Like Teacher Maryjane

Emmanuel Ikwuegbu-506035aa


I was flogged mercilessly for not dotting my “i”s in my English essay

53 undotted “I”s, 53 strokes of the cane

Teacher Maryjane spoke through her nose like those people in the talking box

She urged us to try speaking that way too

Obinna told her, we need not to because we are not like them

Teacher Maryjane said what is worth doing is what doing well, I think I believe her

I told the others that maybe there is something noble in speaking that way

Maybe it would make us better, above others, we would walk with that air of superiority like Teacher Maryjane

We would travel around and be called to dialogue with the white people on behalf of the locals

I dream of farmers bringing their harvest to my hut just like they did for Teacher Maryjane

Little Children would fight to fill my water drum for a small piece of Chocolate bar and a book they could not even read

The Chiefs would seek my opinion in the way they did with Teacher Maryjane,

“What would a white man have done in this case?” they would ask

I told the others of my dream and they loved it except for my little sister, Temi

She spat on the ground “Tueh!!! what nonsense if you can bleach your skin to look like them then I will twist my tongue to sound like theirs, where is your pride, your identity?”

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