I am about to embarrass myself completely. Forget the #ALSicebucketchallenge, this is the premium stuff. I’m going to tell you stories that could’ve made a blackmailer bleddy rich! But maybe I’m being too dramatic, it’s not like we’re complete strangers abi? So I can be real with you, or? Well, here goes;
I attended a public (syto) primary school with more characters in its name than Twitter will permit. It wasn’t the most unfortunate thing really, because I made remarkable friends and had many life-defining experiences. I also had a ‘guy name’ and too many hilarious (now, but embarrassing then) experiences. I must point out that I come from a long line of major recyclers. You want proof? Well the trunk I took to Presec –for example- must have originally belonged to a colonial officer. My uncle used it, then my older brother, then me. It’s a ‘don’t mind the body, mind the engine’ kind of artifact; extremely robust, but not made with aesthetic considerations.
That’s a story for another day though, let’s backtrack 7 years. I had a school shorts that was more popular than Miley Cyrus and her Wrecking Ball. I know my mum adored me in the typical I’ll-discipline-you-to-show-my-love kind of way, and she genuinely believed it when she said Alfred’s altered school shorts fit me perfectly. I went to school with more pride than Dolly Parton wore her coat of many colors with. But that’s the thing; Syto school kids aren’t forgiving at all.
I wish I could describe the shorts well enough but even though words fail me, i’ll try. Hmmn let’s see, it puffed out where it shouldn’t, had no regard for symmetry and spat in the face of fashion. Personally, I didn’t see much wrong with it, but it was just me at that corner of the ring. To make matters worse too, I was Teacher Kofi’s pet. I wrote names of talkatives with more flair and pizazz than Tim Howard caught for the USA. I was scrawny and not cool, but I had two things going for me; teacher’s affection and English!
If you attended school in Ghana, you’ll quickly realize that those two were more of spite-magnets than strengths. Then my shorts came and gave my haters the chance to re-christen me #ddrruummroollll# Banku Shorts! Gosh that name stuck like eczema on an Ewe carpenter’s back or stretch marks on a bleaching market woman’s shoulder. I got rid of it before Junior High, but the name lingered.
That wasn’t the funniest thing to happen though, there’s this other one that just killed it! Mum had just(ooohhh mmmuuuuummy!). Hmmn, mum had just got me this second selection black ‘Kombat’ boots from Kant with thick woolen white socks to go with. I used enough ‘Lude’ polish on those shoes to tar a highway, and the school was pretty dusty! The only lawn-ish patches composed of the most stubborn milk shrubs ever, the kind that brought the ‘hard’ out of hard labor. So to keep my socks white even after break time, I came up with the genius idea of slipping my socked feet into those transparent polythenes they used to sell Tea Bread in. It was well-hidden beneath the cover of the high-top Kombat.
It seemed clever at the time, I promise you. Alas, break time came and we must have been playing ‘Police & Thief’, so in misplaced excitement I kicked hard at the ‘blowman’! When I did, the Kombat flew off and my protect-the-white-socks teabread wrapping said hello to all mankind. It. Was. Terrible! Yaw took the Kombat and run around the school with it, leaving me to hop around speaking big big English that couldn’t save me.
Back To The Future
Oh how times change! I’m laughing as I write this and at the same time I’m a lil emotional too, because of how exceedingly good God’s been. Give a broke kid half a chance and he will take it like an anointing! Recently I’ve upped my shirt and shoe game some more and the modern-day-syto-classmate colleagues I work with (absolutely fantastic guys) wonder what’s up! I keep saying to them, “See these Achimota, CTK, Ridge Church, Morning Star kids o, you doonntt knooowww shele!”
But they too have nearly equal stories of how far they’ve come, heck one of them was born on a mattress in a one bedroom chamber and hall. Today, come and see! You have your story too. We’ve all been brought from so far back, it’s easy to forget why we must remain humble. We should never forget the amazing things God’s done with us. I mean see you o, see you. Who’ll have imagaaagined??!! The way your ‘weather’ has turned out has shocked all your childhood meteorologists.
Let’s not forget how good God’s been. I wrote aaalll those self-defaming (lol) things just to say this to you. Once in a while visit your nursery/primary school, walk the streets you walked on back then, touch the swings and walls you played on and remember how different things were then.
My argument is, if He’s brought us this far, then He’s able to take us the whole distance. I’m willing to bet this month’s salary on that! It’s when we forget that we misbehave. We get disconnected from the things that defined us, and that’s when we start becoming vain and superficial. We suddenly feel we’re Self- Made and question the right anyone else has to address us in a certain way. We stop talking to ‘a certain kind’ of people and start taking stupid, desperate measures to rise higher for the purpose of keeping up appearances. As if we got here all by ourselves.
Honestly, this is also a note to myself. It’s so easy to forget, but let’s not. Spend your spare time today reminiscing your own ‘Banku Shorts’ stories and see if you wont be overwhelmed with gratitude too. Peace out.
PS: Don’t keep! Share…& then subscribe.
And let’s connect on twitter! @benanyan