Tale 2: An Uncommon Entrance
If you attended primary school in Nigeria, it’s more than likely you did ‘Common Entrance’. Absolutely nothing “common” about it by the way. You must pass this well to get into Secondary (High) School. And it’s even tougher getting into any credible secondary school - parents did all they could to increase their kids chances of exceeding average success. Cue moi- this translated, in my case, to after school classes or as we knew it then ‘Lesson’. Specifically for Maths.
The lesson my folks sent me to @ 8 going on 9 was on high recommendation from her colleagues. The ‘lesson teacher’ had a reputation for success (?). No one thought to share with my mum his love of corporal punishment and petrification - more like abuse in hindsight. His specialty was the use of electrical wires with open ends - and atimes so well worn it’s rubber was off on parts.
Monday to Friday unfailingly after I returned from school straight off to lesson - imagine after a day of slaving in intense heat conditions (I went to a Jakande building public primary school. Hmm, Common Entrance Lesson. Decades later and I am still shaking my head. Each day above the normal school home work was more lesson assignments. So overwhelmingly demanding and voluminous that by the time I got through school work I was all conked out. Lesson home work would be hurried over the next day during home lunch before I rushed off to said lesson - petrified of what Mr X would do to me if I was late, made a mistake, dozed off or failed. Choi!
This particular day I did all of that - late, made mistakes, failed my assignment and could not respond to him out of fear. PETRIFIED! He scared the hot pee outta me mehn! Add on the public shaming for all of this. Ahh!!! PETRIFIED! FROOOZEN (not the 2014 Frozen o)! I ended up running out in tears, to hide under the external stairs - away from the corridor in his home where my torturing had gone on for too long - long after the dreaded Common Entrance exam. Under the stairs I crouched, weeping, scared, embarrassed and angry, very angry.
Then I heard a voice - a young voice - one fellow tortured student had braved his wrath (or was sent by him(?)) to check on and comfort me. One. A tentative Voice saying words that checked if I was okay, saying sorry.Barrister Chinwe Sonuyi nee Kpaduwa, Thank you. For standing up - I am surprised you followed the Law and still stand via Omena Law Firm LLC. God bless you!
I never went back the next day - I left for lesson but to another place to learn a different set of skills. Recall I said I skirted the lines not toed them?
PS: Did I mention yet that I took the Common Entrance a full year ahead of the stipulated time and that I did pass and got in to successfully Pass On the Torch? Yup. I. Did. Mr. Wire Caner! And Yes my far above average ‘achieverhoodity’ is ‘a bi ni bi’!!)