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“Fish brain! Even the Fulani herdsmen can’t decode the kind of cow you are!

I can’t believe that any human being on earth could be this daft; your brain has no difference with that of an idiot”.

These words pierced my heart as my teacher uttered them towards me with utmost disappointment at the answer I gave to her question.
Giving wrong answers has been my trademark in class, as a matter of fact, anytime the teacher points at me, my colleagues would start laughing out loud, and as expected, I’ll never answer rightly.

“You’d better go and learn trade, you’re only competing for oxygen in this class; everyone shouldn’t go to school, you have no brain!”

My name is Joe
I’m 9years old
The term has come to an end and am at the bottom of my class again; 38th out of 40, I only managed to top Jerry and Bella.
Fish brain!
Fish brain! My colleagues mocked me as we picked up our result sheets.
They won’t understand, Never!
They’re so privileged, I’m just a victim of circumstances, though i lay no blames on no one, but life is not fair.
I spend time on a sentence and yet I will not assimilate; how could I even understand when I’m yet to recover from the trauma and evil memories I face everyday at home; daddy would come home drunk and the whole family becomes hell for all of us.
“Daddy stop beating mommy! Daddy stop beating mommy!” We’d scream and beg him as he kept on releasing the punches on mommy’s face who would also respond with curses on daddy throughout the night.

As for me and my siblings, our hearts are always bitter, with sorrow and we have no rest of mind, you’d need no stethoscope to hear the sound of our heartbeats;
My home is in shambles!
But tomorrow is my class public oral test in front of my mischievous classmates.

Now I’ve tried to read, but how can I understand when last night’s scenario keep replaying on my mind.
I’ll definitely fail, they’ll laugh at me again
But they’ll never understand.
It’s well.
But wait a minute!
I topped Jerry and Bella?
Though we all know how lazy, inserious, rough and arrogant spoilt Jerry is, but what of Bella?
How come I topped her too?
As I walked back home, eating the bread buns I bought, I pondered on what could ever be the reason behind someone like me with my terrible family situation top her in class.

Could there be a coarse in her family too?
No! I’ve never heard her parents quarrel for once.
Just when I was about to cross the junction leading directly to my home,
I heard someone call me from behind.

“Hi Joe”

That’s Bella, her old worn out clothes made it easy to spot her from a distance.
” Could you help me with a bite please, we have no food at home, we’ve been starving”.

*A peaceful home is a big plus to any academic pursuit.
*A rest of mind is a big plus to your academics.
*Poverty could pose a great threat to someone’s academics
In academics, as long as you’re morally sound, you can perform better when you’re well funded financially
*You can’t assimilate well with an empty stomach.
I’m not writing to old parents, they may not see this.

I write to you future Mom and Dad,
Work hard, make money, keep a peaceful home, train your kids in God’s way, and you’d definitely have brilliant kids.
So next time, before you call that child a fish brain; do consider these factors.

(c) Isaiah Ugochukwu Obialor 2018

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