I was spoofed when my father changed my school from a public school to a private school. I remember the first class I had. Our teacher, who was a lady, asked me a question and I answered it. She asked me again where I got the answer and I told her that I got it from my brain. She laughed at me and everyone laughed at me because I spoke poorly. Our school fee was N16,650.
My friends were always laughing at my spoken English because I didn’t know how to speak good English. I still can’t speak good English but I am working hard to perfect it. That same lady—my teacher—forced me to start reading a novel in the class every day and she mostly asked me to explain what I understood from the book. She corrected me as I explained it to the class and that was how I started speaking gradually.
My proprietor had always told me that I would become a very good English speaker one day and encouraged me to ignore my classmates and teachers who made jest of my English. With His mercy on me, I started speaking well with confidence until our graduation. Right now, I speak better English than some of my friends who laughed at me because of my English.
Today, she is proud of me anywhere she sees me or hears about me. Had I worried about what my friends did to me at that time I wouldn’t have become who I am today because they mocked me well. Some of them are on this platform. They will read this post and laugh at themselves because they know that they have done a lot of bad things to me.
Honestly, those days were difficult for me because there were days I didn’t talk from morning to the closing time in school. I didn’t know how to speak good English and English was the only means of communication in the school. I chose to keep quiet because I don’t want to be laughed at or mocked by my classmates.
Don’t taunt people with English and don’t laugh at people’s spoken and written English because everyone makes mistakes and no one has a monopoly of English knowledge including the native speakers. Don’t stop learning English because of what people think about you or what they do to you. Continue learning. You will perfect it one day and they can’t laugh or mock you anymore.
The world reads me today. I want to read your articles and watch you talking to a large audience one day. Don’t stop speaking in public. Those who condemn you today can’t do so tomorrow. They won’t have the opportunity.
Lawan Bukar Maigana,