Monday, June 11, 2007

Mummy Sunday 15:

Inspired by one of my favorite bloggers LondonBuki, this is my fifteenth Mummy Sunday post and the fifth installment of the “When You Weren’t There Mummy” series!!! I dedicate this to Iheoma… I probably won’t recognize you if I saw you now, but I remember your courage… to be you. Many people go through their lives not knowing who they are… or being able to stand up for themselves… but even then you did. 11 years later, I doff my hat to you Iheoma.

Boarding School Blues

Dear Mummy,

I’m not really sure if I mentioned in my last letter that while I lived with Aunty Obianuju, I got enrolled in a boarding school. I was 9 years old in Jss 2… the youngest in my class and school. Ifeoma Jonah was the second youngest- 10 years old in Jss 1.

They bought me a locker, desk and chair, box and bucket.

They bought me provisions- garium sulphate, indomie noodles, milo, milk and cubed st. Louis sugar.

They bought me a white and brown school uniform, purple maroon and white church outfit and green day-dress.

I remember my day-dress always used to smell like grass cos I never washed it in time to get it on the clothing lines.

I used to get beat up a lot at the assembly cos I could never find one pair of my socks.

It was an Adventist technical school so I had to go to church on Saturday, and couldn’t eat shrimp, snails, certain fish and pork.

It was hell initially cos I didn’t want to be there and Aunty Obianuju’s daughter Lillian made it hell sometimes…

She’d be really sweet one day, make me do her homework, and tell people how I was smart and could speak perfect English… then the next day she’d tell our friends how my sister and I were imposing on them in their home…

She was 3 years older than me… but I was a year ahead of her in school

I loved her so much… and hated her with an equal passion…

I didn’t stand up for myself then mummy cos life had beat me so hard… I took everything in stride and just cried inside.

I cried for a day when I wouldn’t have to move all the time…

I cried for a day when I wouldn’t have to endure just because I was living in someones house…

I cried for a day when I would have a place to call my own for as long as I wanted…

I cried for a day like today…

My first year in boarding school was a mass of stories and people, homework and errands:

Stories of “Lady Koi Koi” who walked in her stilettos at night and recruited people for her witchcraft... Stories of the ‘Bush Baby” the strange creature that cried at night, lured unsuspecting people outside and killed them.

There was Nwanyieze who claimed she’d been kidnapped by ritual killers but was released after she screamed Jesus. This probably would’ve been more believable if she didn’t have a new story to tell every month.

There was Mr. Fortune… the gorgeous gorgeous man that taught introductory technology or integrated science or agriculture… it didn’t really matter what he said… just the way he said what he said. He was beautiful and our home science mistress had an obvious crush on him… she was always brushing up on him. He probably would’ve been more open to her advances if her buck teeth didn’t keep getting in the way.

I remember my boarding school crush Nnamdi Okoro. This boy was dark chocolate genius. He had these big eyes, beautiful somewhat feminine hands… ahhhh

I remember missing a meal or two cos I was busy washing this stupid seniors dish… and having to drink garri and bonvita. I decided then that I would never again drink garri and bonvita if I didn’t have to… ever again

And I never will

I used to have a beautiful voice then mummy… people used to ask me to sing in a group… but I was embarrassed and shy…

I never sang… and I lost my voice

I remember Iheoma- the girl with the huge boobs whose parents were so poor they couldn’t afford to buy her a bra. She pulled her red ‘shimmy’ up to her boobs... it showed… and everybody knew.

She was an outcast… she ate shrimp, snails, certain fish and pork.

Those of us who were not born Adventist and used to eat those 'things' stopped and made it an ‘unclean’ old memory… but Iheoma ate her ‘shrimp and snails and certain fish and pork’ with relish under the glaring and disapproving eyes of the 50 odd girls in our dormitory.

She made no apologies for who she was

Even though people called her poor and trash… she wore her red shimmy and smiled and studied like every other student

She wasn’t ashamed…

Looking back on it now… I admire her so much cos it took a lot for her to stand up for herself despite what everybody else said…

11 years later, now I eat my shrimp with relish… hot and spicy

… and make no apologies whatsoever for who I am…

I remember visiting days…

I was in that school for 2 years and probably had 20 visiting days in total…

Your ex-husband… my father only came once!!!

28 comments:

Mofara said...

Overwhelmed its your dahling egbon mofara,sorry i have been out of touch,my work was extended for another 6 weeks in prague(no rest for the wicked..lol or how do they say it)
your mummy write-ups never fail to touch me(remember we are like two sisters with though different "life and family" stories WE have been through a lot.through no fault of ours.
as i told you,u inspire me,i might be years older than you o,but you inspire me,and one day i know i will open up and tell my own story too.

while we are at it,Bush gayl like me,i tried to leave you a message on this new craze on blogville,but the thing dey tell me say make i EXPOSE my caller id,and i was using a coded phone in the office,b4 i enter yawa.
will leave you a message later sha when i get to the hotel.

girl,the holiday offer is still on.but right now,diva aint herself,her life is in the hands of some murasucking investors in prague shprague!

so you hold your head up,keep doing you and know i love you just like one of my own!

mofara

Vixen said...

I think that's one of the most trying Mummy Sunday's I've ever read. Kudos to you for growing up into the amazing woman u are today. What Adventist Tech school was it? I'm really curious because I know a few of them in Naija.

UnNaked Soul said...

hey babe, what it do?

My 2 cents said...

My dear,
The challenges of years past molds us into the individuals we become today.
My parents never came to see me in boarding school up north, my mum came once and claimed she was too sick after to ever come out that way again.

I never really took it to heart but I never forgot, especially seeing everyone else spending time with their family on visiting days.
Well that's bygone, but as a parent I'll never put my kids through that. I was scarred by that experience.
Forgive and move past the hurt, you'll be a bigger person for that.

lost-not yet found said...

Hey!!
Nice post... made me remember boarding skool... some of the most intense periods of my life... feel free to audition me or whatever u meant on ur post (what exactly did u mean?) I am malleable clay in your muddy hands...samson to your delilah.. manipulate me as u will..thanx 4 dropping by!

SET said...

HI DEAR, HOW ABOUT I AM ON YOU BLOG AND ANITA 365 DAYS A YEAR........... COMES ON THE RADIO AT WORK. THAT WAS MY SINGING, LOL. OK NOW I CAN GO BACK TO THE DEAR MUMMY AND RESPOND ACCORDINGLY.

Omosewa said...

Oooh boarding house, the memories. Iheoma did good, reminds me of some of the girls auditioned for Oprahs academy. LOL@ drawing her shimi up to her boobies, that must have done more harm than good, nothing a good VS bra cant fix sha. I love shrimp too, i can eat it everyday. Never tried garri and bournvita, garri and milk with gnut not bad at all. My intro tech teacher was a WEIRDO, lol. Weirdoooo!! How are you doing girl?

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

@Beautiful Egbon Mi Mofara: kilonpop? I’ve missed you dearly… funny enough I was just thinking about last weekend… I was going to email you sometime during the week… and I still will... abeg oh don’t overwork yourself sha… lol can’t wait for you to leave me a message should be fun… love you lots Egbon mi…

@Vixen: Thanks mami… the one in Owerrinta… it’d be quite interesting to go back there now and see it through my ‘adult’ eyes.. how you doing gorgeous?

@Unnaked Soul: Just chilling ‘ommi’… u know relaxing and minding my own business dawg… u know how it goes… lol… what you saying?

@My 2 cents: wow I don’t think I’ve ever been on your page b4… definitely will today… sad to hear what happened when you were in boarding school… I’ve dealt with some of this stuff… and I’m trying to deal with the others… but the first step is talking about it right… but yeah you’re right… I’ll take special care to make sure things for my kids are different than the way they were for me…

@Lost-not-yet found: Hey my Sampson… there are many things I want to whisper to you… but don’t worry… ours is a slow flame that builds into a fire… in my next post or the one after… many things will become clearer… much much clearer… something about electrovalent bonds and blog heart affinities… lol

SET said...

LIFE IS TOUGH BUT WITH GOD AND DETERMINATION, AND FAILING TO BEING IN DENIAL U CAN DO ANYTHING YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO.

Anonymous said...

i feel sad whenever I read your story but you got through it. be on the bright side, your dad never came to visit but my dad was a regular and on each visiting occasion will beat the crap out of me. we have made amends now, so please make amends with your dad. it is the spirit of forgiveness and release.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog but never post a comment, but reading your Mummy Sunday posts reminded me of a book I read recently, 'Purple Hibiscus' by Chimadi Adichie. I reccomend this book to you :)

Idemili said...

I was just going to say that, Anon. Girl, I have no words oh...At least you are sane!

Bubbles said...

Some people are born not giving a damn about other people, while the rest of us have to learn how not to.
It's really sad about ur father only coming to see u once. I was in boarding school and i can't imagine not having someone come see me on visiting day. The one time my mother couldn't come, but my cousin and siblings came with the driver was hell for all of them cos i was furious.
It's funny now cos i'm begging my mother now to let me grow up and then i couldn't get enough of her.

Waffarian said...

Boarding school? I take God beg you, don't remind me of those days, I was very young too, 10 years old..... I always say this, you can leave boarding school in two ways: mentally/ psychologically disturbed for life or strong as an ox. As for me, that shit made me hard as hell. I still have intense hatred for a couple of seniors and teachers, God save them the day I catch them!

Waffarian said...

NAIJA BLOGGERS- THE BOOK!
Dear friends, please do not forget to send in your submissions, a lot of people have sent in great stuff but a lot of my favourite bloggers are missing, what's up, people? Come on, send in your stuff! June 15th is the last day, come on!


Submissions should be sent to nigerianbloggers@yahoo.com not later than Friday, June the 15th 2007 stating date of blogging and blogname/address.

Simply Gorgeous said...

@Overhwelmed- I am truly sorry that you had to experience so many hardships. Your Dad- I have nothing to say- he will have to liv with all of the decisions that he has made...

Vickii said...

Awww, this struck me because a lot of the stories from my boarding school are so similar to yours, lady koi koi (I can't remember if that's what we called her)who had apparently lost her daughter and was looking for a new (yellow) one etc but where I loved boarding school, you obviously didn't.

I guess/hope it's just made you appreciate the life you have now.

Iheoma sounds like an amazing girl, hope she's turned into an even more amazing woman!

omo-obanta said...

wow deep! i'll try my best to eat enough suya for both of us...
it may leave a little rounder though
a risk i'll have to take

exschoolnerd said...

i like people like iheoma...she reminds me of me.Right down to the shimy part...i dnt know whether my mum never realised my breasts where big enough to be in a bra bt she just kept buying shimy after shimy..and people would laugh...but i didnt care.i just always did my thing.

you've been through tough times but i believe they've made u stronger now..
smile sweets...the worst has past..things can only get better now.

Allied said...

You brought back so many memories. My parents sent me to Nigeria to leave with my aunty - though she did not maltreat me but at 5 i couldnt understand why i can't take a family picture with my cousins. My parents got so comfortable of someone else taking care of their daughter that they didnt ask me to come back home.

The Life of a Stranger called me said...

I know Ive misseed commenting, but Im back now. The Lord really is your strength. And I thank God for helping you through those difficult times. Stay well.

Darlo.com said...

wow....thats all I can say !!

2ndCorin5:17 said...

wow, wonderful posting... touched me a lot, reminded me of boarding school and inspired me to write about some of my memories. Unfortunately mostly d painful ones come 2 mind... maybe I'll blog about it someday. Nice posting mehn

omohemi Benson said...

aaah.... boarding school,
so many memories,
I once heard lady koi koi seriously, am not joking.

9 years in jss 2, girl you were so young, I was stil in primary school then.

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In my head and around me said...

I like Iheoma. She sounds the sort of person who could be my friend. I wonder where she's at now.

This post brought back a lot of memories. I schooled in the East: A Federal Govt Girls College. Garrium Sulphate and garri with bournvita. Spreading laundry on grass...

bumight said...

read your posts, and felt strongly inclined to leave a comment, but I really don't know what to write.