The law of believe states that whatever you believe with emotion and conviction becomes your reality – Richard Carswell The Law Of Attraction…
Some 16 years ago I was shipped by my parents to a far boarding school. Ugwolawo is where my secondary school experience was formed. We all have interesting stories, most of them filled with tales of wicked seniors who relentlessly bullied us or food masters who enjoyed sending us back when we came late for food (I can remember the voice of Mr jim saying, “go back!’). It were these thrills of adventures and stories of bravery that made us the envy of our colleagues who never made it to boarding schools. My story is a tale of laughter; it’s connected to nightmarish tales of bush babies and lady coi coi (a popular ghost that torment female hostels of most Nigerian boarding school. Legend has it that she usually wears a shoe with pointed heels)
It was early in the morning preferably midnight sometime between the wee hours of 3 and 3:30 am I woke up to ease myself. As I came out of my dormitory I saw a group of sleepy eyed jss3 students peeing down the pavement of our dormitory in a side to side manner. I was naturally angst by this sight because only the previous day our house prefect had warned us not to urinate down the pavement but go to the toilet or back of the house to ease our selves. Now here were these house officials who were supposed to be exemplary defying the very laws they should be enforcing. I quickly resolved in my mind that I was going to note their faces and the next morning I would report them to the house captain who happened to be my school father. As I walked up the Ufedo house pavement (Ufedo means love and that was the name of my dormitory) I was jittery and shivering. The white shirt I was wearing didn’t do much to shield me from the cold harmattan breeze. It was also full moon and a sinister shadow of my bald hair cut and my powdered face was cast on the floor. Approaching the jss 3 section of the pavement I began to receive questions of the type, ‘who are you?” In my head, I was like, “not again”. I felt all the boys asking the questions already knew me. Back then it was common practice for older (senior) students to interrogate newer students. The purpose of the questions was usually to fish out information from the juniors, in order to ascertain which would be the best candidate for exploitation (obtaining). As a result from this analogy I refused to answer hem or rather I answered faintly. As I drew nearer to hem however the “who are you” question, was asked more earnestly. I perceived they were somehow afraid and a wicked grin swept my face. Before I could say jack, there all zapped into their room shouting,” bush baby! Bush baby”! I heard the violent rocking of bunks as the jss3 Ufedo house boys tried desperately to hide themselves from the incoming bush baby. The doors to the room were jammed and the window too. In the heat of this commotion I also heard the shouts of “Jesus” as there tried to cast out the spirit. In that instance I quickly turned my back to see whether what they were seeing was behind me, but nothing was at the rear or in front. I managed to suppress my laughter walk slowly to the back of the hostel to pee as I enjoyed the whimpers of my seniors. There was pin drop silence. As I got into my room my school father was awakened by the uproar. He asked after his younger brother and me. I told him I was fine but cold and he extended his blanket to cover me.
When it was rising time at the sound of the huge bell, (a make shift bell made from the rims of a huge trailer suspended on a stick) all students lined up at the front of the house to listen to my school father the house captain admonish us on safety, warning that bush babies were on the loose and they could attack anyone who was careless. He pleaded with us to always go in company of twos to urinate after which, he permitted Anibe to tell us the ordeal of the previous night. I watched in awe as Anibe “un-mistakenly” described me as a bush baby to the entire junior Ufedo house members. He described my white clothing as; a ghost in white apparel, my face as; a ghost with a white face (the powder on my face) and a shiny head for my bald hair cut. Anibe gave an animated tale of the previous night and of course with all pads of exaggeration that made such tales interesting. His story was well received because he had other jss3 boys to corroborate it. After our morning portions were shared and we completed our morning task, I went to Anibe and told him I was the bush baby he saw. Anibe was confounded by my claims as I relayed all the event of the previous night with an elephant’s accuracy! Anibe refused to believe me but some of his mates who were peeing with him had to believe me as there was no way I could have identified them with such accuracy if I wasn’t present on the scene. I do not know what happened to the other three Jss3 students but I cannot forget Anibe because till he left school he was convinced that he saw a bush baby.
Anibe went on to be amongst the best student of his set but even his superior intellect was not strong enough to quell the bush baby fables he created and experienced. In his heart, I was the bush baby he so wanted to see and in his life he experienced the reality. I was never able to completely convince Anibe that I was the bush baby he saw till he left. But I guess maturity watered down his beliefs. Are you another Anibe? what limiting belief have you held on for so long?