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When Achimota subjugated in worship

Achimota Achimota Senior High School

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 Source: NKRABEAH EFFAH DARTEY

Exactly ninety years ago, the Colonial Administration under the Governor Brigadier. General Gordon Guggisberg opened the gates to what has arguably become one of the most leading second cycle schools in Ghana.

I will not deny that Mfantsipim, Prempeh College, Legon Presec and Bishop Herman at Kpandu are excellent schools. I will also not deny that Wesley Girls at Cape Coast, St Roses at Akwatia and Aburi girls Secondary are each tops, but all these are single sex schools. When it comes to co – educational institutions, I make bold to say that Achimota is tops in Ghana, followed perhaps somewhat closely, by Mawuli School of Ho.

The Founding Fathers of Achimota – Guggisberg, Alex Fraser and Kweggir Aggrey made it a point to admit students from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY from Gambaga to Accra, from Sefwi Wiawso to Keta – everybody, mostly from the hinter land, from the deep villages dotted all over.

I make bold to say that perhaps I am one of the last such students to be priviledged to come to Achimota in 1967 from an unsung village, Jinijini, not even on the map.

Today, go to Achimota School, and even with all the computer placement fracass, over ninety percent of the students are all children of the upper class in the society.

For this reason, I try to keep away as much as possible from their elitist high class programmes, except that try as I would the sentimental attachment cannot be broken.

Thus it was that I was reading the daily newspapers when I saw a full page advertisemennt – ACHIMOTA SUBJUGATED IN WORSHIP….Saturday, 23rd September 2017.....

My father in – law’s daughter a product of Accra Girls Secondary School agreed to go with me , simply because the current Headmistress of Achimota School, my classmate at sixth form came from Accra Girls Secondary School!!!

It is always an emotional experience returning to Achimota. From the main traffic light I turned right, past the Achimota School Police Station, and used the strictly private main entrance route which looked overgrown with weeds, very unkempt , most unlike1967 when I first walked along that route to attend interview for admission into form one.

We passed the swimming pool, the post office, then we saw Guggisberg House, Gyamfi House – then to the right I saw that the entire student body, over one thousand, were neatly seated on benches in the central lawn, facing the Administrations block. A giant stage with neon lights had been erected, with a magnificent banner: 90 : Achimota Subjugates in Worship!!

Even though the advertised time for commencement was 4:30p.m, the event took off at exactly 6p.m with an opening prayer by Rev. Fr. Eric Owusu 1977 year Group.

Then followed series of magical performances, by the Achimota School Aggrey Chapel Choir, the OAA Choir, made up former school Choristers, including 1952 Year Group down to 2017 Year Group!!!

Guest artists or performing groups were the famous Tema Youth Choir and the Harmonious Chorale who were extremely very entertaining – they gave splendid performances that moved the audience.

As you can imagine, this programme was a unique opportunity for Reunion – I was priviledged to sit next to the famous Nana Dr. SKB Asante, I saw Architect Ashesi University lecturer Nii Teiku Evans Arfom who was one year behind me; Lawyer Frances Mercer, the famous gospel songstress Bernice Offei the composer of. “the Heavens are telling the glory oh God……and several others. Oh, how can I forget, as I bumped into my English Literature teacher, Mrs. Gardiner, and I saw History teacher Miss Kwapong- all still looking just as I knew them, fifty years back!!!

Several offertory bowls were arranged in front of the stage, in correspondence with the residential houses of residence and their traditional track colors. I looked out for Aggrey House with their red colors, traditional champions every year in the long distance cross country competition. I noticed new houses on – the list – Kwapong House, Attah Mills House…….interesting.

The Presbyterian Church Pastor for the school preached the word of God for only 10minutes, using a text from 2 Chronicles chapter 20, telling about how instead of using soldiers and bombs to go to war, King Jehosapaeth of Judah used a choir of praise singers Hallelujah Choruses to the Glory of God- to see that God had destroyed the enemy, and it took the Israelites three days to collect the plunder!!! Whatever your circumstances, the pastor preached, just subjugate yourself in worship to the Lord, and He will fight for you.

The climax of the programme was a super star performance by award winning gospel artist, Joe Mettle, an Accra Academy school boy who looked a little uneasy on our campus.

One more thing: as the show progressed, sitting next to the famous chief – lawyer – statesman, Nana Dr SKB Asante – “what is the meaning of “subjugate”? he smiled and said “my wife has just asked me the same question……..” then, reader, I realized that the ONLY time throughout my life that I have met this word is the Achimota School song………”From Gambaga to Accra so to subjugate ourselves that we may rule……………….”

Conspicuously absent was Jerry Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu, evergreen OAA former President Kwame Pianim, John Allan Kyeremateng and several others.

As we were driving home, my father in – law’s daughter prayed aloud: “if this is 90th Anniversary subjugate, then I wonder what the Centenary subjugate would be….May God keep us alive to see it…”

Columnist: NKRABEAH EFFAH DARTEY