So today is Sunday and I need us to talk about projecting ills as norms in our society and its impact on nation building.
A few months ago, I was invited to invigilate a distance examination in Tamale, one of these big universities extension. Immediately I entered the class to give out the booklets, I realized the students (all obviously older than me) were all one way or the other trying hard to be friendly.
I knew it was a trap, one I wasn't going to fall into. So I kept my countenance "readless". I heard " Ei this small lady does not laugh" but I didn't care.
The exams started and I saw my fathers, mothers, elder brothers and sisters and few grandparents trying to cheat and urging me to be understanding.
Oh first one who brought himself, I isolated. Then I called a second one out, I made the third sit in front of the class, also isolated, then the class became quiet.
An hour into the three-hour paper, one woman started talking, I called her and told her to be careful or I will change her position. The woman got furious.
"Look young girl! You can't come here and talk to us anyhow. Can't you see we might be your grandparents? Me I respect myself so I won't let you talk to me that way. Why don't young people of today respect like that? You have not even given birth yet and behave like you're all that"
Oh, I took my time to listen. When she was done I took my time to address her.
"Grandma, please let me understand you. Because you're old and I am a young woman in authority, I am supposed to watch you cheat and clap for you in my line of duty? Madam, with all your age and grey hair, what can you boast of that I don't have?
Certification in exam malpractice? Many children? Let me know? Whatever it is, you are under my authority, you will either comply or leave this hall for serious ones to work Grandma".
Well, one man apologized to me and the woman kept quiet, her face bearing all the insults which didn't bother me at all.
Some 30 mins or so later, Grandma got up from her seat, bypassed me without saying anything and went out. I also walked to her seat, took her booklet and waited.
Over 8 mins later, she walked in.
Me: Madam please I have done you the honour of picking your booklet because I thought you were done. Do pack your things and leave.
Her: Madam (suddenly placating) please.
Me: Please? I don't know what you went out there to do without permission, madam. So sorry, you need to leave.
All the students started apologizing on her behalf. My petty self gave a condition, to move her and I did. It was quiet to the end.
Fast forward I decided to walk home after because my house is 10 mins away. I had walked barely three minutes when I saw many motorbikes following and insulting me.
Some cursing that I will walk forever. (To me that was a blessing meaning my legs will function that long). Some dared me to talk so they show me pepper. I kept my composure and walked.
From a witch to a wicked woman who doesn't want people to prosper, I kept on walking.
Some almost brought me home. I have thought about this countless times. How workers, mostly teachers and headteachers, saw me as an enemy for standing for what is right.
How will the nation prosper with this attitude? Food for thought.
Background: Teacher at Tamale Senior High School, President of Autism Help Foundation, CEO of Cee's Foods, Writer and Blogger at www.amoafowaa.com
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