I didn't like going to Islamiyya. In fact, I dreaded it. It wasn't because I couldn't read and write Arabic. Nor was it because the mallams in Islamiyya were actually tyrants in disguise. I was just too old for it.
Where I come from, Nigeria, you're supposed to have finished reading the Quran sometime around age 11. Sometime around age 11, I was busy watching cartoons and having sleepovers. Sleepovers with my cousins of course. Mama was convinced my friends from school were bad eggs.
Sometime around age 11, I was practicing how to wear makeup I borrowed from my older cousins and reading Mills and Boons novels (aka romantic porno), books I stole from those same cousins.
Fast forward 7 years later, and I still couldn't read the Quran well. I won't even tell you what surah I am on because I'm ashamed. I was stuck in a class full of over ambitious 10 year olds. They weren't trying to read the Quran. They were memorizing it.
So I had either two choices. Go to Islamiyya really slow and risk being humiliated by the evil mallams for late coming, or go early and spend more time with the 10 year olds.
Today, based on the schedule I had created for my go-late-go-early initiative, I was going to go late to the Islamic school. I walked very slowly and wondered why mama would never let me school at home. "You'll never finish on time," she would always say. Well, I wasn't going to finish early here, too. I was oppressed and timid in the world of Islam. I kicked a stone and kept walking.
As I continued to walk, a girl pushed me from behind and said "Hey, dumb bitch." To Be Continued
Story by @thatbavagal
Feature by @hausaa_fulanii