“Good morning sir”, Tracey quickly greeted accompanied with sultry eyes. “Why are you here?” he asked. “You asked us to see you before we leave” I responded. “You are getting me wrong, that isn’t the response to my question. Of all the accredited courses offered in this prestigious University🏫🏫, why did you girls decide to waste your lives studying Engineering? There isn’t any chance of you surviving here till your final year; you simply can’t cope with it and even if you do, the labor market doesn’t need weaklings like you kids. Here is a piece of advice for you all; change your course, take this pamphlet and look out for any other Department you’ll love to join. I’ll immediately inform the school and help you get a transfer letter to the Department of your dreams. Engineering is a man’s world👷👷👷; you can become a Nurse, a Nutritionist, Mass Communicator anything else but not an Engineer. It’s beyond you fragile women”. Mr Bamgboye spoke with all seriousness and rage in his voice.
Tracey bowed her head in disappointment; she hadn’t envisaged such discouraging sermon from Mr Bamgboye. “Thank you for your advice sir”😔, Tope said with fear in her voice as she turned around to exit his office.
“Was this supposed to be a pep talk or what? I still don’t get it sir?” I asked with confidence and disappointment. “I beg your pardon?” Mr Bamgboye sounded disgusted😕. I continued speaking not minding if I was being rude to my lecturer, “why must it be different with females? Why should we be considered inferior? It may be a man’s world but women are the pillar of this world. Do not treat us like slaves; we have dreams, goals and ambitions like every man”.
My childhood memories began to flood my mind; the shame my mother brought upon her family because her first child was female. How my mother struggled to pay my school fees because my father thought educating a girl child is a waste of resources and unnecessary😑. I had struggled to cross that bridge and now I have a tougher battle to win. Mr Bamgboye shook his head, “What a fool! Congratulations, I wish you success in your decision to step on the tiger’s tail”, he said aloud.
We stepped out of his office and Tracey placed her hand on her head facing me as she began to utter all sort of unbelievable things. “What were you thinking? How could you talk to Mr Bamgboye in that manner; I don’t see anything wrong with the advice he gave us, guess he is just concern about us that’s why he was being candid with us. As for me I’ll join Mirabel in Sociology Department by next week because I don’t think I want to get into Mr Bamgboye’s black book”. She said and began to walk away.
“Is that all you can say Tracey” I felt disappointed. “I thought he called us for something benefitial” Tope said with a deep sigh. “Better keep your mouth shut Ugochi and stop acting like you know the whole world. I agree with Mr Bamgboye, let’s see how you’ll survive in this Department without being a huge failure.” Tracey spoke in anger and left us behind. I turned to Tope as I poured out my worries to her, “Is it wrong for a woman to become an Engineer? Is it bad for women to have aspirations in life and follow their dreams? Why do these men get threatened by a woman’s success? Why does their ego make them inconsiderate?”
Tope placed her hand on my shoulder saying, “You know what they say, it’s a man’s world”. “Meaning in this world we all are men💪” I replied her.
A strange masculine voice whispered behind my ear, “Hello! I’m Bayo“. I responded, “Ok” and continued paying rapt attention to the lecturer in front of the class. “Erm I think this is the part you say your name.” he continued. I was already getting irritated and told him that I think this is the part he stops talking because I don’t like distractions during classes. Bayo waited patiently till the lecture was over before he continued his uncompleted discussion. “Hey do you have plans for the weekend😊?” He asked. “Yes I do, so please leave.” I replied harshly thinking he’ll read the signs that I wasn’t in the mood for his chit chat but he was persistent. “I will leave but please tell me your name” he pleaded. At this point I stood up and said a firm no as I was walking out on him.
Bayo humbly walked away as I saw Tope from the corner of my eyes look at him in pity. She joined me as we both walked out of the class then she began to tease, “someone has got a stalker”. Tope can be very annoying at times like this but I really appreciate her company. She continued fiddling with my hair as she said, “fine girl, do am small small o! seriously, I think you should consider him, he’s cute” then she winked at me. We both giggled as I responded, saying,” a beg no whine me jor, I don’t want wahala, you know most of my course mates hate me”. “Of course, you are the overall best engineering student and you are a female, topping a class of about 70 boys. Men don’t like women who are more successful than they are so get used to it”, she said with so much conviction. “I am very certain the guys in my class had sent Bayo to me in order to set a trap for me. It’s something they are capable of doing”, I told her. “My friend, relax. I think you are just being paranoid; this may be true love”, Tope teased😁😁😁.
We were already at the corridor leading to our room as we both laughed off the joke and I opened the room door. It was a scary sight. All Tope could do was to scream the blood of Jesus! I covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming because a crowd was the last thing we needed at that point😷😷😷and . She stood aghast as people began to flood the room and run back to their rooms, screaming and shouting; calling names of gods they all worshipped. Tracey walked into the room and placed both hands on her head as she burst to tears. No one had the courage to say a word or move closer into the room.
All that kept roaming in our heads was the blood which was used to write boldly on the wall in capital letters beside my bed. LEAVE OR DIE!
To be continued next Friday.
Written by: Ordeezy (2018).