“ Debating society needs more extroverts more than introverts. It needs people that can argue even when they are not sure of what they are saying. Introverts don’t like arguing in public. So, we needs Blessing Okorie in that group”------- Miss Funke
“ But I thought the most criteria should be having adequate knowledge of the subject matter not making uncoordinated noise in the name of arguments”----- Mr. Chris quipped.
“ The advantage Blessing has over John is that she is not all that far away from John as far as intelligence goes and she is an extrovert. John I agree can be wonderful at times but he would just lay down his points and expect you to see the obvious as if every teacher knows their right from left”
“ How do you know that the coordinators of this debate at the level we are now don’t Know their right from left? Above all, how do you know that they can’t dictate bolstering from really courage”
“That and is more reasons we needs Blessing in that group more than John. Here is Nigeria not western world. Most of these organizers doesn’t know shit. None wants embarrassments. Pretend to be confidence in your argument and they will succumb and hand you over the full points. Blessing is good at that. It has served us well in two occasions, why won’t it again”
“ Why am saying this is that local government and state level is never the same. Things like that doesn’t work there. Remember two years ago?”
“Two years ago is history, today is now. Let give it a trial again”
“John has done wonderfully well this year. Dropping him for Blessing is like shooting oneself on the foot.”
“ I am the one with final say on this group. I can’t understand why you are poking your noise so deep in this issue. I have told you that Blessing is going not John. If it amounts to shooting ourselves on the foot, let try it. You never know about clutches”
“ I am of the opinion that all of us belongs to this school and that interest of the school should supersede our personal interest. I am confused here”
“ Let me understand you well Mr. Chris. I thought I am the senior staff here, are you trying to organize a coup or what? Do you really wants to contest with me? Ah! Be fully ready for I am”
“Contest with you how, I don’t understand. Please explain”
“Of course, you don’t understand. When that list I submitted is tampered with, then you would understand. You needs explanation, right?”
“waits a minutes here. Are you threatening me Miss Funke?”
“ You will know soon. No need to hurry. Try and you would see.”
Both were in charge of debating group in Agiri secondary School since three years now. Both had been living like dog and cat for that three years. Their views differs a ton, their approach differs, their vision for the group differs. Even knowledge and assessment of the students differs too. Nothing in common.
Miss Funke it seems to Chris is eager to replace her favorites for the rewards she believes is coming to the school and the participants. seeing the manner the school breezed through other competitors in the local government level, she believes that victory is theirs for taking. But a bird in hand worth two in the bush. but not in her calculations.
The lady being from Ijabu town, a town known for it’s verse practices in occult and Diabolic ways. Her colleagues and Mr. Chris is aware of that as well as the whole town. Miss Funke knew that the name Ijabu have served her well everywhere and that have always illicit a chuckle from her once in the comfort of her house.
“ People can be cowards I tell you. Once you open
your mouth in anger, everyone cowers just because
am Ijabu woman.” She chuckles.
Miss Funke knew that Mr. Chris is a coward. She knew that her list won’t be tampered with. But she knew that if the man Summons little courage and approach the principal with his argument that the list would be changed in a fly. But knowing him and rest of the staffs, to discuss that even among themselves is out of the equation. They are afraid she might hear them. So approaching the principal is out of it. She knew that even the principal trust Mr Chris maturity more than her's but the fear of Ijabu is anchor that kept her in the position so far. Since they preferred to judge her not on her characters but town of origin, to God be the glory.
“ God knows I don’t have Knowledge of Panadol let alone
But what is actually wrong with people. Even in the church and building she lives in, people tends to see and commune with her as Ijabu woman instead of miss Funke. The whole town seems to be overflowing with cowards both man and woman.
Many occasions she had gone to the market to buy things, many dealers had been over friendly with her that made her feels uncomfortable. Many have given her what he had money to pay for free with those fake smiles on their faces. It had forced her at times to give some kids list to do her shopping for her just to avoid those poor sellers.
“ Do they think am a witch or what? Maybe
they believed I would draw their monies
once they collect mine”
Most of the times, she is forced to attend children services just to avoid the same treatment. Imagine an older woman giving up her seat for her or some avoiding her pew like plaque.
“ May heaven bless those kids” she always murmur after each service. The kids don’t know Ijabu from ikariba.
True to her estimation, Mr. Chris kept his mouth shut. Her list was approved whole. At times, she felt guilty of using her town and ignorance of the people to her advantage. But who will not when in tight corners. Most of the people afraid of her is more dangerous than everyone in her town raise to power ten.
Blessing’s mother was the one that found apartment for her when she first came to town. The woman doesn’t see her as anything besides miss Funke. The debating group needs to balance in her opinion between the two sexes since the school is a mixed school.
Four students representing each school and theirs had three boys and a girl. Tampering with the only girl there would raise eyebrows. To fix Blessing in, a boy had to go. John being the only introvert among the three, she had no other excuse than to use that as reason.
“ I just pray that Satan would not come demanding
His rights now we are on this level” she concluded.