The Funny Story Behind My Primary School Guy-Name.

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!

accra school childrenIf 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 IMG-20140726-WA0005(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.

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17 Comments

  1. Becky said:

    Indeed God has been good to us….”who’ll have imagined”, we have so much to be thankful for.Thanks Ben

    September 29, 2015
    Reply
  2. Dede said:

    Hmmm I wont even talk about mine. God has really been good. From getting a whopping 2% in English… to…Hmm I once told some “spiritual” brothers that I never thought I would make it to the University.Their reply was,” oh , you paa how can you say that. You didn’t have faith kraa”.Actually I was trying to express that it really wasn’t by might. God bless you Kwesi.

    August 20, 2015
    Reply
    • BenJ said:

      Chaaarrrlllee, only we know just how good God’s been to us o. Hmmm. Happy for you too. Ebenezer 🙂

      August 20, 2015
      Reply
  3. Eli said:

    “…if He’s brought us this far, then He’s able to take us the whole distance…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…”
    This is a good read BenJ.

    December 2, 2014
    Reply
  4. Aseda said:

    Hmmm. Just like Nife, I went to a private school, and also have similar stories. It got to a point where I used to think that nobody’s problems were as big as mine. Until someone told me that if we are to put our problems in a “borla car”, as I am emptying my cup-full of problems, others will be emptying buckets-full, and even dustbins. Made me realise I had been ungrateful. I give GOD all the glory, for where I am now. lol

    November 2, 2014
    Reply
    • BenJ said:

      Buckets and dustbins? I know a couple with truckloads of issues Aseda, lol. God’s indeed been good. all glory to Him.

      November 3, 2014
      Reply
  5. nife said:

    indeed, we’ve come this far by Grace… thanks for the reminder, BenJ

    October 24, 2014
    Reply
    • BenJ said:

      It’s very humbling to remember isnt it? I know I always am.

      October 24, 2014
      Reply
      • nife said:

        it sure is, Ben. i went to a private school. i can’t tell how many times i was sent home for non-payment of school fees. so you can imagine how that would feel…. actually, the more i think about it, i just give God the praise

        October 24, 2014
        Reply
        • BenJ said:

          Yup yup! He shares it with noone Nife, no one. PS:See another thing we have in common #silly grin#

          October 28, 2014
          Reply
  6. […] post I though was the bravest thing I’d ever put out on the internet. Remember? It was about the funny story behind my primary school guy-name. Well, today’s post throws that in the bin. You’ll see […]

    October 8, 2014
    Reply
  7. Kenneth said:

    I have had a good laugh with this! My circumstances may have been slightly better growing up but kids will still laugh at you nonetheless… But even then I look back and I know God has been exceedingly merciful. This was funny…. Banku Shorts against some sexy Kombat!

    August 29, 2014
    Reply
    • BenJ said:

      Hahahaha, I know right Banku levels! And Ken, I knnoooowww (maybe not accurately), but I see how good God’s been to you. I see all those lovely pics and deserving LSE accolades and I’m glad you give the glory to who it’s due.

      August 29, 2014
      Reply
  8. Shishi said:

    This is so me on so many levels and I see where He has brought me all I can say is the grace has been sufficient……..

    August 29, 2014
    Reply
    • BenJ said:

      It has been Shishi, it sooo has been!

      August 29, 2014
      Reply
  9. Akorfa said:

    Oh Benji… I can relate pa pa… I can remember all the recycled items I owned. In my case the recycled items came from my older brothers because I don’t have an older sister so you can imagine what I had to go through in the hands of these merciless syto mates of mine. Any new clothing was bought with the next three years in mind just like a cash flow projection with too much room for growth if you ask me…..lol.
    We can do all the posturing we want but we cannot pretend that part of our lives never happened. Indeed this is how far the Lord has brought us. He has been too good if u ask me…..Adom nkoaaaa

    August 29, 2014
    Reply
    • BenJ said:

      Yes, yes yesss Akorfa. Such eloquence! I’ve never felt more connected 🙂

      August 29, 2014
      Reply

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