Dear reader, I have begun another series. This however is unlike the previous one (Glimmer) because each post tells a different story about a different character (or characters as the case may be). These stories are inspired by my experiences during my service year in a village in the north central part of Nigeria.
Mr James Obe the principal of the Government Secondary School, Igodo (popularly known as GSS) stepped down from his green golf car onto the red earth. The dry season was his least favourite of all the seasons. He had slept fitfully throughout the hot night, even the cement floor offered no relief. The mosquitoes streaming in from the torn window net into his stuffy bedroom had also tormented him endlessly. The weather only became tolerable around a quarter to six and he had slept peacefully for the next three hours.
“I will now reads the comprehension, listen carefully because I will ask question!” the teacher was telling the students who listened half-heartedly; it was almost time for the short break. They got up when they saw the principal and chorused: “Good morning sir! God bless you sir!”
“Yes, sit down… sit down” Mr Obe said in a slur looking around the classroom. “Who is this fat girl here? Ehn, what is your name?” he said laughingly as he swaggered towards her.
“My name na Martha Inla sir” she said quietly, visibly embarrassed by the principal’s alcohol induced rude behaviour.
He stared at her for a while then said suddenly “Ah! I came here for a reason. Some people are coming here today. They call themselves the Inspection Committee, so boys tuck in your shirts and you girls, tuck in your skirts,…er… shirts… that’s right…yes…” he said waving his cane randomly at the students. “Ok! Carry on Mr Ibu!” he said again and swaggered out of the class whistling the tune of “row, row, row your boat”.
“Hey you there!… all of you…come back here, come back!” he shouted as the students ran away into their various classrooms and he ran after them. He did not see the big stone ahead of him. He tripped and fell prostrate, his face in the sand. He pulled himself up slowly, spitting out the sand in his mouth and dusting off the ones on his cream shirt, he had bruised his left big toe and it was bleeding.
“Useless children!” he cried, “I will find all of you, bastards!” he cursed as he limped back towards his haunted office.