Giant Bullying Continues

So now we had been divided into our various classrooms from  A to D with the shortest in front method. The smallest freshmen have ended up in the A class and interestingly we were the most boisterous.
It didn’t take long for the seniors who reported to school later and the school authorities to realize that.
In the dormitories we were to discover and learn to sleep for the most minimum of hours.  The days of comfort, which was the week we had stayed for orientation were over. The seniors who were to act as “school fathers” had finally arrived and for some of us who didn’t know any such seniors we were the victims of constant molestation.

The freshmen who had school fathers were “protected” from some of the unnecessary harassment and the more “powerful” your school father was the more you were exempt from frivolous activities that went on on campus. If you had a school father who was not only popular in one dorm but was known all over campus then we say “you had chopped lotto” and those were had to come by. It involved a lot of giving away tinned fish and milk.

In this group of most feared seniors were The Bloody Cult led by Rev Bob Satan and they had the names of members etched on the walls and in every space where you couldn’t miss it. With names like Skido Ray, Shanton, Ofege and some other feared names which of those other seniors could touch you if you mentioned their names when caught by even the sixth formers.

Oh! They were all in Form 5 but they run the school.

Apart from this feared seniors there were the baby faced seniors who were the silent killers. These usually included the respective prefects of the various halls of residence. A senior on duty could terrorize freshmen so much that we didn’t dare go sleep in the dormitory  but ended up either in the dining hall or the general assembly hall with the mosquitos having a field day.

There were some seniors that we freshmen prayed will never come on duty because when they did it was uncomfortable for our existence. A senior on duty had oversight duty of every aspect of cleanliness and the smooth running of the dormitory. Some seniors extended this to even the freshmen food cabinets known as chop boxes in which we kept most of our food.

A chop box could determine what kind of family a freshman came from whether rich, average or poor. The rich chop box had a lot of tins usually sardine and milk, corn flakes and several items for a typical British breakfast plus local stuff like gari etc. So when a senior on duty took charge of the chop boxes then we were dead as freshmen.

Moreover if you didn’t have a school father who kept the items in your chop boxes in his care, then you were already on empty by midterm which was quite serious.
There were other immediate seniors who saw the freshmen as means of alleviating some of their burdens from the seniors and acted as secondary bullies. A senior sends them on an outrageous errand(to go fetch water from the school well about ten minutes walk away with a small cup to fill a large bucket) and they send you instead.

So apart from being bullied out of the dorms and sleeping in the assembly and dining halls, we also had to learn how to dodge seniors and be invisible even whilst  we walked on a campus which was oval in shape and one could be spotted everywhere. It was this trait that gave us some of us our nicknames that was to last for the rest of our stay on campus.  One dude learnt how to hide behind the nearest pillar or wall just to swerve the seniors from which he earned the nickname Artful Dodger from the book Oliver Twist which was the first book treated in the literature syllabus.

Freshmen were always being chased around by one senior or the other for some offence committed and sometimes when we heard that a senior was off campus it spelt a bit of a respite. We were made to understand the popular slogan “form one is a disease.. ”

From the menial jobs on campus to dorm duties, the first people to call by teachers and students alike was “FORM ONE BOYS!! ”

However if you neither had a protective school father or a loaded chop box with tins, there was always a way to find an exception from getting bullied. But that’s another story for another time.



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