Growing up in an environment that was mundane and unsatisfying. There was nothing that inspired me. Most people in my surroundings were either illiterate or law breakers. I got stuck in that world of negativity, and as a result I lost track of time. Despite this, the gift that I received, a blue leather model watch, changed everything. Irrespective of the past, I managed to catch up.

I have never featured myself as a good academic excellence. Whenever we wrote exams I would always fail. When the teacher gave us our exam papers back she would read our marks allowed, which was always embarrassing for me. When she Approached my exam paper my classmates would look back to my seat with laughter, some nodded their heads. The teacher couldn’t help but look at me sympathetically and wordlessly. I remember even one learner said “Argh shame, even a foundation phase student would have passed this exam paper.” My English teacher saw how badly I was struggling academically. One morning she told me to pay her a visit after school and when I got there she had a package on her hands , she gave me the gift and it was a blue leather model watch. At first I rejected the gift as I told her ” I deserved no such gift”. But I was told to take it, and use it as a motivational informal freebie and that it would help me to realise the importance of keeping track of the time.

Before having this watch, every morning I would run under the morning sun with my lungs burning until I reached the school gate.“Aaahh that was quite a run,” I would say while catching my breath. But all of that changed when I began to keep track of time. Every morning before going to school I stepped into the shower and would calculate twenty minutes to blow dry my hair, half an hour to dress, fifteen minutes to get there. Some of my teachers were amazed by my presence in their classes, others said it was just a phase.

My obsession with time keeping grew gradually. During my school holidays every evening I would watch the sky change from night black to a deep purple to a melting blue then a burst of rays seemed to whiten everything, the dome of the sun poked over the horizon like a golden pupil of an opening eye. I began to submit school assignments on time and making time for extracurricular activities. With my watch on my wrist I managed to excel in my studies, became the top learner, and developed the ideal of self-awareness, Patience and time management. I remember joyously rushing home one evening with my report card on hand shouting “Mama! I made it,” with her binocular eyes wide open she rejoiced with excitement. Her exact words were “that’s what happens when you manage your time sufficiently.” It has become part of who I am. It is my North, My south, My east, and west. My working week and my Sunday rest. My noon , Midnight ,My talk and My song, that’s how special it is.