It’s not my fault if I don’t believe in jazz…
I mean for all we freshly raised kids, where would we get the opportunity to see all those kinds of things???
Is it in the alleys, avenues and boulevards of Ikoyi where I was raised that someone would just stay and change to goat?
Those things only happen in all those poor poor areas and y’all know I’m too fresh to have grown up there, right? (I hear some of you saying, ” Uncle u can lie oh!!!”…shut up my friend, that’s what uncles are for)
I spent most of my holidays at Orile with my cousins and there was one “Baba” in the next compound, who they so strongly believed was the black cat we always saw on the kpan (by the way, only we Ikoyi kids will know that this means zinc) of the next compound constantly crying ‘meow meow’ at night.
My argument in this matter was simple:
If you really possessed the ability to change into an animal, please for heaven’s sake, why not change into a Lion or another wicked animal for that matter? Why must it always be snake, cat, goat or worse still, like we see in some movies, a full grown man will decide to change into a tortoise…(kai! Nollywood kwenu!)
Secondly, why the old baba will refuse to sleep and decide that he will use all night to be jumping from roof to roof shouting ‘meow meow’ beats me…
But I love this Country!
I had already resigned to the fact that I would only be a believer any day I experienced this whole jazz thing first hand… and VOOM! My prayers were answered!
I was fortunate to have served in Ogun state, Abeokuta (the state capital) to be precise.
And need I say it was the best year of my life?
Not necessarily because I was posted to a polytechnic where the HOD decided I would lecture some of the introductory computer courses to a class of 650 with over 400 of them being Ladies.
…Some of you are shouting,” HEI !!! ” Why must u always have a corrupt mind eh! Why?
Cant u just lecture and LECture and LECTUre (licks lips) until everyone has been fully LECTURED ??? Can I get an amen somebody…..
This story though is not about my experience while lecturing there…don’t be disappointed, I’ll give you that gist another time.
It was sha tough… awon obinrin will be busy cutting eye and giving you this ‘do you want some of this’ look and sometimes they took it the extra mile by licking their lips.
Agbaya like me, who is supposed to be teaching Introductory computing, will find myself saying something like
“when u want to lick the mouse….sorry! Ermm click the mouse”
The yeye girl will now give a knowing smile like “Ehen! I don catch am!”
At a point if I come class na only one place I dey face before I talk another rubbish and undermine my reputation…
As would be the case, without the intervention of ASUU or ASUP, after months of lecturing the school finally closed for the semester. Students went home and the town became very boring…
Most of my other colleagues worked in secondary schools as moral instruction teachers…. I kid you not…moral instruction oh!… That’s what they gave to one of my very immoral guy at the primary school he was finally able to get as PPA, even with all his afro and freshness.
So, out of boredom, I decided to travel and visit some other parts of the state. I definitely wasn’t going back to Lagos.
After pinging my available friends I went to the park and boarded a bus.
IJEBU-ODE HERE I COME……
Contrary to what you might have heard,
it is a very lovely town
The second Largest after the state capital. I, who was thinking of how deep a village it was going to be, was actually surprised at what I saw when I alighted from the bus at the park. A mini city far from all the underdevelopment associated with villages:
Good roads, street lights in some areas, well built houses… I was like; wow!!! Until I looked at the address I had been sent and realized I had not yet arrived at my destination.
The ping I got stated that I should flag down a bike and it should take me to a place, where I should get another bike to take me to another place, then enter canoe to another place after which I will then take a scooter to another place…gotcha, right? LOOOOL
na me, stephen, dem go send address wey contain enter water I go come carry my big head dey go…
I took the first bike, and as we progressed inwards, the entire city landscape was swallowed slowly by trees and shrubbery giving birth to a more ‘village like’ ambiance.
I for say! No be NYSC again?
How village go dey and dem go post you go town?
Na their way…
When I eventually arrived at my friend’s house,it was very hard to believe that some kilometers from this place was a thriving town.
I was regaled once more with tales of jazz…They showed me a tree with very ripe mango fruit and a red cloth tied to the middle, claiming that anyone who dared pluck from it would hang there permanently and even my stern belief that all these things where not real, was shaken a little when I saw a goat with a shell tied around its neck and legs giving it this eerie look.
I refused to believe!
but not for long…
I decided to join my guys in going to the public secondary school they had been posted to instead of sitting at home and awaiting their arrival from work. Once in a while, I assisted one of the female corper there, with permission from the principal, in Lecturing mathematics.
As a consequence, in less than three days I earned the name ‘Daddy Maths’.
I realized it was the norm in these western secondary schools…
As a guy you are called Master like, my other friends who taught here, or Mummy if you were female.
I guess I became ‘Daddy’ since I was helping a ‘Mummy’ out with her class.
For those of you questioning why I decided to help her out,
Isn’t it obvious?
I’m a well trained child and I grew up helping my mummy out with stuff!!! (serious face)
Sincerely, teaching in a secondary school is hard. Its like some children swear before the gods of the land in the morning before coming to school, that no matter what you teach and how many times you explain, the gods should help them in making sure that they don’t understand.
I now understand why my mathematics teacher never smiled whenever he taught us. Popular opinion held that it must have been because of his fat wife but I know better now.
Then, there are those little ss2 and ss3 girls that think their class boys are not mature, and so will always want to come to your office for you to explain something that we all know they won’t understand. Meanwhile the boy who was loving them will be getting red-faced with anger whenever they were around you.
I was told one of the corper guys in the school actually got a letter that read :
Dear Master Corper,
plix master corper leaf my kafaya for me…. is me that love her fess before you now come…don’t come and come and now chance me. She say she did not want to do again now but am loved her very much. So I beg u leaf her for me because my heart have break finish. If is you, will you be happy if dey breaking your heart?. Every night. I am seeing her in my dream and I am crying and my mummy is asking me kilonshele? I really really love her and I beg u to leaf her and follow awon mummy corpers.
Tenx in adfans master corper.
ifemi (that is what she use to call me before you now come and now scatter it)
Obviously, it took about three of the best heads in the school to write the letter for the lover boy, and since they had been told by the mummy corper who took English, that formal letters which are serious letters were ended wit ‘Yours Sincerely’, they obeyed as much to convey the seriousness of their plight.
Every Story has two sides anyways…
There will definitely be the students who dislike you because they think their boo has suddenly reduced the attention they used to get as a result of your arrival. On the other hand, there are those who just naturally adore you and take that whole thing we know about westerners and respect to the next level, by prostrating to greet you wherever they see you outside the school.
Even if dem dey cross main road… dem no mind lie down for centre of the road to greet you… It really felt good to see such respect especially when they see you after school hours and introduce you to their parents who will also look at you with reverence in their eyes… wonderful feeling I tell you. Teaching is indeed a noble profession!
The students generally respect corpers, but as you know, there must be some stubborn ones sent to make life hard for you.
Its like they are sent to repay you for all those times in your own days when you were rude to a teacher… and it can so pain eh!
To see one tiny thing like that disrespecting you. Almost feels like you should remove the blackboard and just flog his head with it… But of course no one would do such a thing. The corpers in the school only resorted to occasional flogging and the ones who did were usually warned by the main teachers themselves to be careful as no one knows who is who…
‘Flog his head out with my left hand!’ was my motto, until e hook me...
Mummy maths had decided to take a class and I was left to escort my Guy, to his geography class, instead of sitting in the staff room and moping.
My friend was to teach, ss2d whilst mummy maths was in ss2a handling them on trigonometry.
We were casually passing by ss2a on our way to ss2d, when we noticed something in the class mummy maths was teaching.
GHEN GHEN GHEN GHEN
One of the students at the front had a cane pointed to her backside while she was busy writing on the board.
He was holding the cane from his seat in front and making faces at the rest of the class, as if he was teaching mathematics using her backside as his board.
Every time she turned to face the class, all she saw were the faces of students who were almost exploding with laughter, and the cane in the same position she had kept it.
…We watched from our vantage position the ongoing ridicule, without any of the class members knowing we were observing what was happening…
After a while, we walked into the class and asked the boy to stand up and explain to mummy maths what he had been doing. She was livid after hearing it and gave him a slap, then my friend who already had previous beef with the boy in question for disrupting one of his classes, pounced on him with the cane.
Fia! Fia! Fia! The cane ripped through his body while he was shouting… “ah! master ti kpa mi oh! Ah master ti kpa mi oh!
Ah! Daddy ebami beh master! Ah! Master ma kpa mi oh!
Ah! mummy plixxxxx I did not did it!…I did not did anything…”
Saying he did not do anything, just aggravated my friend the more as he landed more strokes on his body and almost began to punch and slap the boy.
I had to calm him down a little and just as we were about to leave the class together with mummy maths, the boy uttered some words which I translated in the little yoruba I understood to mean “ I will show you people”
Mummy maths and my friend did not understand yoruba. I refused translating it to them because na kill them go just kill am. I went back and gave him a knock on his head and that just increased the volume of his cries amidst some curses he muttered under his breath.
We were summoned to the principal’s office…
The gloomy face he wore almost suggested that maybe the boy had died as a result of the beating.
He asked us to sit down and inquired about what happened…
We all explained the story in as little detail as possible, to make it obvious he had it coming and the class was very very notorious for disrespecting corp members who had dedicated one year of their life to ensure the growth of this children educationally. (**yawns** story!)
To our greatest surprise, the principal was not at all bothered about the fact that we had flogged a student instead he was rather perplexed about who it was that we had flogged.
He explained to us how the boy came from a family of notorious brothers who had also passed through the walls of the same school and had wreaked havoc both physically and via fetish means. In short, it was his opinion that we all stayed away from school the next day or two, till he could resolve the problem for us.
Quoting him verbatim, “ kin sofu e awon omo corpers yi(let me tell you, these corpers), these people have a lot of jazz, and people fear them around here. Their father is a former babalawo and even though he has converted, his children still carry on with his medicine and this their brother is the only one that has made it up to ss2 without dropping out. He is their last hope. I will go and see what I can do about it tomorrow so they don’t jazz you. That is why we usually encourage you corpers to be careful. This is not the city. Things are different here”
This jazz talk again?
The principal sounded so convincing… His office had a lot of Jesus posters and christian signs and symbols around it. Yet here he was talking so certainly about jazz.
He deeply believed in these things as evidenced by the look in his eyes.
My Liver been wan dey shake sha until mummy maths was like “Sir! I’m a corper. Government property for that matter. I will not run away from this school because of some silly boy and his tout brothers. You better tell them, that if they try to hurt me by any means they will know who I am. Its not because someone came here to serve that they will be treating us with impunity…nonsense!”
She walked out
Kai See Morale!
I was tempted to make a statement too about who I was and make one of those dramatic exits, when the little angel that usually appears on my shoulder at times like this reminded me that “thou stephen art no one”
I mellowed down and calmly walked out while my other warri friend was gingering about how as a warri boy “one small boy go come make me no come dis school? As as y ? where that one dey happen? Oga mi I dey this school live tomorrow… I cant fit to run”
He rounded off by saying
“No be today nyash begin dey back”
Kai! That exit line make sense last last oh!
On getting home, the argument split two ways; those who believed in these things and advised us not to go to school the next day and the others who actually convinced us to go to school with the mantra being “taaah! Nothing dey happen”
We went in to sleep, and almost from nowhere it started raining with serious thunder just like it happens in Nigerian movies when something bad is about to happen. But omo I shunned it joor.
Must be my mind playing tricks on me. Rain no fit fall again?
I had almost fallen asleep when I was jolted awake by my Phone’s ringtone.
It was mummy maths…
She said she had sent me a picture. That something terrible had happened.
I quickly opened my blackberry, scrolled to her contact and saw the picture she had sent.
I couldn’t believe it…
GHEN GHEN GHEN GHEN
No Jokes, that’s actually the end.
Wash awt for Part 2, in a few hours though.
Yes! This is the first time I’m doing this. You can tell me how much you Love me in the comments section. 😀
Read the part two here The Jazz 2
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