Currently serving in a Public Secondary school in the Oyo State Capital, and I am quite certain a number can understand how some of these students always have some sort of vice at their finger tips, and some live to be the ones reporting.
Friday, the 10th of this month, I went to school to sort out an issue. Nothing much happened.
The class captain from one of the arms of SS 1 came to me armed with a list of those that were making noise. I asked him to call those whose names had fallen into his book. And alas, they were all girls. I called the retreating class captain and asked why. Not waiting for his answer, I decided to go to their class myself.
Getting to their class, I saw that it was in fact the whole class that was guilty of the crime. A little exhausted and seeing their hungry eyes waiting to feed on whatever it was ‘Aunty’ had come to do, I asked the whole lot to stand and raise their hands.
There was an expected chorus of ‘aaahhh’.
I chuckled and waited for the silence. This I got for a blissful few seconds. It was in fact I that destroyed it; I asked them to spell ‘Naira Marley’.
I have never seen anything like it. The harmony was daunting.
What I wanted was to grab their attention lest they concentrate too hard on the not so challenging ‘punishment’. I had decided to give a spelling drill and let anyone who spelt correctly sit. I will not talk about how it was about the fifth to tenth person that was able to spell the words correctly.
Half my time in the class, I noticed five boys loafing. One was leaning carelessly on the arm of his chair. Another was actually sitting without permission. Their eyes held the remote nonchalance that bade me to leave the class.
I called them forward then some students in their good graces decided to inform me that these boys were ‘Marlians’.
Just so you know, I have nothing against Marlians, but I am definitely not a Marlian.
These boys needed to understand that these their ‘President’ has already made it in some sort of way. And maybe it is something worth of accolades to pass through prison, but I do not wish it on anybody. Not these kids, who had no surety of their future. Some only come to school, because their friends do as well. They are kids that are unable to buy textbooks and are only privileged to have the low-grade government given textbooks. No offense to the government.
It saddens me to know that these kids have lost interest in the subject of school. When all these going to school ritual is done with, all the struggles, you might begin to see and live life and then build up your own empire instead of following blindly something that was defined dumbly by someone else.
You cannot be so broke and be anti-social or be truants and think, “God bless, I am a Marlian”. I’m not saying have money and be stupid. But then, if you have ‘mad’ ‘sexy’ money like my friend would call it, maybe, just maybe you won’t get into trouble for being stupid.
These boys made me remember the Thursday preceding this, I attended the Young Jonn festival at Bodija in Ibadan. After the show, my friends and I were standing by the entrance of the venue when I heard a young man crying. I mean actually crying. His phone had just been snatched by a gang.
I will not talk about how this guy’s cry for help was shunned by the soldiers that were around. These ‘soldiers’ told the him to go and do his shouting where his friends were. This guy was prostrating!
He wasn’t the only victim, some lost their bags, cameras, their laptops.
The one that did me in were the people shouting, “Those are the real Marlians”.
Why should you commit crimes and be like “No Mannaz” with pride. How does being a Marlian justify your wrong.
This is not to say don’t be a Marlian.
I have friends that are Marlians.
They are not thieves. They are not bullies. They are not exactly disrespectful.
Being a Marlian does not justify your wrongs.
Being a criminal does not make you a Marlian.
Or I don’t know, Educate me.