I went down memory lane last Sunday when I visited my Alma Mater, Lagos Anglican Girls’Grammar School (LAGGS), in Surulere, Lagos, for the 1998 set reunion.
The school slogan, “Our Best In Everything’, gives me this pride that I could be the best in whatever I do or wherever I find myself.
I met with old friends who made High School fun, mischievous, challenging, et al… We all have grown into beautiful ladies with some married with kids and making impacts in various sectors of the economy.
As we walked around the school premises, I was smiling as I remember when everyone in my class in Senior Class, was asked to stay behind after the morning assembly. We waited under the sun for hours as a form of punishment, and when it was time for us to go back to our class, we were asked to crawl from the assembly ground to our class. It was one of the worst times for me… I equally remember Monday mornings before the assembly activity when we recap romance series we watched the previous Sunday night, (The Rich Also Cry, The Lady of The Rose amongst other. ..The lovely Chinelo Ogbunugafor, who became our Head girl in SS 3 and also one of the ‘efikos’, was my main story recap partner).
Days of reading Mills and Boon, which started to bore me when I got to JS 3, and I switched to crime, thriller, and legal literature ( Jame Hardely Chase and Robert Ludlum were my favourites). The competition back then to finish 700 to 1000 pages in three days minimum and one week maximum was high among us. You just have to meet up else one would be labelled a slow reader or ‘olodo’ (dullard), yours truly was among the fastest readers…😀. My love for books was second to none, I just got everyone and myself wondering why I decided to take Geography class and not Literature, peer pressure I suppose. English language and Biology were my best subjects, while Mathematics was a challenge for me; Chinelo, Moe and my amiable brother helped me with Maths (made P7 in WAEC…I’sha’ didn’t have an F9 😊)
There was and still a huge building called Kilimanjaro, which house the SS 1 classes, biology/chemistry laboratories and where we mostly have our science practicals. Taking the stairs to my class then was pure torture because of the flight of stairs. It was also used as a form of punishment for the junior students.
I remembered the physical education exercise classes on the field, drama rehearsals at the main hall (can never forget Omowunmi Oyediran, she was a gifted drummer back then, who plays the drum during rehearsals), sounding off the morning assembly bell, inter-house sports, my years of being the Subject Captain (both in Junior and Senior class), debate competition (I was a member of the Literary and Debate Society) and so on and so forth..😊
Our principal then was Mrs. Olabode, a no-nonsense lady, who always have this mantra “chest out, tummy in, walk on your toes”. She made me know the meaning of self-esteem, when she gave us an assignment which topic was Self Esteem, it was some sort of punishment if memory serves me correctly. She addressed us that day we submitted the assignment, and since that day on, I had my self esteem in tact, not afraid to say my mind, keep my head up high and believe in myself. She was one lady a lot of us looked up to. Whenever some of us became unruly, she usually says that they are from Mushin (Mushin being a ghetto area…I grew up there though)…lolz.
All in all, it was a wonderful reunion. We swapped stories of our teachers, the good, the bad and the not-so-good. We came up with an idea/ project as a way of giving back to the school, I shall give update when we carry out the project. We also planned to be having such reunion on a quarterly basis.
Sis, even though you didn’t finish High School in LAGGS, I’m pretty sure you have some memories of this great school. Below are pictures to take you down your own memory lane.
I am so happy you got to experience this wonderful reunion. Reading your tale actually brought tears of joy to my eyes. Although, short lived as you mentioned, my 2 years at LAGGS, were some of my fondest memory of school in Nigeria.
You are correct about our principal. Because of her, I still walk with authority and pride. That goes a long way when you are a young immigrant woman in a big world full of foreigners (to you…to them, you are the foreigner…lol…vantage point).
And of course, I remember our long journeys from Mafoluku to Surulere, everyday, rain or shine. Remember the day we were caught in a huge storm on our way back home and we got soaked?? And I got so sick?! Remember going to LUTH for WAEC tutoring? I still remember the smell of the grass in LUTH. I have a weakness for a particular grass smell because of LUTH. And you remember that your friend who was posing and your tutor called her out? Where you mamma from? Abia. Your pappa ko? Abia. LMAO!!! Not sure if you remember that event Lol. I can never forget.
As for me, I was so prideful in school. Being in Purple Class without even trying was something to brag about. I remember one of my classmates who could rap any Puff Daddy/Mase song on the spot. And the older girls who got left behind but seemed so cool because they were older and knew how to dress. When my set finally came the year after me (because I skipped a year), I got to catch up with ol friends. It was all in all a short but awesome 2 years. I still miss all those people til today! And gosh, I can’t forget when I was kicked out of the choir for my awful voice and farming the school grounds was so fun!
Anyway, I hope to attend one of the future reunions with you. Until then, I proudly sing:
Purple and brown is everything I’m wearing. Purple and brown, my only wear shall be. Why I should I always dress myself in purple? Why I should I always dress myself in brown? Because I’m a student of Anglican Girls’ School!
Thank you for sharing these fond memories with me. I love you!!