Diaries of an african collegian, episode 1

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I was nine, ready for High School and I already had my whole life planned.

I’d won the Turkish Mathematics competition at 7 (Yeah, I was definitely very smart and I knew it), represented my school in various competitions and even preparing for the Olympiads by the time I was 8. I’d always wanted to go to the popular Loyola Jesuit College.

But my mum had other plans: she wanted me to attend a Unity College.

I’d heard tales about Loyola Jesuit College. How their students made straight A’s in their WAEC exams, represented Nigeria in Science Olympiads and so many academic feats I could only dream of. I longed to be there with the ‘top’ guys and the thought of leaving home for anywhere else broke my heart. Despite my mum’s best efforts to convince me that Suleja was one of the best schools in Nigeria
“ _It’s for the gifted_, she said”
But then, I just wouldn’t contemplate the idea of going anywhere other than Loyola.

Luckily, my dad was also hesitant about FedAcad, he’d never really liked government schools. I thought that’d be the end of it till my mum announced I was gonna be writing the Common Entrance Exams for the unity college. I started to protest but the look she gave me shut my mouth, any further protests would have earned me an immediate beating.

After series of cajoling and pleadings, my dad finally allowed me to write the entrance examinations for Loyola Jesuit with *‘permission’* from my mum who assured me that hell will be let loose if I failed the  entrance exams into FedAcad. I desperately wanted Loyola Jesuit and I was willing to put in my best to get it. But, I had to prepare for both exams as I didn’t want to be evicted from the house.

On that fateful day, dressed in my sunday best, I strode into the hall brimming with confidence as I’d made all the necessary preparations. The entrance exams into Loyola Jesuit were quite difficult but I wasn’t fazed. In fact, I was quite pleased with myself for writing their seemingly *‘hard’* exam. Two days later, I wrote the entrance exams into Federal Government Academy, Suleja. The exams were relatively easy compared to other exams I’d written and only served to reinforce my opinion of Loyola being the best.

Days rolled into weeks, and weeks into months. I spent time planning and scheming on how to convince my parents that Jesuit Loyola was the _‘ultimate’_  while my mum fervently prayed and awaited the results.
When they were released, I got really high scores in both exams and therefore was qualified for their interviews.

On the 24th of September, Mum happily broke the news of my admission to Federal Govt. Academy Suleja (FedAcad). I’d already gotten my admission letter into Loyola the previous week but my Dad, ever the diplomat had asked me to await the results of FedAcad.

I was at a crossroads.

I couldn’t possibly defy my mum and she didn’t want to hear anything about Loyola Jesuit. The decision was left to my dad who was fast losing his ‘rep’ with my mum. She could see he was inclined to side me but we both knew she’d make the house unbearable for us if we went against her wishes.

*Edited by Don_walte*


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