Friday, October 24, 2008

Partying after Exams

…the party we had after exams.

It was a way of unwinding after lots of ‘hardwork’ in school. There is nothing as good as relaxing after stress.

Writing exams in a school like Unilag is a very tedious task. It is not the exam proper that frightens students; it is the exam process and protocols. I don’t know why school officials are just insensitive to students’ plights. Nobody cares about the student and nobody is interested in knowing whether the policies are favourable for the students or not. But why do we do this? You have to be very vigilant because the department can change the time arrangement or venue of your exam in less than 15 minutes. Nothing is so absolute; everything changes like water in a river!

I remember a paper I missed (one of my carry-overs) narrowly during the exams. The first draft of the exam time table says ‘paper commences 4pm’, but unknown to me the second draft which was released few hours to exams stated otherwise. The particular paper was shifted backward to 8.30am. I was still sleeping in my room (off-campus hostel) when my phone rang and learnt they’ve started exams. I didn’t wait to take my bath. I drove like a mad girl to school and almost knocked down an okada rider in the process. It was when I got into the class that I remembered that I didn’t pick my ID card, Exam Docket, biro and calculator. Thank God that the invigilator, Dr. Chris, is my “padi”. I had to “giraffe” through out that exam. Remembering all these school experience usually makes me want to ‘enjoy’ myself.

Let me not digress, we had a party to celebrate our accomplishments. It was a fun-filled one. I enjoyed it, and still look forward to more of it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Departmental Week

Pix 1 & 2 Rag day celebration (can u spot me?)

Our departmental week was a huge success. It was a big way to celebate our promotion to 400level (Do you think it is easy?). For somebody like me, it was a very challenging one. I went through hell trying to combine school with a part-time work I do. It was vey tedious, I must commend myself for the bravery. I must commend myself for burning so much candles in the middle of the night, yet getting only few Cs and Es to show for it. My first semester result was really bad. 4 carry-overs! And I had 2 carry-overs the previous one, so I had to struggle for 6COs if I must grad. These lecturers are wicked!
Well, life goes on. We mustn't kill ourself because we want to read. And for the little we've achieved, we need to rejoice. That was the idea behind our dept-week. We had a rag-day, a 'suya nite', pool party and finally an award nite.
The Rag day caleberation is one of the most memorable events I participated in during my jambite days. For your info, I've spent 3 and 1/2 years in school and the sojourn was really challenging (No thanks to ASUU strike, student unrests and sky-rocketing school fees that added not just extra months but extra burdens). Of course, students will always relax, gyrate and navigate. To celebrate our elevation to the final lap, we decided to stage a 'rag-day' celebration (pls don't call us agbaya).
The Rag
The event started with a rag demonstration. Everybody came to school with 'rags' (not really the one you use to clean the floor). We called it 'colour-riot' mode of dressing. This is just to show that we are rejoicing. Our rag-day was a different ball game, not the type that students run on the street begging for alms. We were singing and dancing around campus for the whole day in our crazy outfits.
One guy actually dressed like Denrele of Sound City (Sure you know him). It was just fun galore, we enjoyed it.
Suya Nite
At the back of the Arts Block, we had a small 'suya' party. There was enough to eat and drink. We slaughtered an "ewure" and prepared it in form of suya and perper soup. It was oh lalah!
Pool Party
After the whole walk, we finally unwinded at a pool side. It was a big swimming party in a top-spot in Ikeja. We had unlimited fun. A friend of mine got drunk at the event. She fell inside the swimming pool while dancing but was quickly rescued. That was the most funny part of the pool party.
Dinner/Award Nite
The last day of our paper was the dinner/award nite. It was a nice of class. I went to the event with my new gown. Don't worry I will upload pictures asap. The most memorable part was that I got an award. I was voted the "Best Gossip" in the department. Its an achievement jo!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who is to Blame?

As I listened to her history, I felt a strong jerk down my spine. A strong feeling of compassion ran through my whole system. I was trembling yet giving her courage. I forced myself to remain calm. Wura’s face was laced with tears as she recalls her beginning. She was highly depressed. I felt guilty of making her unhappy; the culpability of forcing her to remember her ugly past dawned on me though it was really for the right reason. Who really is Wura?

I met her at Obalende bus-stop last week Monday (the eve of Sallah). Clad in an over-sized round-neck top and a faded jean trouser, this averagely built lady with right figure-8 structure was in front of a loading danfo bus. She was partially beckoning to people to enter the bus and discussing with some uniformed agbero NURTW workers whose business it is to regulate the loading of commercial buses. Her intimidating physique and natural beauty (though she was not wearing any make-up) attracted me. I knew instantly that the face is similar. “I know this person,” I thought inaudibly. I left the apple stand to catch a full glimpse of this relatively familiar person. I’d wanted to buy apple before I go back to see a friend inside a shopping complex close to Obalende bus-stop where I parked my car.

I moved closer to verify what I was thinking. “Could she really be someone I know” I kept wondering. When I moved closer, I noticed the driver of the vehicle giving the lady instruction to collect N150 from every passenger. The man was complaining that what they made from the last trip was less than the normal income, and this lady pleaded that she will adjust. To impress her boss, she shouted on top of her voice, “Ajah enter o! Just two more chance to go. Ajah N150!”

I was stunned. Could that lady be the conductor? I approached her. When I got closer to her, I realized the biggest shock of my life. This lady conductor was my best friend in primary and Junior Secondary School. She is Wuraola, the daughter of a rich business mogul in Surulere. When she saw me, she felt ashamed and drew me to a corner. We hugged and exchanged pleasantries. It was a joyful moment seeing my best friend in school. However, it was saddening to see her in that condition. I quickly told her to excuse herself from the garage. We located a nearby fast-food joint and started story telling.

This is Wura’s story……

Wura’s father died shortly before our JSCE exams. That was the time she left school. She was the only child of the parents and was barely 12 when the incident happened. Realizing this weakness, the paternal family members sent her mum packing claiming that she killed her husband. They seized all her father’s estates and neglected them. The mother left the house without a pin.

It was this experience that caused the high-blood pressure that killed Wura’s mother. After her death, Wura had no other option but to stay with his maternal uncle who also had 6 children to cater for and 2 external relations. Living then became difficult. She determined never to trace her paternal relatives.

After struggling to complete her Senior School Certificate (SSCE) without making the necessary papers, Wura’s uncle who used to be very supportive of her career was involved in an accident and was relieved of his work despite pleading with the management. Wura had to hawk ‘pure water’ and ‘gala’ on the expressway to raise money for her GCE and NECO, which she eventually passed with straight As. Though she wanted to further her education, nobody was ready to help. Even if she struggles to pay the tuition fees, what about other running expenses in the university? She was really confused and thus shelved the idea of schooling.

She started selling ‘rice and stew’ for casual labourers and building contractors around Iyana-Ipaja. It was during one of the trading outings that she was raped by a hit-and-run worker. She tried all her best to locate the guy but everything was in vain. The pregnancy resulted in an issue christened “Feyipitan”. The boy is now 2years old.

Obviously, life became too difficult for Wura after the birth of the baby, as that meant an extra responsibility. Besides, the emotional trauma she carries around is enough to make her sad. She therefore vowed to succeed by all means. So, she started first as a cleaner to raise money to buy baby food and other sundry expenses. With this, she also registered for a part-time OND programme at a private polytechnic in Lagos. So, to support the meager income from the cleaning job, she decided to be a bus conductor. She does this half-a-day and does the cleaning job very early in the morning or late in the night. Now she is in ND II and the baby is also in a private school.


After hearing her story, I had a sober reflection. I prayed and prayed harder, first for her to break the jinx and also for myself to remain up there. But inside me I still wonder about the condition of life of my childhood friend. Who is to blame for all these woes that happened just within 10 years? Is it the father who died prematurely, the family members who neglected Wura and her mother, the uncle who could not send her to school, the worker who raped her and absconded into thin air or Wura herself?

Whichever way, I know God is not to blame.