My days in Senior High School wasn’t a pleasant one. Things became really terrible. My parents had marital issues. It became bad that they have to leave separately. This had a great emotional, psychologycal and financial impact on we the children. The school authorities started chasing me for school fees. My school uniform as well as cloths I wore in the house were out of shape. These wasn’t the case until my parents started getting on each others necks. Aside the core subject textbooks given to me by the school, I couldn’t buy any other textbook meanwhile I was a literature student. They listed a tall list of set books for us. The truck I push in the market can only get me some coins to supplement the one my mum gives me to buy “waakye” during break. Once a while, I play big boy and buy egg..lol
I seriously needed to pay school fees on time to avoid embarrassment, I needed new uniforms to look descent – I needed those textbooks, I needed to look presentable after school, I wish I could also go on excursion at least once in my lifetime but that would be too much for a woman who had five hungry mouths to feed. I dearly wanted to skip school to make some money in the market but this woman who knows the value of education won’t allow me. I wanted to work my heart out during vacations to get the money I need but my health won’t just permit me- I am always sick. I suffered chronic nasal track congestion for three prolonged years. I couldn’t breathe through my nostrils. All the doctors I visited don’t seem to know what was wrong with me. Yes, it was that terrible. I walk around with mouth open carrying with me an inhaler. They suspected it was asthma but can’t confirm. In fact, I can brag that I can describe the inner Chambers of all the big hospitals in Volta region.
Nobody came to our assistance because everyone knew my father to be a well to do person. Taking care of our basic needs shouldn’t be a problem for him. What they don’t know is that he has relegated about 90% of his duties to his wife – the rest of which he does with compulsion because he had serious unresolved issues with his wife. How I wish fathers would understand that issues with wife should remain issues with wife and not that of children.
One faithful day, our french teacher, my very good friend, came around to drive away those owing school fees. The tradition was, before he drives you away, he has to give you some few strokes. In his attempt to give me my share, the cane strike my left ear. I was hearing a geng sound in my head. I cried all the way to the house. That was the first time I saw my mom- all time strong woman eith teary eyes. I was as usual not too fine before going to the school that day and she was in the house praying for my safe return only for me to walk though the gate with in that manner. Hmm Poor me. Thanks to Free SHS, some students are today saved from these embarrassment.
With all these unfolding in my life and entering my littlehead, I have no option than to give up in life. Yeah! That’s the easiest thing to do. The future was bleak undoubtedly. I see myself going nowhere and becoming nothing. I was only waiting for the day I would drop dead one in the hands of the hardship and constant illness. Nothing else bothers me. I see no reason why I should strive to pass my exams. Fact is, What was I even going to use it for when there’s obviously no one to push me up except for my mum who already has a lot on her plate?
Then one day, a group of old students came around to talk to us. They made a couple of statements that changed my thoughts. They admonished us to go against all odds and make a good grade even if we have no hope of going to the tertiary because we don’t know where our helper will come from. They also added that, if you happen to fail, even those who cannot help you in any way will come and say things like “I wish you pass, like I would have supported you” which is an absolute lie. You are here already, make the best out of it.
The message came at the right time. I was motivated by their words. It was as though they came purposely because of me. since then, I started putting in much efforts, I started seeing a difference in my academics. My teachers and mates started noticing me but it was almost too late. We have to give account of our years of stay in the school. I wrote the WASSCE and by grace, I got something, though not a true reflection of who I am but something that can at least push me forward. And through to their words, when it was time to go Training college, God made a way. Someone came through for me. My mom couldn’t have done it alone neither could I. It’s a whole story on it’s own.
Lesson: Though my situation at that time may seem bad but I tell you, there were some of my mates who were going through worst experiences. So, If you have the chance to encourage anyone, please do it. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed. You might be saving a soul unknowingly. If you have the capacity to support anyone financially, please do with joy. Look beyond who or how successfultheir parents or families may appear to be. Life is meaningful only if we impact each others life meaningfully.
CREDIT: Hon Jerry Akporhor- Lead Educator @ Informed Teachers Network(ITN)