They say you never really know what you have until you’ve it. Now that’s veracity! We pass through times and situations, we moan and sigh and can’t wait to leave especially when we experience certain difficulties but when the time comes to forge ahead, we are filled with a certain kind of sadness of what we’re leaving behind. Not the terrible kind of sadness though, it’s called nostalgia. So I’m sitting in my room, thinking about my beloved Alma Mata OAU ILE-IFE and I stumble upon this beautiful piece by a friend and brother which I’ve read time and again. Well, at least it gives me the opportunity to reflect back on the times. It’s a precise and on-point summary of what really I miss. I hope you do Enjoy it like I did especially OAU old students and for other categories of people, no beefs please . . .
WHAT I MISS . . .
I miss the bats shrilling innocently from the disturbances and gunshots from the local guns of the ife hunters.
I miss the bold edifices speaking of their architectural intensity and structural finesse.
I miss the camaraderie of students frolicking at every walkway, at every rest place, at every meeting place.
I miss the employment edge garnered and the tremendous opportunities, privileges and rights enjoyed as a student.
I miss the environment, the feeling of importance it instills in oneself.
I miss ‘town’ and the exciting atmosphere from its student-littered embellishment.
I miss the monthly allowances. I miss the student union and the air of activism it carries with itself.
I miss the pretty girls and their attractive fashion lifestyles. I miss the rich boys and their generous way of life.
I miss the bookworms at their usual reading places studying persistently for long hours.
I miss the sight of lovebirds at their nests chatting intimately in low tones and inaudible volumes.
I miss the Anglo-moz car park and its ever-buzzing nocturne from the musical displays and from the frolic of socialites.
I miss New Buka and its nocturnal amusement and liveliness. I miss the ‘free browsers’ at ‘English’ and Social sciences cramping themselves within every available inch of signal-reach.
I miss the elegant ‘Black and White’ Law students and their flamboyant parades. I miss the corporately dressed Medical students and their decent, want-to-be-distinguished, condescendingly proud portrayal of intellect and distinct state of mind.
I miss strolling ostensibly at 3 a.m. with dancehall music blaring from my earphones.
I miss the night lights at the senate building mixing perfectly with the lights from the library, from the Amphi-theatre and from the streetlights to paint a perfect picture.
I miss the swarm of fresh students moving to and fro the Academics with naiveté and restlessness beaming on their young faces.
I miss the Awoites taunting and wailing at the blushing girls and at the unfazed dames.
I miss the enlightening and fact-boiled arguments at the newspaper stands and at the Awolowo and Fajuyi Hall notice boards.
I miss the vociferous and the silently-engulfed prayer warriors at the sports centre in the late afternoons and at every open space in the hostels in the early hours of a new day.
I miss the crowd of students pouring from their halls of residence to Academics in the morning and in the evening.
I miss reading the comic and sometimes controversial graffiti on the doors of restrooms, on reading rooms demarcations, on lecture furniture and on the café tables.
I miss the megaphone-modified muezzin musical call for prayers and the subsequent converging sight of enduringly passionate Muslims from all corners to the mosques and improvised prayer places.
I miss the stark, impossibly-hilarious, jovial Awoites demonstrating near-insanity, singing oddly-creative bawdy a cappella – sometimes supported by drumbeats on special occasions as a gatecrash to a concert – in fortissimo and exchanging light-hearted jibes and insults causing their audience to laugh touchingly uninhibited, even in retrospect.
I miss the political atmosphere that envelopes the air just before, during and after a political debate, a parliamentary sitting, a student union decision or election and the handwriting of socioeconomic responsibility, righteousness and conscientiousness that is written all over them.
I miss the natural beauty that oozes from the ornamentals, from the trees and from the mountain. I miss The Primers, their breakthrough-coherence, their near-frictionless fitting and their God-sent understanding of each other.
I miss the most beautiful campus and the total ideality – a smokescreen of the realities and trueness of the Nigerian situation – it conforms to so as to dole out a regular dose of satisfaction and enjoyment, every now and then.
I miss Obafemi Awolowo University. I miss my alma-mater
Written by. OMOTUNDE KASALI
He Blogs. @omotundekasali.tumblr.com