Yetunde Makinwa 1 year ago
@Grace Dispensa... 8 min read View all 31 comments 31 #short-stories

Global Africa

I represent my country, Nigeria. I represent my continent, Africa. Together, we can go global.

There are seven continents in the world! I can name them, what about you? I know the seven continents. So now! I can name them all. One South America. Two, North America. Three, Africa. Asia, four. Europe, five. Australia and Antarctica. These are the seven continents. Miss Grace sang beautifully, and we sang after her. "The first person to sing this without any support gets a big gift from me. Now, sing after me." We all sang the song as if our lives depended on it, or maybe it did. Miss Grace Joseph is a wonderful teacher, and I love her teaching so much, coupled with her Nigerian dressing style. "Hibaaq, sing the song for us." I heard Miss Grace say.

I quickly stood up and sang it joyfully, as expected by my dear teacher. "Wow!! Please clap for her. Come for your gift after the class." I am so happy that I am naturally brilliant, and this made many teachers love me, or is it because of my name? Yes! Hibaaq in Somalia means a gift from God Himself. My dad adores the name so much that he barely calls me Hibaaq but calls me my gift. "So, in our next class, we will be looking at a few countries in Africa. Now, in your assignment, 

list out all the countries in Africa and read about them. You can go home after writing it; bye, students." I heard Miss Grace say as my mind was already divided.**** "Caaisho!! Please, help me with this assignment." I begged my elder sister.

"See, Hibaaq, I don't think I will be able to do it as I don't know all the countries in Africa. I only know five out of it." She answered by dressing up. "Oh! Where are you off to?" "To see Akhilesh, of course." "Oh! My regards to him and moe." "Moe, my sister-in-law-to-be is not around; she has gone back to Mauritius." "Oh! My regards to your fiancee then". "Okay, baby sister! Bye." "Bye."

I don't think I would like to get married after my secondary school education like my sister Caaisho.

My parents somehow believed the name given to her would let her stay longer on earth as two children had died before her. So, she was given the name which means long life, but my parents still believed she should marry early. She has been engaged for a year now, and they are already planning the wedding. "Papa! Welcome, please can you lend me your phone to get my assignment done?" "Okay! No problem! Take." I decided to learn more about Africa. I got to know there are 54 countries in Africa divided into five regions, with Algeria being the largest country while Nigeria, were Miss Grace Joseph, my teacher, comes from, is the most populated country.

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, with the longest river Nile. I decided to study the five countries my teacher said we would be discussing the next day. I didn't need to study Somalia as I have heard a lot about my country, starting from the creation in 1960 by the federation of a former Italian colony and a British protectorate. I heard Mohammed Siad Barre ruled from Oct. 1969 - to Jan. 1991, when the bloody civil war waged by clan-based guerrillas started due to the government dictatorship style. Papa told me how Somaliland, a region in northern Somalia, broke away and declared independence from Somalia.

Even up now, the Somalia government is clannism which I wish will stop one day, and I hope the government will favor Somalia at large. I know little about Nigeria from Miss Grace. I really love their education system; just not happy with their constant strike. Their food and culture are okay! The wedding ceremony is not as long as ours, but they fight a lot, and there is kidnapping everywhere but all the same; I wish I go there someday, maybe to Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Ondo, or Delta state where Miss Grace hails from. I got to know about Mauritius from Akhilesh, my sister's husband-to-be. I want to know more about Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, and Seychelles. (A few months later)

Preparations were going on smoothly for my sister's wedding; as little as I was then, I don't think I loved the way weddings were done in Somalia. Even though we live in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, wedding rites are still done like those in the village. My parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hiloule, love and adore Somalia culture. So, my sister had to abide by the seven days wedding ceremony. Though I enjoyed it, the first day was the wedding day, the second to the fourth day was spent in our house with lots of dancing and celebration, the fifth to seventh day was celebrated at the groom's place which is the hotel they lodged in to.

My sister followed Akhilesh to Mauritius after the whole wedding rite. I seriously wished to follow my sister at least to see the most developed country in Africa with lots of business, infrastructure, and medical facilities. I can go maybe after my secondary school because my life is not in Somalia here, where the education system is poor, security is not guaranteed, and no adequate infrastructure facilities. (Many years later) "Hibaaq Hiloule, please come out for your award." I stepped out gleefully to receive the award for the overall best graduating student of Makerere University Kampala, Uganda. I also collected the award for the best in medicine and surgery. My parents were so happy to hear the news, and of course, the award is dedicated to God, my parents, my best teacher Miss Grace Joseph, my country, Somalia, and Africa at large.

"My gift, we appreciate Allah that you are back in the country in peace; what are your plans now?" Papa asked me. "Papa, mama! When I was in school, I was planning to either travel to work in South Africa or Egypt because things are better there, but I have come to realize that my country needs me more than before. I will be staying in Somalia at least to help children get into school, get a scholarship and also help improve our country medically, if possible politically, too and contribute to the growth of Africa at large." "Very good one. Miss Grace, your former teacher, dropped this letter for you before she traveled back to Nigeria." "Okay, Papa. Thank you."

Miss Grace, my favorite teacher, has traveled back to Nigeria after securing a lecturing job at the University of Ibadan. I am so happy for her and her Togo husband. She made me love Africa at large and hope for its betterment. A few years later, I got married to a Christian man from Gaborone, Botswana, the name Thatego Morapedi. Our culture differs a lot, ranging from our currency, food, weather, occupations, environment, and others. Thank God I speak English very well; otherwise, I wouldn't be able to cope in his country. I kept the teacher-student relationship between Miss Grace and me intact, as we talked often, and I can't forget her labor for me then; she emphasized love among Africans and ensured I got a scholarship from the Prime Minister. I love my country, Somalia. I love my continent, Africa. I stand for great change, love, and unity.

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