The assembly hall was filled to the brim with valedictorians, parents, school staffs and other well wishers.
Irrespective of the fact that the building held the record of being the biggest in the school premises, some unfortunate people had to stand by the window side because there wasn’t sufficient space to accommodate the large population of people present at the event.
The hall in its self was originally painted dark green hall but due to time and other ‘old age’ related factors, the color was now a mixture of light green and sky blue.
I was interrupted in my subconscious observation of the hall by the sudden scream of some staffs who were instructing us to rise for the National Anthem and I immediately knew the event was about to start.
It took me approximately five minutes to stand on my feet, not because I had a problem with my feet or anything like that, but because I was officially not a student of the school anymore and wanted to see the staff that would come and tell me nonsense *wink*.
Why did I do that? Lets just say I ‘was’ and probably still ‘is’ a stubborn kid .
The band started hitting the drum set so furiously I could have bet the drums would burst any moment and thus the confluence of both the croaked and melodious voices all started singing the national anthem in unison;
‘Arise O’ compation,
Nigeria calls oley,
to serve our fathers land
with blood our strength and faith,
the neighbor of our heroes fast;
shall never be in vain,
to serve with…’
As we sang, I fought the urge to burst out in laughter because half of the entire hall actually didn’t know the real words of the ‘National anthem’ and therefore ended up murdering it the innocent anthem.
Anyway, we ended the anthem and other protocol were duly observed, so it was time for the usual boring speeches from people who felt they had something to say, but the first person to grab the microphone was of course the principal.
He was a chubby looking man who was doing the exact will of God when He said; ‘Occupy till I come’. I’ll let you to ponder on what exactly I mean by that.
‘As you leave this prestigious college for the jungle out there, you all have to remember that whatever you do would either tarnish or up lift the image of this school.
There won’t be any rising bell or light out anymore, so you are on your own now and this is when you have to decide what is right and what is wrong, also you shouldn’t forget that…’ Mr Babatunde Ayoola, the principal gave his stereotype yearly valedictory speech which most seasoned students already knew by heart.
I couldn’t understand why most of my peers who were graduating too were either crying or at least have a sober look on their face.
Maybe they loved the school so much that they wished they could stay for a few more years but as for me, I couldn’t just wait for the old man to finish his boring speech so I could get the hell out of the school premises for the very last time, never to return.
The past six years hadn’t been all rosy or fun as some people might think, as a matter of fact, JSS1 to SS1 were really horrible but ‘SS3’ was awesome, you would find out why I said so in due time .
NB: ‘JSS’ means Junior Secondary School, while ‘SS’ actually means Senior Secondary School, don’t know what happened to the third ‘S’ in the abbreviation, that’s how I met it too.
It all eventually came down to giving honorary awards, gifts and certificates, that was when I was faced with a little problem;
‘first on the list is Balogun Oluwafemi who was the head boy’ the M.C called out the first name on his list.
Loud roars of applause followed suite as Oluwafemi who is simply known as ‘Femi’ stood up from his sit and after adjusting his well fitted D&G suit he walked to the stage with swagger and he was handed over a hand bag which I assumed contained all the necessary things then he walked back to his sit.
‘another round of applause please’ the M.C requested and his request was granted as the occupants of the hall clapped so vigorously like their lives depended on it.
‘Secondly, I call on Olugbemi Cynthia, the head girl of this prestigious college to come forward and take her certificate’ and same procedure was taken.
All other captains were called before we the regular students who were ‘nobody’ and same procedure was followed until it got to my turn;
‘Please lets give a round of applause as Odoh Michael comes forward’ The M.C urged the occupants of the hall to clap for me but no one but the M.C actually clapped for me.
I looked round to make sure everyone was still alive and awake and they were;
‘So why aren’t this people clapping?’ I asked myself and at the same time wishing the floor would just open and swallow me.
TO BE CONTINUED
PS: I post a new update of “school life” twice weekly – Mondays and Thursdays.