Retracing my footsteps ..pt 1
Hi blogville! I know I have been MIA for a while. I have had what I call a blogging block (as in writing block). I have drafted 3 different blogs but they still need developing..
I recently reached a personal milestone at work which got me thinking about how I got to where I am today. I am not exactly a millionaire or anything close to that, but God has everything to do with my present condition and I thank him for it. Basically, that was the the inspiration of this blog. I can just imagine him seeing the future (this day) about 8 years ago and smiling to himself while I was worrying my life away.
8 years ago
I had absolutely no clue where my life was taking me. I was a very average student in high school. I had no aspirations and was not a very motivated person. I did the mere minimum and got the C’s and occasional B’s. At the end of every school year, when I received my report card, let’s just say I always dreaded going home. I used to love the fact the administration to some extent in my high school was not organised most of the time, which meant that sometimes, we had to go back to school during the holiday to pick up our results or even at the beginning of the next school year. This meant that I could enjoy my holiday without my dad reminding me or how bad I did. Having said that, without my results, he would say no to most things I ask for saying things like, well go and bring your results first all before you ask me for him. Basically, the routine was, when I receive my report card, I get the normal scolding from my dad, which made me shed a few tears and in that moment of sorrow and self pity, I convince myself that the next year would be better. As you might have guessed, that was never the case. I was just too much of a joker and such a playful person that I just never seem to get great grades.
In those days, after exams, seeing as we still have a few weeks left in school doing nothing and I was in boarding house, a couple of us will sit around playing games and just chatting generally. I remember clearly one day, I was having a conversation with my friends about going to University and my immediate instinct when we considered schooling abroad was.. NO way am I going to write A levels exams because it is too hard. SATs I can manage but A levels.. NO! My parents were not even planning on sending me abroad at that point in time.
Fast forward to getting my WAEC results (GCSE equivalent), I managed to get 4 B’s and 4 Cs and just passed Yoruba. I was so thrilled. I hear some of you saying.. this girl is a proper olodo (dullard)! I was thrilled because it so could have been worse! So with my 4 Bs and Cs and a wide smile on my face, my mum congratulated me and my dad, well… lets just say he was happy i did not get worse grades. The natural next step was for me to sit my JAMB exam (JAMB is an entrance exam you sit to get into a university in Nigeria right after high school). As most of us know, for a genius to pass JAMB is a miracle, talkless of a mediocre student like myself. I tried to prepare for the exam, but looking back, lets just say I might as well not have bother. My centre was in VI, and my invigilator did not care if we cheated or not, which meant a lot of people cheated. I couldn’t believe my eyes. As a result of all the invigilators in that centre’s nonchalance, our results were not released, what a shame. Now, at this point I am thinking, so how am I going to get into a university with no JAMB result? The realisation that I might have to seat the dreaded A levels or GCE started to gnaw at me, but I push it away because as the unserious minded young lady I was, I wasn’t bothered. Little did I know that my mum had registered me at Oxbridge college to seat my A level exams. Prior to starting at the college, I had to sit an entrance exam. My mum did not tell me this vital piece of information until high school graduation day on the drive back home. She goes, ‘oh by the way, you have an entrance exam tomorrow’. I thought to myself, please tell me you are joking. TOMORROW! So I asked her what was being examined so I could study. As soon as I got home, I immediately started studying and praying. God answered my prayers because the next day, we could not go out. I can’t remember why. It was not a public holiday. Something happened that meant we couldn’t go for the exam. I remember I got into the car and my mum started driving but we had to go back home because we were not allowed to leave the area. You should have seen the smile on my face, priceless as it meant I had an extra day to study, so I did.
About a week later, the results of the exam was out and so the driver took me back to Oxbridge to pick my results. Guess what… I FAILED! I couldn’t believe my eyes.. maths 20%, physics something ridiculous and so on. I particularly remember maths, because maths is my baby. lol. I was like chai.. what am I going to tell my mum and dad. Well, I told them with my mouth and words. My mum was disappointed. My dad was in Abuja or something, I don’t remember, which meant I couldn’t feel his wrath directly. I then went into my room to look at my result again, trying to figure out what went wrong. I kept on saying to myself, MATHS, 20%, it is not possible.
The school invited me back for an interview about a week later to discuss how to take it forward from there. recourse they didn’t reject me even though the results were appalling because of the amount of money the students pay anyway. On the day of the interview, I got down on my knees first thing in the morning and I prayed to God, used olive oil and holy water… hmm yes o.. because I believed that the report given to me was not mine.. 20% maths.. ko (not) possible.. and I discussed with Baba God… I was like God, I know this is not my result, i don’t know what happened here, but I trust you will sort it out. After praying, I went to my mum’s room to get her to take me for the interview. Na so my mama kon talk say… she is too embarrassed to take me! sho!!!!!!!! I was so ashamed of myself, but still, I remembered my prayer and I managed to convince my mum to take me.
We got there, and you should have seen the smug look on the proprietress face and her two dimwit assistants (God forgive me). She made it a point to ask how a person who recently wrote her WAEC and NECO exams a few weeks ago could fail an entrance exam that badly and I am a disgrace to my high school. Lets just say she really gave it to me nicely. Then my mum too added her own. I just sat there, swallowing all these insults.
The lady, trying to make a point and rub in the fact that I did really badly then asked one of her dim wits what my score was in one of the exams I sat at the entrance exam. He then realised that the results they gave me was for a different Damilola! Can you just imagine! I received the insult meant for a namesake… a guy that did really badly and I got punished for it instead of him. Lo and behold, I did really well, okay relatively well, my scores ranged between 50 and 70%. I just smiled when they realised their mistake and I praised my God in my mind, my God did not put me to shame! If i remember correctly, I don’t actually think she apologised. Or maybe she did and I chose not to hear it. Anyway, more importantly, my mum was now on my side! We didn’t stay long after that as obviously they were now choking on their words.
My mum kept staring at me in the car like I was something from outer space. She was clearly surprised and I told her I prayed! She of course told my dad and for the first time in my life for something relating to grades, I could hear him smiling on the phone and not shouting at me and grounding me for being an olodo. It was a good day. I got home, got down on my knees in my room and I thanked God thoroughly… yes o thoroughly for showing himself strong. In our weakness he is truly strong.
To be continued
As my eyes are closing now.. I will continue this tomorrow… but trust me, this story is very long. I hope you are enjoying it otherwise.. erm…. come back next week :p