The biggest social event in my secondary school was always the Birthday Celebration. Once or twice every term, the school would throw a party for all students who’s birthdays were in the months that had passed or in the case of December babies like myself, the months that was to follow. Birthday celebration was huge in school, night prep got cancelled, the biggest and brightest stars in the school were also billed to perform as well as those that wanted to blow.
The very first thing you had to know as a junior student that was a celebrant was that, on that day, except you were exceptionally generous you had to hide and solowack (the scientific act of eating alone and eating in peace). Birthday celebrants always got chicken, and in school chicken wasn’t gold. It was the entire goldmine. Seniors would bully the chicken into you till you gave it to them like a coward bargaining for his life. The chicken wasn’t the biggest in the world, it wasn’t even big, but considering what boarding schools give as food, that chicken was heaven.
The chicken was the biggest thing that separated celebrants from the other students, that and the Mathset that celebrants were given as presents. As one who always turned everything in the Mathset into a ruler, never mind that the triangle things are set squares, those Mathsets meant a lot. I just wish I didn’t always get the fake ones. Oh wait, they were always fake. Still made great rulers though.
When the party starts the social prefects usually brought on the entertainment in order of how interesting they thought they would be. On a good birthday celebration, you’d get an amazing event, a whole album of new songs for all my female classmates to sing from that day till we vacated. On a bad day, we got a borefest. People would literally doze off as the singers went off key or the rap bars broke. On those days, break dancers were our only salvation.
When I was in the graduating class, my set wasn’t didn’t have the most prolific dance crew. What we had was rap. Two rival groups, one called The Factory Boys and the other, The Forrellis. I also suspected the Forrellis got their name from a GTA game and the factory boys because they were all in technical class and were initially an all boys crew.
Factory was the better crew, at least they were the more preferred crew. Added to that they gave us our very own Nicki Minaj, Dialo. Dialo would grab the mic when it was time for her to perform, get on the stage, spitting bars and using her tiny (but cute) fingers to give the Rap attitude.
Organising performances for the rappers took a lot of work. Often time, The Factory boys had to make plenty beats during the holidays, burn them on CD’s and smuggle them into school. This wasn’t an easy task but they were really committed to entertaining us. They would start rehearsing for birthday celebrations that hadn’t even gotten fixed dates yet.
While Factory and Forrellis battled it out on the stage, we would be on our seats, pouring libation on our souls with a drink called Good Time. Good Time was basically black currant flavour mixed with water and an impotency causing amount of sugar, put in a bottle and a poorly designed Good Time label slapped across.
If you think the drink was bad wait till you see how people misers drank it. The Celebration could end at 7pm and that 30CL bottle of Good Time would not finish till Sunday morning after church. Even worse, some people would embezzle the public Good Time and have about six bottles. But we weren’t bothered. The black currant gave us energy, it made us grove, we were as energetic as the Spartans after King Leonidas screamed “TONIGHT WE DINE IN HELL!” On good days, however we got Tampico. Never Coca-Cola or Fanta and I was always curious as to why.
As we got drunk and potentially impotent on Good time, there would always be a corresponding solid entry. Biscuit. I suspect this has played a major role in my sister’s dumbfounding love for biscuits of all kind. I’m not complaining, I’ve used it to bribe her so many times. The biscuits were a constantly changing trend. From Parle G to Beloxi to Coaster, we chewed the crunchy goodness out of them all.
Of course cake was supposed to be the main attraction. The problem…the size. Ushers would pass huge trays containing tons of cake, cut from as big as a quarter of a fist to as small as Maggi cube. The size of cake you got usually depended on what was left when the tray got to you. But who cared…we were eating cake. We gulped that thing like nobody’s business and were reenergised for the next few days.
The night usually ended with break dancing and a prayer. I remember once, a crew danced to a snippet of Lecrae’s Fanatic. I will never forget a very furious principal coming up to the stage to announce that break dancing had been banned. All she heard was the sings opening
“I’m a F-A-N-A-T-I-C”…but that was all she needed to hear. It took a while for dancing to be re-allowed and even longer time for a group of people wearing white to stop dancing to Diana Ross’s “He lives in you” and a song called Opomulero (I can’t remember the name of the group except it was Jesus something).
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