My rooms in Great Ife – 100 Level
There are events and people in our past that contributed to our growth and development. I remember today the guys I stayed with during my OAU days from 100 level upwards. I remember the jokes we shared, the wisdom learned, the close shaves with death, yes all that happened. I will start today with my rooms in 100 level as I stayed in 2 different rooms that memorable session.
It was room 356, Obafemi Awolowo Hall Annex – the most radical and interesting hall in Great Ife. I stayed with a family friend called Bro Kayode. I can still play back my first night in the room and the ecstasy that engulfed me in the moment of realization that I was a confirmed undergraduate. That night was also symbolic as I was initiated into the mad life of Awo hall. I woke up with a start at about 12 midnight when I was hearing all sorts of animals in my sleep but I realized it was not a dream and then confirmed the sounds from goats, cows, cocks and even lions were real. I asked one of the guys who was awake if there was a zoo near Awo hall and he laughed his head off and thereafter explained to me that they are students doing ‘ARO’. That was so hilarious and I knew I was in for a great time.
I did not stay long in that room due to a reason that will me a major subject for a future post because it signaled my involvement with cult boys in OAU and my subsequent meeting with the person I describe as my guardian in school. The story also leads to another event that shook OAU and Nigeria to its root in July 1999 but let me stick to the purpose of this post for now. At this period in 1997, we had a closure and the school authority decided that 100 level students should resume first. That was when I met guys like Sola Akinmoladun, Yomi, Tope, etc. They were very nice to me and I still hold them with the highest regard to this day.
I left the room in that same first semester and moved to Angola Hall room K1. It was a good opportunity to stay with my friends – Niyi Oladeji and Dele Alawonde welcomed me with open arms and did not make me feel as if I was squatting with them. Here I met wonderful guys – Wale Titiloye, Wole Ola, Abdul, Obakperoro Ekpekurede, Rababs, Lanre, etc. All of them are colorful characters with different personalities. Dele, Niyi and I attended the same Senior Secondary schools hence we were classmates from SS1-3 and we got admission to OAU into the same faculty. Looking back now – I realized that the moral and spiritual traits exhibited by them were very good for me. Oba was also a very good Christian and a jacker. I have not seen anyone who studied as much as he did in those days. Wale is a very brilliant guy and we discovered we were in Loyola together though he was my senior by one year. He introduced me to the game of chess and it took some effort to leave the game when it started getting addictive for me. Wole was the domestic champion and someone I respected so much because of his calmness and cooking precision of white amala and egusi soup (lol), he was also in Loyola College in Wale’s set.
When I remember Rabab aka Rababue — I just start laughing no matter where I am. Rababs has tribal marks; an honor that was bestowed upon him when he was born because they claim he looked like his grandfather. A particular lady used to visit our room who had tribal marks too. One day we suggested Rabab should hook up with her and his answer was one of the most hilarious I have ever heard in my life. He claimed that their kids will come into this world with tribal marks ..hahahahahah.
It was generally a good room with occasional fightings and once there was even a religious war and then I realized that the occupants on one side of the room were all Muslims and the other had all Christians. If I remember very well – the problem started when some lecturers decided not to allow ladies covered with purdah to sit for their exams unless they can remove the veil and identify themselves. There was a brief riot and the remnant of it was fought in individual rooms to either support the lecturers or castigate them. But that did not happen a lot and we went along very well.
I also remember that this room was where I almost died due to reasons beyond me and the same room where I found salvation and escaped at a close call. These personalities are important to me as some were not that lucky and stayed with those who negatively impacted them. Wherever you might all be my room mates – In Nigeria and overseas, I wish you all a greater life than you are all living now. I pray that the almighty will bless you abundantly and ensure a greater future for you. Thanks for being parts of my life.
NB: The other rooms will follow later.