KOSA @80 My First Day In GSS Kuru


MY TAKE GSS KURU AT 80(MY FIRST DAY IN KURU). After writing the common entrance in 1996, I was optimistic that my name would come out for the interview of Airforce boy’s college, but to my dismay the person who went to check the list came back and informed us that my name was not on the board. It was later on in life that I found out that he checked the list for Air force girls and not boys. That’s why I don’t understand the concept of destiny and chance. Was it my destiny not to go to Air force boys college? or it happened by mere coincidence that the man checked a different list. When I ponder on the ideology of destiny and chance, I easily lean towards the submission that there is no such thing as destiny. I prefer the ideology that, we are the Captains of our ships and the masters of our souls, for example, if I didn't choose to write this piece on kuru at 80yrs,I just wouldn't. To cut the long story short, my uncle, Chief Elisha(Chago) Dachor brought an admission letter for G.S.S. Kuru. He got a lot of us enrolled into Kuru. Guys like Enoch G Luka, Nelson Dada, Bwaje Iyakwari . Though, they all ran away before we graduated because of serious beating. On the fateful day I was supposed to resume school, I went to buy an iron bucket and upon my arrival I learned that Douglas Dada and Nelson Dada had already left because I was supposed to hitch a free ride. So my dad had to get a car from their office to take me.I was so excited about the fact that this would be the first time I would be leaving home to go and stay at a place unsupervised by my parents. It was a smooth ride to Kuru as I enjoyed the scenery from Dadin Kowa to Kuru. Upon reaching the gate of the school, I saw an inscription on the gate that made my heart to sink and skip a bit. That inscription was “Discipline and Hardwork”; I brushed the thoughts that were forming in my head aside, that may be, they were just mere words. Later on, those words would come into life to always send a chill up my spine anytime I see words like discipline and hard work joined together in a sentence. As we drove into the school, I felt a special kind of chill entering my bones, I was to later find out that it was because Kuru was closer to the highest mountain in Nigeria. Geographers can agree with me that the higher you climb, the cooler it becomes. As we drove past the hostels which were 6 in number, the first three hostels comprised of 20 rooms each while the last three were upstairs partitioned into cabins. All the hostels were named after the famous first class chiefs in the then Plateau state before Nasarawa state was carved out. EK was Emir of Keffi house(Pink house) , L.G was Long Goemai house(Red house), OR was Orie Rindre house(blue house), GG was Gbong Gwom house(Green house), GN was Ngolon Ngas (Yellow house), AD was Andoma of Doma house(white house). We drove towards the principal’s office and to be honest the architecture of those offices were simply superb, the first time I would see buildings made of stones and not blocks. The flowers are the only kind that grow in Jos, a well pedicured lawn and very beautiful landscape. When we entered the principal’s office, there he was sitted behind his desk. A little well-built bulky man with an expressionless face. His face looked like it was carved from a stone with a full moustache on it. There was something in his eyes that reminded me of the inscription I saw on the gate of the school, ” DISCIPLINE AND HARDWORK”. On his desk was a name tag with the names Solomon D. Danfa, I was to later find out that his nick name was “Koda Baban ka wai ne.” He was named that because he didn’t give a hoots ass who your father was, even though the children of the high and mighty were there, Sons of Generals, Politicians and most of the big names, but his beating was equal and directly proportional to your buttocks,ko da baban ka wai ne. Seated close to him was a frailly looking old white man wearing transparent glasses with a flute hanging around his neck. His name was Papa Lewis, the composer of the famous Kuru anthem “we are the boys of Kuru”. After the necessary registration, I was assigned a hostel GG house. We drove to the hostel for documentation but before I got assigned to a room, there was a little commotion. I was to later find out that it was caused by one of the most interesting characters in the entire school. Rumour had it that apart from JSS one, he had repeated all the classes from JSS2-SS2. That automatically meant he had spent 10years in Kuru. Make no mistake, what he lacked in intellectual capacity he made up for with his entrepreneurial skills. What he did was, once a big man’s son was sent to GG house, he had a way of making sure that boy was taken to his room. So I am sure because of the car which my dad collected from his office, which took me to school that fateful day, this senior miscalculated that I was the son of a big man. That was how I ended up in room 13 filled with the children of the high and mighty. In that room were the children of Senator Nasir Ibrahim Mantu, Amb Yahaya Kwande, Major Gambo Yilme, Adagazo, Shuli Kulli, the Kromtits, the Eigege’s, the Kuforoji’s and so on. I happened to be the only one who no one had heard my father’s name ��.I was to see first hand why Nigeria is Nigeria. You have to have a big name, or know someone, that knows someone that knows somebody. Me I didn’t know anyone, I learned the art of survival and politicking, because there was no way you will be in senior Baba J’s room without being any of those. This adaptation will help me later on in the future. I dragged my iron box and iron bucket into the room. I was asked to open the box for inspection. Just 2 pairs of white shirts over white trousers, 2 pairs of blue shirts over blue trousers, stockings, inner wears, 2 measures of garri, half measure of sugar and N50 as my pocket money. The astonished look on his face made me to laugh, as if to ask, is this it? The other boys used to bring cornflakes, corn beef, sardines, assorted biscuits,Dano milk and all those other things ajebos take and here was I with just 2 measures of garri and sugar. There was no way he could return me to the house master for reallocation, so he was kind of stuck with me. We went for debriefing in front of the house captain’s room room 8; believe me everything in that school was arranged as if you were in a military environment. The house captain was a soft spoken guy who addressed us like an elder brother; he was an official of the FCS and was a good singer and drama actor too Atomistic Atomen . After his address the tradition began. Some rough looking seniors came out from their rooms with belts and freshly plucked long sticks, for the famous tradition called CUTTING TAIL. The briefly taught us the songs before cutting our tails. The song was: I am a fresher. I have a long tail. I am a working materiaaaal I must obey the school regulation Pardon me all senioooorrrrrrrrs. Men, this was the first time I was to chop the first real beating of my life. We were asked to line up and face the back of the person standing next to you, squat down and hold the waist of the guys next to you. It was called “chain frog jump”, unlike the frog jump we did in the primary school, this frog jump was the real thing,matured frog jump for I couldn’t walk properly for days. Each of us must have received at least a 100 strokes of the cane each, just to welcome us. In my mind I asked, if this was a welcome, I wonder what would happen to you if you committed a crime. I heard all manners of cries that day, some were calling for their mothers, there was not a single mother in sight, just beating. After the cutting tail,I went to the room, I was told the cutting tail we had outside was general cutting tail, I had another cutting tail to welcome me to the room. I cried so hard that night, that I suspect there was not a single tear left inside of me. I longed for the embrace of my mother, to tell me all will be alright. My mother was many kilometres away from me. It was just me with these strange fellows, who kept yelling at me to stop crying as I was disturbing their sleep. For the first time I questioned the love of my parents. How would you say I am your son and you send me to this kind of environment? I made a resolve that night, that I had to toughen up, be cunning, be smart, never caught off guard, be unpredictable, be religious because if I had to survive the rest of my stay here I had to be all those things, not knowing this would be the same thing that would mould us and shapen our lives for the future. The rest is history as they say, not until I had left kuru for many years did i finally grasp what Papa Lewis meant in his last stanza of Kuru's anthem LAST STANZA And when we have gone from Kuru for time will not stay we are here but a day Tis then we’ll be glad that Kuru Has helped us upon our way For when; in distance places far Troubles press Temptations lure We’ll always have this guiding star For then we’ll remember Kuru For we’re the sons of Kuru We’ll strive and we’ll stay as Well as we may Tis then we’ll remember Kuru Has helped us upon our way. Gaza Mark Auta( G code) The rose that grew on concrete Set 2002

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