Boarding House Memoir…Episode 6
We became errand girls to the senior students(all the JSS1 students) and our duties involved washing their school uniforms, fetching water, collecting their food from dinning when they were too lazy to go and queue, massaging the head girl’s body before she could sleep every night. As ridiculous and annoying as these tasks were, it wasn’t as stupid as massaging someone else to sleep at night.
We laboured under these tasks and numerous others until we devised a means of getting our own pound of flesh. Of course, the ever confident Abimbola Kolapo was the ring leader. We had to wash our clothes and fetch water from the well downstairs most times if the tap was not running. So we devised a means of gathering all the dirty water used in washing our own school uniform into a big bowl(they never gave us soaps, we had to use ours, imagine!!!) Then, we placed all the senior’s uniforms inside the dirty water, washed with our legs dipped inside, rinsed in an equal leftover water used in rinsing our own clothe and spread it to dry. They never caught us for once(laughing wickedly). Aside this, we devised a means of washing at night when none of the seniors would see us.
The head girl, Seun Omiyewo(am still looking for this senior) had the habit of looking out for junior girls every night. She would spread out in her night dress under the fan and call out to anyone who was idle. Two people handled an arm each, two handled each of her legs making four. So, she needed four people every night. I don’t know where this habit of hers came from neither do I understand the rationale behind it. Till today, I still don’t understand what pleasure she derived from it. Nobody dared leave until you were sure she was sleeping.
Ordinarily, prep was supposed to be from 8pm to 9pm after evening meals at seven. Then night prayers from nine to ten after which was light out. We naturally had no interest in prep. What were we reading? But this habit of the head girl had all of us scrambling to get out of the room every night even right from the dinning after meals, we never returned back to the room until 10pm,lol. If she sent anybody to call us, on seeing the person from afar, we would quickly go and hide or run out of the classroom until the coast became clear. That was the survival strategy. Only mumus fell to the head girl’s antics after then. We did nothing in those prep classes except to hide and gist. We would have put a sizeable amount of goodies in our bags- sweets, biscuits,milo etc these were the things we would be battling with in class. Most junior students simply disappeared after dinner and never entered the room again until bedtime.
I got an immunity cover when my sister resumed. She was as tall as them and was a senior as well. She had spent years before me and was used to all of them. So she often told me what and what not to do. At other times, she out rightly defended me. She was indeed a good sister. A senior, her best friend once beat me and she caught me crying. Not only did she beg me but she asked that the senior apologise to me and she came. That was Bunmi Idowu. Unfortunately today, both of them are now of blessed memory. My sister, Tosin Ijayekunle went to be with the Lord when I was still a fresh undergrad and her friend, Bunmi Idowu died just late last year. Both of them really very nice people. I still miss her…. We were very close.
She knew I could report to my parents and they would come to inform Mother Catherine so she protected me ahead and made sure I didn’t tell them(lol). I so much looked up to her. I nearly went to the same institution with her (no, not nearly. I actually started but later left).
Our provision was another challenge we had with these seniors. On sunday mornings after church, when tea was served, they gave you their tea and told you to add proper milk and milo to it for them. Meanwhile, they had in their lockers. To be continued….
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