See, I know a lot of you will judge me based on your pessimistic way of thinking but I’ll really appreciate it if you can patiently read through my story before collecting your SAN-PHD certificates.
I worked here for 10 good years. I grew into puberty here as in I wore my first “wrappad”(a piece of wrapper cut and folded like a colorful pad) and secondhand Bra in this house and no one, I mean, no one taught me how it was done. My parents died as a result of a car crash that happened and this woman came to my village for a wedding, heard about the unfortunate incident and decided to take me with her so she could reduce the burden on the nun who took my elder brothers and I in her custody. She chose me and I was excited. I was finally going to a city, I would see airplanes, big cars, ships, white people, and maybe I’ll also find a husband for myself too and start a family. I had plans to send money home too after a while so the good nun could use it for upkeep but I knew I had to work first and save money in my “gongomi”. I also heard her say she would ensure I continue my education in the city too. Yes, that was also part of my dreams too. I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to save lives because my parents would have survived the crash had there been a good doctor in the clinic when it happened but there was none and the only available medical staff present was the mid wife and nurse who were busy birthing a Child. I lost my parents to the cold hands of death after a few hours to excessive blood loss and no formal medication save for the first aid treatment they had en route the hospital.” I” had plans to become a better person too in life so “I” could help others, that was “my parents” plan. That was my plan. That, was the whole plan.
I got into the big city with my foster parents and I started with the kitchen first. I was the cleaner, the cook, the keeper, the queen of the store. I basically lived in the kitchen for the first 9months, she called it home training. Oh, bear in mind, that she had two daughters that were slightly older than I was but I guess their place was outside Nigeria, in one of the good and expensive schools. From the kitchen, my job migrated to the parlor and rooms when the main cleaner was sacked for sleeping off on Ogas favorite chair for the up tenth time in the parlor while he was cleaning. I became a cleaning cook. I cleaned and cooked the little I could for the drivers, gate man, laundry man, gardener and myself. Madam couldn’t cook our food because #housegirldaughteravailable….. My salary was N3000 per month but after the cleaner left, it was increased to N4,000. Madam gave me only N500 per month for credit to call home, she said she was saving the remaining for my school fees. That was an okay enough reason for me not to worry, at all.
Cooking started becoming easy for me because our meals were limited to this or that. Never this and that. Oh well, By the time I started my period, I was clueless as to what and how to go about it, I told madam and she said I should use wrapper that it was cheaper and easier to use. She bought me two yards of ankara and showed me how to wrap it. I was grateful, very grateful. I didn’t even know buying a sanitary towel was so affordable. The impression she gave me was “You’ll be doing this every month for the next 40 years or more, buying the foreign one will only eat into your fees. Or don’t you want to go to school again?” Ahhh, school, that was all that kept me going oh. Just knowing that I will be a doctor in the end was worth all the cooking and cleaning. I started trying to read some books and answering some questions on my own from the books her children brought back sometimes from school. I became a good reader and I perfected my writing. I was ready. 3years after, I still hadn’t started school and by my calculation I had saved over N100,000 which was enough to buy my uniforms, shoes, books and other necessary things to start attending the government school around the area. By then I was 15 years old. I already had my primary school leaving cert in the village so continuing in a high school was the next step
The time was nigh.
I approached madammummy subtly, reminding her of my wish to continue schooling and how much I think I had saved to take care of some of the necessary bills. She said she needed a help before I could start school because she didn’t think it was possible to work and school at the same time. I didn’t mind, I started asking around for a help for my madam, I asked around for about 2 years before madam finally found one by herself. I was over 17years old then and I still had plans for school and my savings was over N200,000, good good. MadamMummy enrolled me into the public school and I started from jss3 because I was too old to be in jss1. I caught up after the first term and I suddenly became one of the best student in my class. I aced almost all my subjects save for technical drawing and hausa. I represented my school severally in debates and every time I brought a gift home, madammummy will grudgingly say well done. I finished with a good result and I applied to study medicine in the University of Ibadan. My jamb score was high too and that helped me in securing the admission. But madammummy said it was better for me to spend a year at home first to save enough before furthering my education, seeing as all the money I had worked for was spend in my secondary education. It was a public school, remember. How does one spend over N300,000 in 4years + jamb and waec in a public school? I asked her politely to help me with the breakdown of how the money was spent so I’ll know what’s left and how to save for it….That was when my real Madammummy decided to show her true self….