Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tales From FEGO: Jamaica Road

It was a Monday morning and breakfast was fluidized beans and hot-tongue-peeling corn pap A.K.A. Akamu or Ogi. It was ate in a hurry just like every Monday morning without the girls in attendance because of the regular assembly.

Chuks* and Dele* were writhing in pain. Not the excruciating type, but the type that signalled riot in the bowels. They managed through the unusual boring assembly with one road on their mind – Jamaica. Why Jamaica?

Jamaica Road links Blockies avenue,  Ikoyi and Ajegunle roads and their corresponding staff quarters. Jamaica created a feeling of a borderline for the school with no building on the other side of the road as of 1998. But Government Block have since been built across the road. A certain church had foundations too across the road. Is the church complete now?

While the school choir drummed away, Chuks and Dele took on their heels, way ahead of the others matching out of the assembly hall. They ran through the science block unto Ajegunle road heading towards Blockies avenue. They were pressed no thanks to the chemical reaction btw the beans and pap.

They skidded over the blockies rollers (Dung bees) that characterizes Jamaica Road, after wadding through the wet grasses of the blockies avenue. On locating a seemingly good spot, they jumped over the gutter into the bush and positioned to add human made manure to help the weeds achieve their glory.

Few minutes after the initial release of the blockies, Chuks hurriedly wore his green terylene knickers and stepped aside. Dele looked up with awe in expectation of an explanation of such hurry. “Look down” Chuks said. Dele’s gaze left Chuks’ face to the floor where he was squatted. Lo and behold, he saw: “Died in 1944

Up and away, they bought ran, heads over heels, in fear and surprise. Jamaica road had shown them a new discovery.

The infamous awi Land was accessed through Jamaica Road. So also was the Lagos Benin expressway. You could hear the zooms of various vehicles by just walking  along Jamaica.

It was also believed that a certain tree swallows fingers that touched it. How true? Jamaica was a haven for new canes for officials and captains to administer their brute and power.

Oh Jamaica, tell me a guy that never stepped on you?  You were the shortest link from Newblock to the school area through the GC unit and library. The girls were denied of such privilege by virtue of their hostel location. Oh Jamo, you were scary at night with crickets producing the music. We feared for snakes, scorpions and unknown animals.

What a road to pass! Just watch your steps in the morning unless you love the scent that comes with sharing a portion of blockies under your sandal.

All hail Jamo. Who named it Jamaica?
Have you read the Newblock account?

Chuks and Dele are not real names*

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Tales From FEGO: The Hostel Called NewBlock

My FGC Odogbolu history started on the 25th of September 1998 as i have written before. FEGO, my Alma mater, had a good number of hostels of which i will share my experience in future posts. Today I will start with the very 1st hostel I slept in : New Block.

As at September 1998 up to about 2000,  Newblock was the last hostel on the border of the boys hostel area. Circumvented by the Jamaica-Ikoyi link “bridge”, Newblock was bordered by the high scrubs across the road on the right and HSC block on the right. Pa-China’s house was at the back, although about 250m away. In front was a dunghill beside an uplifted tank that rarely holds water.

It was an almost secluded hostel meant for the newbies, the JSS1 boys. Colourlessly lacking attraction, Newblock was a haven for school sons to be harvested and deceived, careless buckets to be stolen, fresh mattress to be claimed and all 9 yards.

I walked into Newblock with my luggage flanked by my mum carrying another set with two locals with my newly purchased hostel locker. The hostel looked old but fresh, the room heads were meekly helping out, buying into our vulnerable minds for future opportunities to strike in terms of Bonjě and parental favours.

Each room had a room head. Each room grew in population as more and more JSS1 boys came in. It was becoming crowded with space constraints. Bunks were joined together, with so tight a space that you can’topen your locker fully.

It was relaxation for the newbies in the 1st months of my FEGO history. No accountability, just wake up, bath, eat and go to the library to make noise till you are filled. The older students did the hostel cleanings and ran major errands. We were exempted from sanitation, although carrying water from the 12 taps close to the Common Room was a journey. It was not a concern though in those early years because we were already “home” 2hrs before the normal closing time. I had my 1st injury during this waiting time; I was struck by a stone thrown in fun and amusement. The scar still remains between my eyes.

Newblock had 8 rooms with no micro mini rooms for captains. We had to make do with a room head each. I remember Bimbo, Ure et al. One of them had a cat. Niger house boys can attest to that. The 8 rooms were divided amongst the 4 houses. Newblock had 4 gates but just one was used as entrance, the Chad house entrance. That entrance had an electric shocking era. I pitied the Chad house block that was exposed to that risk.

Just like every hostel, one of the worst offences is for your bed to be at the entrance – you are finished. You will continue to be the guinea pig, testing every new cane, new belt and new official in town.

A block of Newblock later was to razed. I can’t remember the cause of the fire but that will be the story for another day.

I can’t remember it all, but the I remember my morning portion – room keeper, my roommates, the lastboys” and “center”, the stolen whites and housewears.

Unfortunately I didn’t spend much time in this Newblock as i was shipped off to the newest hostel – PTA Block

Share your Newblock experience with your comments.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android