My Rooms In Great Ife – Final Sessions ;)
There is a culture in Great Ife to give automatic accommodation to final year students. So, for the first time, I proudly marched to get my allocation. A drama ensued while we were queuing for our names to be announced; a friend of mine and classmate, Benjamin Adekoya tried to play a quick one on me. How? Immediately my name was called and room number was known, he rushed to the room to go and pick a space (There was this thing about corner spaces 🙂 ). This is a guy who was not even sure of being in that room, I calmly walked to the room and reclaimed the space for myself. Rumor had it that he eventually did not get a very good space as the time he wasted chasing shadows was utilized by his other room mates while he was in my room.
The space I picked was the second of the two corner spaces. A very unique character whom I am going to talk about later in this post picked the first – his name is Ebenezer popularly known as Ebeno. That room in Adekunle Fajuyi hall is one I would never forget because of the guys I shared it with. There were two of my classmates in the room- the quiet Daniel Odebunmi and the amiable Debo Afolayan. Daniel is an easy going man who was older than most of us but we flowed along very well. His nemesis in the room is Ebeno who was always disturbing him. There was a day he (Ebeno) threw Daniel’s cooking utensils into the bush because they were not washed on time :). That was just one of many altercations between the two.
Debo is a very cool guy. He was called Pastor because he behaved like one and he was a very good dresser and till date, he still commands that respect. Demola Akinpelu was a first year student whom I met when he came to register in my department. His dad handed him over to me and said he would like if I can allow his son stay with me. I accepted and that was the start of a great relationship with the Akinpelu’s. I eventually stayed in their house when I first got to Lagos in 2001. There was another wonderful young man, a medicine student in 100 level then. It is a sin to forget his name because he was my junior in Secondary school. Then there was Brian – the man with the Americana talk and lifestyle, I used to be wary of him until I realized he was just being himself.
Baba Igbomina was another character that brings smiles into my face. He is a family friend of Debo’s and they stayed together. We started calling him that name when we realized he came from the Igbomina side of Kwara State. Little did I know I was going to marry from that part of the country too, see life. He was studying Accounting and he just came into 200L as a direct entry student. It is of note that myself and Baba Igbomina did our registry wedding on same day and it was quite a reunion when we met at the registry with Debo also in attendance.
I have to say more things about Ebeno. As far as I am concerned, he was the main character in the room. A Philosophy final year student; Ebeno was the best student in his department at that time. Everyone knew him to be an atheist, maybe due to his course of study. He was feared by other room mates because of his quick tongue but we had mutual respect for each other mainly because we met the previous session while contesting for the SUG. He also contested in that election and lost woefully 🙂 not surprisingly as he is a very undiplomatic politician. There was an incidence that Ebeno himself does not know I witnessed till date and I hope he is reading this. A popular General Overseer was in Ife on that day in year 2000 for a crusade. Amphi Theatre was full to the brim with students and lecturers alike. His message that day described how Africa is filled with Witches and Wizards and the bravest of hearts would shake on that day. He even told us that the witches in Africa are stronger than those from other continents, hence our need to pray with violence rather than putting our hands in the trouser, using our nasals to pray whilst he gave us the pidgin translation of the verse – Since d day wey John the baptist don dey wakabout, the Kingdom of God suffer jigbijigbi and those wey no go gree dey take am with girigiri – lol. Personally, I respect the man of God but I don’t believe in some of the principles preached about fighting evil with physical tenacity, I rather think understanding the heart of God and the true weapons of the spirit is more effective. The church believes you must groan and shout in prayers to defeat the enemy. Back to Ebeno – something strange happened when the altar call was made for those who wanted to give their lives to Christ. The most unlikely person to be in the hall not to talk of surrendering his life to Christ rose up and joined the mass that took the call. I was shocked and praising God at the same time ‘cos I had been praying for him for a long time. I cautioned myself that I was not going to embarrass him by making him feel like he ate his words about God but decided to do little things for him that made him more at ease with his new life. I hope he is still in Christ today. He is one guy I hated losing contact with and I would be very happy if anyone can get his contacts for me. We rocked that room together .. chei!
That was the room I cut my computer teeth. I told my room mates then that as a President and Student Union official; I was going to tush my room with Television, deck and VCD. Hence, when I decided to buy a computer and showed up with a small radio at the beginning of second semester, some of them thought I was lying and that I did not have money. But the day my computer arrived was a dream come true. Those were memorable times and I thank my room mates wherever they might be for being a part of my life. I wish them all the happiness and fulfillment in life. May your barns be filled in Jesus name. Amen.
If you noticed, I said final sessions, yeah I am right. The two rooms I stayed during my extra year were in PG Hall, so I did not have many room mates. The first one was with Seun Okunola and Niyi Oladeji. Seun was gracious to take us in to that room despite the fact that we just met then. Thanks man. I later got two rooms from Architect Layi Amokeodo and Mr. John Okpako (Both MPhil candidates in Architecture dept) during that same session. I gave one space to Niyi and Seun while I moved to the other room. This was where I met Tammy Takaya, a very brilliant and deep guy. Tammy and I later worked together in Vmobile Nigeria. Thanks guys, I appreciate you all.
And so, this series comes to rest. I hope you got a glimpse into my residential life in Great Ife.