My early years

January 21, 2019

I was born on the 21st of October, 1984 to the family of Dr. & Mrs Akumah. The first of 5 kids with four lovely younger sisters (Nkeonye, Osogom, Uzo and Chucks), I grew up not knowing I was the only boy because my parents always made sure, I did everything in the house irrespective of my sex.

I would wash the plates, fetch water into the drinking bottles, wash my school clothes, wash the cars, sweep the compound and make food to feed the dogs. We always had two dogs every time in the house until I was 15 and feeding the dogs was where I learned how to cook.

The earliest I can remember concerning my childhood is when I was maybe 4 or 5 and my dad bought me a bicycle. I was so excited I went out to ride it, had bruises but learned how to ride the same day.

The ‘Aboki’ in me

I also remember leading the mass choir when I was 7. A choir made up of the men, women, youth and children choristers, 50-man choir and I stood in front of everyone with my white gloves and black over-sized shirt, waving my hands from left to right and depicting things I had seen in an opera where a choirmaster would coordinate how the flow went.

My Dad and I

There were exciting days which led to me acting church plays, singing with the youth choir and then landing a role in a drama series briefly. At 8, I was very comfortable acting on stages, but my school work suffered a bit. I loved the arts, I loved drawing Super Ted and Magic Mouse, I would spend hours drawing this and will forget three hours of time had past, I didn’t care.

In primary 4, my mum and dad agreed that I needed an extra lesson teacher to bring me up to speed in my quantitative analysis subjects. This paid off because it was the only way I could regain my lost time playing during classes at school. I was drilled like crazy!

I eventually passed my common entrance examination in primary 5 and made it to the top of my class in my secondary school. This led to my next stage of playing, I moved from the 5th best student in my class to the 45th best student in my class to the 45th best student because of how playful and unserious I was with my class work.

My mum smacked me several times but for some weird reason, I would forget about the beatings until the next term. I played lots of sports activities, played counter-soccer (a game that saw me and my peers imitate a regular soccer game and play for bragging rights.)

Not too long I found myself in drama clubs and exceeding in the local table soccer league but failing woefully with my studies. In JSS3, I realized it was time for another major exam, abandoned the games and started studying for it.

I did well again for reasons I didn’t understand and landed in the science class.

I got into SS1 F in Federal Government College Sokoto and decided at this point that I wanted to become a Software Engineer after reading a book in Software Engineering that I stumbled on in the library.

I didn’t know anyone else in Sokoto who wanted to become a Software Engineer, I didn’t even know who had been one in the past, but read that book and was filled with so much excitement about the prospects of create software out of nothing to create value with raw codes. Mind you, I had not seen a computer with my bare eyes yet – my school will let you see a sacred computer in SS2.

Then there was war in my house. My father wanted me to be a doctor like him but what happened next will be written on the 21st of February.