Home / Eze Goes To School / EZE GOES TO SCHOOL (Episode 42)


Eze Goes To School“From the left, quick march! Left-right! Left-right! Left-right!”

The legs of the students in the rectangular lineup went up and down like pistons as they marked time to Senior Olumide’s hollered commands.

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight!”

In unison, the feet crunched down on the ground, lifted and thudded down again. Senior Olumide weaved his way through the well-spaced lines, yelling as he moved, his eyes zipping about as he looked searchingly at the students under his command.

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight!”

Standing a few metres away were Seniors Chinelo and Emmanuella, the female house prefects of Peace House. The two of them were chatting and laughing, in the company of Senior Emmanuella’s boyfriend, Senior Donald, the Protestant prefect, who was also in Peace House. Senior Donald must have said something particularly funny, because Senior Chinelo threw her head back in soft laughter, while Senior Emmanuella whacked his arm in pouting protest.

“Left-right! Left-right – Amanze, it is left-right, not right-left, you idiot!”

The SS1 boy who Senior Olumide barked at gave a start of embarrassment as stifled giggles of derision rippled across the line. He shuffled with his feet for a short moment, before catching on with the rhythm of stomping feet and carrying on.

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight! Left-right! Left-right! Left –”

“Scholastica, if I slap you, you will spit out that chewing gum by force!” Senior Emmanuella snapped, her face turned away from her company, and her eyes narrowed on the JSS3 girl marking time beside me. The girl’s jaw, which had been moving rhythmically over the bubble gum in her mouth, stilled; she pursed her lips and spat out the masticated piece, all the while maintaining her concentration on the mark time.

“Left-right! Forwaaaaard  MARCH!

Our feet thudded down resoundingly one last time, before we swept forward, our arms swinging back and forth, neatly, followed with the corresponding movements of our feet.

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight!” Senior Olumide continued yelling as he marched beside us, his eyes still on us, not missing anything. “Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight! No dancing, no bouncing – Joseph Amuluche, this is not a dance floor! Comon, will you march!”

Joseph gave a quick unabashed grin as he straightened his posture without breaking his stride. The other three seniors strolled after us, still conversing; Senior Emmanuella, however, picked up her pace a little bit in order to be closer to us and monitor us along with Senior Olumide. On the sidelines, hopping along beside us were Ibuka and Matthias. They cheered us on as we moved, sometimes mimicking our stomping strides in a march past of their own. They hadn’t been chosen to represent Peace House in the march past; Senior Olumide thought Ibuka was too fat and Matthias was too skinny.

The school’s inter-house sports was scheduled to take place tomorrow, and in the past two weeks, all the four Houses had been caught up in rigorous practices of the march past and the preceding episodes of all the other games. The male and female/junior and senior 100 and 200 metre races, the baton-exchange races, the discus throws, the high jumps – stars were already emerging in each House for every one of these games. Just last week, the cross country race was embarked on and concluded in the late hours of the afternoon. My friends and I had been a part of the race, and we stumbled into the school premises at the end of the run exhausted, dehydrated and gaspingly swearing never, ever to do that again. Joseph and I were in the march past; he was also in the male 100-metre junior race. He had shown much promise as a runner, and there was talk that he stood a very good chance of beating the junior boy champion racer, Nzubechi Opara. He was in JSS3E, and had been racing and taking the winner’s medal home to his house, Hope House, ever since we were in JSS1. The boy was a streak of lightning on the race track. I did not envy Joseph the responsibility Peace House had inadvertently placed on him to beat Nzubechi.

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight! Eyes RIGHT!”

Our heads whipped rightward without a break in our strides. Several yards away from us, Dignity House was also practising their marching. I could see Anulika sweeping on ahead, a slight swing to her hips, the skirt of her day-wear swaying around her stalking feet.

“Eyes FRONT!

I stared on at her, noting how the rays of the dying sun fell softly on her, on her face, emphasizing the moue of concentration that tightened her features, the collection of sweat that dewed her temples and the top of her upper lip, and the sheaf of her unplaited hair which threatened to come loose from the band that held the tresses back in a bun.

“Eze Egwim!” Senior Olumide’s bark jerked my head around. The prefect’s eyes were staring beadily at me from the other side of the line as we moved. “Unless you have epilepsy in your neck, when I saw ‘Eyes Front’, you turn your head to the front! Is that clear?!”

Another ripple of stifled laughter from the other students welcomed my mortification. I caught Joseph’s smirk three persons away from me, before he dipped his left eye into a wink. He knew the reason for my momentary distraction.

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight!”

An hour went by before the house prefects decided to halt the practice. They’d finally decided that we were well-drilled enough and ready for tomorrow’s exercise. The sun was gone, but there were still violent slashes of orange and purple drifting in the sky, pursued by the inky presence of the night. The floodlights that stood on the perimeters of the school field had been turned on and the bright halogenated illumination spilled down on every corner of the field.

“So tomorrow is the D-day. Oh boy, I’m so excited!” Ibuka enthused as we trekked back toward the hostel. The minutes were ticking close to dinnertime. Any moment from now, the SS1 boy, Kelechi’s duty as the bell-ringer would be heard throughout the school and would ignite an exodus to the dining hall.

“I’m not looking forward to it,” Joseph said restively. His attention had been snagged by a group of boys, chattering, who had just passed us. I could see the lean, sprightly figure of Nzubechi in the midst of his fellow Hope Housemates.

“Don’t worry, Joe, you will beat him,” Ibuka said firmly. His optimism was evident.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes,” he and Matthias said together.

“Eze, you nko? What do you think?”

“Omo, I don’t know what to say.”

“Ah-ah now, Eze,” Ibuka cut in crossly. “Support your friend.”

“Hey! Don’t start with me abeg,” I said laughingly. “Nzubechi is a champion, has been a champion for a long time. That’s all I’m saying.”

“And so? Champions don’t remain champions forever. New champions come up to beat them all the time.”

“Well, why don’t we keep our fingers crossed, eh?”

“Thanks, Eze. Thanks a lot,” Joseph said sarcastically. He was frowning. “You have been a real help.”

“You’re welcome,” I returned with a smile, his sarcasm rolling off me.

“Guys, before I forget, there’s something I want to ask you,” Matthias interjected. He had a preoccupied expression on his face, as though he was about to reluctantly pull something out of his mind.

“Yes, what is it?”

“Well, Eze, you and Joe are in the same class with Anulika.” He hedged. I stiffened. He continued, “I just wanted to know if she’s single or dating anybody.”

“Why?” The snap in my voice was reflex.

Matthias didn’t notice my bad mood as he replied, “I want to know because I want to ask her out.”

The tautness of the silence that came in the wake of his declaration wasn’t dispelled by the sound of our footsteps and the din around us of students thronging to the hostels. From the corner of my eye, I caught the quick looks of mounting apprehension that Ibuka and Joseph shot in my direction. I didn’t return their looks. My flinty stare was on Matthias, who still didn’t seem to notice the tenseness that had suddenly descended on us.

“You want to what?!” It was all I could do to rein in my temper. My heart had stared jackhammering with an inexplicable feeling of anxiety and annoyance.

“I want to ask her to be my girlfriend.” Ibuka and Joseph flinched when he said that. He barreled on enthusiastically, “Mehn, I have been eyeing that girl for some time now. She’s like one of the finest girls in our set, and yet, she acts like she doesn’t send anybody. Which is very sexy. And today, during practice, I was looking at her.”

Apparently, I hadn’t been the only one doing that. My heart began to burn at the thought of Matthias – or any other boy – watching and appreciating the perfectness of the girl of my dreams.

“Fine girl – Kai! Very fine chick. Before-before, I didn’t have the morale to ask her out. But now, I think I’m ready. I don’t think she has a boyfriend, but I just wanted to make sure. So I said let me ask you two that are in the same class with her.” He stopped and looked expectantly at us, his gaze swinging from me to Joseph and back.

The self-assuredness he oozed was so galling, that I had to fight hard the urge to slam a fist across his smug little face.

“Er. . . are you sure you like her?” Ibuka ventured hesitantly. “Because I think she is a snob, and I think you should stay away from her. Or are you the only one who hasn’t heard that she slapped the Toby in our class during our first term?”

“Yes, I heard that. But Toby is an annoying bully. And he deserved the slap. Me, I’m a cool guy. Abi you don’t think so?” He hunched his shoulders in a playful show of his self-importance.

Look at this shekeleke, I thought furiously. Since when did you even start feeling like a fine boy? I don suffer. Still, I said nothing. My face was set in a wooden mask as we approached our hostel gate.

“Matthias, forget the babe,” Joseph said. “Me, I think she is dating someone sha.”

“Really? Who?”

Joseph shrugged. “I don’t know –”

“So you’re not sure.”

“Well –”

“So, I should go ahead and try my luck?”

“No!” Joseph and Ibuka burst out together.

“Why?” Matthias was exasperated.

“Because she’s a snob!” Ibuka insisted, at the same time that Joseph said, “Because she’s unavailable!”

Matthias looked searchingly at them, and then at me. He said, “Eze, you’re not saying anything.”

For a moment, I considered ignoring him. Then I said flatly, “That’s because I don’t have anything to say.”

And the end of the conversation was forced on us with the loud peal of the school bell.


The next day was Saturday. It was a glorious day to be winners. The morning was crystalline – cloudless blue sky, a light pleasant breeze, and a little dampness in the air. The atmosphere was filled with gaiety, with undercurrents of electric expectancy and tension running through it. We had breakfast early, and minutes after the meal was over, the human traffic started for the school field.

The expanse of the field had been embellished in preparation for the momentous event. There were canopies lining one side, with an array of plastic chairs and tables arranged inside them. The tables were covered with white tablecloths whose folds rippled softly in the morning breeze. The grassy areas of the field had long since been shorn, and some parts of the grounds that were untouched by the greens had been marked starkly with the white lines that distinguished the race tracks from the other parts of the field.

Parents had started to arrive, and the car park was already a maze of vehicles, honking horns and exuberant sounds of welcome. My entire family came, as did Ibuka’s; Joseph didn’t expect his family, and they expectedly were absent. Everywhere was a sea of bodies, with the students who were involved in the inter-house sports identified by their apparel. Those who would be part of the games wore the school’s sports attire – T-shirts that were the colours of the individual Houses and blue, skimpy shorts and skirts. Those of us who were in the march past were better dressed, with vests that had the flashy chequered colour of our Houses and white longer shorts and skirts. We also had on white canvas shoes and white stockings. We however didn’t have the liberty the other students had to revel in the company of their visitors. The march past was the exercise that would kick-start the event, and Seniors Olumide and Emmanuella marshaled us into a corner to warm up.

It wasn’t very long before the adults were settled into the seats under the canopies. The sun had started to climb further up the sky, heightening the morning’s temperature as it went. The principal’s voice, aided by a microphone, boomed as he started with the opening prayer. Thereafter, the national anthem was sung by everyone in the vicinity, our thunderous chorus accompanied by the spectacular performance of the school band.

“From the left, quick march! Left-right! Left-right! Left-right!”

Senior Olumide said the words loudly and crisply. We were well-spaced and arranged, our postures erect, our feet going up and down in unison, our countenances revealing our appreciation of the seriousness of the situation. We were here to be winners. Plain and simple.

The march past began, with each House filing out onto the field in an alphabetical order. And so, first up was Dignity House. I watched them as they marched, under the command of their House captain, Senior Haridah. Their movements were fluid and precise, as though they were floating on by. I quickly found myself entranced by the sight of Anulika. In her blue-and-white chequered uniform, with her hair now hanging in neat plaits to her nape, she was a dream to watch. Observing her filled me with a mixture of pride and desire.

Anulika, oh Anulika, because of you, I almost wish your House will carry first in this march past.

My gaze drifted away from her to fall on someone else. Matthias. He was in a far corner of the field with Ibuka, and I could see he was looking at Anulika too. That suddenly ignited my anger. The bastard. Of all the girls in our set he had to start admiring, it had to be my Anulika. My heart started to burn again.

The boy is my friend, for chrissakes! He needs to stay away from her. Or I’ll teach him a lesson. I’ll make him regret the day he ever laid eyes on her. I’ll – I’ll –

“Forwaaaaard  MARCH!” yelled Senior Olumide, and we started swiftly forward, coming up several yards behind Hope House.

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight!”

I swung my hands hard, burning energy and exerting my muscles.

Anulika . . . Matthias.

My feet pumped forward like pistons and my breath started to come in small pants.

Anulika . . . Matthias.

A bead of sweat drooped over my right eyelash, blurring my vision slightly. I shook my head and it dropped off.

Anulika . . . Matthias.

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight!”

I thought I heard the childlike voice of my younger sister, Ola, as she squealed my name from somewhere in the canopy. I wasn’t sure. I didn’t care. My heart was still burning.

Anulika . . . Matthias!

“Left-right! Left-right! Left-raaaaiiiight!”


It was a few minutes before we were done with the march past. Everyone was exhilarated, as we exchanged high-fives and the odd hug here and there. Senior Olumide had a smile on his face, the first one I’d seen him wear since he assumed the task of our commander for the march past. We weren’t certain which House would emerge the winner, but we all felt a certain relief that this was past us.

My relief however did not last long. With Joseph following behind me, shrugging out of his uniform as he walked (he had to put on the school sports wear for his run), we approached the corner where I’d earlier seen Ibuka and Matthias. I saw Ibuka standing alone; he looked perplexed. And then I saw Matthias a few yards away from him.

And then I saw him talking to someone – Anulika. They weren’t standing very close to each other, and there was nothing to suggest any shared intimacy.

But he was talking to her.

And she must find him interesting, because just then, he said something, and she lifted her hands to cup her mouth in an attempt to hide the giggles that shook her body at what he’d said.

She is laughing with him. She likes him. She loves him. She will agree for him. They will become girlfriend and boyfriend. They are now girlfriend and boyfriend. They will grow together. He will marry her. She will become Mrs. Matthias Itua.

The thoughts raced through my mind with incensed momentum. My anger felt like a rock the size of a fist stuck in my throat. I also felt despair, as though I was tumbling down a deep shaft, reaching, trying to grab on to something. Anything.

“Eze. . .” I heard Joseph say uncertainly beside me. “Maybe he hasn’t asked her out yet . . . maybe, he did and she said no. . .”

I didn’t respond. I simply stood there rigidly, stabbing at Matthias with my hateful eyes. I waited, until Anulika gave him one last smile, waved gaily at Ibuka and sauntered off to join her friends.

And then I rushed forward. Joseph hurried after me, saying urgently, “Eze, not here! Don’t fight him!”

“I don’t want to fight him!” I bit out grimly.

Matthias saw us approaching, and a pleased expression jumped involuntarily on his face. “Ah, Eze, Joe, I asked her. She’s not dating anybody. So I asked her out –”

“And she said no!” Ibuka blurted out. He looked apprehensive when he saw the thunderous expression on my face.

“Well, not exactly, she said she will think about –”

“I don’t want to hear it!” I hissed, interrupting him with my words coming out like a whiplash. “You hear me? I don’t want to hear ANYTHING about you and Anulika. You know why?” I stabbed a finger in the direction of his face. “Because we are no longer friends!”

He drew back in shock. “Why – what have I done?”

“I don’t care whether you have done anything or not. As of this moment, I just don’t want to be friends with you anymore. Stay away from me! Stay away from my friends! And stay away from our dorm! Is that clear?!”

“Eze, please . . .”

But I had already turned away from him to stomp off to another corner of the field where I could stew in my bitterness. As I walked away, I heard him ask plaintively, “But – but what have I done?”

I heard Ibuka answer, “You should have left Anulika alone.”

I am @Walt_Shakes on twitter

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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“I pity some boys sha, for when we will graduate from secondary school,” Joseph said ...


  1. Chai! Dis is d 1st time I wld see Eze vex like dis o. Anulika! Oh Anulika! Pls pls, gree for Eze and put him out of dis misery na. Hian! Walter nice job. But e short o ahn ahn (-̩̩̩͡˛-̩̩̩͡)

  2. hehehe….. I like this

  3. Oh boy!!!!

    Can’t stop laughing.

    I so enjoyed the precision of every detail here.

    Good work Waltz.

  4. See puppy love in action o… can hardly wait for next Monday. Nice one Walt, real nice.

  5. oma se o! lol !!! WHAT WOMEN WILL CAUSE?

  6. Walter,dis is short naaa,haba!): Matthias,leave anulika alone oooooo

  7. Lol first time Eze dey provoke n na bcos of babe lmaooooo. Beht that Matthias get mind sha.
    Moral lesson: always tell ur guys who u tripping for so boundaries can be marked

  8. As in ehn…beware of d wrath of a lovestruck man. Thumbs up Walt!

  9. Oh puhleassssse, Eze should go get a life joor! “If you love somebody walk up to her and tell her you love because no time no time at all”.

  10. but Eze would have just simply told Mathias that he has a crush on Anulika when he first asked. That would have prevented him from further admiring her.
    But Walter, who won the 100 meters race?

  11. A ya!!! Why didn’t Eze tell him nawww….

  12. Imagine mathias, c the guts, even after all d indirect warning of kaka and Joey u still put head. Besides anuli is still owing eze a kiss so no one is to come near her till he gets it.

  13. Ha! Kukuma ask the girl out na instead of loving her from a distance and mounting roadblock on top her matter…. Mtschewwwwww

  14. Its kinda weird but I had a mate in Nigerian Navy Secondary Sch,Abk by d name of Matthias Itua. As for Eze why hin dey vex nau?! Shebi naim dey carry last since,lol

  15. Not matthias’s fault joor,eze would have said he had a crush on anulika and eze don’t blame you tho,know that infactuation of junior school.

  16. U just reminded me of d trouble i caused btwn 2 best frnds back in high sch.lolss.Nice one waltz…am eagerly waiting fo next week monday.

  17. Rotfl…see Eze oh! He’s not serious, he thinks Matthias is clairvoyant abi…nice writing @Walter

  18. Why’s Eze falling ma hand ke? Chai! He’s goofing big time! What a slacker! He should just quit with the sulking and tantrums, and summon enough courage to ask Anulika out before all’s lost. She’s not gonna be waiting around for him forever, delay’s dangerous. Perhaps he thinks she’s clairvoyant, a mind reader who’s all so knowing ’bout how he feels towards her. Matthias na correct guy jare, omo boy ti o slack! LMAO!

    Walter, this episode’s aroused a lotta nostalgic feelings in me as far as sporting activities in high school’s concerned. Those were the very days mehn! And this cold feet and tantrums unbecoming of Eze is also so relatable. Reminds me of the romantic comedy ‘something borrowed’. Double thumbs up bro, the writing and descriptions are absolutely on point. Kudos!

  19. Eiya, poor Eze

  20. Her Royal Stunningness

    Please Walter is http://www.mymindsnaps.com/ your blog too? Cos I was confused o… till I saw that the ‘eze goes to school’ there is only up to episode 40.

  21. I strongly believe mathias is d 2nd wizard (d cat) dat has cme to cause problem in deir friendship. #justsaying

  22. Guy please na enough of this suspense shuu!!!!!

  23. After all these years he stalked Anulika watching her grow into a pretty young damsel and you expect him not to be protective of her? But i think he should stop goofing around and gather the morale to ask her out.
    Anulika still owes Eze a kiss!

  24. Hahaha. Eze don disfriend Matthias on top Anuli matter…Mr Lover Boy. I like this line sha; “And so? Champions don’t remain champions forever. New champions come up to beat them all the time.” Sounds inspirational. Nice one Waltz; always delivering.

  25. Eze and Mathias..It reminds Me of my very self. Junior School Things.
    To think, I was once in Eze’s shoes tho. I like Eze oooooo. Eze, I promise You, Anulika, just leave Matter for Matthias.

  26. Lmao…this is a “typical” story about young love, told in very well detailed and spectacular fashion. Every time I read this series I get caught up in nostalgia…it’s like someone else writing about my life, I guess they call it “unity schools” for a reason.

    More grease Walt, more grease.

  27. Mr Walts, U never disappoint. My heart will break if Eze lose dear Anuli… it already cracking neh
    I hav been offline and as such missed my boys, it’s so good to be bak
    thumbs up Waltz

  28. Mr Walts, U never disappoint. My heart will break if Eze loses dear Anuli… it already cracking neh
    I hav been offline and as such missed my boys, it’s so good to be bak
    thumbs up Waltz

    • I dont know if you’ve heard, but we’re moving house from mymindsnaps.wordpress.com to mymindsnaps.com.
      So if you could just subscribe over there. That’s where I’ll be updating from now on.
      Thanks by the way, and welcome back.

  29. In my primary school we never marched to our classes so I was disqualified the minute I joined the marching line for my house in my JSS1. They sent me to do Yoruba dance for my house. I couldn’t survive that one either so I quit (the punishment was getting too much sef).
    I learned to march the next year though and then I marched for my house from JSS2 – SS2.

  30. I’m really іmpressed with your writing skills as wedll as witɦ the layout on your blog.
    Is thіs a ρaid theme or ɗid you modify іt yourself? Anyway keep uρ
    the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a niϲe blog lіke this one

  31. Heƴ! This post could not be written ɑny better!
    Reading thrοugh this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    Hе always kept chatting about this. I ѡill forward this post to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Ƭhank you for sharing!

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