“The Lord sent Jonah to Nineveh to the…the lord sent Jonah to the people of….the lord sent…aaargh!”
I groaned in frustration. This just wasn’t working. I wasn’t cut out for any kind of reading. If it came to looking cool hanging out with chicks, just looking fly with the guys then I’m your guy any day. But having to read? And memorise? Hmm, that was transformer hugging stuff right there. Yet here I was, trying to cram a summary of the book of Jonah, thirty minutes before the CRS paper was about to start.
It wasn’t as if this was one paper I absolutely had to pass. In fact, back in secondary school, I had failed CRS so woefully from Jss1 to ss3 that our CRS teacher was convinced I was from a strongly pagan family and we spent our weekends in offering sacrifice to the gods. The man even predicted (correctly) my WAEC result for CRS.
“If you don’t get an f9, then I will become a Buddhist!” he declared after trying (and failing) to make me understand that Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding at Cana and not a bar in Syria. I decided right there and then that I would surprise him with my result. By the time the results were released, he had better have bought his Buddhist habit and be prepared to relocate to a monastery in Tibet.
I failed the paper, of course; f9 being the particular score.
He was not surprised.
So no, I wasn’t preparing for the CRS WAEC paper, but the third GCE I was writing in a row.
I didn’t care if I failed CRS of course. It wasn’t as if I was planning to open a church any time soon (though that was definitely part of my long term plans). My problem was that I had failed to make any other paper as well in spite of my dashing good looks and smooth talk. How was I to know that I would be bedevilled with deeper life invigilators for each of the examinations I would write? Besides, my brain is too filled with cool stuff to accumulate boring stuff like how to solve quadratic equations or dealing with set theorems. Infact, the first time we were taught set theorem, it had gone like this;
Teacher: Today we will be dealing with sets…
Teacher (fair complexioned woman, blushing visibly): No! Sets!
Me: But what does s*x have to do with mathematics?
Teacher: SETS, SETS, SETS, OLODO, SETS!!!!
So you see, I’m really not cut out for all that caper. I was looking forward to a career in modelling. This fine face would be a waste behind a counter in a bank. I would dazzle the world with my million dollar smile and the ladies would just die when I walked into rooms.
My father wasn’t thinking along those lines when he saw my WAEC result:
“CHAIII!!!” the man screamed, giving my mother the impression that his long awaited cardiac arrest had finally happened and the poor woman dashed over from the kitchen to see if she could still save his life.
“What’s the problem?” she asked, partially worried at his scream at that time of the day and partially relieved that he was not writhing in pains on the ground.
“The problem? The problem?” he shouted. “There are nine problems!” He roared holding my result aloft. “F9 in nine subjects…..oh and look, he got an A…..in Yoruba!”
I didn’t even pass that Yoruba on my own effort, anyways. The invigilator had slept off after a large mug of hot cocoa our school principal had served her, leaving the path clear for all kinds of malpractice. Of course, the woman subsequently turned down all food offers thereafter. If she hadn’t, I would probably have made all my papers.
Anyways, that was my WAEC result from secondary school. After the traditional thrashing for failing a major examination, I was enrolled in a summer coaching programme in preparation for the GCE my parents had had me registered for.
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