The next time you pass sapele road in Benin city, Nigeria. Look out for Livestock feeds. Look a little to the side of the building…
NO! NOT OVER THE BUILDING!…
To the side!
Don’t ask me which side..you’ll see what am about to show you from any side you look.
Ok..you’ll see a huge building made solely of bricks.
This brick “castle” was my home for six years of my life.
My secondary school…#big smile,cheering#
Can you remember your first day in JSS1,
The confused look on your face,the first time a senior sent you.
Did you ever go on a “journey of no return”, or get sent to the kiosk without being given a dime.
If all you did was go to school and you were never sent,
You were either:
1. One of the annoying day students
2. Bigger than all your seniors(agbaya)
3. The school daughter of the most feared senior.
4. A gum-gum junior student(often known as a “bebe”).
One day, while we were in Jss2 our set in school wrote a petition for the hostels to be divided.
We wanted junior hostel and senior hostel.
If our wishes were not granted we would go on a hunger strike…(Believe me if u want to..or not)
As good fortune would have it,our wishes were granted.
We resumed JSS3, as the kings and queens of the school.
1 word to summarize our behaviour that year..ANNOYING!
Seniors shouted threats at us from their hostel, we shouted insults back.
WAKA!! ASHAWO!!, BOW LEG!!!!
And some Jss3 girls started dating senior class boys! NO FEAR!
Na we win am!
Junior waec passed, long hols came.
First term ss1…
The only description for that stage..
SS2 and above-germans.
Some days were terrible, returning to your room,wrist peeling. Washing 7 white shirts, 8 pinafores, 3 bedsheets and copying senior patience’s biology note from last term till date…
That was just the beginning of a days job.
You just returned to your room to get your detergent and milk for the senior, call all your room mates because the senior sent for them, and get back upstairs.
While some days, were less terrible,
A little humour knocked on our doors,
To relieve us of our sufferings.
I remember one day, Senior patience……..
I will not mention her surname, but if you know her, tell her heaven is waiting for her to reach the pearly gates.
She has a query there.
Back to her,
She came down to look for my mate, tari.
Tari had been given uniforms to iron,
She ironed the uniforms perfectly although she successfully burnt patience’s pinafore(yes,I will call her patience, I’m not scared of her anymore..)
When returning the uniforms, she didn’t tell patience, she had burnt her pinafore.
Five hours later, patience had gotten tired of sending people to call tari(the ss1 girl).
No one could find her,
Of course…all ss1 girls knew where she was hiding,
Would we tell anyone….
Never!! UNITED WE STAND!
When it struck 1, we called tari out of where she was hiding, upstairs, in an uncompleted part of the hostel.
Very dark and scary there, but better there than were patience could find her.
Tari went to her room,stretched her leg, soaked some garri.
Mid soak she heard a voice,
“Shebi, that is tari’s room”…
Hahhh! Patience was in the next room. Tari put her garri bowl into her ghana -must- go and scrambled into her locker.
Just in time too…
Patience walked into the room
Three ss1 girls, stood by the window watching.
I was among the three,
I had no fear of being sent because I was already ironing for two seniors.
Patience asked us,in her slow annoying voice,
“Where is tari”
“I don’t know”, I answered her.
She looks confused, mutters to herself about being sure she heard tari’s voice some minutes ago.
She walks to the window where tari’s locker is…….
She just wants to spit out of the window, when suddenly, the locker swings open.
Tari is curled up inside the locker, I do not know if she fell asleep inside and let go of the door.
Patience starts laughing.
She tells tari who is grinning sheepishly to come out.
The ss1 girls by the window, have expired with laughter.
Patience knocks tari…KPOM! On the head, we laugh harder.
“Oya run upstairs now”, she yells at tari, who is rubbing her head and for reasons unknown is still smiling.
Patience passes us by the door, laughs with us, stops and says
“Oya you people follow her up”
See excuse that day, senior alamgba sent me, senior immaculata is sending me.
“SHUT UP!, don’t allow me start counting for you to leave here”, she said in her coolest, most terrorizing voice.
In a file in front of her, now joyless and muttering curses, we go to collect more clothes for washing.