Story story o! Story! Once upon a time o! Time time. The title of my story is losing my confidence.
As I was going to a filling station, I saw a motor Pim Pim Pim, it asked me what is my name, I said my name is so so so, my name is so so so, my name is so so so, shakiti bobo London baby stop! Eh eh eh! Hey you girl spell your name. A, a a a, D, d d d, U, u u u, N, n n n, I, I I I.
Okay! jokes aside. Today, I’ll be telling the story of how I was humbled as a kid. I was greatly humbled that I lost confidence in myself and I still battle with that to date.
Growing up in a family where most members could not easily or creatively move their bodies, I stood out.
I, only, could do what all others couldn’t do when it came to dance, and this earned me my first nick ‘Ife onijo‘ literally translated to ‘Ife the dancer’.
I did not only wow my family members, but also the small community I lived in as I always came back from parties with the Best dancer title.
The feeling was thrilling and intoxicating.
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It continued for as long as I could remember that I was too assured no one of my age could beat me at dancing. You know, Ife the dancer, blowing minds since 1998.
Little did I know that in the real world, 8 out of 10 times, there’ll be someone better than you are! I came to realize this at the very first party outside my neighborhood that I attended. It was a regular end of the year party organized by my school.
You might be wondering why that was the first time I attended my school’s party. Well, I lived with my grandmother and she’s quite paranoid about going out. She wouldn’t let me go anywhere outside the compound except with her or the people she trusted.
For this party, I went with her. As usual, it got to the dance competition and, uhmm, well, duh! I stepped forward with all confidence. Also convinced I would definitely win.
The competition started with about 12 kids, including me. And then, there were 8, 6, 3, and finally 2; myself and the other girl.
Her first name is Anuoluwapo. You should know the drill of dance competitions at kids’ parties.
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The MC asked one of us to dance first, then the other, later on, we’d both dance at the same time. I thought I nailed it until I saw her dance! Man! That was it for me. I was heartbroken! I knew I did not have to dance at the same time with her to confirm my defeat but I did anyway.
As expected, the crowd roared in her favour and I sadly left to my seat without collecting my gift.
Lo and behold lovelies, I lost the confidence to express myself at dancing in the fear of being laughed at.
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What I want us to learn from this is that, if and when you do have young ones growing up with you, do NOT praise them too much or too less before they actually realize their self-worth. Let them know they are doing quite well but, can still do better. Let them be aware, they can’t ALWAYS be the top of their peer. That can save lives, believe it or not.