As a very tender kid leaving his parent’s home for the first time thinking how wonderful Secondary School was going to be, I had the pleasure of going to a well renowned Nigerian Government Secondary school, which was no ordinary JSS1 to SS3 (grade 7 to 12) government school No! This was the Elite of all government schools in town. When it came to punishments and flogging (beating) students, my school was well known around Abuja. A senior would wake all junior students on a beautiful Saturday morning to decree that every junior student fetch a bucket of water and bring to his corner (bunk bed side) before 6:00am, Pause! What does a senior want to do with 568 buckets of water? Oh well! That was none of my concern; my goal was to try to figure out how I was going to take a bath that day without my bucket. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you had the honor of going to Government Gifted Vocational Secondary School Gwagwalada then, we were prison mates. This was also where I had the pleasure of receiving my first punishment.

I offended a senior student on a vivid Friday evening and he showed me how amazingly creative Nigerians are at executing punishments. He called me into his corner and told me to pick a Pin (Pick Pin) but I only used to get flogged on the hand or get told to kneel-down in primary school so I didn’t know what a pick a pin was #AjebutterMoment. Lean forward and place your index finger on the ground while you stand on one leg for as long as you were told to. “That is so easy” I thought in my head, as I did as I was instructed and the senior went faffing away. I had spent 2 long hours doing the Pick a Pin in that corner and my world had begun to spin. My only one functioning leg was about two inches off the ground and the one that was on the ground had literally lost all its feeling, I literally could not feel my leg. I could trace every drop of sweat flow down my fore head as it mixed with the freshly brewed tears flowing out of my eyes down my cheeks as I stared down at a poodle of my sweat and tears. I was in pain! “What kind of punishment is this?” I thought in my head. I felt like I had been running for 3 hours on only one leg. I let out momentary screams for help around my hostel but no one dared to release me from that punishment as they all stared at me with pity. A moment I will never forget, my first punishment.


Dami is the Founder and Creative Director of Dudunorth. She has an immense passion for media, marketing and all things creative.

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