Majestic steps, flashlights everywhere. I had suddenly become a celebrity, everyone wanted to take pictures with me including my relatives whom I didn’t even recognise. My mother excitedly dished everyone’s food including passersby they were all celebrating and spilling out compliments. Mrs Ikechukwu, showered me encomium in a queer combo of English and our native language. She hugged Mirabel my childhood friend as father began his prayers and ended with, “happy matriculation dear, happy matriculation to us“.
***That Monday Morning***
Being a female student has been a tale of the good, bad and ugly experiences. It was the beginning of the second semester and everything had changed; I heard side comments as I walked to my lecture hall and all fingers were pointing towards my direction. I couldn’t understand what was happening and I didn’t let it bother me. I entered my class and my seat had been moved from the front row to the extreme back left corner of the class where my friends enjoyed sitting because they did not enjoy having any facial contact with the lecturer.
Before I could ask questions on what was going on, our lecturer walked into the class and began his unending sermon.
“This great institution has received numerous awards for her structures, qualified lecturers, standard teaching and learning equipment and above all for her excellent academic performance amongst students“, the lecturer said as he attempted to introduce himself to the class.
“Sir, I think we know all this, that’s exactly why I used my father for ritual to pay my tuition fee“, a boy in the corner of the class whispered with all confidence as the entire class was taken aback; a ripple of laughter ran through the class.
Mr Bamgboye didn’t seem concerned with the comic relief going on during his lecture.
He continued speaking, “as students of the Engineering Department, you are our pride and the world rests upon your shoulder; you are not doing enough, we expect a lot from you. You must set your goals to meet the school standard. If you can’t meet up to this standard you will have no choice than to be withdrawn from the institution. The details you’ll be need for your course work this semester is on the notice board. Good day“.
He had stepped out of the class as everyone stood up chanting and ranting about how lecturers scare student on how difficult a course can be. Suddenly Mr Bamgboye returned to the class as he used his mighty body to obstruct every ray of light that came in from the door. Silence befell the classroom as he pointed towards my direction. I started to shiver and within a space of 3 seconds I began to review all my activities in the past few hours, had I done something wrong? I asked myself. I could sense anger in his voice as he said, “the girl in glasses, what’s your name?
“Ugochi Ikechukwu”, I replied.
“See me at my office immediately I mean the three of you in that corner”.
His exit was accompanied by screams from every angle. My course mates began to shout, “Ewo o! our power puff girls don go jamb wahala, who go come save them so? We bin dey tell you since sey make una comot for this department but you no wan hear word. I hope you all don’t come back alive”. They meant that since the 3 stubborn girls in a class dominated by guys have gotten themselves into trouble, who is going to bell the cat and as they have been warning us to leave the Engineering Department to a more feminine one and we have refused, they hope we don’t come back alive.
“What a way to begin a new semester” I thought.
“Do you think he is attracted to us already? Maybe he wants to connect us with the big girls on campus. “I looked at Tracey in disgust as she spilled out whatever came out of her mouth. “Don’t listen to Tracey, lecturers here are powerful. I heard a girl spent twelve years instead of four because she refused his offer. Mr Bamgboye looks like a disciplined man, I don’t think he will do that“, Tope opposed. “Tope, why are you talking like a child? Is he not human? Is he made of wood?” Tracey interrupted. I felt like dying when I realised both of them were my roommates.
I trembled as we walked to Mr Bamgboye’s office, like the ground should open up and swallow this man for making life miserable for us. I had no plans to date anyone in my first year and a relationship with my father’s mate was out of the question. The other girls didn’t seem concerned especially Tracey who kept smiling and adjusting her chest almost every minute. I was so worried; numerous thought were playing around in my head. Was I going to accept his offer or would I pay the price by spending eight extra years in this school? I desperately needed her mother’s prayers and my father’s instructions. I watched Tope open the door as she whispered, “dear God, help me; help us“.
My heart skipped a beat as I entered into his office which smelt like garlic and paper. Was this the end of my career before it even begins?
To be continued next Friday.
Written by: Ordeezy (2018).
Photo source: Google Chrome Images.
Photo source: Google Chrome Images.