Without A Dad: Chronicles of Childhood with so many mixes .
All my life I’ve worked so hard and I’ve tasted both sides of life.
Having a wealthy father, educated mother and wealthy maternal grandparents yet, growing up to experience poverty equipped me with so much experience.
Almost everything I’ve achieved in my life I’ve always taken the decision and action to go get it.
I remember at the age of 5, we were at my maternal home then. One early morning I decided it was time for me to start school . I’d had enough of having to babysit my youngest sister. My mum was at school then for her NCE and my grandparents went to market. They were tobacco merchants.
I hadn’t discussed this with anyone so no one knew what was coming. Not even my elder brother who I planned to follow knew of my plans. That morning I went to the backyard and picked one of the leftover planks there as my slate.
I left for school following my brother. I can’t remember now how he reacted, but I did get to school somewhat by myself.
During registration I told them my name as Faustina Uche and that was it . I started school that day.
My mum usually comes home every Friday and on getting home she heard I’ve registered and started school. I don’t know what her reaction was all I remembered was that she wanted to be sure I used my Igbo name to register. She asked in a line like, “I hope you’re answering Chidinma?” I said, “no I registered with Faustina.” She racked and that was it. I loved my ‘strange’ name as it was called then. All my school time I used to be the only one with the name. Maybe ones or twice there will be one more person called Faustina. I loved my name.
You see, right from childhood I’ve always had my own mind and knew exactly what I wanted from life. I make decisions that wont please everyone. But I made sure at least that it was exactly what I believed was right for me. In the end though my decisions have always brought smiles to people’s faces. Though sometimes they won’t want to admit it to my face or in public.
I started babysitting my youngest sister at the age of 4 and at the age of 6 I could cook, bath my sisters and was fully responsible for them when mum is at school. My grand mother was a legend. She is super strong and industrious. She was wealthy and well known. She helped so many people, trained so many in school.
My maternal home used to have over 20 people at all times eating from her kitchen at every meal.
She knew how to delegate and get result. So it was my direct duty to care for my sisters and to report to her of any issues as soon as she’s back from market . This was how we operated during the week and in the weekends my mum will come home and for once I’ll become a child again.
I loved Friday evenings , Saturday and early Sundays. By 4pm Sundays our lives will suddenly change again. Mum will be back to school and I’d have to grow up again.
To be continued …