My name is Zibah and I was a CORPER….
No, my intro isn’t lame, what were you expecting- “My name is Zibah, I am a werewolf” or I’ve three balls? Get a grip already. Anyway, back to the Zibah Files. If you are just joining me, check out book 1 here, it’s currently a bestseller in New-York (I shit you not). Zibah Files is a memoir detailing my service year to Nigeria. It gives an insight to what a patr…..who am I kidding? Zibah Files is an avenue for me to bitch and moan about how unfair life was to me for about a year while I wore a horrible green and white costume (NYSC sorrow). Hope you enjoy it though, if you don’t, kindly send me a mail so I can respond by forwarding my bank account details for you to deposit a lump sum thus I can comfortably resign from my day hustle and spend more time making subsequent posts interesting.
It was an appalling situation, I just don’t get to be a teacher, form a bobtail club-Climate Change Club (say that in The Joker’s voice style. uh-huh! repeat it) and dress like a soccer mum I just learnt that I also have to work with three different public schools; one school for each day of the week except CDS days and Fridays (weekly meetings at the ministry). They extended me the courtesy of selecting schools of my choice. How thoughtful.
I dragged my feet searching for a school till my Department’s Head threatened to make my allowee “disappear” if I dawdled. The mention of ‘kidnapped’ allowee is enough to redden any Corper’s vision (I discovered I wasn’t immune). Allowee wields a strange influence over Corpers. If you agree with me, say “hey hoes!” Good but since I can’t hear you kindly leave your response in the comment box, gracias.
Government had prevented me from occupying my office at Shell and Conoil and politics had a go at me in the Ministry of Health so this is me flipping ’em the bird and counting my feet to Community Grammar School, Surulere. The school had shut down for awhile in the past so the population was just beginning to grow. Perfect. I had the cab to drop me off at the gate of the school and as soon as I explained my mission to the security and asked for directions to the Principal’s office, walked in like I owned the place. The first sight that greeted me was a sea of students kneeling on the earth and seemingly having a good time. I couldn’t tell the girls apart from the boys. They all; had a buzz-cut, wore shirts torn and soiled in several places and sported feet white from dehydration and prolonged play in the sandy field. Several were without a complete pair of sandals but they all had the same gleeful expression on their faces. Were they high? Punishment isn’t designed to be enjoyed.
“Come and release me Uncle” shouted one the students. The request was quickly carried on by another student till they were all chanting it like say I be their messiah. I sighed inwardly, I wasn’t even yet a ‘teacher’ and they were making me feel old. The principal turned out to be MIA so I was redirected to the Vice-Principal’s office.
“HiMyNameIsZibah. IAmACorperWithTheMinistryOfEnvironment. IAm HereToSartAProgrammme………………………..”
“Ehn! kì lό sὸ? (What did you say)” she replied with a perplexed semi-impatient look on her face.
I stared at her blankly for a second and then it hit me, she thought I was speaking in a local (or foreign) language and decided to reply in the only local language she understood-Yoruba. I have been told by several Nigerians in the past that I speak a tad too fast with a nasal accent. Yankee accent? I wish. I am working on my speech though. Besides, I’ve only ever seen an airplane in the sky, on TV and in a dream when I was Storm-X-men (yes I was wearing a gown) and I conjured wind to deflect an airplane Rachael Oniga hurled at me. Please, how did Mrs Oniga get into Zibah’s dream? I repeated my sentence at a much slower pace and was rewarded with an indulgent smile and she went off to get the VP (I later learnt she was the secretary and a lovely lady she turned out to be).
The VP seemed to adore the idea and she promptly asked me to resume the Thursday of the following week- one school down, one to go. “Me three schools, tsk!” I sniffed aristocratically at the mental image of my HOD and made to call my colleague- Enye to break the ‘good’ news. She had three schools and had been teaching for over 3weeks by then.
I had heard of another public school close by- Aguda Grammar School. I met with the principal, a sharp amiable lady. Unlike the previous school I had visited I was asked to resume the following day before 8am to address the assembly. Was she kidding? Zibah address a sea of kids and tell them they would have to choose between their break-time and me? It didn’t seem like rocket science. Except I started distributing lunch boxes I would be saddled with the broke kids. Fabulous
I am not a lazy bum after all. Two schools in a day had to count for something, right? I made my way back to my apartment; I have an appointment the following day with a female client. Oh! Haven’t I mentioned being self employed *winks*?