Life is tough. But nothing can be tougher than being young and bald. People will talk down at you, make you the butt of their jokes and sometimes, no scratch that, most times, they will attack your self esteem. If you’re chicken-minded, you’ll go home and kiss life goodbye.
Nothing can be more depressing than having a feature you can do nothing about. You’re stuck with it – like a chicken trying to free its feet from old, unused weaves. And then, people, who are mostly dickheads, will make fun of that feature, and it’s more drepressing when they seem to derive joy from it. They don’t care if it hurts you or not.
My name is Chidi Arua, I will turn 22 on the 29th of this month, and guess what? I’m bald!
Three days ago, during an examination, an invigilator(his name should be DickHead) took a swipe at my hairline. He launched his comic career with my baldness. I felt like putting a bullet through his head.
Mr. DickHead(that is how I choose to call him) had asked us to step outside the examination hall for a re-accreditation for a second course. Normally, since we had used the same venue for the first course, there should have been no need for another identity check.
But then, Mr. DickHead knew better. Perhaps, he wanted to sound funny, and he did.
One after the other, he ushered us into the hall according to our registration numbers. Everyone located his/her seat. That went well until my friend, DickHead himself, decided to take his wisdom to the next level and call for a face check.
He brought a catalogue containing a passport photograph of everyone that was supposed to take the examination.
“Present, Sir,” each student answered as Mr. DickHead called, trying to confirm if everyone’s face matched the photograph in his catalogue.
I sat there, waiting to hear him yell my number. A very needless exercise, I thought. I was wearing a face cap without the slightest idea that it would make me smell the rotten egg of shame.
Well, he got to my registration number and finally inducted me into the Hall of Shame. My good friend, DickHead, chanted my number.
“But you’re not wearing a cap here,” he said, pointing to the catalogue.
I did the needful by removing my cap for him to do his job, for a needless second time. He looked at me and threw a jibe that had me gasping for breathe.
“It is because of your bald head?” DickHead asked.
The whole hall, that contained about sixty students, was rented with laughter. I sat there like an abandoned child, left to die in a waste bin. The weight of the world crashed on me.
I wore back my cap, trying my best not to give away my outrage. I birthed a bold face to provide a shelter for my soaked ego; soaked with the obnoxious rain of shame.
And then, stitches of follow up jibes from my classmates:
“Chidi, go and plant hair o”
“I don tell am make him go do hair transplant o”
“O boy, the man no get joy o, see as him finish Chidi”
I did shut my ears to them. I ignored them all, wrote my exams in silence and left.
I can’t blame nature for deciding to swallow my hairline prematurely. As a Christian, I believe that it’s the way God created me. I can’t change it.
My hairline is recessing rapidly and as it becomes thinner, I die inwardly. For a fact, I hate it.
You want to grow your hair and do whatever you like with it but you’re constantly pegged back by an untimely balding.
I have had people mock me in the past and I would be furious with God for days. Now, even after Mr. DickHead held sway on the day, I refuse to think about it or be mad with God.
I’m writing because this may help someone out there dealing with a physical defect, or any other feature that makes such a person the subject of provoking jokes. Be yourself and start loving the way you look or how you were created.
Are you uncontrollably fat? Your friends mock you? Ignore it. Don’t feel ashamed because you’re beautiful and handsome, just the way you’re.
PS: All my course mates are pricks!