Not long after the question papers were distributed, and the invigilator gave all his instructions, they were told to start.
Gloria quickly glanced through the questions. According to the instructions, they were to answer four out of the five questions, and question one was compulsory. As expected.
Good thing, she knows how to answer all five questions. She and Mercy had even discussed the first question last week. She smiled to herself. Gloria could not wait to finish this paper and go tell her parents about today’s experience.
Just then, she heard some noise coming from outside the examination hall. Some men were trying to force their way into the hall. What is happening? Can’t these people see that we are writing one of our most important exams today? She thought.
Then the men stormed in. They fired gunshots into the air and everywhere became rowdy. The invigilators tried to run out of the hall, even the angry looking, tall, dark, scary invigilator, now looked more scared than scary.
Who are these men? What do they want? Gloria glanced at Mercy. Mercy looked scared.
One of the men shouted,
“Hey, everybody shut up! We are not here to kill you. We are just here to take most of you along with us. Once I point at you, just come out. If you behave yourselves, we would not hurt any of you.” He looked like their leader.
“… This is what western education has brought to our society, where girls and women no longer know their place…” @chyochemTweet
Someone from the back said, “Take us to where? We are writing our WAEC exams here oh. Today is the first day of the exam and . . .”
“Shut up! Girls like you are not supposed to be talking. You are to be in the shadows, taking care of men, not to be seen or to be heard. This is what western education has brought to our society, where girls and women no longer know their place.” The man was shouting, obviously passionate about whatever he was talking about.
Right then, Gloria did not care about women and their place in the society; she just wanted to see her parents, be held in her mother’s arms and told that everything would be okay.
“What – what is happening?” She asked Mercy, who had quickly moved to the side of her best friend.
“I don’t understand oh.” She replied. They were both scared.
The men had started pointing at some girls who were immediately being forced out of the examination hall. Everywhere was rowdy, the exam booklets were scattered on the floor.
The principal and teachers were nowhere to be found. It seemed like the girls had been abandoned to their fates.
Gloria felt a hand dragging her.
“Leave me! Leave me! I am not going with you!” She screamed, struggling as tears rolled down her cheeks.
The man slapped her, and she fell to the ground. He pulled her up and kept dragging her across the hall, towards the entrance. She saw Mercy beside her, crying as another man was also taking her out of the hall. They felt like sacrificial lambs, being led to the altar, with no one to help them, and no one to save them…
“Shut up! Girls like you are not supposed to be talking. You are to be in the shadows, taking care of men, not to be seen or to be heard…@chyochemTweet
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Meet The Author
Chineye Ochem hails from Delta state, but was born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria. She is a graduate of Accounting from the University of Benin, and an Associate Chartered Accountant.
She loves reading and writing and is passionate about contributing her quota towards making …Read more