 1st position again.
However, before I left I did made my mark. A scholarship opportunity came up then in my diocese of abode. The scholarship was to cover my entire education in the much sought after ‘Jesuits College Abuja’. The mere mention of the name had a way of firing me up. It was going to be my first major exam so I was determined to bring in my ‘A-game’. The scholarship exam was to be written in three phases. First was in all the Catholic owned school in the diocese, the second was to be among the bests in the different schools and the third was to be for the diocesan champions; the scholarship test proper.
When the results for the first phase of the scholarship text came out, yours truly came out tops. Two students were to qualify from the different schools, so I together with Nneoma; the girl that came second, represented my school in the diocesan level. Before now Nneoma has been a thorn in my flesh academic wise. She was the one who swore never to let me see the first position in any exam. Whenever, I am writing an exam my driving force has always to be top her. The rivalry could only be compared to that between Real Madrid and Barcelona only that at times both teams share the spoil.
To be continued….
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