So some weeks back, I ran into a former senior in my secondary school who asked me if I still played soccer and proceeded to take me down memory lane of how I was a badass player in secondary school that he thought I was going to go pro. Well I didn’t go pro, but since I’m currently in Port Harcourt, I decided to pay the school a visit and here’s what went down…
First thing I noticed was they had taken off one of the pitches where I scored some of the best goals I can still remember and replaced it with an elibrary! An elibrary? Nigga who needs that stuff in 2014? It’s not even been commissioned or equipped and yet they thought the best position for an e-library was the very place where legends were made, the place where the likes of Victor Okocha, Charlon and many more showed flashes of goalkeeping brilliance that if properly nurtured would have been part of the world cup in 2014.
One thing that I took away from that visit was the fact that teachers are underrated and underappreciated. Fine, they’re doing the jobs they are paid to do, but we seem to forget that these people are involved in a profession so delicate that if it goes wrong, we won’t notice immediately and hence can’t contain the side effects. So here’s to every teacher everywhere in Nigeria who has given their time and mental resources to educate the children of this country, in every public school, every private school and every school in between; you are appreciated and you would surely reap the rewards sooner that you’d expect.
Back to the school, I don’t know if it’s the weather of if the food rations have increased, but there’s that lack of fighting spirit when it the dinning bell is struck. Maybe they have better pocket money now, because I remember when I was in secondary school and the bell was struck for dinning, except you had your provisions “stacked up in aye”, you had better start running to the hall or you’ll be a victim of small food rations or “massacre” from the likes of Amina, Nnamdi Okpara, Chimenem Owhonda and Maurice Simbi (all of Loyalty house).
It might have been years since I left that school, but the same “crimes” we committed back then, are still the same stuff students do: they still refuse to put badges on their white shirt and when they’re caught, the pockets are torn or a badged is drawn with a black permanent market or both; students still refuse to wear the correct footwear and would instead beg and cry than wear brown sandals and maroon socks. It’s all good.
In all of this chaos and semi chaos, there’s this feeling of pride and fulfillment you get when you step into this school as an old boy (little wonder I ran away from the private school I was sent to during one of the strikes) and that sense of pride leaves you with smiles knowing that you’ve benefited from the diverse cultural environment that is a Federal Unity college, that sense of pride that you’ve gone through the worst possible of mental strain for a 12 year old and yet you’ve come out better and more rugged than most of your compatriots in other schools.
If I still had my way, I’d still choose a unity school… Again, and again and again.
Ps: I’m writing a 2014 review on Efe’s stories.ng website. You should head there and subscribe so you don’t miss out when I feature on the 23rd of December.
Also the 3rd edition of The TPL is taking place on the 20th at Children’s International School, the school is at the end of Admiralty way, Lekki phase 1, Lagos. I’ll be playing for the Red Devils, so come out and cheer. More information is available on twitter.com/thetpl or thetpl.org.
I’m in the christmas spirit and I’m offering some crazy discounts on corporate identities (logos and all) and stationery from now till the end of the year. Same goes for custom tshirts too.