FORM ONE BOY IN NAVASCO, GHANA. SERIES 17.
NOTABLE UNFORGETTABLE INCIDENCES OF OUR TIME IN NAVASCO
Series 17 was written in order to let those students in the school and those coming behind learn from the incidences of the past so that they could be guided. All the stories were real events and were never fabricated ones. Seniors, mates and juniors of our time could bear me out. This is to further prove that there is no problem no matter how difficult it is, that is insurmountable with determination, courage, right attitude and with the support of the Almighty God.
(i) STUDENT A
MALLAM MEY SANDA AND THE MONSTERS.
The senior was nicknamed Mallam Mey Sanda as a result of his encounters through dreams with the ‘monsters’. The incidents occurred twice when Garvey house scattered all over the blocks. To be specific, the incidents occured in Garvey house that was occupying part of the present Martin Luther King House.
As a form one boy that lived in the same dormitory with Mallam May Sanda (pseudo) could recollect how he used to have nasty and life threatening dreams at nights. One day, during the hot weather, we all brought out our blankets and slept in the space between Luther King and the classrooms. In the dead of the night, a senior; Mallam Mey Sanda suddenly woke up, jumped up and started to run around in a circle and then roared, “Mallam Mey Sanda in na zuah? Mallam Mey Sanda in na zuah?” continuously. Meaning, the man holding walking stick, where are you going to? On hearing this, all the students that slept outside with him started to chase each other around as if we were all in trance shouted, “the monster is around, the monster is around.” Some fell on their own while others collided on to each other and in the process got injured. We were running around without seeing what was actually chasing us.
When the situation calmed down, students started to ask questions.” Where are the monsters? Where is Mallam Mey Sanda being mentioned by the senior?” Nobody could give an answer. Whereas, Mallam Mey Sanda sat down tired and exhausted, cried loudly while water gushed down his cheeks. He was consoled by students at that night. However, during the hectic night, other students from other blocks rushed down to find out the details. Definitely, some came to console and sympatise while others were there to find the latest news for gossip. Soon after, the rumour of monsters appearing and disappearing went hey wire round the school the following morning. When the same incident occured the second time, students still behaved the same way by responding to reflex action. They jumped up, kicked each other, ran around in a circle again. Some more casualties were recorded in terms of injuries of different dimensions. These two events put fears into the minds of students and anytime there was either thundering or lightning or both and especially in the nights, Students would start to fear the appearance of both the monsters and the ghosts. These went on for sometimue. Mallam Mey Sanda was eventually treated both medically and spiritually when on vacations and never had bad dreams again.
There came a doomsday theory where news of the earth coming to an end spread among students and masters in the school. This further brought more anxieties and fears into the minds of the students again. Report had it that just at a midnight of the predicted day, some masters capitalised on the student’s superstitions and also to put more fears on the students minds, wore white robes, held candles and lighted them moving in a circle around the administrative block as if they were in a procession like the Angels that landed on earth to finish the dirty job of bringing the planet to an end. At the end, the planet earth is still as solid as ever despite several predictions of its end.
(ii) STUDENT B.
A senior student B of (1966 – 1971) set in Garvey House and in Emerald class was always fallen ill during the examination periods. Here was a very brilliant boy that would start the exams joyfully in full spirit and in good health but would suddenly fall ill before the end of mid session or the sessional exams. He would definitely faint while writing one of the papers. This had become a recurrent event while he was both in form three and four. This my friend would be shiffering continuously with high temperatures that at times led to unconsciousness. There was a particular occasion in which he collapsed while writing one of the papers. He was quickly given a first aid and later taken to a lonely classroom or Master’s office to continue with the examination. A student that was not offering that subject was invited to read the questions one after the other to the hearing of the sick student. In return, Student B dictated the answers while the invitee wrote on the answer sheets on his behalf. Wonderfully and cheerfully too, student B passed the exam gallantly well.
Despite the sudden illnesses all the time, student B was always in the library in the school and the Regional library in Bolgatanga during the holidays. He was always in the library from 9am to 9pm ‘book-worming’. He was nicknamed 9 to 9. My friend only got a break of one hour where he looked for ‘booli’ roasted plantain and groundnuts to satisfy his hunger.
Quietly, the said student sat down to analyse what was going on very well. He realised that no amount of book worming, he was still going to fall ill. He then resolved to act fast before it got to a dangerous level especially when writing WAEC exams because the examiners would not allow another person to write for him. During long vacation, his parent took him to Bolgatanga hospital where his blood sample was taken and thoroughly analysed, properly diagnosed and followed with a comprehensive and intensive treatment. In addition, to be double sure, his parents went African way by following it up with some herbs. After the treatment, my friend never fell ill again. He made division one and one of the 36 students that made 1s in Agricultural science in the 1971 WAEC Examinations. He went to Tamale secondary school for his sixth form where he passed his A level’s exam. He proceeded to the university to read a professional course and rose to the top of his career before he passed on. May His Gentle Soul Rest In Perfect Peace. I missed him so much.
(iii) STUDENT C.
Student C was among (1967 -1972) batch. The student was extraordinarily quiet but very intelligent. His medical problem was the migraine/muster type of headache. The pains were always very severe, enormous and deadly. He was never comfortable anytime the pains started. He would be sweating profusely from morning till night. There was no hospital he did not visit but no positive result. His last call was Kole-bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. The doctors, after thorough tests, concluded that there was canopy formation in his brain and that the only solution was to operate the brain. When his father was asked to sign a form in agreement to the operation. A matron in the hospital secretly advised him never to sign any form because no person has ever survived it. This advice put the father in a dilemma of whether to sign or not. He behaved maturely by telling the doctors that they should allow him to think over it till the following day before he could give them an answer. Both the father and his son became worried and in serious dilemma. They were confused and found it difficult to take a decision. However, at the end, they reported the following day as promised but refused to sign.
Student C’s parents never rested on their oars. They tried several herbs and pains relieving tablets that never worked. However, during the long vacation, the boy and his father travelled to a long distant town to look for help. God willing, help came from heaven of which nobody could explain till today. The spiritualist just used an ointment or olive oil to anoint the spot on his head, prayed powerfully on it and at the end got healed. This was an account got directly from student C at that time. This young boy passed his WAEC and did his sixth form in NAVASCO. He then went ahead to the university to graduate and just retired as a Principal of a school.
(iv) STUDENT D
Student D was my mate but not in Gold class. This young student was very brilliant, extraordinarily hard-working and thorough through Form One to five. But quite unfortunate, he suddenly fell ill and started to misbehave gradually leading to an abnormal behaviour. When it got to a stage, he hardly attended classes regularly again. It got to a stage that he could not conceal his health problems any longer. This was the period the students started to excuse him. There was a day that his classmates were running away from him. I did not. I rather moved closer and patted him on the back. I then asked, “what is really going wrong with you?” Before he could speak a word, water started to gush out of his reddened eyes. He rumbled, “Oguns, you are a good friend while others are hypocrites.” It was then that I realised that the illness was not as serious as what others claimed. I used to move from my class in Gold to his desk in Emerald to console and advise him. There was an occasion that he was rushed to Navrongo general hospital for treatment where he was eventually hospitalized. When we went to visit him in the hospital, while others were at a distance, I went to his bed space. He burst out in a loud threatening voice, “OGUNS, you are a good friend while others are hypocrites! I do not want to see them!” I expressed my gratitude to God again that after all, his illness was not serious as he continued to say the same thing all the time.
Later, the school authority sent for his parents who took him home for further treatment. He was away for weeks. Suddenly, he appeared from nowhere to take the WAEC EXAMS. When advised not to participate in the exam, he bluntly rejected all reasonable and medical advice. He went ahead to take the WAEC EXAMS unprepared but with residual knowledge to write all the papers. As at the time the results were released, I was told that he was full of energy, healthy and lively. As expected, he made division three. Student D wept bitterly for a bad result when others that were less brilliant butchered 1s, 2s, and 3s.
Definitely, this did not discourage him. As a true NAVASCAN with NAVASCAN blood running through his veins, brushed up his notebooks, textbooks and jotters, wrote the exams the following year and performed excellently well.
Today, I was told that Student D went to the University and has got to the top of his academic career.
(v) STUDENT E
Student E was my mate but not in Gold, but in Emerald too. I think from Bawku. He was a quiet, brilliant and hardworking student that was totally dedicated to his books only. No time for either sports or market days. He was disciplined and always ‘book-worming’ which made him one of the best in his class.
When we got to form four, we found ourselves in the science class. Soonest, we became good friends and also reading partners. We worked together very well solving several mathematics, physics and chemistry questions very well.
My friend could read and read and doing very well in tests and exams. I could recollect that one day, I told my friend to come and wake me up at night. As usual, he came as expected but that night, I pretended that I was having a stomach ache. As I squeezed my stomach, my friend realised that I was pretending, he laughed and laughed more than in the film; Golden Age of Comedies where you laugh and grow fat. He knew quite well that I did not believe in TDB. I had to apologise and the apology well taken. This my friend wrote my address which I delivered as the President of the Science Club.
The real issue was that when the exam was getting nearer, we decided to specialise on topics especially in mathematics. We treated and specialised on graph questions especially histogram, bar and pie charts, cumulative frequency, motion and simultaneous equation graphs and others. We were so sure that any question on graph would just be a bonus for us in the elementary maths exam.
What happened to all of us (1973) set was shocking. As we started to write the mathematics examination, some students raised up their hands and demanded for graph sheets. The invigilator shouted, “no graph papers, please obey instructions.” After sometime, some other students also raised up their hands demanded for graph sheets again. The respond was the same. Some of us used a fast game. We abandoned graph questions for others. It was shocking to note that my friend spent more than one hour to produce graph sheets only out of the answer booklet. When it was just 30minutes to finish the paper, the examiner started to distribute graph sheets. My friend broke down in tears when he realised that he did not finish answering more than two questions successfully out of five questions. This incident destabilized him and could not compose himself again throughout the exam. The same invigilator also confused us during the physics exam. My mates could bear me out.
When the results were out, my friend’s result was not ok. As a NAVASCAN, he brushed up his books and digested them very well. I was told that he did very well the following year and graduated from a university in Ghana. I believe, he is a very successful businessman today. I visited him both in Bawku and Accra when I visited Ghana twice in 2006.
(vi) STUDENT F
This student was my classmate in Gold. Despite his physical disability, he was never disturbed. He was in clutches probably due to a polio disease. He chose to be sitting at the back seat of the classroom. This boy was so troublesome, restless and behaved as if he was 100% fit. Anytime we went out for Physical Education Exercise, my friend would serve as a goalkeeper. He used to kick the ball with his clutches one after the other. He was lively, interesting and never worried. Nothing disturbed him. He did not sit down to be thinking of his disability. He mixed freely and was a friend to all. He eventually got transferred to a Southern secondary school. We all missed him for his jaw cracking jokes.
(vii) STUDENT G
Student G was my immediate senior. We both lived in the same dormitory in Abatey. He was always ill with swollen legs and acute pains all over his body. Looking pale, always feeling sad, tired, totally uncomfortable and having sleepless nights any time the pains started.
When he was taken to the hospital, the doctor found out that he was having blood problem but none of us could understand the meaning then. It was later in life that I realised that the disease could have been sickle cell anaemia. Students tagged him a name I would not mention here. I cannot recollect whether the student finished in NAVASCO or not.
To the students still in school or those coming behind should know that sickle cell anaemia is not a contagious disease but an hereditary one from both parents that are having the blood genotypes AS, SS, or SC paring of which could lead to AS, AC, SS, or SC depending on the original blood genotypes. There could be AA too if both parents are having AS and AS. In this case the chances of reproducing an SS is one out of four but could be all four or three or two or one or nil depending on nature. Scientists are seriously working hard on getting the final solution to the African and Asian borne disease. There have been successful bone marrow transfusion in both South Africa and USA. Some drugs are also being used to manage the oblong sickle cells in a patient’s blood stream. Doctors do advise young couples to be, to go for genotype tests and for proper cancelling before marriage so that they would not fall victim. Also to protect their children from unnecessary hardships and a short lifespan.
(vii) STUDENT H
Student H was my mate in Gold class. He did not resume with us due to the fact that he received his admission letter late. This student found it difficult to find his level on time.
So, student H worked harder and struggled to learn. Gradually, he came up to life and started to pass his exams. When we chose our subjects, he knew his weaknesses. He therefore selected the subjects he knew he could pass easily. He chose Health Science, Economics, Geography, English, Maths, French and Government. Student H passed his subjects and qualified for sixth form and by the time we knew, he was already in Legon to study Personnel Management. He was popular in Ghana during his university days due to his ability to be involved in radio quiz programs. I was surprised one day around 1977 at a bus stop in Lagos when I heard a young man’s voice called in a loud voice, ‘Oguns, Oguns’. I was surprised to hear Oguns at a bus stop in Lagos at about 7:30pm. When I turned round, it became student H. I gave him appointment for the second day. I then took him round Lagos.
After graduation he got a good job at the Ministry and rose to the top of his career and always trotting round the globe. I visited him and other NABIA at the Ministry in Accra when I visited Ghana in 2006.
This is a good lesson for others coming behind. If you know you do not have 100% ability for Science, do not choose Maths, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology for the fun of it. Your journey to life actually starts when choosing subjects in the secondary school. For wrongly selection of subjects, some regretted it for life. So therefore, choice the subjects you know and not the one you like.
I thank you all for having the patient in going through my series 1 – 17 while awaiting your comments and contributions to any of the students A – H problems and as lessons of life. I promise to release my series 18 – 20 soonest.
Muda Dayo Ogunsola (Oguns Senior) 1087.
Muda Dayo Ogunsola (Oguns Senior) 1087.
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Philip Dinko How come that you’ve not forgotten all these past incidents after over forty years? That’s absolutely amazing!
Alabira Ibrahim Muda Ogunsola, this truly amazing! Your recollection of the events is fantastic. One of the stories involves a classmate of mine. How do you do it? Really, really good.
Muda Ogunsola You know that your mate was my closest childhood friend.
Musah Codjoe Muda your recollection of events that occurred 40 years ago is unbelievable. Even though student “C” was my mate , 67-72, I can’t remember the incident you vividly narrated.
I hope you’ll compile a potpourri of events in Navasco from 1978-1973 and publish them.
Apuri Chico Kejanga Snr. Oguns has done it again, I enjoy reading your write ups. More grease to your elbow
Abubakari Abdullah u r really a nabia
Saddat Hamidu nice piece…..
Moses Alhassan This is amassing and encouraging. Thank you for your motivational and inspiring stories. I am also an Abateyrian and proud of You
Wetaane Daniel Madam thanks for educating the young Nabia about these incidents. God bless u
Wetaane Daniel Madam thanks for educating the young Nabia about these incidents. God bless u
Alex Nba Rt.most snr Oguns in fact I’m speechless. Even I can’t remember the name of some of my class mates I just completed with. I’m proud of being a friend to the wisdom
Muda Ogunsola Alex, I realised that you have only read series 11 and 17, please search for others out of 1 to 17 series on Nabia page. Thanks
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