The Concluding Sequel
My name is Zibah and I was a CORPER…….
Sorry about the title, I can’t help being overly dramatic, after all I do have my eyes on an Oscar for amazing script-writer or screen writer, I’m yet to work out the nuances in the categories I’m interested in just yet. This is the concluding part of Zibah files (see Zibah file 1 and Zibah file 2) and it promises to be amazingly short. Did I hear u groan? I have been sitting for over two hours on the same spot and I fear my behind will meld with the unforgiving hard concrete if I sit any longer.
I am in a class facing over 256 kids; some are sitting on planks likely fashioned from scraps. The room is stuffy, smells of perspiration and…desperation (I added that for effect…Oscar, remember? Try and keep up) and barely contains the students. It’s a challenge whirling around and illustrating a point on the white-board without my rear brushing the lips of the girl whose make-shift chair is literally on my leg. Did I mention that most of the student’s laps double as a desk?
I am babbling something about energy cycle and illustrating decomposition when I pause to remember a certain term. The elusive word was one I’d made use of several times in the past. My forehead creased in concentration as I tried to remember the word. Suddenly from someplace at the back of the classroom came a-not-so-quiet “Hmmm!! he haff forget” declaration. “What” I shriek angrily? In a blur of motion, I had shoved the girl who had been butt-sniffing me off her makeshift chair and tossed it towards the direction the sound emanated from. It was all yelps and graceless movements as twats made to avoid the incoming projectile. I absently observed butt-sniffer working her smarting behind and nursing a bruised arm. It was chaos as the projectile made impact with an unlucky human target. It felt so good to cause these brats pain. Whoever said we should leave vengeance to fate needs to be shot, beheaded, set on fire and shot again on general principles. I let out a triumphant half crazed laugh. The laughter yanked me back to reality and sufficiently shattered my mental LCD HD TV. Mental cinema destroyed, I regarded the semi-quiet class with a level gaze. Some of them seemed to be waiting for a reaction, I flashed them a warm smile and went on teaching.
Oh! You surprised right, Zibah with a warm smile, a Vulture devouring a carcass with cutleries, impossible? Anyway, over time, I grew to love teaching and my club member. A good number of them were impressively smart. Our little club was now seen as a somewhat prestigious gathering and new wannabe members were always requesting to sign-up every week. Shame, it was too late. I had covered a whole lot of work and they would never be able to truly catch up so I usually refused and left them with this snide remark “you had your chance bit*hes now buzz off”. Sure, I didn’t say that out loud. No point traumatizing kids but I did remind them of the days I had to plead to get anyone in. Me petty? Never.
Today is my last day at the schools. I have a report to write about my achievements with Climate Change club; challenges faced etc. So this is me going around, taking pictures of the schools I settled with to include in my report. I am also interviewing a couple of teachers.
“Our staff- room ceiling collapsed sometime in October 2010 and the Government has not fixed it”.
“One of our blocks of building is slowly sinking into the ground and we have pleaded with the Government to demolish it so it doesn’t collapse on our students someday”.
“We don’t have seats, benches, books, and a library. Some of our students even seat on the floor”.
‘How is that thing (Ipad) snapping pictures”.
I patiently listened to the teacher’s complaint, asked pointed questions of what they had done with the students to improve the condition of learning as waiting on the Government was yielding no fruit and jotted down important points. Did I believe my report would radically change our educational system? Uhm! Not likely. One would wonder, if it is this bad in a relatively sane place in Lagos (Surulere), imagine the condition in some unsavory locations in Lagos (Mushin et al., hello). Now, picture the system run in the Eastern or Northern part of Nigeria. Pathetic right? I took as many pictures as I could to back up my report but at the end of the day, the report was going to the Ministry of Environment (MOE). There is only so much MOE can handle when the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and even the Ministry of Education exists. What? I didn’t see them forming clubs and sending Project Officers to work with public schools.
So it’s been a great several months with this kids and I will miss them terribly, I have advised, threatened and loved you guys (I am referring to my students not you reading jor) though I would be glad to not see y’all as I move into my office at Chevron with A/C and free lunch.
I bet some of you have even greater tales from your service years (oh! I’m referring to you this time :)). Zibah Files focused on just my teaching experience. Sure, I had some rather disturbing tales from service year like when a buddy and I were surrounded by Ladies of Disrepute (whores) hell-bent on having theirs evil ways with us or when I was involved in GTA (Grand Theft Auto) with a couple of car-jackers who where in pursuit of me and another buddy as we drove Lagos road, en route General CDS Meeting. It was a good thing I wasn’t driving; I would have been running 360zibah from Heaven…which isn’t a bad thing.
Share your tales first and I may just regale you with some of the most otherworldly fascinating drafts of other episodes of Zibah Files. stay tuned……and where the heck is my Oscar award na :(?