4 Years  in  Akoka: Life  Of A Unilag Boy

School.  University.  Higher  Institution.  Ile iwe giga.  It goes by many names, but the constant k is that it is a  source of pride for every Nigerian parent.
The fact that the question “Junior nko?” can be safely and bravely answered with “O  wa  ni school”… Mehnnnnn. Even for us as secondary school students, going to school was the high point of our lives.
Even though we always have our preferences,  with uni at the top of the list,  we would gladly accept admission into any of its subordinates in order to escape the confines of home and emerge from the chrysalis of the world of teachers to bask in the world of lecturers.  The word sef sweet for mouth  (Dr  Mosafejo,  Professor  Alomaja).
Again, mehnnnnn. To us then, school na school, whether federal or state or private. Little did we know that school no be school,  especially when the various unions that have been using us to play ludo with FG finally pour double six.  And they must always end with ‘U’  (ASUU, SSANU,  NASU,  LASU,  WAASU,  ASUN),  as though to let you know that  ‘yes U,  we mean U’.
Alas,  they’re just bringing the bird out of the pocket.  (If you know, you know). Then we entered school,  and we met the Overlord.
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We just getting started people

General  Sun.

No really, this guy deserves his own paragraph. If possible, his own page. I mean, how else to pay tribute to an entity that single-handedly terrorizes a whole of thirty-something thousand students simultaneously, especially those staying at the gate or off campus and happen to be inversely blessed with having faculties extending beyond  CITS?  The least we can all do is doff our imaginary hats and let him have it. Or burn it. When  I  initially entered  ‘lag and I  saw cabs meant to ferry people within the school environment,  I was like “iru oshi wo leleyii” (what kind of rubbish is this?)  Are  students  that  lazy  that they  can’t  move  on  their  own  two  feet  around?”  At that point,  I was staying at  Eni-Njoku  (we’re still coming to you, ma worry). 200 Level and  I stayed at Jaja.  Still chilling, with science as my backyard.

Then  I  entered  300 Level,  and  I was transferred to  Biobaku. Gbam! The very day I  tried to re-enact my usual Jimmy Walker act,  then I realized that my predicament at that moment was what must have inspired the cab movement.
Taking it from Biobaku to First bank was like the warm feeling of vodka in the belly  (no,  I  don’t take it).  But then I  reached  DLI  and upon passing some invisible barrier along that point, some sort of hell was let loose in me. Against me. With rivulets of sweat running from every pore into every orifice of my body,  I understood why the  Yorubas call sweat ‘ilaagun’. Because it’s your own personal lagoon. And the most annoying part was that I was seeing the Medical Center on the horizon, but it seemed to be moving farther away.  Almost like I was swimming in my own perspiration.  Then  I  knew why people take cab; ’cause they have sense. But that did not stop me from trekking it occasionally.  I  wonder what that says about me. Before the sun starts feeling too fly  (I guess it’s already flying (wait!  does the sun fly, or is it levitating in a place like monks do while meditating?  (holy shit!  We just had two (now three (now four  (now…  damn!  So many brackets in brackets! That ’s like how many bras… wait let’s not go there).  Anyways,  before  Mr  Sun starts feeling fly and attempts to shine in the midnight,  let’s move on to the next lesson school taught us.
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Let’s begin

Squatting is the way.

Let every squatter in the building, past or present or loading,  say yeah yeah.  Come on, don’t be shy; Alpha base is not coming for you,  and  I’m not an undercover agent from the  DSA.
In fact,  I think being a squatter is one of those challenges one needs to go through for experience acquisition in school (that would place me, along with a couple thousand others past the benchmark of well of knowledge and into the realm of boreholes of understanding).  So for those of you who have never squatted, for the sake of your personal  GP,  sell your bed spaces  NOW! Illegal?  Forget what that DSA says abeg.  Even the (Un)Holy Book of Unilag,  chapter  36 vs 12  says  “Wherein thou hast balloted but the hostel was not found written next to your name in heaven,  squat  I tell you.  Squat!  And  let  the  devil  be ashamed.”  Gone are the days when it used to be a closely guarded secret.
But come now, how come our elder ones never mentioned this particular trial to us while regaling us with Tales from JAMB and Yonder? Or perhaps they did, but we automatically selected not to hear it when there were sweeter tales afoot  (or is it ahear?) So once again I  say, sell your bed spaces.  In fact, dash it out!  (Ask the  publisher  for  my  number  for  any  help  I  can  render).
Sacrifice comfort  at  the  altar  of  experience,  experience  gating  till  12 midnight  or  overnight,  pay  your  tithes  to  the  security  guards  and porters,  and  I  promise  you  won’t  be  sorry  (until  the  day  devil  will enter  you  and  you’ll  go  and  fight  and  they  eject  you  like  disk, then  you’ll  explain  who  sent  you  to  squat…  No, I  didn’t.  I just give advice.  The end result is what makes it good or bad).
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Squatters club boys

Yay!  I  got  Hostel!

I swear, by far this announcement is the only that I know of that is succeeded by the same question or a request of similar intent. You declare it, and about five of your friends automatically drop the question.  Reflexively.  One of the experiences I was talking about because it could be a lifesaver for the lucky one. Okay, Lucky  Dube, you have gotten a hostel, but which one? Because if you go around thinking that all hostels are alike the same way we thought all schools were, well sorry…  You’re sleeping on a bicycle.
Now, let ’s have a quick rundown of the hostels lag has to offer as we come into the school.

Biobaku

Saburi must have been a bodybuilder in his day,  or how else do we explain why all aspiring Schwarzeneggers drift towards that side?  Then you’ll see Kofo girls pretending to cook but using style to check out abs.  And when the lions are off duty,  the underdogs  (far under)  will come out and do small freestyle so everyone can go around the hostel shirtless.  Then the whole school will have light, except for Education, and everybody will have to go shirtless.  No,  seriously…

Eni-Njoku

 I respect Eni-Njokuns for just one reason, and that is their endurance. Because to stay in that hostel is no small feat, and we all know the reason. In fact, I’m lying right now in a prone position, supported only by the palms of my hands and the toes of my feet, at a horizontal angle parallel to the ground. And with my sternum facing mother Terra and my latissimus dorsi and gluteus maximus and minimus clenched firm towards the firmament and my cranium in a submissive posture, I say tuale. Una still dey ask why? I’m coming.

Jaja

Just because they put ‘Gentleman’s  Hall’  as their motto,  these ones won’t let us rest.  And I doubt any of them have ever noticed the fact that their quadrangle with the thatched roof makes the place look like a village with village square.  But no, their own is to lay in wait for serious students on their way to lectures at science  (a duty they inherited from Shodeinde) and be throwing jabs like taekwondo.  And if they tickle the wrong person and the blows start coming back, they can’t take one though.

Mariere
The very first time I  heard the name Mariere hall,  I thought it was a girl’s hostel.  Then someone said nada,  and  I jokingly said it would be a gay’s hostel.  The look the person gave me should have been an indication that something was up,  but  I  gladly remained an ignoramus.  Only later did I hear that Mariere has a certain reputation,  and  I have no idea if it ’s true or false. But proof or not,  I  tend to stay away from anything that threatens the tightness of my bombom.
Shodeinde
Those that know little about ‘lag before 2015 would probably have no idea the reputation that this name carries. The hall of O.Gs, where a lot of phones and monies have been exchanged with one-sided consent, often accompanied by palm to face collaboration. And the shadows that move at night and day, borrowing stuff with no intention of returning it. Hell yeah. Now (un)fortunately, the powers that be closed the hall for over three years, and though other hostels like Jaja and Biobaku tried being it’s Elisha and picking up the mantle, they just could not get the trend. Probably ’cause they weren’t just cut out for it. And though the hostel has finally been reopened, it’s not of the same material with the original (see what I did there? No? Go back and check. NOW!
P.S:  I  probably should have put this beforehand,  but this list is in no way meant to beef any of the occupants or O.Gs of any of the hostels.  I think they’re all great places (cough cough)  and  I  would be happy to stay in any of them (seriously,  I  would.  I didn’t get hostel).  Well, except for a certain two (I  love my sinuses, my gag reflex and my bombom).
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please lordd
G.P,  the  great  E.P
Okay,  this is not totally true.  But for you that,  after final whis… Sorry final year and maybe a  little extra time, the university is leading you  2  –  1  or  3  –  0,  then this is an  E.P. It makes you wish you can go back to secondary school where the scoreboard was refreshed each session.  But you can’t.  Once your pupa has emerged from the chrysalis of  JAMB,  it can’t go back.  This is where  I would have dropped some sage advice, but some will say it’s bad  (my bad?). But if you know,  you know. Now, don’t let all these discourage you from getting too high in JAMB,  because contrary to all I just outlined,  school is very sweet.
True,  the sun might have it in for you,  you might spend a couple of nights outside GT  Bank,  might become smell deaf/blind  (see,  leave me alone.  I don’t know  English),  they might obtain you… Oh shit!  I forgot to write on that.  Probably next time,  as my publisher might still complain that this is too long as his neck  (as we aren’t publishing but posting,  doesn’t that make him my poster?) Anyways, look on the bright side fellas…  You ain’t wearing uniforms no more  (who am  I  kidding?  Law students lol,  the school’s ushers).
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usherssssssss
Until next time…  (drum roll,  curtains close…  Stupid curtain rings…  Shhhhit…  They  can  still  hear  me).  Oh, wait!  The name’s  Arnis!  Jimmy  Arnis!.
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