I’m not a fan of rap, maybe because I can’t sing along due to a natural aversion to talking fast. Maybe this is where I tell y’all about my stutter, or maybe not.
I got my title from Eva Alordia’s song “I done did it”, I have no idea how the song sounds like but the title stayed with me. It’s the double past tense that trips me and the confidence it implies.
Pidgin English especially the type spoken in the south-south region of Nigeria is perhaps the sweetest, sexiest? language in the world. I love its cadences and fluidity and I love the fact that I can speak the lingua perfectly despite the beef from my Queens English speaking friends have for my fluent Pidgin. Yes- Hero na you I dey talk to.
Remember the dragons I wrote about yesterday? Funny thing is some people thought it was retroviral screening aka HIV test, it made me laugh when I got calls and messages from friends trying to bolster my courage and a call from K who’s a big worrier. A test isn’t a big deal though, not big enough to be a dragon, definitely not!
The story behind today’s dragon began in 1998 when I gained admission into a secondary school in Niger state. I was lost, homesick and oppressed in a far away land and life was unbearable, I actually considered taking my own life but I didn’t know any painless way to do it. One day I’ll write about bullying and its enormous and far reaching consequences, not today though, not today.
One day I was talking to the CRK teacher Mr Daudu about not having any reading material and he took me to the school library. That was how I found my refuge, I soon stopped attending classes. Yes I Adaeze, the daughter of two teachers was once a notorious truant. The way I saw it was- classes were boring, textbooks were in the library so I could very easily read ahead of my mates, of more importance was the fact that my grades were good.
My father was having none of that and there was a wave of religious and ethnic crisis sweeping its way through northern Nigeria. The result was that I had to transfer after junior secondary school.
I came home after JSCE in 2001 and had to start school in Lagos, in the school where Daddy was teaching. I hated this with every part of me, the school was popularly called hair dressers training school because most of the hair salons in Lawanson had a high percentage of Ideal Girls ex-students as staff.
I have no idea how long my funk would have lasted, if I would have ever shaken my anger at leaving a federal government college for a Jakande school. God had other plans though, a lawyer who was an ex-student of the school used to come around and take a small group of students for FIDA (federation of female lawyers) programmes and the like. I was selected to join her and luckily I rode in her car. She talked to us about dreams and limitations and I had an “eureka” moment. So ‘she’ could come out of ideal and make something of herself. Weird thinking I know, but I was thirteen.
The reason I shared this long “preamblic” story is because it has plenty to do with my first dragon. For some time I’d felt led to go to that school and talk to the students in the current crop of science students.
That shouldn’t be hard right? No. I have a crippling fear of public speaking, addressing a group of people even people I know well is hard for me. How much more a bunch of students I’ve never met before? So I kept pushing it aside until yesterday when I passed that route and realised I’d put it off long enough. Crippling fear or not, I have to do this and put it behind me.
I saw the principal and she swiftly granted me permission to talk to them, I was directed to the HOD of science department and we agreed on 1pm today.
Traffic caused by a fallen tanker made me get there rather late, I went with my youngest brother who I had to coax to come along for courage. The girls gave me a proper welcome like I was some kind of grown-up and I was momentarily disconcerted. Before long I was enjoying myself and we’d become pals and rubbed minds on many issues.
I was sitting in the middle of the walkway.
I’m glad I slayed this dragon, the rewards were enormous. I’ve finally discovered what my core ministry is going to be, it’s left for Jesus to take the wheel.