“.. and Nathanael said unto him;
Can anything good come out of Nazareth…”
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Going back in time will help you understand better than just going forward. Picture this, the year is 2013 and the location is a cream and green coloured private secondary school deep in the heart of the ancient city, Ibadan. A young boy in his sweet sixteen is running after an army green Peugeot 407 car because the instruction given was, “Get to my office! My car must not get there before you”. On getting to the office, he is given six strokes of a horse whip (koboko) on his little behind (if he cried or not, that story would be for another day). What did he do? you might ask, He flunked the Principal’s Weekly Essay, for the fifth time, in a row (consistency!) and he didn’t show any sign of sobriety.
With that premise, we could proceed. Growing up I’d always envisioned myself having a superpower, an ability to turn whatever I think of, into a readable and well thought out material for the world to gain from, but obviously this was not going as planned as I could not even string together a thousand words that will make my principal happy and save myself from the lashes. I was not getting the results I wanted, but I still had a dream and that was all it was as far as I was concerned: a dream was all it was. Back then, I would say that I had failed my principal’s weekly essays due to sheer stubbornness, negligence and lack of faith in the unknown. I was always bothered about not knowing how the write up would turn out the moment my pen stops moving, I was always bothered about the perception the reader would have of me when he or she eventually gets a copy of whatever I wrote. This made me have doubts about my ability as I believed I would not be able to pin down anything good; yes, I actually did not, until I changed my mindset. All these at such a young age were very tenable reasons which I used to back up my argument that writing was not for me, but in the eyes of my ex-military principal, they were valuable reasons to flog me with more ferociousness and even hire an external hand to compliment it.
The journey to this very moment has been filled with bitter-sweet memories which I remain grateful for. The truth remains that without those bitter moments, without the constant reawakening from the end of that horsewhip, I am certain that I would not have left my comfort zone. I probably would not have the honour of being responsible for creating the imaginations you are having as you read this, neither would I have been given the opportunity to use this platform as an avenue to share my thoughts and stories with you. Due to that constant reminder and mentorship with grace and a bit of hard work, this column, ‘Life of a Banter’ is born.
Life of a Banter will be a bi-weekly publication of short stories (personal or imaginative), advice, thoughts and generally random but enlightening content that would be beneficial to all. You can drop your comments, questions, contributions and we would ensure you get a swift response. This journey is far from being over, but the rise of this phase is a dream come true and a ray of hope that from now on. This ride would be fun, because I have you.
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Welcome, my name is Nuel and I’ll be your banter.