My sister is about to graduate from secondary school so I think it’s time to write another TRUE LIFE story about my secondary school. You see the picture on the header. My almamater’s dinning hall looked nothing like that.
I pride myself in bragging about the size of my almamater’s dinning hall. It was big. It had a capacity of over 2000 people. My problem was that the food on the other hand was small. Sometimes it was minuscule. It was so small that if you used your hand to eat what we call swallows (Eba, Amala, Fufu, pounded yam) as against the mandatory forks, you would finish your food if your hand went to from your plate to your mouth twice. A swallow like FuFu, usually smells, but in that dinning hall, it oozed. It could knock you unconscious. The meat we were served were popularly referred to as seasoning cubes (Maggi and knorr) because you could swallow them with ease.
Something else about the dinning hall was that, it was a common perception that food removal equipment had been installed somewhere in the doors. What I mean is that, the moment you literally stepped out of the dinning hall you would feel hungrier than when you first stepped in. You can ask any of the nearly 2000 people who currently school there or any of the over 10000 people who graduated from there if you think I am lying. I personally believe the food we ate was only enough to get us out of the dinning hall before returning us to the mercy of hunger.
Weird things also happened in that dinning hall. I remember there was a time when the loaves of bread we ate were always partially blue in colour. We complained to the management and their response was “it is the bowls we put them in that turn them blue”. I remeber also when the assistant head boy of my set, ate a bread that had a dead cockroach in it. It was like a Nollywood movie. But as a cool guy he let it slide. If it were me…all hell would have broken loose! There was also the fact that we almost always found hair in our food. The management said it was hair from the female students.
The dinning hall humbled us, it thought us that though our school fees is between 200-500 thousand we would still eat chicken only on founders day, children’s day, Independence Day and never again. We were taught to treasure chicken as a celebrative food and not as something that could or should be eaten anyday one chooses. Obviously I understand the financial and environmental implications of killing thousands of chickens every week so I forgave them.
What I will never forgive them is what they did to me in my first two weeks as a student there. People don’t believe it when I say I wasn’t always looking like a skeleton and I didn’t always walk like wind would blow me away. But within my first two weeks in that school, my story changed. Bones that I never knew existed became visible. My eyes sunk inside and have never come out since. My Adam’s apple grew beautifully not because of puberty but hunger. I had a 6-pack from hunger – no excersise needed, I drank tap water so much (because between 16-20 people were expected to share one medium sized jug of water) I developed immunity to typhoid. I discovered how to eat rice and stew without the stew! I can go on but I have to stop before you get bored.
In conclusion, All I can say is I have suffered in a way I never ‘esper-red’.