Ode to GIS and Lincoln International Students

Sat, 28 Sep 2013 Source: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta

(Greetings from International School of Lusaka. This poem is dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Kofi Awoonor, whose writings have left an indelible mark in the firmament of academia and literati. May his soul rest in perfect peace)

Merrily, merrily camping out under the stars

The sweet teens have an uphill task

Cheerily, cheerily teambuilding out

In the hot November night,

They resort to braaiing sausages and taking sips of tea

From small corked casks and flasks

Of course, not forgetting quaffs from the

Irresistible, habitual and omnipresent coca cola,

The air is teeming with whines of the ubiquitous

And iniquitous mosquitoes,

Spitfires or no spitfires,

Blundering bumbling Flying

Fortresses whirring, droves of Messerschimdts,

But they care less whether or not they add to their woes,

They should overcome brambles, thistles and mistletoes

These tawny and white teenage hustlers have a mission

It’s a cloudless and star-lit moonless night,

The Southern Cross is in full bloom with its glare

In the lucid sky,

Billions of star formations in the galaxies beam their

Incandescent light from light years away,

But my favourite constellation, the Southern Cross,

Seems this time closer to me than in my native home

In coastal Ghana

I’m delighted and instantly transported into nirvana,

I wonder how high in Havana

You would count a gross of familiar constellations,

But to the busy lasses and lads this particular night,

It’s all dross and a matter to gloss over,

Cos they’ve no geographical, navigational nor

Astronomical inclination tonight

Instead, it’s the International Baccalaureate (IB)

Theory of knowledge (TOK) oral presentation eve,

Venue – the International School of Lusaka,

They are taut and seem to be on edge,

Apprehension visibly and volubly etched on their faces

Yet, they’ve steeled their nerves

To do their best and live up to their pledge

‘Twas like the eve of the circumcision

Initiation ceremony, somewhere in the village in

West Africa,

The lads are led in Indian file

And cooped in a secret makeshift forest camp in a clearing,

They build their esprit de corps through dance,

Song and drama,

They jell in their hide out-tents of palm fronds,

Preparing for their hideous ordeal,

Reminds one of Kondon Diara in The African Child,

The unremitting and unmistakable circumciser,

Who though revered much by the local elderly community.

His dreadful duty sends seizures of excruciating pain

Up the spines of innocent teenage braggarts,

They shudder at the thought of the long

Awaited doleful and baneful day,

Is it a re-enactment of ‘The night of the long knives’ they learnt about in history?

Indeed, history repeats itself in macro and micro waves

(Forget it, there are no microwave ovens

To write home about by these knowledge-seeking campers)

The neophytes trepidate at the thought of the

Long-awaited day of nemesis,

The moment of truth has landed,

The Rubicon had been crossed,

Was it going to be a Pyrrhic victory,

Or they will triumph and be

Slapped with the winners curse?

An allied-style Dunkirk hard landing,

A Dardanelles fiasco of monstrous proportions,

Or an emphatic Horatio Nelson and Wellington’s

Defeat of Napolean Bonarparte at Trafalgar and

Waterloo respectively,

It’s bizarre and rare to have a loo in water!

Indeed, some kids are fazed and dazed at the

Dreadful prospect immediately ahead of them,

Of the unmentionable encounter with the Wanzam,

A venerable, old, bearded and bespectacled vampire,

With a glint of glee in his tiny, shiny,

Beaded Shylock-like eyes,

With scores of scabbards, sheaths and sharp knives

Dangling menacingly around his waist,

His blood-stained cloak

Blending congruously with his discoloured

Cola nut-stained ochre teeth,

Throw into the bargain

A frailed leather bag-an apothecary of innumerable

Concoctions, slouched over his left shoulder,

Besides, his red lips reek of a bloodsucker,

One wonders how many assortments and sizes of

Penises the grizzled surgeon must have espied

Or ogled over the aeons of his noble practice,

His victims sport tears of utter terror,

A if the horror of a fatwa was ominously

Dangling upon his victims’ heads,

With a grimace in his face,

Net even the sword of Damocles could have

Been more threatening,

It’s indeed time for the frightened fawns

To say the grace

Before the coup de grace,

To avoid chickening out in disgrace

Or else, they miss the boat that

Transports them into freedom and manhood

Febrile fear encounters gluttonous glee,

Face to face, who will flee?

It’s reminiscent of village fights of cockerels

And he-goats,

The victim defending his sophomoric braggadocio,

The assassin living up to his notorious repute as

A butcher,

Face to face, the pursuer stares eyeball to eyeball,

At the charged pursued,

Eventually, equilibrium is restored

As force cancels out force,

The ruffled feathers and manes settle down.

The following morning at the IB presentation,

A similar fate awaits the finalists,

Instead of the fear of the sharp razor knives

Of the Wanzam contusing through flesh

Of shrunken penises,

Or his deft hands applying the dabbing of

Top dressing penicillin or a powdery tree-bark

Substance onto the bruised penises,

It’ll be the power of the pernicious pens,

From the panel of astute tutor judges,

Doing the honours of mentally torturing

And searing the brains of the IB presenters

Wonder whether there will be the case of shrunken brains

Or bruised eyes

The judges inexorably determine their fate

Indeed they’ve a date they hate,

Mate, it’s no joking or bungling matter,

And under bated breath,

The students rehearse their lines in their tents,

Perchance, they will spot some dents

In their oft regurgitated arguments,

Indeed, the atmosphere is potently pregnant and tense.

But as they regroup in their assigned groups

For the last dry (practice) run,

The ubiquitous mosquitoes spot the dents in the tents

And decide to vent their venom on the innocent teens,

Throughout the night,

The poor lads and lasses had no wink of sleep,

They kept vigil,

Half minding the nauseous mosquitoes,

And half turning over in their minds eye

The points for their oral presentations,

Perhaps in fumbling orations and perorations.

Imagine, mosquitoes pay no rent

Yet they feast fat on seemingly bloated farts

From well-heeled homes,

Without as much as pay a cent!

Who will accost them and take them to court for assault?

‘Is it ethical or unethical for mosquitoes

To commit such dastardly atrocities or do they

Have insect rights to a decent living?

They suck innocent blood

From IB tutees and their tutors.

Human rights, animal rights, forest rights and

Now insect or mosquito rights!

The whole gamut of rights boil down to a boil,

That needs lancing!

I guess, this was one of the TOK topics

That must have swept the judges off their feet

The following morning at the presentations!

Live and let’s live is the hallmark and

Bedrock of multiculturalism

and ecocentrism

Perhaps, not geocentricism or obtuse eccentricity!

Perhaps mosquitoes need protection from

Extinction and total annihilation!

You don’t say,

You’ve made my day,

I feel gay,

Take it easy and think straight

Hey, I feel giddy

I’m not kidding,

It must be I’ve malaria from the mosquito

Feast the previous night!

Check me out, Bwana,

Hey, could do with a Chibuku-

The local Zambian millet brew!

Paa Kwesi Mintah now knows my secret,

LOL! I’m just kidding!

Chill, I wanna spakalaka, dude.

The Zamchics aren’t yet gone to roost

Their guys are slaughtering booze to boost

Their waning egos,

So they can shine, soaked in wine

But if care is not taken,

They will end up swimming in their brine,

Mixed urine, salty to the taste,

Congealed with throw-ups and fecal matter,

That will really be some mind over-matter chatter

But Black Stars prevailed at last

Over Chipololo after alleged mind games.

GIS ought to play ISL

Or AIS should face off

With Lincoln International

In five aside,

Accra meets Lusaka,

Here we come, I cry (Accra)

But please no massacre in Lusaka.

Columnist: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta