Last week wednesday was really special for me, not only because I visited my former high school with other colleagues but also, for getting to share the table with some great minds and role models.
I attended Oke ‘badan High School (OBHS), Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria between 2001 to 2007 and it is quite ironical to learn how many successful graduates have finished from this school who never went back to pay their dues.
Now, I’m not saying anybody is legally bound by duty or by obligation to revisit the schools they’ve passed out from but I also belief everyone has a moral duty to look after his alma matar and to always keep the school’s fire burning anywhere he finds himself.
People represent their clubs, local associations and frats they belong to anywhere they go right? So not to talk of the school where you learned most of what you know? Anyway, that’s just my own opinion.
Among the accomplished set of people who passed out of the High school before me are several lawyers, politicians, technocrats, scientists, Senators, Professors (yes we have professors in several Universities all over the world), International Footballers etc.
To mention but a few, we have Justice G.O. Soremi rtd.( Justice Court of Appeal), Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), Senator Iyiola Omisore (former deputy governor in Osun state), Dr Rauf Ladipo (President-General, Nigerian Sports Supporters’ club), Dr Morgan Salami ( former Nigerian National football team player during the Green Eagles era) among so many other illustrious sons of OBHS.
It is however sad & alarming to discover that some people, such as Senator Iyiola Omisore, maybe due to the historical leanings & background of the school, go about claiming another high school to be their alma mater even when I factually have met members of his set (1966 set) who knew him while in school!
I think another reason why people do that is for political reasons. For example, the above named man is a politician from Ile-Ife in Osun state, hence he claims to have attended St John’s Grammar school, Ile-Ife. Politically, this would make the electorate feel he’s been around home since childhood and therefore a worthy son of the town, compared to if he claimed, though rightfully, to have studied in OBHS which is in another city state entirely (Ibadan, Oyo state).
To avoid incoherence, I’ll leave stories about the historical and political foundation of my alma matar to another day and write-up. But believe me, this was a really great school with so much proud history.
We the alumnus (my school is a single-sex sch.) pride ourselves to be “intellectual rascals”, reason being that you can’t pass through this school successfully without developing an independent mind and smartness. Even the dumbest student in my class then had street sense! This is very uncommon with the other neighbouring schools.
Thus in order to continue to preserve the tradition of this great school, some of us among the young folks came together and invited the older folks to look into how to help contribute our quota to the school, as evidently some buildings have become dilapidated since my set left 7 years ago and the state government is doing nothing to help the situation.
Therefore, we invited the first ever Head Boy of the school in 1960, the now retired Justice of the Nigerian Court of Appeal, Justice George O. Soremi, and a few other elders for a meeting and they answered us. Dr Rauf Ladipo talked to us for several minutes on phone, he was with the Nigerian Super Eagles for the CHAN 2014 in South Africa, so he pledged to be with us when next we have a meeting.
The outcome of that meeting was nothing other than “how do we contribute something to our school?” Everyone had good stories to tell, this was the school that made us. Therefore, on Wednesday 29th day of January, 2014, we all went to the school. We didn’t go alone, we went with new chairs, books, stationery, art-works which we donated to the school and library.
Most teachers who taught me 7 years ago, including the principal, are still in the school. It may sound somehow but it feels good to now get some respect from the same people who caned and disciplined me few years ago! It was indeed a grand occasion.
Justice Soremi was the keynote speaker. We had several old students who came in from all over the country, Lagos, Abuja, you could name it. The first school sports captain was present too, Dr Morgan Salami, who went on to play professional football for the Nigerian national team. He lectured the students on the benefits of combining academics with sports.
I have attached a few pictures of the day to my write-up, I promise to upload more as I lay my hands on them.
I’m also using this medium to appeal to every reader of this post to go back to their roots and add something more positive.
Maybe you’re richer than me or you’re poorer than me I don’t know, but one thing is sure in life, we all have something to contribute! We can make the world better for the generations coming. We’re the change we want in the government, in the world! We are the world!
When I and my colleagues like Suara Akeem, Oladoyinbo Mayowa et al started to hold meetings 2 years ago on how to help our school, we never knew the old folks would support us. All our plans was to continue in oneness till we become accomplished in our fields.
Now the plan has worked ahead of time. This is just the beginning. We plan to change the face of the whole school, and this is on pure philanthropic grounds, nothing political! I just want to contribute my own quota to the development of humanity.