Do you have a nickname. Where and how was your nickname derived. Is it cause of your behaviour, intelligience, physical appearance etc. Now here is my ordeal with nicknames in high school all because of my head.If nicknames could kill then I would have been long dead by now because my high school days were filled with nicknames.
The first name i got in high school was ‘‘scopal” because the excuses i gave to my seniors in my JSS1 were ever ready. I always had an excuse or two to give to any senior that tried to send me on an errand. In short excuse no dey finish for my mouth. The name quickly changed to isi-eke when people began noticing my big head and that my surname is Ekeh. The name was like a perfect match when my hostel mates realised that i was clever as a snake in giving excuses and eke is the igbo word for the python snake and my school was in igboland.
My head seemed to be my best friend and my worst enemy at the same time. My best friend because i used it to dish out timely excuses and my worst enemy because my class mates took pleasure in giving me names because of my head. In my JSS2 the nick-naming took another twist in the big head expressway. I got names like headmaster, hammer head of horror, then my worst English teacher ever, seemed to noticed that my head seemed not to compliment my slender frame and i got the name i disliked the most ‘‘improper fraction”!!!!!!!!!!!!
Along came 2006 the year the Shrek cartoon took Nigeria by storm and one boy by name Ukaogo Nelson (how will i ever forget you) initiated the whole school into calling me shrek. I felt like cutting my head off, how can me and that green looking ogre be mentioned in the same sentence not to talk of me going by its name. Fine boy like me. Just imagine. But i endured it all because i loved my head irrespective of the size and i occasionally took respite in joining to ridicule another classmate that had a much bigger head, one of his own nicknames was ‘‘O MY HEAD”.
It seemed as if all my classmates spent our long junior waec holidays in their villages because they all came back with igbo on their tongues and i was at the receiving end. My nicknames started having the igbo word for head(isi) prefixed on them. The shrek became isi-shrek and the isi-eke was resurrected. One new student realised he had gotten enough of the igbotic isi isi thing and decided to help my cause by giving me a new name. Guess what he came up with?? ‘‘Gbogbo tanker” and that was the last straw that broke my camel’s back and my God heard my prayers of four years.
Sorrows they say may last for the night, but Joy comes in the morning and my dawn started in my SS2 as I began to receive admirable names still because of my head. I was the first runner up in the 2009 cowbell senior mathematics competition in Imo state and received the first ever money i earned #15000 fifteen thousand naira. This could not go unnoticed as my friends that were looking for every opportunity to nickname me started calling me 15ton(fifteen ton). My further maths teacher could not help but join in the fun as she started call me ‘‘Cowbell” and before i could say jack Robinson my female classmates started calling me Machine boy(though i doubted if the name the girls gave me had anything to do with my money winning exploit or if they had their own agenda).
They say good things last forever as one of my mathematician friend by name Orisakwe Udenna(wherever you are i say thank you) took it upon himself to give me a lasting nickname from my old nicknames. According to him, he brought the isi-eke and isi-shrek and coined out the name ‘‘SHEKE” which looked like the reversal of what i used to write on my textbooks cover(ie Ekeh’s copy), reverse the Ekeh’s and you get Sheke. I liked it so much and tried to make it stick and everyone seemed to like it too. Even the girls took a liking to it and added it to their ‘‘machine boy” and i finally got my last nickname in high school ‘‘Sheke the machine boy”.
Four years down the line, am sitting in my lonely room in Unizik reminiscently, as my once big head that gave me lots of nicknames now look too small to even get me one now.
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