GUEST POST BY: Faith Gbadamosi.

It was in January 2002, all relatives and friends were so happy that I got admission into a Federal Secondary School (Federal Schools were most sought after by parents back then). The night before my resumption I couldn’t sleep, I was just so excited about my new school (having done my first term in a state school in Ibadan), I had a lot of dreams about the new school, had a lot of imaginations, strategies and plans. One would have thought I was going to school outside the country.

1st day of High school (Photo credit:
1st day of High school
(Photo credit:

My mum and I arrived at the prestigious Federal Government girls’ College, Owinni hills and behold it was a very big school, a school built on the hills in a serene environment, a sight to behold, very green and it was just one place I couldn’t wait to tell my brothers about back home.

WELCOME (Photo credit: web)
(Photo credit: web)

We went to the Administrative block of my new school to find our way through to my new hostel. There at the Administrative block, I got a Guardian and my mum said “Faith, this is your new mummy” then I gave her this very annoying look like ‘hey mum, ain’t having a new mum here’. I got the black house, sarcastically my mum responded.

We got to Olori House (being the newest hostel as at that year), during the siesta period, and the matron put me in Dorm 6 where I got the neatest senior as my bunk-mate and the journey began. Well before my mum left, she made sure I wore my black checked house wear and she made this very sarcastic statement ‘omo dudu ni nu hostel alasho dudu’ (meaning black girl in the hostel with the black colour of cloth). I climbed the bunk in her presence just to ensure that I could find my way to bed in her absence (then I think so she could go back and tell my brothers how her short girl climbed the bunk). It was time for her to leave and I wept bitterly, it felt like I was not going to see her again.

Prep time came and I journeyed to class in my big black checked house wear with my name written boldly with yellow emulsion paint on both sides, I got to ‘D’ class with my new bunk-mate and she helped me get notes from the students that had resumed before me and I started copying notes. The following day, I was introduced to the class teacher as the ‘new girl’. It was time for break and I was expecting that we will be called to the dining room for break-time food (my imagination about the school), but no, each student had to find her way to the tuck-shop to get snacks. My first time at the tuck-shop was so funny and hilarious. After I bought everything to eat, I missed my way, I kept going back and forth looking like a JJC (well, I was one that time) and I landed at the staff quarters.

Days and weeks passed by and I adapted to the early ‘momo’ joggings, the rush for bath space, the rush to dining, the rush to class, the hustle at the tuck-shop (my tiny stature helped me survive the ‘fanyogo’ hustle), the rush for lunch, the rush to do little laundry before siesta starts, the rush to class for afternoon prep, the rush for dinner and the rush to get back to the hostel at night to be able to do meaningful things before lights out.
It was the next visiting day and my brothers and parents were around to see me, ohhhh, I put on the newest of my big house-wear, I couldn’t wait to tell them what hostel life has been like, I just kept telling them about the whole school activities, how seniors used to shout “a junior girl”, and how we all responded and a whole lot of things. My brother made a statement that day ‘but they said a junior girl, how will all the junior girls go, is it that you don’t understand English?’. It was time for them to leave and I wept again (don’t mind me I cry a lot and I hate to part with people). I decided to try what my brother said about the ‘a’ in the seniors’ call for junior students and when next (the following day) a junior girl was called, I didn’t respond and I got a punishment in return.

Fast forward, I got into the second year and this time, my parents felt I was getting used to the life and the weekly visits stopped, I only saw them on visiting days. Second year in FEGGO was so awesome, thanks to my new found school mothers (just a year above me), they did everything for me, washed the clothes, and did the fetching and a whole lot more. Something happened in my year two that had to do with our imaginations, some of my classmates and I thought we saw ghosts one night like that, and it was a very fearful experience and we prayed like our lives depended on that night’s prayers.

Year 3 came and my school mothers didn’t resume with us, then it dawned on me what it was to be a junior student. It was smooth to an extent at least now I had juniors calling me ‘Senior Faith’. Now, I was able to go home and come back to school on my own. The extension part of my third year was the most interesting, where we used iron to make vegetable in the hostel (*looking around*, did I just say we cooked? *covers mouth*)……. Hmmmmh, we broke the rules.


*JJC (Johnny Just Come): Newbie, recent arrival, naive newcomer.

*Early momo: FEGGO slang for early morning.


Thank you for reading!

PS: The writer Faith, my good friend back in Junior days, also graduated with the Class of 2007. I remember some of the escapades we had as junior students (back of dining-hall things…lol) together with a 3rd Friend, Toyin. These two were like God-sent angels to me, when I was chronically starving in my SS1 3rd term. Merci, mes amis! I’ll feature the rest of her story soon.


It was Friday evening; I had just completed my portion of weeding the grass behind our hostel for the weekly manual labor. I decided to maximize the 40 minutes or so before dinner, so I took out my school uniform and socks and began to wash. I’d barely finished rinsing the items when the “Clarion Call” came.
“A Junior Girl! A Junior Girl!!” Senior Damilola shouted from her corner.
I dropped my wet socks on my locker and ran inside the dorm along with 5 other junior students trying to beat each other to it. We unceremoniously formed a queue of six in front of Senior Damilola’s bunk; I was the 4th on the queue. The idea was that the last person got the toughest task while the first got the easiest.
Starting from the rear, she said “Chioma, take my shirt and socks, wash and bring them back when they are dry.”
The next person got her house-wear and skirt to wash. Then it was my turn. “Eunice, quickly go to Emotan house dorm 6, ask for Sade Oke, tell her to give you my Geography note.” Of course my face dropped, I was hoping for a milder task, one that didn’t involve leaving the hostel because I had unfinished laundry to attend to.
Are you mad? Are you stupid? Who do you think you’re “boning” (frowning) for? In short, kneel down and fly your arms.” She said with a hiss. Then she called to the next girl, “Kemi, you go to Emotan house for me jaare.”

Hostel Room1

(Photo credit: Web)

… … …
Well, that was how life was for junior girls in FEGGO. It felt like we were always at the mercy of our seniors, and their wish was our command. Most senior students lived as nobles, while we juniors served as peasants. We had to perform all sorts of tasks ranging from sweeping to ironing, washing, scrubbing, making their beds, getting water, going to the tuck-shop etc
Although significant measures were taken by the school authorities to combat bullying, some form of it still existed. Thankfully, I wasn’t much of a victim.
I particularly detested being asked to get water, especially when there was water scarcity. Fortunately, Tinubu house where I was, had running water most of the time. I still recall those nights when we’d be asked to “donate” one or two or three bathing bowls of water for one senior or the other. I don’t know how other junior students felt, but to me it was outrageous. On some of such occasions, I would disappear from the dorm indefinitely and return whenever the coast was clear.

How can I forget occasions when students had to “suck” water from the tap-heads in front of the dining-hall? Although gross, it was all part of our need for survival. The other option was to use our fingers to bring out the water but that wasn’t always as productive, plus having one or more sore fingers wasn’t fun.
Then “tapping” of water was common too. “Who tapped my water?” was a cry heard in the hostel everyday. Put a full bucket of water in front of your bunk and step out of the dorm for a few minutes, you’d be lucky to find half of its content on your return. Some Feggosians would say “Tapping is a game, but when caught…it’s stealing.” And so some students habitually tapped biros, pencils, cutlery etc We sha now know that stealing is stealing!

fetching water

(Photo credit: Web)

Morning duties were also part of our daily activities in Feggo. Each student had a specific chore to carry-out every morning. Only SS3 students were exempted. At the beginning of each new term, the House-Captain and her Assistant would draw a Morning Duties Roster. It was usually something like this:

Morning-duties' Roster
Morning Duties Roster**

Here are some of the duties I was assigned during my time: dusting the louvers, sweeping the court-yard, cleaning the box-room, washing the gutter, sweeping the dorm and the most horrible of all chores, washing the toilet. Being a toilet-worker wasn’t only gross; it also came with frequent punishments and flogging. Thankfully, I survived.

That’s all for now.


Thanks for reading!


…      …      …

(Tapping: FEGGO slang for petty theft).

**Not real names.