Friday, October 23, 2015

2004 - 2005: Baby Lion Who?


I exited the secondary school I attended just like everybody else. Rammila Secondary had only three grades – eight to ten. I chose a school my older siblings went to approximately ten kilometers from my village to do Grade Eleven and Twelve. I remember my first day with my badly done haircut and that forty-five minutes long walk. Tjees I was extremely tired and anxious. For the first time in my life, I was in an unfamiliar territory with so many learners in one school. I can go as far as saying I was overwhelmed. We did not attend any lessons that first day, they handed out stationery and allocated classes. The only amazing thing that happened that day was the money mom gave me in the morning for lunch. I was not used to that at all.

Though it felt like I just left the kinder garden to the real school, part of me loved the experience. Friends were soon made something I never had to do before. Within a month, I was back to my old self – forward and dreaming big. That school had a reputation of defeating learners who came from my own village school. It was said that only one or two learners yearly from my village school progressed to the next grade and it was hardly on their first try. Before me, only two new learners from my school managed to progress so the jury was out there telling us to pick comfortable desks and chairs as they were to be our homes for the next two years. Others even had names of learners lined up if you dared vowed to change the status quo who were struggling to progress for over two years. Nonetheless, we dreamed anyway. To be honest, I was scared after that. I seriously believed that was my fate.

I do not want to lie, lessons were structured and managed properly from the very first day we started attending. Sometimes it was difficult to adjust but you actually had no choice. Towards the end of the year, someone I loved dearly and who loved me back more than I did was sick. It turned out the sickness started before that, but mom hid it from me, reasons known to her. On Saturday after a soccer game as I was on my way home, I bumped into my brother and he told me mom and dad were back from Jozi. Overjoyed I ran home only to find mom outside not with dad as it was always the case. I didn’t ask but proceeded to the house just to see dad, but their room was slightly closed. I put one and one together. It was a difficult time for me emotionally and physically. The first time I saw him was when I was watching my weekday dose of Passions. He seemed fragile and right there I started crying. Mom was angry and I could tell she wanted to discipline me but instead told me not to cry as he was going to be fine. That was not true, God took what was His at His own time a week or so later. I hated school thereafter, everything that reminded me of school pissed me off. I imagined passing matric and sitting at home doing absolutely nothing. For me, the world was ending.

The world was not ending, I picked myself up when reality kicked in. I had no choice but to. At this time, my other sister and I were starting to build a strong bond. She was there for me in good and bad times after that. Exams came and passed so did December holidays. I had decided not to fetch my report card before holidays instead visited my grandmother. I mean report cards never affected my holidays in any way but this one was different. I only fetched it the following year and was told out of the new learners from my village school who started with me in January at the school, I was the only one who made it. Indeed, I was happy.

In that year, I concentrated on passing Grade Twelve and building a romantic relationship I had started the previous year. Don’t ask me why but those were the only things that mattered to me at that time. I did manage to pass matric and kept the relationship going.

It is true when they say, good things come to those who work tirelessly while waiting.
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