When you meet me for the first time, you would notice that I do not talk much. Or probably you would not. I am that girl who always sits at the back of the class, quiet and cannot start a conversation or walk across a hall teeming with humanity without dying fifty times over. Sometimes I flee, literally. So, you can imagine how nervous I was when one day in highschool, I was supposed to represent my school at a Public Speaking competition. I could not get my head around what I was being told. I went to a really great school, meaning I met people who exuded confidence with just a stride as they walked, people who could argue with the teachers and still keep a straight face, so I was shocked. Me? Represent the school? I could not fathom the thought.
When that day came, I was prepared with very many points but I had carefully selected five of which were my best. I was still a pile of nervousness but my friends and class teacher really did a great job in assuring me that I could do it. All their efforts in making me feel comfortable came crashing down when the boy who spoke right before I was supposed to, based his argument on the five points I had selected as my best. Did I die? Yes. He was a really good speaker and so he killed it (aliua) and took me along with him.
I had to start over, or so I thought. It took a couple of minutes before I decided I was going to speak on the same, but use a different approach. It did not matter at that moment, because I was called to the stage. As I walked I chose not to see anyone or anything around me. I went there, shared a piece of my mind and went back to sit down. I could not even explain how I felt, until, the results were announced.
As one of the officials was calling out the names of the Top Five Girls, I could not help but think of how much of a disappointment I would be to my school if my name was not there. Four names were called out and mine was not there and as I sat there, I thought of walking out, but Alas! (It feels good. I haven’t said that since class five. 😂) my name was called out. I was the Top Female Speaker in the sub-county!
I was elated and pleased. I could not believe it. I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio winning an Oscar, in fact, they really should have given me a chance to deliver that, ‘I would like to thank my mum, my friends and all my supporters, for all the love they have shown me’ speech. Though, a handshake did the trick.
I was walking on air, until the time to choose the Chairperson came. I was the best female speaker and ‘The Boy who stole my points’ Was The best male speaker, as was expected. Either of us could be the chairperson, but they just decided he could do a better job, because….He was a boy!
‘ Just let George be the Chairperson because he is a boy. Gender equality will be there when you are the Vice Chairperson.’
Why couldn’t he be my assistant? That would also be gender equality. Well, right now, I am not putting on my Feminist hat, so I will not say a much about George and his cool blazer 😁 , but there is still a lot of ranting to do.
I am really grateful that you are still reading this, after my not-so-interesting narration up there. Today is International Girls’ Day and I thought I should celebrate myself and other girls by sharing my story of being made an Assistant because I was a girl. (Twisted, right?)
You are beautiful and smart.
Just like a love letter cannot go without a Westlife song, this day cannot go without quoting Maya Angelou,
It’s in the sun of my smile,
I am a woman, phenomenally,
Celebrate a girl today.
If you are about to throw virtual items at me because I mentioned Gender equality somewhere, please, not now. Let’s just use this day to celebrate the girl child. Who knows, tomorrow I might be talking about the boy child and write about George… And his cool blazer of course. 😁
Photo: Yours truly.