There was this one time I got trounced almost out of my skin in secondary School.
Wait first, before I go on, I have never admitted this incident to anyone ever because, well… you know, which bad-ass, fire-breathing, demon-slaying, man-ass-kicking, extra feminine female like me would ever admit in public that she was ever cornered on the steps by an average six full yards of wife material and given a proper trouncing?
Especially not I
So before we go any further, you will just have to assure me that when you have read this, you are going to quickly forget it and not breathe a word of it to anyone else. My street cred and ability to breathe fire and chew glass bottles must remain unsullied by this small admission.
I was in JSS3; we had just transferred to Federal Government College Kaduna, and were preparing for our Junior WAEC exams. If you passed through any secondary school and that secondary school returned the favor of passing through you, you would have known by now that a JSS3 student does NOT take the three olodo annihilators – physics, chemistry and biology.
No way. You just play around with the docile science subjects that fool you into thinking that you have an IQ that can take on the wicked troika of disgrace.
For some funny reason back then, almost everyone and their neighbour wanted to be a doctor or pharmacist or something “professional” like that, and kept trying to get into the science classes. I was one of those wannabes. My elder sister and brother were already taking the science classes and so we had enough of the text books at home to go round. I also would take out one or the other of these textbooks once in a while, just to go showoff in school and let my class mates know that I was as ready as anyone could physically be, to take on the sciences (if only what was required was physical agility).
So, one day while my chi had proceeded on summer vacation, my sister suddenly started ransacking the house for her Ababio Chemistry textbook. She turned the couches upside down, ransacked everybody’s school bags, checked inside the fridge and pot of soup – nada. While she was tearing down the house in search of her textbook, my heart was dancing the atilogwu. I was convinced I had taken that textbook to school on showoff duty. What I couldn’t remember was what I had done with it then.
- Borrow it to another olodo showoff like myself
- Return it
#. Misplace it
If you happen to know me at all, you would know that the odds were leaning heavily in favor of #. See trouble!!!
As my sister got more and more frantic in her search, my heart beat faster and faster; if she ever discovered I was the one that took (and misplaced) that book, I was in deep pepper soup. Especially since she had warned me several times, to stay off her books, shoes, clothes, everything – yes, I was that little sister that just kept sticking on the bigger sister like a bad rash.
The next morning, as soon as I got to school, I rounded up my posse and asked if any of them had seen my chemistry textbook. Being faithful and loyal friends, they escorted me round all our usual haunts while I wept like the little baby I actually was, all thoughts of forming “ayyam a big gyal reddi for senior secondary” buried and forgotten as I imagined how my sister would pound me like yam and flush me down the soak away when she finally worked out I was the one with her text book.
As we were agonizing over what to do, I saw a senior girl – I think she was in SSS2 then or so – pass by with the text book I was looking for. I knew it was the missing text book: it was dog eared like my sister’s was; it was big like hers and written across the top of the book was ‘New School Chemistry – Osai Yeo Ababio”. What other proof did I need?
I ran after the senior girl, screaming at her to give me back my chemistry textbook.
If you attended a Unity School, you know that juniors and seniors are easily identified by their uniform.
So this girl stopped in her tracks, turned and looked at this small rat in the oversized junior students uniform and informed me as nicely as she could, that no, this particular textbook was hers.
I was having none of that subterfuge sha. I needed to go home with a chemistry textbook, she was holding a chemistry textbook, I wanted THAT chemistry textbook. Any other grammar she was speaking in between was her business. Just gimme the book make I dey go house.
She went into the science lab, I followed her. She walked across to the mammy market; I was hot on her heels. She went towards the classrooms; I stuck fast like a flea. All the time, my mouth was running like a burst pipe and I was accusing her of trying to steal my book.
Long story short, by the time I had followed this poor girl all over the school like an extremely bad habit, weeping and wailing and gnashing my teeth and accusing her of (at this point I had worked it up to armed robbery), she had had enough.
Gbish, gbash, gbosh…
I don’t know where Amadioha came from that day, but I was in a closed call with him for like a full minute. Thunder exploded in my brain and lightning was ringing in my ears. By the time I worked out that this girl had just given me enough beating to last my ancestors and I an entire lifetime, she had disappeared.
Poor me. I had no chemistry textbook to return home with and I had also experienced what Igbo people lovingly refer to as “isi aba okpu” – the sort of beating that would render your head so shapeless, it would not fit into any hat or cap. Story of my life!!!
Anyway, by the time school closed for the day and we were on our way home, my sister had her Ababio textbook with her. I had taken that entire panel beating for nothing. She had borrowed it out a few days back and had retrieved it from the person she gave it to.
Till today, no one has heard the story of how I got served a knuckle sandwich, I did not call anybody to agitate or advocate for me and I did not even run after that senior student to insist she apologized for beating me up for being a righteous pest.
Matter of fact, until she left the school, I knew her swagger from miles off. If I saw her coming one way, I would flee a million ways. That was how well I learnt my lesson. Of course I missed the module of not looking for trouble in the first instance, but I learnt how, having provoked that trouble, to grow Usain Bolt characteristics and disappear as quickly as I could from any scene of well brewed trouble or if I was not fast enough, to just take whatever the consequences were quietly and without making any noise… and generally face my front.
First it was Oluremi Tinubu and Dino Melaye and then sometime last week someone went on Onyeka Nwelue’s wall to insult him and when Onyeka unleashed on her, she changed her song from reggae to blues, “how can you say you are a real man and you are insulting me”.
Lol. For real? If we were to reverse that argument, then it is safe to assume that since she started the insult fest, it is impossible for anyone to mistake her for a real woman.
Make everybody just ‘epp us in this life dey find the trouble wey be their size’ not everybody can walk away from provocation. Some people would stop dead in their tracks and cure you of whatever mental illness it is you keep exhibiting signs of.
Since we are in the era of equal rice for human beans, it should reflect in every aspect of our lives.
Don’t abuse and expect to be protected. Seriously, the real feminists have more pressing issues to concentrate on, not to keep advocating for the ‘equal rice’ of every trouble maker in the vicinity.
Don’t be a waste now, respect is reciprocal or else, isi aba okpu shall be your portion and then, we will treat it as a case of two fighting.
Equal rice for human beans is a two way street.
And keep my secret o, make another two ears no hear this gist wey I just give una now.
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My sista, you must marry for money o – Viola Okolie