We all took our final examinations seriously especially knowing that if you failed, you will be repeating the class and spending another year with juveniles you had previously homoed bullied. You know very much that now that they are your peers you cannot order them about; rather it is them who will be sniggering at you for ‘bombing’ in your exam (yes it was that cruel).
As if that wasn’t enough, you will come home to face your parents. Let’s face it, deep down they would have wanted a refund of the money they have wasted on your school fees. But they are your parents so they beat you up instead. This impending predicament was enough to force everyone to stick their face into their notes. The school became silent; everyone was reading.
So what happened after it was all over? Well, two weeks of doing absolutely nothing! With teachers busy marking the exams, students were given the freedom to run amok. This period on the academic calendar became known as the ‘last days’ and last days were in fact dangerous.
The term ‘Last days are dangerous’, was a derivative of the popular Daddy Lumba song Dangerous. In which part of the chorus sing “some girls are dangerous”.
Pentecost preparatory was a very strict school with strong ethos in academic performance, discipline and good behaviour. However during the last days, these rules became non-existent. Everyone went bonkers.
It was a time to be happy whilst the exam results were not in. Highly Popular football matches between opposing class sets (A vs B) took place. These football matches were big spectacles, sometimes with nearly half the school population (over 500 students) watching. Remember, we all have nothing to do.
At this point you must be wondering: last days must be fantastic, what other games did you play? Ah! the classic game of hit and run. You hit someone then you run. Perfect during break time, even more special when it’s the very last day of the school. Nothing says goodbye more than a firm slap to the face as you alight at your bus stop.
Fun, silly and harmless games got more and more daring. ‘Shake Me’: the perfectly heterosexual game of spanking your mate (why I was ever involved in that I will never know) received an extra – as if it needed any more – dose of kinkiness. What’s the fun in just hitting some ones arse? It is the last days after all; why not extend to the testi… anyway…
Sure the playground was a tad unsafe but no one really got injured and when they did, it was nothing a dose of gentian violet wouldn’t soothe. This though was a matter of life and death; a story which is perhaps not mine to tell.
As the story goes, Captain was playing counters-ball with Ali when they lost their abedru. This was usually a signal to end the game or at least replace the abedru with a small stone.
Counters ball is/was a popular kids’ game in Ghana. It involved simulating a football match with bottle tops (counters) as players and abedru (a pea like vegetable) as the ball.
Anyway, they decided to get more. The closest abedru tree plant was hanging over a cesspit so they decided to jump for it. Now, Captain weighed roughly 7 stone at the time. Ali on the other hand was… well… big boned. What they were both doing jumping on a Ghanaian cesspit, only two of them can explain.
Unexpectedly, the pit cracked and Ali apparently fell straight into it and began sinking. On the face of it that is not funny, but at the time, the image of someone falling in pit of faecal waste was hilarious to me. Needless to say He came out with a fairer complexion than he went in with. Shows you the power of methane I guess.
This story leads on to the fateful day which actually brought about the term ‘Last days are dangerous’.
We were all recovering from the news that Kabaka had broken his arm and had to be rushed to hospital. At last the sick-bay nurses- who normally spend most of the year either sleeping, or dishing out paracetamol for virtually anything – finally had to usher first-aid. Little did they know they were about to face an even delicate situation.
Again, I wasn’t there to witness this event but if eye witness accounts were to be believed, J. Kenkey fell off the see saw but somehow his scrotum got caught on the edge of the see saw, leaving him hanging. Ouch! Keep in mind Kenkey was quite hefty at this time too.
After dangling for some time, folks managed to get him down. They then ran to the urinal to inspect what had happened. He too was taken to the hospital to get his stuff sewn back together. I can imagine the conversation when he got home?
As farfetched as these stories seem, they all did actually happen, even though I was not close enough to witness them first-hand. But in hindsight I’m actually glad I didn’t see them. It meant I could see the funny side in events which were undoubtedly traumatising for the victims and those who witnessed.
Ah! And the school bus fell into the gutter on the way home.
I’ve used the pseudonyms for some of people in the stories in order not to disclose their real identities. But still, anyone who has a primary recollection of the story will definitely know the characters involved.