Moses Kamil: The story of my whole life at Kings College [Nigerian Voices]

by Moses Kamil

I saw the article on this competition some days back and I felt like Eureka! This is what I’ve been waiting for a very long. I’ve always wanted to write a piece about myself, for people to read and see if anyone else felt that way also or I was just the only being who felt that way. Writing essays and articles for competition was beginning to bore me. I wasn’t that bad, i mean, I’ve always had recommendations from my teachers in secondary school, so you probably could imagine how good I was. I remember writing a piece about my most memorable day while I was in junior secondary school 3.

Unlike most people, who would always write about their fantasy and them expensive trips they’d been on, I decided to write on the day my kid sister was born. Till this day it’s still one of my best writings. I’ve always been the only child, and that went on for seven good and challenging years. I always wanted to have a lil sister, I mean there was this lil girl I always took to school along with me while going to school. As little as I was myself, I could tell she was a beauty and taking her along to school made me proud.  I mean I felt like an older brother. And after school she came around my class, I took her back home, people never knew she wasn’t even my sister. So you can imagine how crazy I went when my blood baby sister came to planet earth.

That aside, talking about the recommendation, days after I wrote that essay, my English teacher called for me to come to the “teachers room”, you know that big room with so many teachers. After speaking to him, and he called my name out, you needed to have seen the way 3 female teachers exclaimed. Wow, I almost felt like entering the ground trust me, I thought I was already in deep shit. Only for me to hear things like ” Are you that Moses”? “Did you really write that essay”? “Awwn, that’s a beautiful writing my dear, keep it up”. I mean the words came to me like something I’ve never felt before, I never had been so honored in my life. Like they literally clapped for me, my English teacher probably had given them a look into my writing, not like my vocabulary was all perfect. I guess I just connected to their heart, and believe me, instantly I became their favorite student. *Laughs*

Looking back into my life, it’s really been an amazing terrible life, trust me – I do mean that literally. My parents have been never friends for all I can remember, probably before I was born. ‘Cause for as much as I can remember, it’s always been fiiiggghhttss. My mum left while I was in primary 3, months after my long awaited sister came to my life. You can imagine how that destroyed my little poor spirit. That alone wasn’t all, she left me with my dad whom I dreaded so much at that time. Lonely boy with a disciplinary as a dad-my life was about to change for good bruh! I probably was too young to understand so many things about them, as far as I could be a normal child all was cool with me. Little did I know I wasn’t like every normal child.

My main life events started when I went to stay with my other cousin’s in another state. These were my favorite cousin’s, I had lived with them before, and I couldn’t just wait to meet them again. You can imagine how happy I was again I was leaving my dad, for some good years again, I would be able to live my life without fear. At primary 5, I already had girls if girlfriends isn’t the right word to use. I mean, my cousins told everyone I was coming around and they probably hyped me to everyone who cared to listen. As soon as I landed, I came through as a king.

Even in my new school, my neatness set me apart, and my intelligence just kept my above the clouds man. I was reigning! Staying with this my cousin’s wasn’t still my best life, it came with it negativity. Staying away from my dad made me play a lot, and this resulted in me bed wetting. This wasn’t funny at all, as I had younger ones who didn’t bed wet. It was super embarrassing!! It also came with me having pimples at a young age; my face became terribly bad, some even called me pimples paradise. Even my teachers and friends gave me tips on what and what not to use, but what in the world hadn’t I used to get my fresh face back? All just resulted in black spots and much more acnes on my face. It was a really terrible experience for me. There came again short sightedness of my vision. I couldn’t sit at my normal back seat. I who usually made the back benchers feel serious had to let go of that to get to the front seat so as to see the board. This is the part of my life I also knew how to communicate and befriend girls. I also came in contact with porn at this part of my life, I guess everyone all had that part. My dad visited once a while, and you can bet I was usually on my best behavior on such visits. Even my cousin knew how my dad was, they allowed me be ‘that’ me.

This part of my life is the most vivid moment of my life as I can recall every passing day as it went, and this time I was with my dad, but in a boarding school. When my dad first told me I was going to a boarding school, I remember crying my life out I didn’t want to. I remembered stories of “miss koin koin” “bush babies and their rich mat” “bullying seniors” etc. I wasn’t ready to start living that life, for a kid who has always been a day student all his life. Life became sour when I realized it was an single sexed school, I had never imagined in my life I would go to such a school, and the school itself was one of the best schools in the country, KING’S COLLEGE, LAGOS!!!

**I’m beginning to feel it’s when I’m sad I tend to write better, really dunno why it’s so**

Getting into KC (Kings College) was the highlight of my teenage years. KC was a new world entirely, it felt unusually different from where I was coming from. I could feel new vibes, learning the way to survive in a single sex school. One moment that brought tears to my eyes was the resumption day, coming from a different school though boarding too, but KC style was just different. I literally had nothing I was to present for the hostel requirements, I had to buy everything at the venue. Guess it got to a point, my dad was frustrated (we were to pay for another thing). I could see the sadness on his face, he never thought we were going to spend much. Just as the hostel master requested money for another requirement I didn’t have, he cried out! In my life, I had never seen my dad that sad before, I could tell he had spent a lot and literally had nothing on him again. The hostel master didn’t even care, he just kept on saying things I didn’t have that I needed to get. My dad, couldn’t even stay for a moment more, he just left!

I wanted to go after him, but I could read his mind, I could tell what was going through his mind and I didn’t want to worsen the situation. It’s really an unforgettable moment! He came back actually to settle the remaining bill, then he told me he had to go borrow money from his friend nearby. That crushed my heart- I think from that moment, I began to realize we were not rich in my family.

School began, and as a usual new student, you’ve got to prove yourself to become outstanding and that was a no joke area where I was raised. My first result was among the best in the school, but I had some subjects I did woefully in. You can predict, my dad didn’t care about the number of A’s or whatsoever, but for the E’s I had in Physics and Further Maths. Throughout my holidays, those two subjects became my forte. Another incident happened after the break that made me wonder if I was going to be a writer or just had the talents for writing.

As at the previous English exam paper, we were told to write an essay on “Kings College:School of my Dream”. You can bet I wrote and unwrote (lol). There was a part I actually stated I had expected Kings College to be like the name implied, you know classical school treatment. But the reality was far from what I experienced in my first term of stay. That essay got me a 18/20!! Lol! I really don’t know how the teacher marked it, because I know it’s usually not easy to get such a high mark in essay writing, but I did!

So while we were in class, a new English teacher was revising with s about the previous exam and how people wrote rubbish, she just kept on lamenting on how poor thewriting was. I was just at a corner wondering why the woman was telling us such stories, like we cared. Then she called me out after noticing my attitude to come tell the class what I wrote. Hopefully she was expecting me to come fumble. Guess I gave her the surprise of her life! After I finished, then she asked for my name, immediately she heard that, I think he rang a bell in her head. Then she went “ohh, you’re that Kamil Moses? I read your paper, you write really well. You’re very good. Guess you’re the only one who wrote anything sensible in this class…. On and on she went about whining about how good my essay was. You can suspect, all eyes were on me! That ‘brilliant boy’ look they were all giving me swelled the shit outta my head. lol- I couldn’t ask for anything less, in just a moment, I became my English teacher’s favourite student, and the next guy to watch out for in class.

A particular event that happened in my final year changed my perspective. Till this very day, I respect this friend of mine for what he did. No one! And I say no one, not even those that were closer friends could have done so. This unfortunate event happed whole we were about entering about final year (ss3), while we were still in ss2. We were all “shadowing” to be prefects in the next session. Being a perfect was the highlight then, u had supreme power over all students, even comparable power to some teaching staffs. Trust me, it was the shit!!!

So as I was saying, a rule was put out by the school authority that if anyone applying for a post was caught cheating in the ongoing exams, the application was to be forfeited straight up. For people like my friends and I, we really had no issues with that, we could excel with our brains, just in few occasions where brains and other things could be useful and you feel, I might need a couple of papers with me.

Computer science was our last paper this unfortunate day. You know boys disregarded computer as a subject. We all felt it was more practical and there was nothing to read. Akin and I just got a lil paper to key in important notes should in case we might need it; we weren’t just going fail just like that. Shit hit the roof when the invigilator caught Akin spying on something, but Akin was fast enough to discard. I was sitting beside Akin, and when his name was mentioned I also quickly discarded my paper in case we were all searched.

Unfortunately, Akin’s chip (the name we called little papers taken to exam halls) wasn’t found, but guess who’s chip was found – mine !!!! One would predict since the handwriting didn’t match Akin’s handwriting, the chip was going to be discarded, but the crazy invigilator didn’t let it slide. This is when the saying “everyday for the thief, one day for the owner” caught up with us in real life. The invigilator took this case up to the Vice Principal, all these so as not to allow Akin become a perfect as he also applied to be the Health Prefect.

But really since the handwriting’s didn’t match, we all thought it was going to be safe, till the VP also took it up to the Principal. Shit!! I was with Akin all these while helping him plead it wasn’t his handwriting, but the teacher’s were like if it wasn’t his, whose own was it? Mine! But no one could speak. Akin couldn’t snitch on me, neither could I give myself in. I wasn’t going to forfeit my application to be a perfect. We continued this case for days bruh! Going up and down the school explaining it was Akin’s handwriting, buy all they wanted to hear was if it wasn’t Akin’s, whose chip was it?

God bless Akin everyday for this really. He didn’t mention my name when he could just turn his back and snitch on me, but he didn’t. That was how Akin lost his opportunity to become a prefect man, letting me have mine. That’s true friendship! I don’t wanna know anything, that’s just true friendship. I became the Library Prefect of my set, and Akin was just like every other senior student. Life changed for us both, coz we were gonna be living separately and in different hostels. That’s how I unintentionally let my brother down. Till this moment, it still hurts me that I haven’t been able to apologize for what happened to him and how it didn’t give me up when he could.


This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by YNaija.com.

We publish, un-edited, Nigerians telling the stories of their everyday lives. Read all the narratives daily on the Nigerian Voices vertical. You can also contribute your own story titled ‘Nigerian Voices’ to [email protected]

 

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