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Boarding School

I attended a boarding school in Ibadan (High School). The first couple of years were somewhat stressful cause I had to skip lunch on many occasions. I started skipping lunch frequently after witnessing a junior classmate punished by a senior student.

How can you eat while watching your classmates getting “Scalas”. For those who have no idea what the slang means, it is heavy slaps to the back while bent over. I choked on my eba and okra soup watching that scene.

We ate with speed and in fear of your name called from the list of infractions, not doing your housework, late for roll call, etc. During school hours you have the teachers to contend with and after school the seniors. The experience changed my eating habits as I can only enjoy my meals eating alone.

Sometimes the matrons/cooks would come out of the kitchen to the dinning hall begging the seniors to easy up on us. Their pleas resonate in my mind today “e ma pa won” “don’t kill them”. This is what I got to put up with leaving home for the very first time. I wasn’t even 11 years old. Damn the colonial system.

I couldn’t guarantee keeping out of trouble during or after school hours and damn sure wasn’t going to let those bully seniors beat me, so I developed a sweet tongue.

I soon developed a friendship with the “Iya oni moi moi” in “Sector” (a place off campus where we jumped the school fence to buy snacks and food). She started giving me moi moi, fresh baked bread and a bottle of 7up.

I would offer to pay the 25kobo (yes moi moi, freshly baked bread and a bottle of 7up for 25kobo) when I had it but she wouldn’t hear of it. You see by the second week of school chances are you are out of provisions and money.

I solved the senior/punishment issue by taking advantage of my oratorical skills. I would get dates for them. | Ogbeni Ayotunde

#JujuFilms #Nigeria #Ibadan #BoardingSchool

7 thoughts on “Boarding School

  1. I remembering skipping lunch too, I had only little money to buy food, I had soda to drink, that’s all I can afford. remembering highschool…

  2. Thanks for giving us a perspective on Africa and making it possible to hear the voices of Africans in real time. Your blog helps dispel the myths we have in the absence of truth.

    1. Thank you kindly Hattie, I truly appreciate you.

  3. We need to hear more untold stories like this. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Institutionalized abuse. It is shameful that this method of ‘education’ still persists in many countries that were once colonized. Another example of colonial residue – the strap, the cane, fear – the constant terrorizing and demoralizing. It was also the practice in British very expensive public schools at least in my lifetime. It’s hard to know what kinds of people it was supposed to produce.

  5. Reminding me of the boarding school days too, living in fear and lack, at least, till you become a senior yourself. Nice one

  6. Many studies reveal that the most emotionally and psychologically unsafe place in a school – public, private, or boarding – is the cafeteria or dining hall. It has been and will always be. I was part of a wonderful independent school community for years, yet this was still true in our dining hall (although it was emotional abuse on the part of other students, thankfully not physical).

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