Who am I?

I was born on Wednesday the 16th of September 1987 in the village of Goumori in northern Benin, the son of Fulani parents who had already lost their first three sons.  In following tradition, I was left in a trash pile immediately after my birth to avert the fate of my brothers.  Family elders recovered me from the pile and gave me the name “Guiderea,” meaning “waste pile” or “trashcan” in Fulani, which was eventually shortened to the name I now bear: Guida.

When I was five years old, I was playing with as I usually did after my morning bath, when I saw my friends wearing khaki uniforms on their way to school with their older siblings.  I followed them to school and saw other children arriving with their parents.  We played in the schoolyard until 10am, when the bell rang and everybody went to the mango tree where food vendors had set up their stands.  Each child held out his plate and cried “a mam doreo” which means, “sell me some food” in the local bariba language.  I was enamored by this spectacle, and though I wasn’t hungry, I became hungry as I watched them eat.  My friends shared their lunches with me, and we resumed playing in the schoolyard until noon when the bell rang again and we went home.

Returning home, I encountered my furious mother, red in the face from searching for me all morning.  She sighed in relief and asked where I’d been.  I told her “I’ve been playing with my friends at school!”  As she raised her hand to hit me, my father instructed her to stop, for he was proud to see his son go to school.  Two hours later, I asked my dad to pull water from the well so I could wash myself before the afternoon classes.  He obliged, and I washed up to join the other kids on their way back to school.  It was only the third day of the semester and I’ve attended school regularly ever since.  And so, I became the only Fulani student at the Goumori Elementary School.

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8 Responses to “Who am I?”

  1. Shari Crist says:

    Merci beaucoup pour votre histoire et bon voyage!

  2. MELISSA says:

    I THINK THE SELF MOTIVATION YOU EXPRESS SAYS ALOT FOR WERE YOU COME FROM. YOU ARE VERY INSPIRING.

  3. Guida says:

    Thanks for reading and the encouragement!

    Guida

  4. MUSA says:

    hi, Guida i am very glad to read this your story, because my aunt also when through almost the same situation before being educated. i will like to ask you to keep up because your stories might one way or the other influence the education of our brothers and sisiters.

    I am a fulani like in the norht west region of camerron.

    thanks

  5. AIMEE AKPOLY says:

    Merci pour ce message tres encougeant ! Que le meuilleur soit ton partage. Courage à toi.

  6. LUCRECE says:

    TOUTES MES FELICITATIONS A TOI !QU’IL EN SOIT DE MEME POUR NOS FRERES ET SOEURS .

  7. Galo Demmba Soh says:

    Du Courage et encore du courage ! Le pulaagu compte et espère beaucoup en toi Guida.

  8. Boubakar ASH says:

    Slt mn frère!!!
    En lisant ton texte, jai eu vrema d frissons!!! sa ma raplé d trucs ke javai presk oublié!!! je sui trè fier d savoir ke jsui pa le seul peul à aller à l’Ecole par pur hasard!!! vrema emouvan tn texte!!!! du courage e bne chance!!!!!
    ton texte ma également permi de savoir la signification réelle du prenom “””Guida”””. un prenom ke porte mon oncle ke jadmir bcp.

    Boubakar HAMADOU, Malanville, Nord Bénin!!!!