When I finished primary 4, we moved homes and I needed to change schools. The school of choice was Olodi primary school for several reasons. It was not too far from my home which meant a much shorter distance to walk to and from school. And it was new.
It was also one of the schools with first class buildings. I think it had been built by Shell and donated to the government so everything was top notch. I prayed like you do not want to know, but the Authorities were deaf to a little girl’s prayers.
The school remained shut long after resumption. We went there every week and the story was always the same:
“Oh, she has been admitted quite alright, but there are still some things we need to do before the school can resume, bla, bla bla..ad Infinitum!”
We waited until half the term was over and my mates in primary 5 were getting ready for first term exams.
Finally, reluctantly, I agreed to go to another school far away from home.
And that was how I met Mr Godwin.
Mr Godwin was the primary 5 Teacher in this “new” school. He was a beer drinker and a kola nut chewer, and I think he also smoked but I didn’t know that at the time.
Mr Godwin and I fell in “dislike-at-first-sight.” He had a big belly and stained teeth which were turn offs for me even as a little girl. And he had a habit of speaking at the top of his voice, which was another major turn off. People who spoke in loud tones frightened me. So I didn’t like Mr Godwin. At least, not immediately.
Mr Godwin did not like me because I was timid and shy, and I spoke in a quiet and shaky voice like a homeless mouse. He preferred bright and confident children who could raise their hands in class and attempt every question, but that was not me. Aside from my obvious timidity, I was resuming a week to the exams. They were just starting the revision week and of course, he knew I would fail! Whoever likes a failure?
So I would sit quietly in my corner with the class bully, whose name I forget, right in front of me. He would make faces at me and try to throw my stuff on the floor. Mr Godwin would often notice, and then he would raise his voice at me and I would start to weep…
To be continued.
Elsie Dennis-Oghenekaro is a successful Author, columnist, Traveling Consultant & a Warri person. She’s based in Abuja Nigeria with her lovely family.
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