On the 27th of April, 2008, I was to write my JAMB. After my breakfast at 6:00 am that day, I left my house for the examination venue.
I arrived at my examination centre 2hrs earlier which was in accordance with the rules of the examination.  After the roll call, we were asked to enter the exam hall. There also in the hall, a checking was made just to see that everything was in order. A few minutes later, the question and answer booklets were distributed to us and we started writing immediately.
          Thirty minutes after, one of the invigilators in my hall stood up and said: “All of you in this hall should contribute five hundred naira (N500) each so that you can be allowed to use any device or gadget to write the exam so as to get a higher score.”  Immediately, people started giving their own quota. Unfortunately for me and four other candidates, we were unable to give any cash. For me, I was only having my transport fare and nothing else. For the other fellows, their reasons were best known to them.
          Our case was reported to the chief invigilator. He came and told us that since we have refused to play to the rule of the game in the hall, we would be given a different hall so that we could write the test on our own. “You think you are intelligent than the others who gave money, I will see how you are going to pass this exam. I know even though you are giving the whole day to write it, you all will surely fail because you children of nowadays are used to examination malpractice.”  These were his last words before leaving the hall.  Five of us were kept under the supervision of another invigilator.
          “I pity you but I cannot help, my boss has spoken and that is final,” the invigilator said as he sat at one corner of the hall manipulating his telephone. It was as if we were forgotten.  Actually, it was my third time to write JAMB. As one who was writing science subjects, the calculations in physics, chemistry and mathematics take a lot of time due to the absence of calculator. But that very day, the story turned the other way. Forty-five minutes after the allocated time, the chief invigilator came into my hall. “O boy, you never collect these foolish students’ papers? Collect them make we dey go abeg, as if if you give them the whole year, they will pass,” he said to the other invigilator in my hall. Turning towards us he said: “Serious students, I know you have nothing to write again, you can now submit. You know already your fate; failure and you will all fail miserably.” Our invigilator took our booklets and left.
          The joy in me that day was immeasurable. Time which has been my problem was given to me in a disguised way. That year the result was successful and that was how I gain admission into the university. Chaiiiii all glory to distractions caused by cell phones.

Published by Chinedu ikechukwu

A writer, a teacher and a comedian.


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