‘ I was born in Warri, delta state to an average family. Things were alright. I had my FSLC and part of my secondary school in Warri before I went to Port Harcourt to complete my secondary school. Then, I stayed in Port Harcourt for some years while shuttling Warri and Bayelsa. I finished my secondary school in 2009 but passed my WAEC in 2013.
Growing up in an African home was fun and hell at the same time. I had lots of fun in my childhood days, but I always feared my parents because of their high level of discipline. We always saw their advice as threats. I got into beatings for a lot of things I did and didn’t do. My younger brother was the apple of my mother’s eyes. Whenever he did something bad he was always spared by our mother; whereas, even when I wasn’t at fault, my mom never seemed to believe me. My dad was mostly my saving grace, but he was not always home due to the nature of his job. It was so bad that One day I summoned up courage and asked my mum if I was adopted or found by the roadside.
My dad’s immediate elder brother died when I was young and about 3 months later his wife also died leaving 5boys behind. My dad took all five of them in and told us to treat them as our siblings rather than cousins. The high life of chicken and rice came to an almost end for us; but as time went on, we became one big happy family of 6 brothers and a tomboy sister.
We were not allowed to eat outside even if the person was very close to us. I never visited any friend while growing up so I had a rectangular life (school, church, shop, and house) My Friends too never visited me for fear of my parents, especially my mum.
I was not allowed to stand and even talk to a guy except he was buying something from our shop. One day, a male friend of mine sneaked behind me, covered my eyes and asked me to guess who he was; my dad saw him and gave him the beating of his life.
My dad also taught me not to pay for things I could do myself so that It doesn’t make me lazy. This lecture happened the day It was my turn to wash the bathroom. That Saturday I had bargained with my brother; I had promised him N100 and my meat when he caught us.
My mum warned me about boys. She said that if they touched me I was going to get pregnant. That made me not seat with any guy in school until almost SS2. I also did not have sex until I was almost 22years old.Layefa Tengi
We were taught to read hard and pass for our exams. My dad always said no matter the amount of money he was never sorted for us, even if it meant us staying home for years.
The Rosary was a part of our lives- just as important as the food was.
I have a Nigeria Certificate in Education. Never in my life did i think I would become a teacher. I stayed home for many years; even my younger brother gained admission into university while I was still home. My friends were in their 400lv And I was yet to gain admission. I always wanted to do medicine but each time I wrote jamb I never got the course I wanted; they always give me one crazy course or the other at the government institutions I applied to; my parents couldn’t afford to send me to a private university.
At a point, my mum began to cry that she’s being mocked by church members and neighbors. She begged me to accept any admission given to me regardless of the course. The following year I gained admission into the college of education. I didn’t even know my aunt saw my name and told my parents. The pressure from my mom was high; she even threatened to kill herself if I did not go.Layefa Tengi
After graduation I taught for a while, I got to love the kids but the salary, stress, and principles were not going well for me, so I quit. I Later got another job at an eye clinic as the receptionist but I ended up being the Pharmacist, secretary, accountant, PA, and every other thing you can think of. It was exhausting but I loved it because I learned a lot under a short period of time working under Dr. Victor Kroengha Odogu.
I resigned to go back to school and presently I’m a student of Bayelsa state school of Nursing.
Practicing PR in Bayelsa state is very poor not because there are no competent hands but because the platform for Bayelsans is poor, clients rather look for influencers in Lagos and Abuja to do the job.
I see myself in a whole lot of places in a few years from now. Playing a major role in the media of Bayelsa state and having an NGO to help the girl child and women in abusive marriages’
~ Layefa Tengi