Pride

Sorry everyone, I’ve been a little busy. In my last post, I made some cryptic musing and everyone either assumed I was in love or that it was the other way round. Actually, I’ve been watching too much anime.

As always when I’m at a loss on what to blog about, I go back to the time of my life I feel I can talk about things without putting on too much whitewash — childhood.

It was one of those days in December. Our school was situated at the top of a little hill, making the harmattan colder than it already was. We made less noise and generally huddled together whispering among ourselves — even those of us who could take a caning without crying knew a cane felt different during this season.

“Azuka, what’s that you’re reading?”

“Azuka!”

I looked up. It was my friend Chiedozie.

“Oh, this?” I held the book up. “It’s a novel.”

“I know it’s a novel. Everyone’s revising and you’re here reading a novel — don’t you think you’ll fail?”

Exams were starting that day. The ones whispering among themselves were asking each other questions to gauge their level. Others’ lips moved silently as they memorized definitions and lists.

“Me fail? That’s impossible,” I said haughtily. “I’ve always been first in every subject and in the entire class since I transferred to this school and I will continue to be. I don’t need to read — I’m the best.”

I don’t think I spoke any louder than was necessary for a conversation but apparently, everyone heard because a deathly hush fell on the class. They were all staring at me — cold, angry, accusing eyes that spoke to me of things I didn’t understand.

I looked towards the door. The French teacher stood halfway through, the same look in her eyes. I went cold all over. She only looked that way when she was disappointed at something wrong I’d done. Mom.

Without a word she turned and left. There was this sinking feeling in my stomach — the kind that comes just before you wish the ground would open up and swallow you.

The stubborn side of me refused to let up. Wasn’t I the best? Didn’t everyone say I was? Didn’t I know that myself? What was this grievous sin I had committed that made everyone look at me that way? Well, I would show them. Nothing would change.

We took the exam and the results came back just before school closed. The person with the highest score wasn’t me — I made a 90, and the highest scorer made a 95. I’d been in the same class with my elder brother from Primary 1 and this was the first time he’d ever surpassed me. There couldn’t have been a better way, or a better person, to use to teach me my lesson.

Over dinner that night my father talked with us about the evils of pride.

I learned two things that day — to remember how others feel when I win, and that overconfidence is the biggest symptom of pride. I’ll admit I’ve been proud a few times since then, but the memories of those stares still serve to guide me.

I never want another person to look at me that way again.

Comments

  1. Akin Aworan says:

    Welcome back from your hiatus, dude.

    I hear you with the pride thing. Nothing worse (or maybe there is ) than having that stare to humble you down to earth.

    Stay with the blogging, dude.

    ak

  2. waffarian says:

    Hmmmmmmm……you should blog more often!

  3. Just to be clear, was the french teacher your mom?
    Pride cometh before a fall. And the fact that things did not go the way you planned was actually more of a blessing for you than anything else. You needed to learn the lesson of “pride cometh before a fall” and that was a relatively easy way.

    Glad to have you back.

  4. Noni Moss says:

    Lolll – all I can say is finally!
    Well I could also comment on how pride yadi yada but you’ve learnt your lesson, and like In My Head said, in a relatively easy way. Some of us were not so lucky.

    Have a great week! (and none of this taking forever to be update – you’ve been picking up bad habits 😉 )

  5. Anyway, it’s not too bad sha. The most important thing is , “did u learn something out of it?” Are you ready to admit the fact that “Pride goes b4 a fall?”

    Before I forget, I luv the way u blog. But what took you so long to post some stuff?

    Happy to see something new

    Thanx

  6. Azuka says:

    Akin
    Thanks man.

    Waffarian
    True talk. I’ve just been bogged down with work. I’m working on some posts right now to save for rainy days.

    In my head and around me
    Yes, that was my mom.

    Noni Moss
    Forgive me, Noni for I have sinned :-D. I won’t promise to update regularly, but I’ll try not to take too long next time — even if I have to do memes.

    Nnadozie
    How far now? Are you at Ndee1 or Ndee2 these days?

    Thanks again for dropping by.

  7. maripossa says:

    Ahh, so because you updated…
    Welcome back!

  8. Ishtar says:

    Glad to see you blogging again! How about contributing to the Beautiful Africa Blog Carnival this month? It’s due on August 16th!

    Warm greetings, Ishtar

  9. Idemili says:

    Wow. All I can say is wow. Good lesson learnt.

  10. princesa says:

    Yea, you fell but not too hard.
    You learnt from it too, good.

  11. confused naija girl says:

    welcome back
    one thing is for sure
    i never had your problem oh !

  12. uzo says:

    Shucks…welcome back

  13. CATWALQ says:

    I FEEL LIKE I HAVE ATTAINED SOME GOLDEN WISDOM READING THIS POST.
    I GUESS IT IS THE SIMPLICITY OF THE STORY AND THE CLARITY OF THE MESSAGE
    THANKS

  14. Azuka says:

    Maripossa
    Ha ha. It’s a lot of fun to go around bugging people as soon as you update. That way, they can say, ‘because he updated.’ 😆

    Ishtar
    I must apologize once again — I’m up to my neck in projects this week. What’s the frequency of the blog carnivals? I’d like to contribute to the next one.

    I might be able to do something this time if you give me an idea from the things I write ;-).

    Idemili
    Yeah, a very good one.

    Princesa
    I wonder where I’d be now if I hadn’t been checked back then.

    CNG
    Lucky you!

    Uzo
    Thanks.

  15. ijeoma says:

    hey azuka.. how are you doing.. another nice post.. yeah.. humility is something that i always try to embody .

  16. Vickii says:

    Welcome back!! Lol I think I had this same overconfidence in primary school … once my teachers called my parents into a meeting and told them that prize giving day was coming up and I was first in all the subjects and they couldn’t/didn’t think it was right to give me all the prizes so would they mind if they only gave me one? Lol, my parents agreed because they didn’t want me to be too overconfident. My mum only told me a couple of years ago!

    Then secondary school happened where you actually had to study to pass and I slowly lost my place at the top of the class lol!

  17. nilla says:

    Those two lessons you learnt are very important….thanx for the lesson 🙂

    How are you?

  18. aww azuka, glad to see youu are back, and a story very well told. Lessons we must learn indeed – pride definately does come before a fall, but most importantly that one does learn the lesson. I too remember a time like that.

    so how have you been?

  19. Azuka says:

    Ijeoma
    I’ve been so-so. How u dey?

    Vickii
    Ha ha. Sounds like my parents. We didn’t have any prizes per subject although my mom did have me passed over for a ‘double promotion’ twice.

    Yeah, secondary school was scary. I actually came in last once, and almost consistently remained in the last five in my class until my senior year.

    Nilla
    Yeah, they really were. I dey oh. You nko?

    The Life of a Stranger
    Really, pride doesn’t respect persons — everyone is susceptible.

  20. femme says:

    where have u been?
    if u were the best, then u were. simple!
    the lesson here for me is not rubbing it in other peoples faces. meanwhile, are u sure ur mum didnt deduct like 8 marks from u just to teach u a lesson?
    so, parlez vous francais?

  21. Muze says:

    heyyy. nice to see a post from you. and a very good post i might add. pride has always been a big issue for me. it’s like you have to remember the line that borders from confidence to prideful…and try not to cross it.

    great post. …and don’t forget to vote for my fiction blog for best fictional in this year’s black weblog awards. i’ve been nominated! yay!

    hope all is well your way.

  22. Keshi says:

    always derive the lessons…

    Keshi.

  23. yayi says:

    Aaawwwww Azuka, I thought you were in love but its all good. Pride is a virtue I wage war against every single day of my life. i cant seem to help it but my pretty nose turns up too often in the air. Very nice post but i still like the one about the Fulani Nomad very much.

  24. belle says:

    dude, you can write man. that was an awesome piece.

  25. Jem says:

    Azuka, how are you doing? loll…. a case of overconfidence eh? Sometimes, pride is good but when it gets into the head, it can cause things.

  26. Afropinay says:

    I miss you… How’ve u been? No I didn’t read.. just checking on u 🙂

  27. Endi says:

    Sure, pride is evil, no ?s about that! But if i am “sure” i read, I wouldnt be too sure i missed the mark due to my pride. I would rather say i was victimised in order that i be thought a lesson( 9ja Flava). It happens! But the lesson was worth it anyway.The end justifies the means.Well, we need to be reading more of you…

  28. amaraeee says:

    This is one of the best pieces I have read…I must say that like to win but I daresay that each time I am always aware that the next person is better than I am. Does it mean that I have not been prideful in certain instances? No. Sometimes, without thinking about it, I exhume “I am hollier than thou”…but God has a way of pointing these things out to me.

    My son is one big lesson for me…He is the best and a sore loser in pysical activities if you ask me but each time someone wins an award academically, he claps the most and tells me what the person did right to earn that award. I never voice it but I always wondered why he feels no “pain” that he did not win.

  29. Afropinay says:

    AZUKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Wer are you? Are you ok? Please let me know.. Ive not heard from you oh..

  30. princess says:

    I take God beg you Azuka, UPDATE o!

  31. teediva says:

    hm, nice way of teaching u, good to see that the lesson was not lost. thanks for stopping by mine.

  32. waffarian says:

    Hi Azuka, no vex, just leaving a message on your blog, please join the campaign!

    SPEAK UP NIGERIA!!

    Write a message to Nigeria. Whatever it is you have ever wanted to say. Your message can be long or short, funny or serious. Just send a message to your country on its day of Independence. For more information, check out: http://www.nigerianlighthouse.org

  33. Jaja says:

    Ok, I am begging, Update.

    Is that not what u want..

    I hope you r ok tho..

  34. Mrs Somebody says:

    is it not time to update yet?

  35. wesleyanA says:

    where have you been Azuka? I miss you!!!!
    I’m in college now, finally. lol
    how’s life treating you?

    you probably don’t even remember me!?

  36. femme says:

    just posted a reply o ur comment
    when will u update?

  37. Azuka says:

    Femme
    Nah, she wouldn’t. She wasn’t even my Social Studies teacher. I still can’t make heads or tails of French, much to her dismay.

    Muze
    Thanks for dropping by.

    Keshi
    Thanks, I will.

    Yayi
    So you were one of the culprits! 😆

    Belle
    Thanks. Been a while since I visited.

    Jem
    Well, there are some things I wouldn’t do because of pride. You’re right.

    Afropinay
    Ahem, I’m not the one doing the missing this time although someone is going to claim later that I was the one who missed her.

    Endi
    I wasn’t victimized actually. Call it divine intervention, but I did make some mistakes I wouldn’t have.

    Don’t Eat My Buchela
    Thanks.

    AmaraEee
    I wish I was like that [your son]. Losing isn’t one of the things I take easily.

    Afropinay,Princess,Mrs Somebody, Jaja

    I promise, I’ll soon update.

    Teediva
    …and thanks for reciprocating

    Wes
    This girl sef. Where’ve you been? Congrats on getting in — I’m sure you’re going to dazzle them there. Won’t you tell me what school you got into (abi dat one dey private too)? 😀

  38. zida says:

    Azuka,I’ve been a silent and anonymous reader of ur blog and I am quite impressed.U are crazy,witty,funny and very intelligent.U could check out my facebook profile.takia,and keep it up

Leave a Reply