Nfor -who immediately told me that it was in my interest to repeat the class.
He gave two reasons which were that I was still very young and that it was necessary for me to fill in the gap created by my illness. In that class I wrote the Common Entrance examination and went to Sacred Heart College. Njende was a remarkable and outstanding teacher who had an enviable command of the English Language.
The problem was that I was not ready for college when I went to Sacred Heart College.
The reason is that I left Class Six straight for college without transiting through Class Seven, unlike my classmates.
Throughout the first term, I was hospitalized, firstly at the Bamenda General Hospital.
As the situation worsened, I was discharged, probably “to die at home”.
I had put on an incredible amount of weight and did not look like a patient.
For me this was going to be the real dawn of a new era because here I was in this strange new world doing an unprecedented number of school subjects, each of which was a language in its own right.
I was in hospital for a month and two weeks, looked after by mother, now of blessed memory but after whom I have named one of my daughters – the eldest daughter and child, Abu.
When my father visited us at the hospital three weeks later, he did not recognize me as I played in the forecourt with other children.
I use the term, “language” here in the broad sense, so that it carries in its wake both meanings of language as a human faculty of speech and a system of arbitrary codes.
Having said that, I must state that the inspiration for this particular linguistic discussion is the five-year period I spent at Sacred Heart College in Mankon, but especially my first year at the institution.