Category Archives: FGC Odogbolu

Tales From FEGO: Who Stole The Corridor?

Abruptly, he was woken by the sound of the cane on the metal box at the entrance of the room. He disliked Saturday morning activities. This had made him choose a corner that had a window without louvers or net to ease his passage to the corridor outside the hostel. It was a perfect route out of the troubles of the house officials and captains.

He took his slippers that he laid between his bed and his bunk, with the search light momentarily off his direction, he took a leap – a regular leap. This leap usually takes a fraction of a second but lo and behold he was still in transit falling at the impact of gravity. He was alarmed and he cried with a loud voice “Who Stole The Corridor?!!!!

It dawned on him that he was no more in HCS Block but on the top floor of the two storey building in the hostel – The Main Block. His regular escape plan has backfired and he will most likely be caught and more worrisome is that he may get badly injured. He wept and screamed as he landed for the floor.

That was an example of the kind of shock some of went through whenever we changed hostels. It may not be as extreme as above but the need for quick adaptation is needed in order to achieve any manner of happiness. Moving from one hostel to another is a mark of promotion from one level to another. This is the case at the beginning of every session in FEGO (FGC Odogbolu) and virtually every Unity and boarding house.

This movement requires the movement of your bags, lockers and all that belongs to you to the new hostel. It is usually frantic as everyone tries to be among the early birds to get the best spots in the new hostel. In some cases you may even have to carry your bunk to the new hall. This usually happens within the first week of resumption and most likely on a Friday evening.

The ideal hostel movement in FEGO is such that the older you are in the school, the closer you are to Main Block and the Ground Floor that houses the SS3 students. From Government Block (JSS1) to PTA Block (JSS2) to HSC Block (JSS3) to Top Floor (SS1) to Middle Floor (SS2) and finally Ground Floor (SS3). This routine only differed for those that stayed in Extension and Common Room.

New Block and Government Block are far from the giding activities that happens in the vicinity of Main Block. Sadly it was difficult for SS1 boys who had to pass through the Main Block entrance at the ground floor to reach their rooms at the top floor. Nevertheless, survival was needed and included but not limited to following the back gate, feigning injuries and sickness, telling lies etc.

Who stole the corridor? Please don’t jump.

AmosCP

Picture: Recent picture from the Main Block

 

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Tales From FEGO: HSC Block

 

Inside A Room in Main Block – There were no fans in those days (courtesy: Damola)

One quick jump and I was away, out of the hostel through my window. I was on my heels away from the officials that have come to gidi us on that Saturday morning. For heavens sake, it was not an inspection Saturday but I had to make use of my window – the one good and bad aspect of my stay in the oldest hostel in FEGO. The HSC Block.

Sandwiched between New Block and PTA Block, the HSC Block used to be assigned to the JSS2 students until Government Block was built. In front of HSC Block stood the school mosque and the dispensary just around. At the back was a large grass land which formed a major part of Saturday morning clearance. Sometimes ridden with snakes, bush rats and all sort of grass loving animals, it was our duty to clear those grasses so that we could see any activity on the Ikoyi road the staff quarters beyond.

With a big quadrangle, HSC had a good space for Saturday indoor football. Although baptized with wicked stones, the boys shunned those hindrances in making sure they enjoyed themselves – with approvals from the hostel officials for sure. In this quadrangle was the open bath. No one used the walled baths because they were conducive. The open bath had 4 tap outlets through which water flows in the afternoons.

HSC was divided into two parallel building blocks. Chad and Cross houses were on one block as usual. Niger and Osun houses made do with the other block. Each block had 4 rooms with 2 for each house. For each two rooms assigned to each house there are two micro-mini rooms acting as dividers. I want to believe these rooms were not meant for living but we had captains and prefect who used them as heavens. Although small, it was a hub for Ironing, kpoksing and many more.

I moved into Room A of the rooms for Cross House. I got a corner by the wall and lived out my days in HSC block there. I spent two years in HSC block no thanks to the commissioning of the Government at the beginning of my second year. So I spent JSS2 and JSS3 in HSC. I dreaded wearing shorts in Main Block and was happy to spend one more year in the ancient HSC Block.

This brings me back to the opening part of this post. I returned from the long vacation, ready for another adventure. Lo and behold, I could not find my window net nor the louvers. I was exposed to the outside world but it was a quick entrance and exit from the hostel – just don’t be caught. It was a regular escape route for me in those dark mornings when the officials come around to gidi of punish.  I was near invisible.

Yemi joined me in the corner as an SS1 boy and I learnt some tricks from him. His friends frequented the corner and one of such friends had artificial rains falling on me from the top bunk one night. Sadly, when he was woken up, he stepped down, jumped out and cased closed.

There are so many other tales from HSC block – the bunk shakers, the ghost riders, the smelling gutters, jacked lockers, chained mattresses, space travels and many more.

Tiri gbosa for HSC Block. Ehen!! You know HSC means Higher School Certificate?

Enjoy your day and share your HSC experience with us.

@AmosCP

Tales From FEGO: The Inter-House Sports, Our Olympics

The world is gathered in Rio for the 2016 Olympics where over 200 Nations are competing for medals. It is buzzing from Brazil but everyone looks forward to the Inter House Sports Day in Odogbolu, which some times doubles as a mid term day.

Just like the Olympics, it is impossible to cover every sport in a single day. There is usually some of the sports that are summarized during the heats. The Cross Country Race marks the beginning of the various heats before the D-Day. Team sports including Basket Ball, Football, Volley ball are rounded up before the D-Day. There is more emphasis on Athletics as such it gathers more buzz than Football.

Football usually takes center stage after the 3rd term exams where the Senior League is the talk of the school while the exam scripts are marked. We would talk about the Senior League later.

Back to the Inter House Sports (IHS), I remember a 10,000m race during one of the heats. At the blast of the whistle, one of the hyper-active dining hall officials racing for Chad or Niger house started with a sprint. He could only sprint for the first 200m before he was overtaken by those who knew that they would need to go round the track for about 25 times. He couldn’t even finish the race. Fun and shame.

You could see the excitement from the stands as the participants from the 4 houses raced round the track in anticipation of a top 3 finish. There were fans, babes and guys. You were running for pleasure, pride and enjoyment. There were glucose, water and cheers from the supporters. It was one vent away from the demands of class work.

The middle distance races (1500m, 800m) were quick but fun as well. The ladies were more involved this time around. The relay races was wonderful. Changing batons were key and the final laps were glorious. The 4x400m had to be done in the heats but the 4x100m was needed on the D-Day. The long jump and triple jump had their days. Events were usually classified into 4: Junior boys, Junior girls, Senior girls and Senior Boys.

The D-Day starts up with the lighting of the IHS torch. Yes, we had a torch like that of the Olympics. Each of the house have a matching squad headed by a queen and a king. Funny stuff. They were followed by the 4 heads – Head Boy, Head Girl, Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head girl. The heads were usually dressed in blazers while the houses wore colours that matched their identity.

There were top dignitaries from around with the Traditional Odogbolu leader always present. Parents and Teachers were accommodated in the stands while the houses take cover in the canopies across the pitch. We usually had other schools participate in a couple of races. FGC Sagamu, Kings College, Odogbolu High School were regulars.

With the track well marked before the IHS day, sprint races were the toast of the day. There were 100 meters for teachers, parents, invited schools and others but there was none like the 200 meters Senior Boys and 100 meters Senior Boys. It was the climax.

How will I forget Stanley Inyemama and Ezekiel a.k.a. eshin in sprint races or Laro who was as quick as lighting especially on the 200m curve. Agbodidi, Lekan Kioki and Imam Idris made high jump look like easy. Julius won Golds for Cross house in throws. Shot-puts were like peebles to him and I believe the discus was like a dining hall plate in his hands. My sister even won a couple of medals from the throws. Some lanky Osun house fellow surprised himself with the javelin throw. Ooh the beauty of the missile in the air as it crosses our football pitch. 

Others include Ogungbemiro John, Orilade Obahi, Micheal Elumeze, Deji Ogundele, Dipo Sodiya, Lekan Diya, Kufre, Utube, Yemi Babatunde, Salami Sodiq, Akolade Dotun, Aramide, Goodluck Otobo, Afolabi Kashimawo, Akinjole, Williams, Monsurat, Biodun Balogun, Chima Ananaba, Alex, Azeez lawal, Chidebere ugboja, Chuka ugboaja and many more. Do you still remember Ezinne Ogidi? Small and portable in size, Cross House’s Ezinne was the queen of the distance races. I can still her chants of “Ezinne! Ezinne!!” from the stands.

In the 6 Inter House Sports I witnessed in FEGO, Cross house were overall winners in at least 3. The excitement of the Olympics have triggered this and I wish I can tell you more – the training, the near misses, the tears.

How did you enjoy your sports in school? Was it as fun-filled as mine?

Enjoy.

Tales From FEGO: #OnThisDay – The Last Valedictory Service

It was a Sunday afternoon and I sat in the midst of my colleagues well dressed around with suits and nice dresses. We were the toast of the program, it was our Valedictory service. It was our last day in our beloved FEGO.

The day before, I had to cut my hair. I have been lazying around since we finished NECO exams. We were as free as air. I had to look good for the day. I disliked and still dislike suits but I had to wear one for the day. I got one sewn. It was a colourful day. The assembly hall was lit.

There was no worry for food like my very first experience of a valedictory service in FEGO where I had to miss my lunch. I never attended any of such services until this day 12 years ago. I wasn’t hungry but had lunch packs for friends and family still in school.

It was a time to have one last hug, one last kiss, one last smile and one last look. It was a day to say goodbyes. I don’t think I have seen 90% of the persons I saw that day since then. Everyone has gone their separate ways. 20 kids cannot play together for 20 years. Within just about a month and some are already looking bigger than they left. The benefits of relaxation.

The awards were given – though i disagreed with one -, the speeches were spoken and heard, applauds and felicitations were continuous with well wishers taking one last photograph. I remember taking pictures with Dike, Niyi and a couple of other friends. Slum books were finalized and contact details exchanged.

It was always going to be rowdy with parents and teachers robbing minds and grinning from east to west as their wards bade farewell to the school that had formed them. The bad deeds are forgotten, the future is preached. Prospects of higher education was whispered around.

Yes!!! There was a book/journal that was shared that day and it had every student’s name and what they wanted to be in future. Did it finally work out? I wrote Architecture but ended up as a Chemical Engineer. I believe you are doing what you are happy with.

Twelve years look like 12 months ago. Thank you Federal Government College, Odogbolu.

Share with me.

@AmosCP

Tales From FEGO: The Cross Country Race

I was excited that Saturday morning. It was to be my first opportunity to leave the school without an exit note. Everyone was going out of the school gates, either as participants or as supporters. It was the much talked about Cross Country Race.

Cross country

 

A lot of practice had been put in place by each of the four houses in preparation of this race. The 2nd term is a sporting term and you could see the vibes from the beginning of the term. Of all sporting activities involved in the annual inter house sports, none surpasses the Cross Country race in terms of involvement and preparation.

Preparations – usually supervised by house captains and officials – were done in either of these three ways

  • Early Morning Jogs:  As early as 4am, we were woken and marshaled to the intersection on the First Mainland Road that leads to the tuck-shop and girls hostel gate. The expectation was to jog round the school about 20 times. With sleepy eyes, we started the jogs but as expected, sleep evaded our eyes within the first lap. This was the route: First Mainland – Third Mainland – Abuja Road – Principal Road – First Mainland.
  • Late Night Jogs: Sometimes, we were asked to repeat the jogs at night following the same route as in the morning.
  • Daylight Field Jogs: Few times in broad daylight, especially on Thursdays, we were marshaled to the field where we had two pitches bounded tracks for events. I once ran round the 400 meter track 20 times in the morning. It took determination and a miracle for me to have breakfast that morning.

As expected, some students were exempted from such rigorous jogging activity – the asthmatic students – while others just jahhed for jahing sake or expressly refused to partake. Others usually start the race but walk through without finishing a lap.

The D-Day came and we were given tags. I have never taken my time to know the maximum amount of students allowed per house to participate (Maybe a former Sports Captain can help here). In my sight, every interested person had a tag. Different houses had their unique tagging system.

We all stood behind a line in front of the assembly hall, on the edge of the Third Mainland Road that led to the school gate. It was like freedom down the road. The whistle was blown and the race began. We ran towards and out of the school gate, down the sloppy hill parallel to the school walls, up the hills again to Solomon’s Porch and down the hill towards Odogbolu round about. As expected some persons retired on getting to the road about because they were already tired or they had some other activities to do – Digba, Ayonimofe, Let Them Say, etc. Eateries. Winks.

From the round about we raced towards Ikenne running up and down the hills that characterize the road. We were running on tarred rounds with officials and security personnel stationed around. We raced towards a Y-junction where we had to turn left. At the junction, there were Niger House officials giving out glucose and water. I sighted them from afar and i was thinking of how i would get some of the goodies. I was getting tired.

Luck shone on me. I saw a Niger house tag on the road. I picked it up, hid my Cross house tag and raced towards the glucose point. I had my feel of glucose, a good gulp and  baptism of water before heading on. I kept the Niger house tag in case i met another party down the road.

The race continued through some settlements, a wooden bridge across a small river, into some non-tarred roads. The birds sang and the creatures of the forest made music but i don’t think anyone stopped there. We continued till we got to another band of glucose givers, water sharers and house supporters. I took my fill from the Cross house section and headed on. We crossed about two other check points before we arrived back at the round about.

Right there, Chad house were the only house with a glucose man. I was in red house in my primary school and that was the only vest i had and thus used for the race. I tapped into the glucose goodies hiding my Cross house tag. Red signified Chad – that was easy. Up and away, we climbed the hills that lead to the school gate, ran through Abuja staff quarters, in front of the principal’s house, through Ikoyi staff quarters, through Jamaica, Blockies Avenue and finally ended the race in front of the assembly hall.

I was not among the first 100 to finish the race. The first 100 were used to collate the scores with 1pt for the 100th and 100pt for the 1st. I can’t remember who finished first or which house won the race but I remember my legs struggling to take me to my hostel. I remember being so tired that only bathing and sleeping mattered to me.

It was fun to everybody who was involved. The joy of leaving school to town and the adventures that follows thereof. I participated for three other Cross Country races in FGC Odogbolu. I have no idea about the distance covered but it was day everyone looked forward to.

About six weeks ago, a Marathon was held in Lagos covering a distance of 42.195km. Due to busy schedule and lack of practice, I applied as a volunteer but I was not contacted back. The Lagos Marathon may gain nationwide popularity but my memories of the Cross Country races in FEGO remain fresh in my minds.

You can share your Cross Country experience with me in the comment section. Did you enjoy it?

Chibuzor Amos

@AmosCP

Tales From FEGO: Mondays – Morning Beans, Assembly and Others

The shortest night in a week for any student in the boarding house of a Unity school has to be the night before Monday morning. With little or no hostel chores to do, the day before Monday is blessed with such goodies that i will need another post to be more detailed.

The rising bell breaks your dreams into shattered pieces, bringing you to the reality of the beginning of the working week. Yes, we were not workers but education is work and Monday was the beginning of another challenge. It is the opposite of Fridays but without a Monday, there is no Friday to look up to.

Monday brings out the best in most of the students of FEGO – Everything seems to be normal and in other. Clothes have been ironed the previous day, or just washed if the luxury of ironing could not be attained. Whites are brighter than ever, ghettos are sharp enough to bring down the elephant grasses on the road. Socks clean, shoes clean, hair combed, a wonderful week to look forward to.

Apart from the Saturday inspection mornings, the hostel is in a cleaner state on Monday mornings than any other day. The portion bell signals the awakening of the lazy room heads and the whips of the officials coming to ensure sanitation of the hostel before the legendary food bell – who doesn’t eat? Food bell is like the biblical trumpet to signify the end of time. The food bell brings so much joy not just because of the food but because it releases you from the morning cores just like we would leave this mortal body.

If there was a meal that was least attended by FEGO students, that meal has to be Monday Morning Beans. Loved mayor, avoided by the girls, the beans was a kick starter to the week. Depending on the times and kitchen supervisor, it was served with hot pap – so hot that it could zap your brain of all you have learnt if not eaten with respect. The beans was so hot that the cold in your system will be heat exchanged in no time. Mayor loved the beans so much that he could do anything for it. He was once baptized with a full pot of hot beans. His immaculate white bore the grunt of his love for the protein. The white was the messiah for the beans. Mayor wept… how much he loved his beans.

After the battle of the beans which is usually fought and won by junior boys, everyone heads to the Assembly Hall for the first of the two assemblies in a week – excluding the dining hall assembly and hostel shenanigans. Before the era of queuing out side the hall, we had the luxury of sitting in the hall. There four rows of long benches with about 20 benches per row.

The first row was for the junior students, especially the newbies and fresh students – JSS1. it was occasionally infiltrated by older students by reason of authority or as a means to enhance immediate escape from the hall in the case a “wait-behind” is announced. The second row was for SS1 student, the third was for SS2 and the fourth for SS3. In all of these rows, if you are not siting on the first 5 bench, then you are more likely to be bounced.

Just like Newton discovered, every action begets a reaction – every bounce begets a counter-bouncing. SS3 bounces SS2 – SS2 bounces SS1 – SS1 bounces JSS. The JSS is left with nothing to bounce but to head up to the gallery where he is to sit down on the dirty slabs and hearken unto the voice of the principal.

Graced by the National anthem, opened by a Christian morning prayer, the Monday morning assembly was peculiar and unique. It was a day to announce the results of the Saturday inspection – Mr Balogun and his Cross House Gang took delight in winning the hostel inspections. I missed those “Cross House tour jous!!! Plueur vous!!!” – forgive my french spellings. Class sanitation inspection results were also announced. House and class captains involved gloried in the temporary plague that was presented at the assembly.

It was also a day where most results of competitions were announced. I was blessed to be one of those that stood in front of the school as we went for various competitions. Offenders had their share of the mornings too. New innovations are introduced and other matters as deemed relevant by the Principal or VP. To many of us – especially junior students, we cared less. We longed for the new school anthem to signal the end of the meeting.

In all, nothing suffers most on Monday morning than the first period. Assembly has never finished on time – Never. so the first two periods of the week is usually wasted.

An afternoon load of Eba with Obe romanced with Ewedu, the very short siesta, the afternoon prep, an hour of freedom or captivity, evening white rice and night prep summarizes a regular Monday for all and sundry.

How were your Mondays in Boarding School?

@AmosCP

Tales From FEGO: Dry December, Harmattan, Awin and Others

There comes a time during the first term of every session that every reservoir begins to become dry. It peaks in December, just before the end of the term. There are no exams but a second continuous assessment to be averaged with the first before the mid-term break. Some call it Owu period.

It is the time when every tier of sophistication is reduced by at least a level. The “Large-Livers” become “Average”. The “Average” becomes “Suffos” and the “Suffos” just escapes extinction. Garri becomes gold. Its scarcity can only be compared with the availability of water in the Sahara desert. This was a period where the swell-ability of Garri is tried, tested and proved. It never disappoints especially if it is the brand called “Ijebu Garri”. I hated that Yellow Garri. It had little or no value to a FEGOite.

Once, I was striked in the dining hall and I had just the legendary Garri. It was a Monday afternoon and the siesta was usually very short. I took a little portion of my little Garri, poured into my cooler which I have converted to my zaping bowl. The cooler was so deep that you will need the kind of spoons used in eating with the devil to bail anything from the bottom. So, I added water in such quantity that the particles of the Garri were drowning, crying out for help to be bailed out. It had to swell and I had to wait.

The afternoon prep bell rang and I had to leave the cooler under my bunk as we ran out of the hostel towards the classrooms chased by some whip loving officials. I can’t remember if I read that afternoon. But my mind was sure on the specimen under my bunk. Will it survive being fapped within the 1 hour prep? Will it rise as assumed?

The Ijebu Garri lived up to expectation, soaking up every free molecule of water to Garium (II) Tetraoxosulphate (IV) solution. The Ijebubond was awesome, making the Garri easy to pass through the gate of my oesophagus to the hell where some angry worms were waiting with so much agitation. That night, I was first on the dining hall table. I couldn’t take further chances in this dry season.

The Harmattan weather this period was a blessing and a curse depending on how much you could utilize its characteristics. To the Nomads, it was perfect. They could wash and wear their clothes in 15 minutes and disappear into thin air capitalizing on the poor visibilities of the mornings.

The lazy ones replaced bathing with rub-and-shine. The brave bathed in the cold morning, shivering after the bath. The room-heads, captains and seniors could afford the contraband luxury of bathing with boiled water if there was light in the morning. Others who had friends or relative in the Kitchen could fetch a bucket of hot water for their troubles.

To the ladies, I doubt it was welcomed unless you had storage of blue seal Vaseline to fight against whitening of the feet, leg and arm. Those watery creams couldn’t help. The amount of cardigan worn by the ladies takes a sharp increase; maybe for the cold or for the hiding of white flesh.

It was the wrong time to be injured, flogged or punished. But that didn’t stop the boys from jarh-ing. Everything as a result of force was painful. Lips cracked and pilled with a few injured and stained with blood. The ladies had lip gloss and the guys could make do with Vaseline or just consistent licking of the lips. The latter was not too efficient because the saliva dries up at an alarming rate.

There were also the regular raids of Awin-land. Velvet Tamarind, as it is called in English, is rich in vitamins. It was sweet and was black on the exterior and orange inside. Some boys took it one step further in making Awin-juice. A few were caught and prosecuted for going to Awin-land but it didn’t stop the visits by Nomads and anyone interested in having the fruit without buying it from the Tuck shop. African Cherry a.k.a Agbalumo usually surfaces by this time. It was a delicacy and could even produce a type of natural chewing gum.

December brings the wind of holiday. There were the Christmas Carols and church events to celebrate Christmas. But everyone looked up to the final day of the term to go home. It was going to be a short holiday because by first week of January you are back to continue the FEGO adventure where inter-house sports takes centre stage.

Compliment of the season.