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“One day when you are grown, you will look over your shoulder and thank me and your mother for all that we do for you. Today, I will ...

“One day when you are grown, you will look over your shoulder and thank me and your mother for all that we do for you. Today, I will teach less complicated things…things you hear on TV and radio every day. Now let’s start. Who is a wholesaler?” “Someone who sell whole things and not half items like a piece of cake, but the whole cake.” “Anumanu! (Bush girl!). Your uncle Chude sells rice and garri in bags and not in cups. He is a wholesaler. What is a computer mouse?” “I have never seen a mouse in or on our computer daddy.” “Come here!” He dragged her to the desktop sitting in a corner of their living room. He moved the mouse as he spoke. “This is a computer mouse for navigating the computer.” “I did not know that. I browse on my phone, so I rarely use the desktop. I would have known the answer if I did.” “You would have known nothing isi ede! (Cocoyam head!) What is a computer virus?” “An STD? A systematically transmitted disease?” “Now I know you have been playing around with boys. If you become pregnant, I will send you out of my house. Madeline, you should talk to your daughter. She is now an expert in STDs. You said systematically. I don’t know which system you were referring to – computer system or the other system. If you were talking about the other system, that is how you get pregnant. Go and research what a computer virus is. What is a malware?” “It is a badly made clothing - a malfunctioning wear.” She grinned as she said that, confident that she was correct.

“I feel sorry for your teachers. I wonder what they go through every day. Research that later and get back to me. I will ask you about it, so don’t even think I will forget. What is a CD-ROM?” “An album of romantic music.” “All you know is boys. I have warned you. If you listen to what those boys are telling you in the name of romance and get pregnant, I will drive you out of my house. That is another assignment for you. What is a hard disk?” “It is hard disk…A tough disk. It does not break when it falls on the ground.” “Madeline, this is it. I am done. If I don’t stop, I will either kill Ifunanya or she will kill me. He whacked the back of her head as he complained to his wife. “You can’t give up honey,” Madeline replied. “Don’t honey me. I am tired. This is a shock. I had no idea she was this bad.” Okafor got up and walked into the bedroom and locked the door behind him. “Nne (my daughter), you have to try and learn, else you will end up with a wretched poor man if you have no education…no man will look at you. Okay, come here.”

She began to flip through her note in an effort to take over the teaching. “What does the term, ‘case study mean’?” “Mom, it is the process where you sit and stare at your suitcase before you go on a trip, not knowing what to pack.”  “Ewu! (My goodness!) Is this what your father has been going through? A case study is when you spend time studying a particular subject – like a research meant to answer a particular question.” “I see,” Ifunanya answered, nodding. “Yes, my daughter. So do you know what is called pastoral farming?” “It is a farm owned and run by reverends – pastors.” “I will kill you idiot,” Madeline shouted slapping her across the face. “Mommy, what is it? Is that not pastoral farming? The type that pastor Olumide has behind the church?” “If you say something that stupid again, I will slap you one more time.” Ifunanya held her face, frowning. “In that case, what is commercial farming and what is subsistence farming?” “Commercial farming is when a farmer advertises his farm on TV to get more customers, while subsistence farming is when a farmer does not get any assistance.” “Okafor, you had better come and help teach this child before I kill her!!!” “I don’t mind, go ahead and kill her because I don’t know where she is from,” Okafor yelled back at her from the bedroom.

She managed to control her ‘raging anger’ to explain both concepts to her. “Now listen carefully to this. ‘A powerful aftershock rocked the city, fires raged across the city filling the streets with debris. About 40 people were killed.’ What type of natural disaster is being described in that report?” “The end of American Idol.” She slapped her again, this time with more force. “Okafor won’t you come out here and help?” “It is your turn to enjoy the company of your daughter. I have been enjoying it for quite some time now,” Okafor replied. “Go and research what is an aftershock, Ifunanya. Tomorrow, I will ask you about it again!!!” Madeline yelled at her. “The race of people called the Malays comes from which country?” “Malaria!” She beat her on the head again, yelling angrily as she smacked her. “You are finished oh!!! Your life is finished the way you are going. I can’t take this anymore. I am done.” “You can’t stop, Madeline. It is only one session you have had with her,” Okafor teased. “I am not ready to have a high blood pressure yet,” Madeline answered as she left.


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By Victor Chinoo

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