INSIDEMAINLAND – I do not think there is any Nigerian who has passed through the Boarding system that did not go through this phase if we are going to be truthful to ourselves.
Bullying is a phase that most boys will go through and I dare say nothing we can do to stop it.
In my secondary School in command Ipaja, we had plenty. We called it fagging and the school authorities will say, ‘No fagging’ but that one was their own.
We have to understand this subculture to attack it and kill it. It is a coming of age thing. If u can withstand the beating and wickedness you were a don.
In Command we had all sorts of names for people who went through bullying and came out strong. We called dem ‘maye’, godosmen and You na Kura.
In fact when the principal calls you up on stage and flogs you with the double mouthed koboko and you didn’t flinch the whole school will scream Maye as you walked past.
I remember one night when two teachers caught me. One had asked me to go give a junior girl food that he had cooked in his house and I looked at the mumu.
Maye like me to go give junior girl food. Was he shagging her, possibly cos why would he send me on such errand?
I ate the food and threw away the plates in the thick Ipaja forest. From that moment, I knew I was a marked man. I knew what was coming and I waited for the day
It came. It was lights out and they entered my dormitory. Two of them, I remember them very well, the Biology teacher and his mate the PE one and they abducted me and took me towards the classrooms.
I still remember the punishment like yesterday. One held my two hands and there was a huge pillar in between my hands and the other beat the living daylight out of me.
When they finished, my head was swollen. It was as if they put a big stick by the side of my head as it stuck out.
I walked in pain and bleeding to the dormitory where my boys were waiting. They knew what had happened and would not ask cos they knew I will not talk. I was a Maye and a Kura.
If I spoke I would be damned and be labelled a ‘bolo’ and what you never want to be called in Command is a ‘Bolo’.
So the culture is entrenched and endemic. No matter the wailing it is there.
What we need now is a complete overhaul of our attitudes , mobilizing agents of social influence from religious institutions down to even village traditional seats.
A system that hero worships the one that can take the greatest number of strokes or the one that is the best boxer and can punch for 24 hours non stop has turned into an enduring subculture that can not be eroded by mere wailing on social media
Everybody is at fault here. From the Government, to the parents even more so, to the school authorities and down to society and the culture that governs us.
When things like these happen, we are quick to detach and hurl blames when in itself we are entrenched deep in the Folly.
If domestics want to start telling their stories, we will be ashamed. What they face in our homes is one thousand times worse
So my people, let this sad tale be a true awakening. A clarion call for the dismemberment of this wicket subculture and the enthronement of reforms across the value chain with the hope that we can finally take a breather in this country.
God receive Sylvester’s innocent soul. He has given his life so that we can attempt to be better people.