When I got to the T-junction, I saw a group of boys and girls probably waiting to board a bus or taxi. I noticed some of them were also holding JAMB e-registration slips, it was obvious they were also going to my centre because it was the only one close-by. I was tempted to join them but then I remembered I only had 50naira. E nor too pain me sha, after all, treking was an exercise.
Halfway through my journey, I started memorising some mathematical formulas in my head. Maths was the only subject not giving me joy at all. My other JAMB subjects( English, Economics and Government ) na work over. No wonder I got C6( nearly failed ) in maths last year when I sat for WAEC.
I passed by a popular Bet 9ja shop known all around town and was surprised to see that it was practically empty. Today being a Saturday, when EPL games were usually played, boys would normally have crowded the place( placing their bets ). Shuuuuoo!, wetin happen today na, abi all them dey write JAMB too. I laughed out loudly at the thought of that. A small boy of about 7, hawking oranges, who had been working close by and in front of me turned to look at me.
“Uncle, you sure say you dey alright”, he asked blatantly. “Em, oh yes, I dey fyn”, I replied scratching my head. Who go blame the small boy for thinking am a mad person. The rest of my trekking journey was a bore, filled with different thoughts.
I arrived at my exam centre at about 12:10pm, hmmmm the school make brain sha. But I’ll always prefer Enugu-Ezike’s boys government college. That school changed me from a dummy( Olodo ) to a brilliant star boy, I earned a scholarship to higher institution because of them( una tinx say my papa get one money to train me for school before, lol ).
On entering the school compound, everywhere was crowded with candidates, “Mehn!, we plenty oh, how will the small Ict room of this school size all of us”, I said to myself. I walked shyly( am usually shy in public ) to a guy who was on NYSC uniform, he was obviously one of the corpers, assigned to coordinate today’s event. O boy!, the uniform fit am die, I just start to dey imagine myself wearing it.
“Em, excuse me sir”, I said. “Yeah, anything?”, he replied. “Oh yes sir, please which set of candidates are currently sitting for the exam”. “It’s the candidates scheduled for 7:30 am”, he replied. “Jesus”, I almost screamed. “What’s that”, the corper asked looking at me with a “don’t tell me you don’t know this is the usual” look. “It’s nothing sir”, I said and walked away.
Chaii!, so Prosper was right. Almost 12:30pm now and the candidates scheduled for 7:30 were still writing not even the ones of 11:30 sef. Now I know why everywhere was crowded. Chaii Chaii!, nawa for this country oh.
Miraculously, I saw an empty bench, unoccupied by anyone. I quickly sat down, at least I found somewhere to meditate and recollect myself. I started looking around.
Mehn!, see the way “world people” dress like say na party dem dey come. Putting on all the reigning clothes, Versace, Gucci, D&G and the rest. Some which am sure they probably borrowed just so they could show off. Me I nor get anyone and I don’t usually bother myself about my appearance.
Just a faded black T-shirt, old blue jeans, worn out boxer and Prosper’s borrowed palm sandal were enough for me. See girls!, see people future mama!, some dressed seductively as if e go help them pass the exam( Enugu girls sha ). I saw a girl studying a big government textbook, just imagine, reading wey she for don do finish since, now wey be dying minute nai she wan take serious, mtcheeeeew.
I stopped looking around and went back to rehearsing my maths formulas. All was going well until about four girls came to join me on the bench. At first, I was OK with it, then suddenly they started discussing Zee world. That really pissed me off. Chaii!, see people children wey come write JAMB( girls and Zee World sha ). “So how do you guys check out the divorce agreement made for Siddhart and Roshni”, one of them said. Another one replied, “Yeah, I love it, am sure they will get back together soon……………
They kept on and on, until I couldn’t take it any longer. I worked away to stand beside an elderly man of about sixty( my dad’s age ) reading a newspaper. “Young boy, what time will the 1:30 scheduled candidates start”, he asked me. I was surprised, I thought he was the parent to one of the candidates but then I saw his e-registration slip with his passport embroidered on it. “Shuuuuoo, so this kind old man wan still write JAMB, nothing wey person nor go see for this country”, I said within me.
“Em, I really don’t know sir, am also scheduled for that time, we just have to wait”. He replied “ok” and continued reading his newspaper.
I seriously don’t know how the rest of the afternoon passed by but by 4pm on the dot, an elderly learned man holding a microphone announced that 1:30 scheduled candidates should line up for thumb-printing. My heart jumped inside my mouth, in fact, my heart fly. I looked around to see if I could get a glimpse of my bestie, Prosper. Mehn!, that guy get mind oh, so he still dey house till na, okwaya.
15 minutes later, I was seated in my numbered chair and table 057( seat number ), in front of my computer. Gosh!, am so nervous, the AC in the Ict room was not helping matters. I sat timidly, hands and legs crossed( I’ve heard stories of how people dey use their own body take dey off their computer by mistake ). I need to make sure my village people will not try that one with me.