I was in class 4 when my Principal, Mr Udoffot, told me he would not let me sit for WAEC because I was left-handed. Back then in 1975, we had class 1, class 2, etc, much like JSS1 and 2 now and class 5 (like SS3) was the final exam class, so I was one holiday away from WAEC.
I was born left-handed and even if it was not seen as normal or acceptable, I continued to use it. When Mr Udoffot told me he won’t allow me to write WAEC with my left hand, I had about 2 months to learn how to write with my right hand.
My Principal wasn’t someone to toy with, and I was a goody two-shoes. So when I went home, I started practising with my right hand. I remember I would practice by using my right hand to copy long texts from novels. By the end of the holiday I had taught myself to write with my right hand.
When it was time to write WAEC, I was already good with my right hand. I did exceptionally well at the exam too. Now I use my left hand for everything except writing.
I know children these days would not fall for the principal’s trick. They would fight and challenge his authority to stop them from using their left. The world was really different then.
So far, all my grandchildren are left-handed, but I know they will be fine because society is more open now.