FORM ONE BOY IN NAVASCO, GHANA, SERIES 13
SUPERLATIVE AND EXCELLENT STUDENTS WITH THEIR EXCEPTIONAL READING CULTURE
I am glad that no NABIA is a drop out no matter the condition they find themselves. We have all excelled and very successful in various occupations God designed for us or the one we chose for ourselves depending on each person’s belief. NABIA are found in almost all professions one could think of throughout the world.
Such professions include:
Academics with an array of professors, Science and Technology, the field of Engineering, Medicals, Natural Science, Law, Agricultural Science, Space Technology, Accounting, Banking and Insurance, Economics, Management, Police Force, Military, Politics and Public Administration, International Relations/ Diplomats , Business, Sports and Entertainments and others.
It would not be an overstatement therefore to say that the act of greatness being performed by NAVASCANS made them hold responsible and respected positions in the society. NAVASCANS are really not push overs.
Also, NAVASCANS of our time loved and trusted each other. They sacrificed many things in order to make their friends comfortable in terms of money, provisions, gari and others. Though, few were perpetual parasites and some misers of the highest order.
I could recollect vividly that it was senior Abatey that was the senior prefect when we came in to NAVASCO in September, 1968 as form one boys and girls. Fortunately too, senior Abatey junior also became the house prefect for Abatey house later when the house was created. It is however sad to note that they are both of late. If it is true, may their souls rest in perfect peace. I also know that Abatey house was named after Bishop Abatey who was either their father or uncle.
NAVASCANS during our time were very proud, dedicated and married to their books. If a student chose to fail he would fail woefully and proudly too without cheating or geraffing and also, if a student chose to pass, he would pass proudly without magomago or any abracadabra. NAVASCANS actually prepared themselves for future challenges and proved the adage of “success is 99% perspiration and 1 % inspiration right by reading and reading. They loved reading different types of fictions apart from their notebooks and textbooks they digested ‘boroboro’ from cover to cover. I could recollect that some students would work all questions at the back of each chapter of a text book be it mathematics or physics.
As I was saying earlier some students chose to read foreign novels such as ‘Harley Chase’ series and others. While some of us chose African Authors. I belonged to the group of African Authors in order to improve upon my not too good English. The popular novels were; Things Fall apart, No Longer at Ease, African Child, Animals Kingdom, One Man One Wife, Foreman and Kinsman, King Solomon’s Mines, The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born, Weep not Child, Palm Wine Drinkard, The Forest of Thousand Demons, I Speak Freedom. Okonkwo in Things fall apart was popular among students. A student Tijani of late memory was nick named Okonkwo and also a passage in practical English by Ogundipe and Tregido; ”may your road be rough this year and may you face a lot of troubles this year . . . by Dr. Tai Solarin taught us some lessons of life.
Lumumbatic Braimah first sent waves to the school for coming from an experimental Primary School in Tamale and for scoring 100% in the National Common Entrance Examination Quantitative Aptitude Test. We were all made to see our scores and some students too did exceptionally very well. Braimah and I were good friends and both of us were active in the Science Club, though, he was in Emerald and I was in Gold.
As soon as classes started, form one boys were reading and reading at least to prove a point and to show that they were stars from their various schools. However, NAVASCO proved to be a leveller and where students found themselves in the same boat. It did not care where you were coming from either from a rich or a poor home. This had nothing to do with your academic performance. If you were always first in your previous middle schools, you will get disappointed due to the fact that you were going to meet better students from elsewhere. This reminds me of a student in our class that failed to find his level in the first mid-term examination that resulted into him weeping profusely. This gingered him up to future better performances.
However, some students were either early starter or late starter. Those early starters started doing very well from day one and their gas faded out as they went along. Others maintained the tempo throughout. Some were poor starter but woke up along the line but others had no ‘terial’ at all. Wrong selection of subjects in form four also affected some students badly.
There were different types of students, the extrovert, the introvert and the braggarts. Some formed unimaginable associations such as Anti- Maths Society, Cheka Omiomu’s Party, The Barrack Boys and the ‘Baddest’ Boys. By all standards they were full of many tricks and antics.
Apart from the groups we had many interesting individuals (seniors) like; Man Walk Alone, Number Nine, Sea Man Jolly, More Sleep After Death, Opinion Kikiri, King Smollet, Joe Lattey, Mr. Protein, Sea Level, My Brother, Ottis, MacNamara, and others. If I mean to discuss the activities of each group or individuals above, then, it will take more than ten pages more.
Please pardon me due to the fact that I would use pseudo names in incident that I considered to be negative and actual names where the issues concerned are positive or neutral. Let’s relax to read these incidences.
Some students either went to the village to read or to smoke or to gossip. Moses John (Olanrewaju) as usual went to the village to read. He was used to reading loudly in an attempt to cram any passage. He did so well and became so tired that he then resolved to put his back on the floor under a big tree and held the book with his both hands. John read from one page to the other. He did not know when the book fell off his hand and was soon snoring. A cobra (snake) fell down from the tree top and headed towards his direction. As John was still snoring, the snake crawled and squeezed itself and rested between the two legs. When the wind blew and his eyes opened John saw the tail of the snake under his legs. John was perplexed, frightened and lifeless without knowing what be fell him and what to do next. He resolved to pray silently. Suddenly the snake continued with its journey and moved away and since then, John never went to that side to read again.
“More sleep after death,” was a vision and slogan of one of our mates but in Red class. He wrote that boldly beside his bed. This guy would never rest while one would see his bed vacant all the time. There was nowhere he did not read. I believed he had a room at the village to read at night. Due to lack of rest, this guy saw Red, he almost died in line with his vision. I think it was the sick bay in Volta house that saved his life. Some students even gossiped that he had his brain cracked. This eventually affected his final exam in form five.
The heavy smokers were group of barracks boys mostly from ‘Kamina barracks in Tamale. They were the ‘baddest’ boys. They were full of tricks upon tricks. I think Kokuwa (pseudo) was their leader. They found their ways into the village not to read but to enjoy themselves. One day, as narrated by one of our juniors but now a big man in Ghana today reminded me on how I rescued him from these bad boys. Here it goes, ”I now remember you very well. I came to form one in 1970…What makes me remember you so well and continue to thank God for your life is how you saved me from sliding into cigarette smoking. We were studying/reading under rocks outside the fence. You were reading this orange Econs book then as a form four student and I believe I was idling and not concentrating… I was invited by one of the heavy smokers and when I sprang up to go, you shouted your lungs out more than Bob Tater…foolish boy; sit down, where are you going? Take a step and see what I will do with you…” I was angry and froze on the rock. Some five minutes later, you gave a brotherly sermon on the harmful effects of cigarette and whether I wanted to be wretched in future. Most of my colleagues who took to this habit are either dead or diagnosed with cancer…” You could imagine if God did not use me that day what could have happened to him.
Due to the sacrifice of our seniors, some of us coming behind learnt a lot from them that led to the improvement in the WAEC exams from year to year. We inherited note books, past questions and answers, some personal textbooks, reading plan, tactics to answer questions and host of others which they paid dearly for in their years as pioneers. These seniors inherited nothing but were used as guinea pigs, still they did very well. Also, as the standard of teaching continued to improve by the introduction of internationally acclaimed Masters and Mistresses into the school that injected new ideas and better methods of teaching, this actually accelerated the performance of the students as a whole.
In continuation of this article, I would mention some specific students that were of academic excellence that set various records during our time only in series 14 while series 15 would be on extra curriculum activities such as cadet corps, boys scout, Debating Society, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, others and conclusion.
Thank you. (Muda Dayo Ogunsola (Oguns Senior) Folio Number 1087.)