I have been writing a couple of posts. Hoping to have a steady flow of updates so that you might not get bored with my awful stories. I am sorry but I have to start with this…simple…post because of one simple reason:
My sisters are going back to school.
I had once written on how I hate boarding schools. I might need to detail my hate. Not today. Today, I’ll rant about my sisters going ——-BACK TO SCHOOL and why it bothers me.
La rentrée scholaire( excuse my French)
My sisters have been packing their trunks for weeks now. Deodorant here, stockings there, detergent here, chips there…it looks like a surgery room.
Especially since I don’t know the use of half of the items.
In fact all the items except the edibles.
They will both be heading to lower sixth- the last but one class before University (college).
Leila intends to study pediatrics and Sonia wants to get into Journalism (I guess I can be a role model after all…).
Leila loves children. That is her reason to pursue medicine. I would not lie -I am not convinced. I don’t doubt her capacity to succeed. Not at all. She just made it at the GCE with the 10 papers she sat for. That should be enough to express readiness to engage the world and make a career decision.
Or is it?
After spending close to five years moseying from one faculty to another, I developed a keen sense of passion. I can smell passion and she doesn’t stink of it …yet. Or maybe I am just intimidated by her blind trust. Who cares? I know she will do whatever she puts her mind to. I just think the earlier, the better.
She will probably never read this post but she knows she can always count on me (and I will shut my mouth when she takes her decisions). Who am I to decide the future of the youth?
Sonia will be a great communicator. I can see it. If and only if she taps into her true self. She has time to learn. I just think that- like the average Cameroonian youth (including me) – she doesn’t read as much as she should. She has many talents and skills. If she could just harness herself to reach a slightly above average level in any, she would do great.
They are young. They have time.
Or do they?
They are getting into that class at the same time that I did. The same time I made the mistake that stayed in my tracks like the Dahaka. (Dahaka: from Prince of Persia- The Sands of Time: mythical demon that chased the Prince to restore balance. From the moment he used the Sands of Time to go back in time and save his father’s kingdom from the evil Vizier, the Dahaka never, ever relented).
I had to choose myself in 2012(borrowing there from my mentor James Altucher) and it takes a lot of meditation and self-assessment to find one’s ‘purpose’. I don’t even think I am close.
What I have achieved so far is that I have stopped worrying about ‘what I want to become’ and focus on ‘who I am’ not ‘who I was’.
I read a lot. Researched a lot. I am still doing that. I don’t see my sisters doing it and that bothers me.
But hey…who am I to decide the route for self-discovery? I found mine through introspection and self-analysis.
Not forgetting a lot of frustration.
I searched the stuff that made me happy in the past. Listening to myself and shutting the noise out.
“This Medical Lab Science thing pays eh!”
“With a PhD in Public Health you could go really far”.
“You can do anything with 6As and 5Bs. But the sciences are better”
It takes passion and a great amount of selfishness to achieve self-discovery. I will argue that later.
My sisters are going to school and my parents like the average Cameroonian parent- are under the regular stress of school fees. I still think my sisters don’t value the money spent.
Just like I did.
They are worried about being hassled by the Upper Sixth Students and portraying badass attitudes.
(As though I did not do the same…)
It is expensive sending a child to a good boarding school in Cameroon. If you have attended one or have a child or relative in one, you would understand what it takes to dish out close to 500,000 FrsCFA per head at the beginning of academic year and sustain the return in January after the Christmas Break, and after the second term break.
This amount excludes transport fares and other prerequisites.
All the ‘chin-chin’, plantain chips, fried groundnuts, biscuits etc.( these ‘reserves’ usually finish in a less than a month!) and other alimentary requirements ( oh…glorious Garri! ) cost money. For some parents, it is easy to afford these.
For others, not that easy.
Did I mention boarding schools provide three square meals for every students?
Sending a child to school requires greek courage. Sending a child to boarding school requires you to be Achilles.
My parents have their weaknesses but they have never, ever spared any expense at giving us a proper education. I spent seven years in St. Bede’s College Ashing-Kom. So did my brother. My sisters are both in their fifth year. I am grateful for the teachers. But I wonder whether education should cost that much.
Again, I will argue that later.
Tomorrow, the second wife of the house and my first baby will be going back to school. They will study hard and make good grades. Or not.
I just hope they will have fun.