I’m grateful to God for memories.
I also appreciate the privilege to share them.
I am especially pleased that this series has been received by a wide audience all over the world over the last few weeks.
To have lived in a community as a boarder in FGC Idoani was a unique experience, an unforgettable one.
I still remember the layout and topography of the entire school compound. The hostels, multipurpose hall, new and old girls’ hostels, borehole area, staff quarters, health centre, tuck shop, labs, school field, admin block, school farm and classroom blocks.
I remember the people, school authority, teachers, house masters, sports masters, fellow house members, friends, pals, cooks, .etc
I remember the daily schedule of activities, the student slangs and traditions, the hunger and thirst, the beatings and errands, the adventures, myths and fables, religious experiences, jokes, games, fights and so on.
I remember that after I left Idoani, I wished there had been a video recording of all my 5 years, 8 months life there. Memories so inexhaustible. Moments so numerous.
There was no tribalism nor religious discrimination. No politics. At least from my experience and what I can remember. However, it was still a community of humans. We were not perfect. There was wickedness, greed, selfishness, theft, betrayal, backbiting, hatred, hooliganism, violence, terror, homosexuality, fornication, lying, bullying, rumour mongering, insensitivity, everyone-for-himself survival-of-the-fittest and ridiculing one another.
On the other hand, there was also love, brotherhood, teamwork, cooperation, helping one another, sharing, generosity, friendship, intelligence, creativity, responsibility, dutifulness, hardwork, positive influence, joy & happiness, mourning, growth & edification, maturity, good counsel and great memories.
It was like every human community. There will always be virtues and vices coexisting and we got along well.
I remember some games we played in the hostel. Card games, board games and football games. I liked card games a lot, especially JACKPOT & WHOT.
I remember the tuck shop where we bought stuff. Even some of the things that were contraband in the school prospectus were openly sold there like ‘Sardine’ and ‘Geisha’. A loaf of bread sold for N6. A wrap of groundnut for N2. That tuck shop was one crowded and dark room with benches. Like every human community, there was economic stratification and at our level then, looking back now, the things we used to determine who was poor, middle class and rich are amusing. How consistently you can patronized tuck shop & what you bought was one of them.
Then there were some crazy seniors who could send you from the hostel to go and buy something for them from tuck shop, after giving you N20 and giving you a ‘list of items’ to buy worth N100. Traditionally…you were not expected to protest the discrepancy but just make up from the deficit.
There were several mechanisms juniors used to hide money. Inner small pockets sewn behind the beltline of the trouser, a slit in the belt, pockets of inner shorts, in your socks, inside your shirt .etc. All these trouble because your money can be ‘obtained’ from you.
To be continued.