Saturday, 1 December 2012

A Corper's Cry.....(Dear Mother)


My sweet mother,

I arrived in Borno my place of primary assignment a few hours ago and I know I had to write you this email to calm your nerves because I know you would have been worried sick about me. The trip was long and tiring coupled with the fact that I haven't left Lagos before or gone anywhere that would require sitting for long hours,so besides the pain of my numb buttocks I can say I enjoyed the trip, oh mother! Nigeria is beautiful, the landscape and scenery is breath taking, the vast amount of lands and sight left me in awe, we had a few stops on the way and the natives were so welcoming and I had the opportunity to taste real fresh cow milk which was splendid,we Nigerians despite our ethnic differences have a welcoming heart!

Mother, how I wish we could all be one family, the Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba .it would be so much fun and the social integration of each ethnicity will move us forward..can this ever happen? Is it an illusion or have we turned our heart against the innocent smile of our neighbor.I awoke to the smell of happiness this morning and set out to the village school I'm supposed to teach and obey the clarion call to serve my country. I was welcomed by the little children with smiles on their face and they immediately gave me a name "hunti chicha" which I found out means "Aunty Teacher and these children have so much enthusiasm for knowledge , they were set for the day's lesson right away. It saddens my heart that despite the billions of naira set aside for education each year these wonderful children have sit on the bare cold floor to learn,a class room that also serves as a home for the goats at night which gives it a pungent smell of goat urine  in the morning. I try to picture our so called leaders sitting their plumb buttocks on premium leather seat posh cars while the leaders of tomorrow seat on the floor to learn how to be leaders of tomorrow! Mama my heart bleeds with the pain of seeing the desires of these kids dimming out like the candle in the night. What can I do ? I am not going to sit and complain, I'm going to act , I'm going to start a project from my little savings and the money you gave me for my upkeep to make chairs and tables for the children,I am going to starve if that's what it takes,I'll use the pittance I get from the government in the name of NYSC allowance to support this project..maybe then will my conscience rest, that I've done my best otherwise this 1 yr service won't be enough for me to make an impact.
Mama , I want to thank you for giving me the best from the little you have to make sure I got educated..you've given me the best legacy ever ! And I will try to impact this on this children because as I look into their eyes I see Nigeria !I see Nigeria ..a country that is celebrating the birth of a placenta while neglecting the new born.

By Femi Shine

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