My name is Naomi as I christened from my local name Enam even against fathers will when I started schooling in the only primary school built by the government in my village. It was the only school with only three classroom blocks and two teachers where we are made to bring our tables and chairs from home. It has fewer students and mostly consists of boys with a handful of girls as people were against the girl child education in the village. Mama made me attend against father’s will as she wants me to be like the lady doctor in the local hospital on the outskirts of town.
The doctor always looks radiant and sophisticated in her white overall coat and stethoscope hanging around her neck with a big smile spread widely across her face like sunlight, always knowing what is wrong with everyone and having a cure for it. She was my role model and I wanted to be like her….a doctor. She speaks English so eloquently and walks in high heels, swaying her hips as she goes by the town market beaming with so much confidence as the town folks stop to watch her pass when she goes her way.
When I told my step brothers I wanted to be like her and not getting married to any old man, they mocked me and told father about it who got furious over it and prevented me from going to school since he believed they were feeding me that information and said I will soon turn against my tradition. He told me the education was a waste of time and the only importance I would be to him is getting married and he getting a bride price in turn for me. For brief period of time I doubted if I could be like the lady doctor, I was now trying to learn the letters of the alphabet and the only flip flops I have are for festivals which really isn’t ladylike but I was still hopeful.
My brothers told me to concentrate on how to be a good house wife as I will be married off and my stupid dreams will be trampled upon but mama told me not to pay heed to them. But I knew it was true and it was about time I would be married off just like Eli.