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Lesson From Garden City Literary Festival

Traffic was high. I kept believing God that I must make it to the government house. I thought of getting to the house to pick my book, “The Total Girl”, but had a ministration never to get home but go straight. Finally, I was at the security post by Supabod stores. I saw a very large crowd and was unable to get in. Under the scourching sun youths from all walks of life were struggling to get in to no avail. Already many who came earlier have made their way in and were already seated.

At last we were asked to be on the queue. I joined in the queue. Later on the ladies were asked to queue on a separate line under the wise decision of the Hon. Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ibim Seminetari who was committed to letting the youths go in, particularly the females. Some of the females jumped the queue, disobeyed the order, went to where the guys queued up. But the Hon. Commissioner kept doing what she was humbly doing. I got my number, remained focused and when it was time for us to move, we went inside.

The whole place was already filled, no seats. We stood for quite a while. I was at the rear, behind the canopy, listened to our leaders and youths speak. Majority spoke about the personal challenges while a few spoke on the plight of their communities and the leadership. I had the urge to say something but the crowd was much. How do I find myself to the front where my hands would be seen if raised up? At first it was difficult but I decided to raise my hands when I remembered the dream I had on Sunday 16th April, 2011 early morning. I invited the yelling ovation from the guys behind by raising my hands. Words came rolling out, “Na who go see dis your hand for this back weh you deh?” Your hand no deh tire?” Abeg keep your hand down! “Or find way go front”! I remained calm, threw a joke that kept them smiling and laughing. I used the privilege to get my way through, still raising the hands (the right hand) as I pulled through. I solicited someone’s help who sat at the edge of the seat because I was tired. Finally I got to the front and kept raising my hands up down, up down, for almost 1hr 30minutes. The truth of the matter was that the M.C all along has been pointing and calling out people to speak. For more than six times he passed me by, an action that made the guys around the front rows shout at him, saying, “Why don’t you want to call this lady whose hands have been raised for quite a long time?” I doubt if he heard them or not. At that point I decided to pen down my questions and contribution on a plain sheet which I hurriedly wrote but stated the facts clearly. When I finished what did I hear the mc say “one more person and then we will draw the curtain close”. My heart panted, I felt low but something made me to be strong again. My hands were raised up again, the MC began to look at the faces and came to where I was, passed me by and called the next guy under the next canopy. There and then I heard the voice of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi interrupt the M.C, “no, let that lady come!” He pointed at me and said “You that lady, come out and speak”!

            What? Me? Is it me he is calling out? These were the questions that flooded my heart. But I ran out immediately because I was prepared. The microphone was then given to me by the M.C, as directed by the governor.

            I got the microphone from the MC, thanking him. Then I poured out my contributions and questions as stated below: “Thank you very much, your Excellency (with a bow in respect and honour to His Excellency). I am very delighted for the privilege given to me. First of all I thank God for the beautiful way He had guided you to pilot the affairs of our dearRiversState. Particularly, my sincere gratitude goes to your amiable wife and the mother of the state, Her Excellency, Lady Judith Amaechi who honoured me at my book launch captioned ‘The Total Girl’. It was the very first outing of Her Excellency immediately you came on board as the Executive Governor ofRiversState.

            “Your Excellency, with all sense of humility and respect, I am glad to inform you that the book, ‘The Total Girl’ presented  to the public by your amiable wife, Her Excellency, Lady Judith Amaechi, has  been approved by three states of the federation: Rivers, Edo and Ebonyi state ministries of education respectively; for use in secondary schools”.

 Let’s pause for a moment. Did you know that a few persons criticized me for not telling the Governor to procure the book and distribute to schools in the state? Could you believe that some criticized me for not telling the governor that I am unemployed?

            Others constructively criticized me for saying I am not a graduate of any Nigerian University but by God’s grace I have acquired three professional international certificates in French from the Alliance Française, France, attested by the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE)? According to them, “Doing that will make people stand in your way, to prevent you from having access to government support and that  of the private sector, with the sterling qualities and natural abilities God has endowed you.”

However, I wish to state from My Kitchen Window that it is my desire to encourage others to stand up and do something for themselves that has made me to give vivid examples of myself in my articles. Know that life strives on series of tries.####

(To be continued)

 

Angela Inyena Anietie

 

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