#JAMBchronicles part 2
So, the next day, I went to JAMB office at Ikoyi with his PA. His PA was a handsome big bear of a man. Tall and huge. And bearded. And Igbo. I had a crush on him. I wanted to marry an Igbo man. I wanted to marry a tall and huge and handsome and bearded Igbo man. I wanted to have little half Igbo half Yoruba babies with a tall and huge and handsome and bearded Igbo man. But of course, I hid these churning emotions from him. I was 17 and he was probably in his late 20s or early 30s. Teenage crushes are so fickle. Because as much as I wanted to marry him and have his babies then, I can’t for the life of me remember his name now. I remember the name of my dad’s driver that drove us then – Mr Osuji but I cannot remember the name of the man that I hoped to marry and have children with. He just saw me as a lil kid, his oga’s daughter and treated me with courtesy and kindness.
So, we got to Ikoyi, anyone who did JAMB in the 80s would know what Ikoyi JAMB office was like. It was teeming with teenagers justling each other to get vantage position to be able to let in to the colonial building. The future lotharios had started honing their skills there with cat calls and that annoying ‘ssss sssss’ sound.
Turns out my dad’s PA could get me in. He had a commanding stature and personality so, one of the security guards opened the gate for us and effortlessly, we submitted the form.
Fast forward to a few months later.
Bunmi, mo gbo wipe JAMB results ti jade. Bunmi, I learnt that JAMB results are out. Ehn? I asked. Ehn… o ti jade. Lo pelu PA mi l’ola ke lo gba result e. Go with my PA tomorrow to get your results. I excused myself to go to the loo.
Whenever I am nervous, my stomach starts churning and I want to go the loo. Fast. What am I going to do?
I had spent the last one year of A levels having so much fun that I forgot to study. I was a member of the NFA (no future ambition) group called ‘Gbeke’ – shortened form of ‘egbe eke’ – the group of gossipers. That was all we did. Gossip and eat and have fun and play truant, going to Bar Beach and eleko beach for beach parties. In my defence, I was not in the hard core group of the group who played truant. I came to school every school day. I just did not come to school to learn. And when we were in class(eventually), all we did was giggle and make fun secretly of the teachers. I remember our Economics teacher who called Economics ‘Heconomis’. He had serious Yoruba ‘H’ factor accent, Mr Ikumoro. We called him Mr Ikuoro. Because that was what his classes felt like. Death. Painful death – Iku oro. His English was so godawful, with so much gbagouns that one day, in class, Biodun Macgregor, whom he called ‘Margrehgoh’ opened an umbrella and sat under it. When he asked her why she had a brolly up in class, Biodun said somethings were hitting her body and she suspected that the ceiling was leaking. Poor man left the front of the class to come and check the leaking ceiling while we all positively choked back laughter.
For some reason, even with my lack of seriousness, the school authorities thought it was a good idea to make me the senior prefect. Till today, I still don’t understand how and why they felt I was worthy of it. And to make it worse, the day they named the prefects for the next year was the one day I played truant. I had to be serious now. I suspect that was the reason I was made the SP. To tie me down to seriousness. But there were girls who were already serious ke. I don’t know. Though I became serious, I could not make up for the months I had lost faffing around school. I did not do well in the exams and it was looking like I was NOT going to be promoted to Up6. I was in deep merde. Who has ever heard of a SP repeating a class? I HAD TO GET JAMBED!!!! If only I had left my options for where my dad had ‘leg’. But I had only just gone and changed it to UNIJOS!!! We knew nobody there!!!
So, the next day, I went to Ikoyi with my ‘man’. My ‘man’ who did not have the foggiest idea about how he made butterflies flit around in my tummy whenever he was around me. This time, the amount of teenagers pushing and shoving to get in was in the hundreds possibly. All around the JAMB office where these teenagers and occasionally people in their 20s and 30s trying to get into the building. No cat calling this time. This time, it was desperation central.
My ‘man’, by virtue of his commanding presence and having the gift of the garb and possibly having some Naira to grease palms, got us in effortlessly. We got the results. 235. 235/400. Not a bad result, but not a fantastic result. This would not get me in to study law. But I hope I could still get to study English.
We went back to my dad’s Nigerian Ports Authority office and gave him the results. Ah he said. 235 pere Bunmi. This cannot get you to study Law. I will have to pull out all the stops to get you into Unilag with this. Let me call Prof Adadevoh (the then Unilag VC and an ‘egbon’ to my dad) to book an appointment with him.
Bunmi, I said to myself, I think now is a good time to tell him Unilag is not gonna happen o.
I smiled at my dad. Ok sa. Mo fe lo’ole sa. I want to go home sir. Ok he said. Osuji will take you home. I will call Prof and let you know when we are going to see him.
To be cont.