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.
By Chibuzor Amos (@AmosCP)
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