I remember the teacher who made me want to become a teacher and as a young girl I prayed: God I want to become like Ms. Onumah.
I loved her kinky hair turned Jheri curls with the shaving at the sides in her light brown teacher’s uniform which matched her students’ light brown shirts and deep brown pinafore or shorts.
Like her students, she sometimes wore sneakers on rainy days which always received ridicule behind her back.
My year was filled with acquiring a level of mastery into sums and products, appreciating the culture of different ethnic groups, I even gained some expertise in needlework and for the first time in my life lit a fire at school all in the name of learning.
These are not the memories I most cherish, rather I look deep into her nature and appreciate her tenacious, committed, inspiring, creative and energetic and kind presence.
Mrs. Onumah’s classroom was an epitome of graceful learning, her resources were meagre; she became the queen of improvising.
Her legacy has outlived the one year I spent under her tutelage.
Twenty-four years and still counting she remains ‘The Teacher”.