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A l3t3 to the Vandals

Wed, 27 Mar 2013 Source: Mensah, Solomon

-What if...?

By Solomon Mensah

When the taxi that “offloaded” me at the Tano House of the then Sunyani Secondary School (SUSEC) veered straight and turned left leading to the direction of the School’s entrance, what came to my mind was “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

Kw33...! Before the red swollen sun- that virtually dances its movement through the skies- could find a resting place at the western corridor, there was Senior Terror before us. That was the first day at school. His, may he Rest In Peace, masculine feature with his strong temples told the story of Chinua Achebe’s Okonkwo. The beads of sweat that had goose pimpled his face down to the chest signalled that all was not well. The genesis to the revelation of our first year at SUSEC was that we did the weeding, scrubbing, whitewashing of stones and what have you above human capability. I must state that it was Senior Spanner that entertained us with his jama music.

So when the Osagyefo Hall of the Ghana Institute of Journalism as part of its week celebration announced (posters) that the Vandals of the University of Ghana were to throng the GIJ campus, excitement filled and thrilled my heart. Are you asking why? As certain as the annual spillage of the Bagri Dam, I knew I would be reminded of the songs we learnt and sung with Senior Spanner at the arena of the Tano House. We would tightly hold the sheet bearing the lyrics of the songs; handwritten and photocopied on A4 sheets. Spanner would either sit or stand in the middle of the circle formed of our seating arrangement and fling his metallic bell to and fro like a pendulum. His other cohorts- Snr Ideas, Aziriga, and Mojojojo- whom I think he shared the proceeds of the song sheets with, did the beating of the drums. Fond memories.

Indeed, when at last the Vandals touched on the soils of GIJ, the atmosphere changed. It was like the day Anas Aremeyaw Anas stormed the campus on a home coming visit. Masons working on a project in the Institute, students, food vendors, and campus security officials all thronged and peeped to catch a glimpse of the ace investigative journalist. As a matter of fact, such a triumphant welcome by the students of GIJ was accorded to the Red Lions as I call them.

They sung, chanted, danced and march-passed the drum they have brought as if they were on a mission to break the walls of Jericho. It was all good and entertaining. However, going beyond the chicanery the faeces of the lizard plays by discolouring its tail, the Vandals had discoloured both the head and tail of their white “faeces.”

A close source told me when I got to campus that the welcome address given by the Vandals was some pulling their clothes to go the Kobolo way. Like hitting at a swarm of house flies, the whole students gathered to grace the occasion sounded “yeeeeeeeeeeeeee.” Those who had wanted to pay homage to their books at the Macmillan Library could not sit behind their books but to come out to experience things for themselves. Nipa nny3 kooooose.

As if that was not enough, when a member of the Vandals was called to say a prayer for the commencement of the programme, my heart fell into my stomach. The blatant mentioning of the sexual organs of the male and female Homo sapiens in the prayer was a shame. Perhaps you may see GIJ as a secondary school to bemoan on this lifestyle that most university halls brandish with impunity. But one must not forget that if one does not know where he/she is going, at least he must not forget where he is coming from.

Like it or hate it, the fact that America and Africa all sound “ca” at the tail does not equate the two continents in terms of culture. Let’s leave the “fuck you” and their uncultured utterances to them.

Was Nelson Mandela not right when he said that a good head and a good heart are always a formidable force? Indeed, if in the name of campus life we go about showing our nudity to the world and boldly stand before God to profanely pour words to him, then it means our rich culture and our so called civilised life is in incongruous harmony. According to (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals_Ghana) the Vandals have their own deity but I do not believe there is any object of worship that abominates decency.

If the Chief Royal of the Vandals happens to read this piece, I am not at war with your kingdom. But rather a way of pricking your attention that what if your boys behave well and carry the spirit of the Vandals without blemishes?

If the Vandals want to remain the great river that cannot be salted, then it must clear the bad tag that perhaps some bad nuts among them are wearing. Long live the Vandals, long live the University of Ghana and long live decency.

Writer’s email: nehusthan4@yahoo.com

Columnist: Mensah, Solomon