We, I and my sister, got home from Ibadan and after exchanging pleasantries, settled down to catch up with Becquerel.

“How far with school? What are you people doing now? When will you go on break?”

“We are starting exams on Monday.”

Her shocking reply was given halfway between swallows of ‘semovita’ and okro soup. No blink. No readjustment of her body. No reduction in the morsel size.

This was Friday evening and even those previously at home had not known she was to start exams soon. Well, moving on.

“Which subjects do you have on Monday?”

“I don’t know.”

“You say?”

“I sha know we are starting exam on Monday.”

“How will you say you don’t know? How have you now been reading?”

“I am reading everything.”

Boss!!! Boss lady!!! She is reading sixteen subjects at the same time!!!

“Whatever happened to your timetable?”

“I don’t have.”

“You don’t have like the teachers did not give you because somehow they think you have the spirit of prophesy inside you so that you know what subjects you have ahead of time? Or you don’t have like you decided not to copy it?”

Becquerel, just as with her school notes, had opted out on copying her timetable. Her reasons:

_ She could read all the subjects such that whatever they brought, she won’t be caught unawares.

_ Those that copied the timetable, as usual, copied rubbish.

And the last but most powerful reason, when confronted with the possibility of failing, was that,

“We are all olodos, so, ko need.”

*** In Our Family ***

We grew up with it and in the name of ‘affliction’ shall not rise the second time, we are trying to stop it now that we are adults… At least, most of us.

It’s that thing about not eating the animal in your meal until the rest of the food is done with. So, you can’t eat your meat till you’ve finished the rice and you can’t touch the fish until the semo is over.

When my friends in school tried to intervene, they advised that I add egg to whatever animal I had with the meal. That way, I would eat the meal with the egg and take the animal later.

But no, the egg and the animal stayed till the end and the animal then became the ‘reward’ for finishing the egg.

It must not go on to the next generation.

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