I had gotten admission into quite a number of secondary schools but had always wanted Kuru. I used to stare longingly at the beautiful stone and iron main gate of Kuru whenever I went with my dad on his numerous lecture delivery trips to NIPSS Kuru. I would quietly say to myself: ‘one day I will school here.’
They say be careful what you ask for. You might just get it! Well, I did. I got admitted to Kuru.
The Great Government Science School Kuru. All through the period of getting my measurements for my navy blue compound wear and white school uniform, I was in a world of my own. I was going to Kuru! Not just any school in Kuru, but Government Science School, Kuru!
That morning, my favourite breakfast was made but I had no appetite. I barely touched to kwasai and pap. Long before Dawn, I who am usually reluctant to leave my bed was up and dressed. I quickly washed my father’s Volvo and started loading up the Bags of Rice, Beans and Maize in the boot of the car. In those days, it was a requirement for new students to come to school with twenty ‘mudus’ of rice, corn or beans. My father was a lecturer in the great University of Jos but we had large farms in Fuskan Mata, Tilden Fulani and Saminaka. Food was not a problem and my father was not one to give mudus when he had hundreds of bags of all kinds of cereals and legumes in his warehouse.
Assited by my uncle, I loaded one bag of beans, one bag of maize and one bag of rice into the boot. Mr. MacLean Dikwal was the principal and he was my father’s good friend. He would be happy to see the bags.
I washed my hands and my face again. Despite the January cold, I was sweating from the effort of loading up the bags of food.
I checked my iron box again. Everything was intact. My garri, milk, cabin biscuits, four spheres of ‘mandula’ soap, elephant blue detergent, singlets, pants, lifebouy bath soap, Stella Pomade, and sponge were all there.
I untied the black ‘leatherbag’ containing my garri, fetched a handful of garri and shoved it in my mouth. It tasted good. Very dry and sour. I knew secondary school would be sweet. I could just feel it! I snapped my iron box shut, padlocked it and hooked the key with the key holder into one of the front belt loops of my blue khaki compound wear trousers.
By 7am, my father was out. Apparently, he too was quite excited that his son was off to secondary school. He did not touch his breakfast. He went over a list of things I should be taking with me and when I confirmed them, we got going.
The quartz clock on the dashboard said 12 minutes past 7am. I adjusted the seat and we were off.
A little over an hour later, we were at the famous Kuru gate. My father drove in and parked just by what I would later know was LG (Long Goemai) house. The various houses/hostels in Kuru were named after prominent Plateau State First Class Traditional Rulers.
My father turned in his seat and pointed at the arch on the gate and asked me, ‘Tunde, what do you see written there?’ I looked.
Even though I had seen the gate several times, I had never actually noticed the words written with metal alphabets. A small panic surged through me as I mouthed the words I saw there: ‘Discipline & Hardwork’. My father did not say anything else. He just put the car in first gear, and quietly drove straight from the gate along the red earth road, past LG house, OR House, GG house and to the administration block.
I was now a boy of Kuru…
How did you become a boy of Kuru?
Babatunde Awe – Legal Adviser KOSA National EXCO