I do not think I would subscribe to my children going into the boarding system when they are in the secondary school, my time in the boarding system maybe a wrong judge but oh well……..
At primary 5, I sat and wrote the common entrance again, the year must have been 1995. My first choice surely was Queens college Lagos, second I do not remember. The exam itself was uneventful but the outcome changed my life.
So it turned out Queens College didn’t offer me admission. My parents spoke of connection saying our family friend who their two daughters got admission were connected. Nonetheless a school in northern Nigeria did offer me admission. So I was offered secondary admission to Federal Government Girls College Yola in present day Adamawa state.
Being that I was only ten years of age and I had lived in Lagos my whole life, that was some adventure my parents were advised not to put me on. My father wouldn’t hear of it, he made quotes like “one Nigeria” “different cultures” “independence” and the likes.(If this had occurred in present day Nigeria with our security challenges, I am sure he won’t have thought this a good idea, Nigeria seemed so peaceful those days!)
So the departure date approached at last, dad was to take me there by plane. I had never been on a flight prior to that day, dad forbade mum from escorting us to the airport and I remember her waving me goodbye in front of our flat in the police barracks where I grew up.
Dad was nicknamed Chairman by his close friends particularly his mum and sisters who were my aunties(I will have to digress to more memories from my primary school in future writings). So chairman took me to the airport that morning and it’s either he didn’t book the tickets in advance or the flight was delayed for a whole day.
I do remember being left alone at a Police officer’s Mess(I have fond memories of Police officer’s Mess in my primary days) that whole day. It wasn’t so bad, I slept, I played, I ate. Eventually we were on board and cruising on the wings of the night on Nigeria Airways. A childhood friend of mine by name IK, on hearing that we would be traveling by Nigeria Airways had teased that we would be given Eba as in-flight refreshments. Well, he was wrong and I was given some snacks. I actually was given two packs!
Since we were flying late at night, chairman suggested we spend the night in an hotel in Yola before heading to school the following morning. I think secretly that was why he approved of me schooling so far away and insisting on being my travel companion rather than mum. I think my stubbornness was born this day, as I bluntly and aggressively refused to spend the night in an hotel and insisted on being dropped off in school that night and my revolt payed off and my boarding days eventually commenced!