Akin Smith: Chapter 2 - Part 2

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Chapter 2, Part 1 here

The Beginning here

Today is Monday.

For me, school days are good days. The schools here are not the regular ones, and are referred to as Jelosimi. The primary schools have only 7 teachers, one to each class. Due to the extra resources Kindergarten classes require, most primary schools only run Nursery 1 – 2 and Primary 1 – 5. The curriculum is also not the regular one. The schools can’t afford a Music teacher and a French Language teacher, you get to learn only what the teacher assigned to your class teaches you. But as long as the teacher is not a Primary school dropout, you’ll get to learn everything in the Government approved textbooks for the subjects he takes you. Nevertheless, Primary school is fun. Every morning, we sing like it’s the end of the world.
Though, I am now in my third year in Secondary school (JSS 3), I still miss my Primary school days. How, together with the other students, we sing at the top of our voices the best songs in the world, annoying the quack doctor in the two room hospital beside the school building. I remember the day he threatened to get our headmistress arrested, the following day, we didn’t sing any song. Then it dawned on the headmistress that she, too, can get him arrested for being a quack. The next day, the hospital shook as the teachers joined us en masse in singing from the top of their voices.
In the Secondary school, we only sing the National anthem and the school anthem. The only time we sing loudly is when singing our own version of the school anthem, driving our Principal insane. But Secondary school is also fun. We’ve got a teacher for each subject. We get our fun from making fun of the teachers, doing crazy hairstyles/haircuts and having crushes. For me, only making fun of the teachers has been fun. My mum won’t let me do any crazy haircut and I always end up having a crush on the wrong girl. My best days at school are the exam days. I play the hardest then, I always make it to every team, football or basketball, as players are scarce then. I don’t study hard and still come out top of the class. And I get to sit beside any girl I want during exams.
Today is not an exam day. We are just past the middle of the school term. But today, I have made up my mind to sing that new Celine Dion song to Lola. I have already memorized the song for about a week now, it’s having to sit facing her, holding her hands tightly and looking her into her eyes while singing the song that has been my insurmountable mountain. I find it hard to look into any girl’s eyes, especially the ones I find very attractive. Even Mary, my self-proclaimed girlfriend, I hardly look her in the eyes. But some boys find this very easy, easier than looking at the pages of their school books. And Tunde is a genius at this. He does it perfectly well and nearly every week too, until he had sung to every girl besides big Bose. Now he waits till a new girl joins our class.
Unfortunately, Lola didn’t come to school today. At first, I was very sad but as the day progressed I felt relieved. Maybe, she isn’t the right person for me. I’ll teach Sadiq the song, he’s own mountain is having to sing an English love song. His head is saturated with Fuji, Apala and Alujo, none of which is in English.


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