Fluttering soft satin wings in flight and characterized with a sensation so bright; colourful in attitude and most delicate in pulchritude; over time, the butterfly has had and still has a prominent place in art and literature as a symbol of liberty, creativity and above all, nature’s incomparable beauty. The life cycle of a butterfly includes four basic stages; egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa or chrysalis, and adult. The process by which a plump, ugly, cylindrical-bodied caterpillar becomes a delicate and beautiful butterfly is known as metamorphosis.‘Metamorphosis’ – A marked change in condition, appearance and character would be the premise on which this true success story shall be told.
The finished embossment on our deep blue polo shirts was as glaring as the marked ages on our faces. It read like this, ‘Protect Your Future – HIV is Real.’ Of course, my friend and I looked silly in our blue outfits when we first walked through the rusty wrought iron gates of the Government Secondary School that sat on a wide expanse of land in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), but the students and teachers were more than glad that we came.
It was a gender assembly at Government Secondary School, Tudun-Wada, Wuse Zone IV and the topic we were to shed light on was, ‘Reasons why Pre-marital Sex should be avoided.’ My friend was to speak to the boys while, I was to address the girls. During the assembly, I shared a whole lot with the growing teenagers and I remember saying to them conclusively in a fashioned way, ‘Virginity is the Foolproof Veracity of Matrimony.’
I saw the perturbation on their faces and I knew they had more questions to ask than the ample time given to my friend and I could ever carter for. From the timorous Maureen to the soft-spoken beautiful Mercy reaching to the inquisitive and meticulous ‘Obong, I knew their tender hearts hungrily craved answers and true definitions pertaining to their individualities and sexualities.
It’s gradually approaching ten score days ago when my friend and I had our first true and real meeting with the students of Government Secondary School, Tudun-Wada. And between then and now, many things had transpired and a lot more translated. We poured out our hearts immeasurably to these students and we talked and discussed more like friends, than we did as mentors and protégés.
Alongside the two other corps members who were at the school before us, we proffered solutions and answers more than we asked questions and demanded explanations. The Health Club Coordinator of the school, a woman of virtue and an amiable individual by all standards was always around to lend a hand and ensure the availability and punctuality of the students for the club meetings on Fridays.
My-oh-my! Words won’t suffice in trying to convey how the Health Club, Government Secondary School, Tudun-Wada metamorphosed into what it is today, but I would speak of a boy called ‘Obong and a girl by the name Maureen. ‘Obong won the Punctuality Prize during his graduation ceremony while, the once shy Maureen is today, the Secretary of the Health Club in her school. They both changed speedily and positively.
A beaming light now seems to shine ad infinitum on the once dark questionable paths of life no one ever saw the need to talk to them about. Maureen understands better than she did before, her menstrual cycle and how best to keep clean as a lady during menstruation. ‘Obong now knows the whys and wherefores of the physiological changes that he has experienced and that he is still bound to experience as a man in the formative age bracket.
In painting a breathtaking picture, many words could be used to describe the Health Club, Government Secondary School, Tudun-Wada, but I’d say emphatically and succinctly of the club, ‘The Beautiful Butterfly you see today used to be and once was, an ugly caterpillar.’