My name is Aliya. I am the only child of my parents. I turned 16 last month, two days before my end of term examinations. I had waited so eagerly for that day to come. When I was 14,1 read a book titled ‘Sweet Sixteen’, which made me realise that at 16. one is no longer a child but a young adult. For as long as I can remember I had always hated to be called a child. To me, child means the same as stupid. So, children’s stuff never interested me. Instead,l found myself drawn to grown up things. I felt more comfortable relating with people who are many years older than me. My father thought this was because of my size. I am what you might describe as plus size. If you like, you could say I was plump or chubby; but never say fat. l started wearing bras at 10 and at 14, I was that I was not a child, but an adult trapped in the body of a child. He would shake his head and give my mother a long stare,which I never understood. ‘Young adult’ therefore, sounded like a fair compromise between being a child, as my father would insist, and being an adult, as I would insist. My mother was a nurse. My father was, well, many things. At the time I was born, he was a journalist. When I was in primary school, he was working in a Public Relations agency. He then went on to work for an international organisation that helps poor people in Africa. When I asked him what exactly his job in the organisation was, he said it was still some kind of public relations.
The very day I turned 16, I was still in school. Even if I was home,I knew better than to expect any parties. My father believed that the only thing worth celebrating was a major achievement. In his eyes, a birthday was not an achievement at all. My mother said she agreed with him. I suspected she was just going along With her husband. For this, I have ve ry strong evidence in the form of several photographs I had seen of her, standing all decked up behind birthday cakes. But to be fair, that was before she met and married Mr. Bello. Whatever the case, birthdays were not a regular event in my home. My fath er even hardly remembered birthdays, including his own. Mummy however, would never, ever forget. She even remembered the birthdays of children in the extended family. But there would be no parties. The closest to any form of celebration were the slightly m ore elaborate dinner and the much more elaborate prayers. This is not to suggest that my parents were some sort of boring people. Not at all. My father was actually very funny. Mummy would often joke that he should consider another career in standup comedy . We also hosted parties and attended some, mostly weddings. Birthday parties were just not our thing. But something changed since I left home for the boarding school. My father, who never remembered birthdays, would not fail to send me greeting cards on m y birthdays. I turned 12 when I was in JSS 1. The birthday card was handed over to me by the across th e blank space inside the card. Even though I didn’t understand what he was some kind of God’s deputy. Lady since I was an only chi Sometimes , I wondered why he called me First ld. I didn’t think yo u could have a first unless there was a second. Maybe he was hoping for a second. How much I wished I had a sister though. And maybe a brother too. But my friends told me that brothers could be very annoying. Well, that was not so diff icult to believe. I imagined having a brother like Akin in my class, who called himself the king of boys. Even though he was very smart, Akin was the most unserious human being in the whole world. He specialized in making fun of everything and playing pran ks on everyone. I remembered what happened last term in the Geometry mathematics teacher wrote the topic, Mensuration class. The on the board, but Akin read it aloud as Menstruation! Who does that? The whole class erupted in laughter. It was only the teacher, Miss Salako, who didn’t find it funny. me nacingly. ‘
round of laughter. This got Miss Salako even angrier and she sent Akin to the wall. Still Akin got an A in Mathematics at the end of the term. SWEET SIXTEEN He returned their greetings and picked up another piece, a castle, from the board. But this boy, e-r-r, what’s his name, Bobo, does he know that? That dumb.” pass exams. A dumb girl is the one who thinks she needs to live up to other people’s expectations; a girl who feels the need to belong’ a girl who thinks she needs to have sex with a boy to prove that she loves him, or who thinks that having sex and generally misbehaving is the way to show that she is a grown-up; a girl who is not smart enough to know when she is being manipulated or He returned the castle to its position and picked up a queen instead. By then, the pawns on the white side had marshalled out into some kind of triangular formation. you would have conversation was over and he would like to be on his way. I still had my inhalers and he knew. I had been asthmatic si been a ‘ constant presence in my life. nce childhood and the Vento inhaler had Soon after, I took the teddy with me to the class with the intention to return it to like yo could not bring myself to hurt him. He was probably just being nice. If only my father had told c gifts for their girlfr iends and l don’t have a girlfriend. l could only think of you. duty master coming towards our class and everybody scurried back to their seats. After that day, s omething happened that involved another girl in my class. so Bobo and I never had the opportunity to finish our conversation. True, my intention that evening was to give him back the teddy, but when I realized I couldn’t do that without hurting him, I was going to make it clear that if he expected anything more than a thank you from me, he was in for a disappointment. But somehow, I never got the opportunity. When we resumed school the following term, I learnt that Bobo had relocated to Ireland with his par ents. I was surprised by how unhappy I felt when I heard the news from other classmates. I was not even sure if I was unhappy or angry or both. He should at least have told me he was relocating. Daddy was right after all when he said you should not believe that someone loved you only because they gave you a gift . That was the kind of relationship I had with my dad. How I had eagerly looked forward to turning 16, when he, of all people, would no longer consider me a child and formally recognize me as a young adult. But here I was, With not even the usual birthday card from my father and the principal acting all strange! The idea that something might have happened to my dad truly scared me. Suddenly, I was no longer so sure that I was ready to be the grown wanted to be. Without my dad, I would be lost like sheep without a moment the teacher signaled the end of the first period, I ran out of the class. I girl I had always shepherd. The shouted back and continued to run. Afterwards, she said she thought I was rushing to catch a flight or something. In actual fact, I only managed to sit through the class. I could not even recall a word of what was taught that morning; even though on a good day the Geography class could be terribly boring. I ran all the way to the principal’s office and was still panting when I got there. To my pleasant surprise, the principal’s face dissolved in a big smile the moment he saw me. He asked why I was pa yes. red ribbon that had a full multico loured bow on top of it. When he said my boyfriend, I knew he meant my dad. The two of them had forged some kind of friendship that I could not understand, especially as they had little in common, or so I thought. My dad was much younger than the principal , even though I didn’t know the principal’s exact age. The principal was Christian, my dad was Muslim. My dad was Yoruba, the principal was Tiv. excited me so much, but the utt unfounded after all. the principal said. er relief in realising that all my fears were just unusual sir, me having to come to your office to pick up the card. So, hopped out of his office. The relief that I felt at knowing that my father was okay was quickly overtaken by curiosity. I couldn’t wait to see what was in the beaut ran back to the hostel and tore the parcel open. I almost felt bad with the way I ripped off the ribbon. Someone must have taken the trouble to tie it so beautifully, I thought. Oh well, gifts are meant to be opened no matter how beautiful the wrapping, right? In the box was a portable digital camera, a birthday the camera that got me. I loved photography and had always camera. wanted to own a camera. My dad had promised some months before that he would buy me one. I thought he had forgotten, butl also knew that it would be a mistake to remind him. He did not like being hassled like tha t. Now, I had my camera. He didn’t forget his promise after all. I did not even bother to take a second look at the card. It used to be the main thing on previous birthdays. But this year, it had been relegated to a mere add on. The camera had all my att ention. It was a compact digital camera with an LCD monitor. I loved it.} was tempted to try it immediately, but I decided it was better to wait until I had the time to read the manual. But what about the spiral bound document? I wondered what it was. It h ad a blue cover that bore the bold Daughter written by Maya Angelou. I was not sure I understood everything that the author was saying. But I wondered why my father would now make a photocopy to send to me when he could have sent the book itself if he thou ght I needed to read it again. ‘ I soon found, when I opened the document, that my father had only copied Maya Angelou’s title. It was his own letter to me, his daughter. He started by congratulating me on my 16th birthday. He wrote of the joy he felt when I was born. He also recalled how my birth meant he had to take life more seriously and live up to the task of being responsible for another human being .
or me to work hard so that I would be able to give you those things I never had as a child, and make it possible for you to have those things I never enjoyed. I have also tried to teach you those core values and the essential character that I have inherited from my humble parents; my parents who had neither gold nor silver to give me,but . It was a 16-page letter. A page for each year of my life. Trust my daddy to do a thing like that.
ENJOY THE REST ALL OUR ASPIRATION IS TO SUCCEED QUESTIONS
1. What does HAK stand for?
a. Hugs and Kisses
b. Huge and Knights
c. Hiss and Kisses
d. House and Kitchen
2. Who almost fainted when he heard that some students were caught on the he is a profession
a. Mr Bello and He is teacher
b. Mr Fayose and He is an Engineer
c. Mr Bello and He is a journalist
d. Mr Fayose and He is a Journalist
3. ……..Is the protagonist of the novel
b. Mrs Bello
c. Mr Fayose
4. How old was Aliya?
5. Who is the author of the novel?
a. Bolaji Amusan
b. Balaji Abdullahi
c. Sarah Ladipo Mayinka
d. Bolaji Abdullahi
7. Adoringly, Aliya was referred
a. Sex addict
b. First lady
d. None of the above
8. The students that were caught were having sex in ?
a. Basketball court
b. Behind a lawn Tennis court
9. What does KOTL means?
a. Kiss on top the lips
b. Kiss on top the legs
c. Kiss on the lips
d. Kiss on the labs
10. Who asked for the meaning of HAK and KOTL
b. Mr Bello
d. Mr Fayose
11. Aliya never scored higher than a C in what subject
12. Aliya turned 16 on ?
13. Who was Grace in the novel?
a. Aliya roommate who was slightly older than aliya
b. Aliya enemy
c. Aliya cousin
d. None of the above
14. Akin pronounce Mensuration as Menstruation?
a. Miss Sako
b. Mr Bello
c. Miss Salako
d. Mr Salako
15. Aliya turned twelve(12) when she was in what class?
a. JSS 2
b. JSS 1
c. JSS 3
d. SS 1
16. When Aliya was in Primary school,
b. Public Relations Agency
d. None of the above
17. Aliya Started wearing Bras at the age of……?
18. How old was aliya when she read the book titled “Sweet Sixteen”
19. Who made the statement, “Child Means the same as stupid”?
d. Mrs Fayose
20. Who as known as “king of the boys” in the novel
d. None the above
21. When did aliya turned sixteen(16)
a. She turned sixteen two days before the end of term examination
b. 3days before the end of term examination
c. 2 month before the end of term examination
d. a day before the end of term examination
22. Who read Mensuration as Menstruation a. Akin
c. Aliya juniors
23. Who gave Aliya a teddy as a valentine gift
24. Which tribe is the principal from?
25. What was written on the birthday card that was in the gift box given to Aliya.
a. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALIYA
b. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
c. HAPPY SWEET SIXTEEN
26. Who later relocate to Ireland with his parents
d. Miss Salako
27. Who is Auntie Molara?
c. Aliya cousin
d. Mr Bello younger sister
28. Aliya Ordered Combination of……..and…. At Anty Gigis
a. Fresh orange juice and ice cream
b. Vanilla and chocolate ice cream
c. Meat pie and Fresh Orange Juice
d. None of the above
29. As soon as aliya opened the spiral bound documents what was the bold inscription on it?
a. First lady
b. Happy sweet sixteen
c. Letter to my daughter
30. Aunty Gigis
a. Popular fast food place
b. Popular motor park
c. Popular relaxation center
d. Popular boutique
31. Who had been Asthmatic since childhood?
d. Auntie Molara
32. “Dumb girls”, “Boys Like Dumb Girl ” the statement was made by
a. The principal
b. Mr Bello
d. Tukunbo Alabi
33. What was written on hearth-shaped embossment of the teddy bear tummy
a. Want you
b. I love you
c. Miss you
d. Sweet sixteen
34. Who gave aliya a teddy bear as a valentine gift
b. Tokunbo Alabi
d. Mr Bello
35. What is Bobo real name?
a. Tokunbo Alabi
b. Tokunbo Bolaji
c. Tokunbo Isekishe
d. Tokunbo Ajayi
36. What was the gift given to aliya when her father returned from london?
a. A blue jean and a Chelsea football club jersey
b. A teddy bear
c. A Digital camera
d. A gift box with a pinkish wrap and a bright red ribbon that had a full multi-coloured bow on
37. In the novel who was Imelda Marcos? According to Mr bello.
a. A poet
b. Former first lady of philippines
c. A journalist
d. a sex addict
38. In the novel, Kahlil Gabran who was a Lebanese poet died in the year
39. …..Father Want his son to be a lawyer like himself?
40. Aliya didn’t want want to be a pilot anymore because?
b. Their was a plane crash that killed so many people
c. She had it in mind of becoming a musician
d. None of the above
VERIFIED ANSWERS 1. A 2. C 3. A 4. B 5. D 6. A 7. B 8. A 9. C 10. B 11. C 12. A 13. A 14. C 15. B 16. B 17. C 18. B 19. C 20. A 21. A 22. A 23. B 24. C 25. C 26. A 27. B 28. B 29. C 30. A 31. A 32. B 33. B 34. B 35. A 36. A 37. B 38. D 39. B 40. B