Holidays were her best days. Not just because she can afford to laze around all day, but it affords her the all expectant opportunity to see and share love with her siblings. Oh! How she loves her siblings.
It is also the best because she will be away from her FGC Sokoto school mates and her teachers for a while. Especially Mr Audu. The young, proud son of an Emir, who acts like he is a blessing to the school and the girls especially.
But away from that for the time being. There is a pressing issue at hand. If she was older, this would have amounted to an issue of National importance.
In all her 14 years in this world, she has never been this confused. And people, especially her parents, think she is focused and can think on her feet.
Her friends call her ‘FOF’ meaning ‘face of Africa’. She has a sculptor’s delight of a face. Well set facial bones covered with the most exquisite black skin, laced with the most perfect white dentition and finished with a set of deep sea eyes, that appear to be autonomous in their roving and innocent seductive forays. A pair of dimples completes the facial features.
She has also been told she has the best pair of long legs for her age. And she had practiced indoors on how to walk with those killer legs. Her budding trunk features completes her. Her name is Bianca. She is 14, a first child, the only daughter and an SS2 student at FGC Sokoto.
Today she is to go on a date with Israel, a dashing? Young student at King’s college. This is the second date and she had agreed to go with him to his friend’s place. His friend’s parents are on summer holidays, so he is ‘home alone’ kind of with a young Aunty, who is more preoccupied with the retinue of men who come checking on her and how to extract a promise of secrecy from Emeka (Israel’s friend) not tell his parents about the strange noises that come from her room on each visit, than with instituting discipline in the young men’s lives.
She thought of opening up to her mum – the only adult female in her life but she knew better. She knew that all hell will be let loose.
Now she misses her school mates. Amina would have come up with a solution and an idea as usual. She claims to have done everything any adult had ever thought of about sex. She proves her claims with text messages and practical demonstrations in their dormitory. Sometimes she has cause to doubt her but she reels out the steps to every act like a pro and leaves all of them gaping like tourists in a Kenyan Zoo.
“Would Israel use a condom”? She thought. Then banished the thought as quickly as it formed. “Who said there would be anything”? She consoled herself.
“Would it be painful”? Everybody besides Amina has said it is painful. But Amina insists it is bliss. God! That girl Amina!
She has also heard about pregnancy but still do not understand it all. I mean how could anybody be pregnant from just the first time? Na so e easy?
At 2:30 pm her heart started those flurry movements again. The thought of being in Israel’s arms again sends amazing chills through her spine. And that kiss. God! Does he know how to kiss?
And the feelings aroused in her when he fondled her breasts the last time was just…wait…just WOW!
This is quickly doused by the pregnancy and HIV thoughts. FEAR! Fear as never before experienced.
She made up her mind to go on and face the music. Is this what sex education was supposed to be about? And who was to give her hers? Definitely not the mother she has. And her Dad? Just count that one out….
She was to hear two sets of bad news in the coming weeks that completely changed her life. Bianca became a woman at age 14.
#WatchOutFor other #Episodes.
Don’t look the other way whenever you see a youth taking the wrong route. Our strengths and our weaknesses dwell with these ones.
You may have given up on #MyCountry (deservedly so) but please don’t give up, on their behalf.
Don’t give up on their future.
Let them dream like we were allowed to. Help them have good dreams if you can. Inspire where you can, for you never know in whom God deposited the fire to change the situation you have given up on.
Lie if you have to but please don’t paint a quaint picture of the future for them, like pessimists like me do these days. Let them get and enjoy the high of a possible great Nigeria like we were allowed to. Teach them the meanings impregnated in every word of our beautiful Anthem and Pledge. Teach them the old Anthem if you have the time (as it is still ours. It just got old).
Instill in them the sense of responsibility that comes with a baton change. Let them know we are reluctantly handing over the baton of ‘saviours-of-the-nation’ to them. And let them know why we are reluctant.
Let them know we don’t have much confidence in young ones who sag everything they wear,including under wears, to take us to the next level. Tell them we never had BlackBerries and smart phones but we passed our JAMB and WAEC on one sitting. Tell them we never had cable TVs and internet but we had information we needed from sheer hard work and determination.
Tell them we would have a heart attack the day tattooed faces, legs and arms appear in our NASS or in the arms,faces and legs of our ministers or God forbid, our President.
But assure them of our love. Of our unflinching support in this great quest. A quest that we admittedly have failed in, just like our fathers and their fathers and the fathers before their fathers.
Assure them we will serve as their references (for free), if only they would swallow their pride and ask us for help.
Remind them that history is kept for a reason. And studied for a greater reason too. That we are their history and they thus should study us and not fall into the same stride, pit and squabbles we fell into.
Above all, remember to remind them to have fun because they will only live once. But to have fun responsibly. And that there is no better time to have fun more responsibly than their time – with the advent of AIDS/STDs (convey our heart felt sympathy).
Instill in them the importance of the greatest finding of our century and our time : “that the world or a life can be transformed by mere changing the way we think”.
Let them realize the power that lies in thinking/meditation. Let them know that it is ok to think abnormally or “outside-the-box”.
And that they can and should expand the boundaries of their given school curriculum by themselves and on their own.
A statement which I find sour, was credited to my president His Excellency GoodLuck Jonathan, from far away Gambia, to the effect that corruption is exaggerated in Nigeria and that corruption is not our main issue.
This sounds not like someone trying to save face (which I find futile as it regards this topic) but more like someone who has grossly underestimated the most basic of our problems. A problem so basic that it runs through every facet of our life. A problem so ubiquitous that several issues in our national life can be directly and indirectly traced to it.
So fresh in our memory is the current slap on the nation by the Nigerian Immigration Services and Drexel Nig Ltd in a shabby and cosmetic employment drive that led to a national disaster. If the President and his aides can not see corruption written all over this incidence then it may be time for us all to re-write the qualifications relevant for that post. This is scarcely about that incidence though.
Just a few hours ago, it was reported from our high and putrid NASS that the Minister for Petroleum Dieziani Madueke has used over #3.5 billion to charter private jets to shuttle her and her staff within the country. What I’m yet to come to terms with is the duration for which this fund covers. Is it for her entire tenure thus far? Or just for a year?
All this (even if as it stands, it is still an allegation yet to be proven) and My president thinks corruption is not an issue with us.
The dust is yet to settle on Mallam SLS’s allegations against the NNPC and my president thinks it is really nothing to worry about. The mixed facts of not knowing exactly how much the NNPC defaulted as regards the uncertainty of the whistle blower himself on the amount missing should not be a distraction. While at the same time in a recent interview in an international cable media, the minister of finance tacitly acknowledged the fact that some money is missing when she said some has been seen but that we are still tracing the others.
My President, you can’t honestly infer that the recent Abacha’s loot recovered in far away USA was a legitimate personal fund of the despot? And if it therefore is not, what else shall we blame the process that led to such a huge sum missing and finding itself in a bank vault in the state but corruption?
Just today sir, about #24 billion was reported missing from the regular pot, the Police Pension Fund yet again. A fund that has unfortunately found itself subjected to the degrading and shameful assaults of kleptomanic public officials time without number.
Mr President, I’m one of the few young Nigerians who still, against my better intuition, believe you mean well. But you may be working hard to clear our doubt, if it is to be understood that you either underrate our issues or that you don’t have a full grasp of how deep we are in this cul-de- sac.
My president, it is a long and hard job to begin to enumerate incidences of corruption both before your advent and under your watch and thankfully, that is not the reason for this epistle but to just to do a reality check on us all.
My president, here on this page and today, let it be on record that you missed the mark in far away Gambia and that even if Mugabe does not have the moral right to speak into our lives, he was not so far from the truth.
I remain your respectful citizen, the No. 1 #AngryLover of #MyCountry #Nigeria.
May God give you health and may God save #Nigeria.
In a reflex knee-jerk reaction to the unfortunate incidence that happened a few days ago, that culminated in the death of a good number of the youths of this country looking to be employed, the presidency has reversed the recruitment excercise, promised automatic employment for the families of the dead and the injured.
As usual this has been greeted with fan fare nonetheless in the youths circle.
One will note that this is the typical Nigerian Government’s reactions to tragedies like this. We may not go ahead to name them as the list is inexhaustible, from flood victims to BOKO Haram victims, to Fulani herdsmen victims, to building collapse victims. And the list goes on.
One would have expected a contrite Abba Umoro and Mr Farradang to honourably resign their individual appointments, the Drexel Nig Ltd, the consulting firm that arranged such a willful act investigated, including the directors of the company and their part in the extortion of unemployed youths of this country.
One would have expected an active investigation of the incidence by security agents and those found wanting, those who refused or neglected to do their jobs, made to face relevant laws.
It should not end with this employment offer, a palliative that these kids and their family have as a right, the provision of employment by their Government. This is hoodwinking at its best, if you ask me.
The families who lost their dear ones cannot replace that grief with the offer of jobs that the take home is even a joke in the first place. The injured and probably disfigured can’t regain their function and cure their psychological and physical trauma by this palliative offer.
The rest of us that make up the society will not get over the trauma just by this announcement.
The Presidency and the NASS will do well by making sure there are laws that deal with the outcome of such disasters in the future. There should be a system of laws and processes that we should pass such situations through in the future,to ensure culprits of willful negligence are not let loose on the society. We are no more the dumb ‘masses’ with Class Amnesia as they think.
Today births a new Nigeria and we are on a path of change. We will leave behind those who think it is still business as usual.