Sunday, July 23, 2023


Life indeed is in phases and we must take maximum advantage of every stage we find ourselves per time.

Secondary schools  experience  in the days of old was a great delight in Nigeria. Aside from being the main institution where characters of young students were moulded, the orientation and infantile experiences gained during that period stay etched in the memories of the students throughout their  lives. 

In October 1978, we started a collective journey of destiny at our great alma mater, the great Government Secondary School (GSS) Ilorin as Form One students. To digress a little, GSS happens to be the oldest secondary school in Middle belt Nigeria which existence dates back to 1914, when it was named Ilorin Middle School and later Provincial Secondary School, from where it metamorphosed to its  present name. The school boasts of producing top class Nigerians who had held and still holding commanding positions in politics, academia, economy, medicine and other numerous professions and avocations all over the world. 

Though  we were from admix of social, economic and even ethnic backgrounds as a  cosmopolitan school, one thing strewn us together and that  was our innocence and aspirations to get done with the five year academic  calendar ahead of us in the school. We shared great moments in our innocence. Characters were just fully forming in us. We identified each person by his personal traits and lived with their shortcomings which is the hallmark of friendship and good camaraderie. As if in a flight, our five years in the school was over and we all went our different ways, but still keeping fond memories of our being together. Our GSS Ilorin experience was etched in our memories and gave trajectory to lives of many  of us.

 Now, we are fully grown men, also directing the destinies of others who providentially came to the world through our loins and under our leaderships. Years had gone by,  many waters had literally passed under the bridge, some sweet, some bitter. 
Coming together after four decades to celebrate our common educational and social heritage was indeed a big deal to many of us. We worked  towards the day, planned and behold the  D-day came with all everyone, including a few who had travelled down from overseas resplendent  in their fine attire for the reunion. Everyone was vivacious. 
The event was characterised by reliving of old memories with some seeing themselves after 40 years of unbargained separation. It was a reflection of good and melancholic stories. While we could note the progress made by many after school, we also had to contend and share common grief in the vicissitudes that befell some others. Life does not come to us the same way!

Sadly, it was revealed we had lost no fewer than 36 classmates  who could have shared the joy of the day with us to gruesome hand of death. It was a shivering news that we literally had lost a complete class out of the six arms  of classes in our set. Well,  God knows best and we have to come to terms with the fact that we are all in the departure lounge, praying that our own flights would be delayed much longer. 
This brings me to the point of identifying why we need to continually bond and share our common heritage through alma matas or old students associations. 

No doubt, we need ourselves more now as we age and become more lonely. 

We need to tolerate each other more to firm up our bond of unity and affection which was pure and natural. Its often said that old friends are far better than new ones. 

We need to share with ourselves more unselfishly now as no one will take anything out of this world. Life itself is a privilege and sweeter when we share.

To our new Exco, I salute you. We couldn't have made a better choice than this now. Some of you have rich heritage of service and devoted service. Those who just joined too should prove their mettle. Don't be discourage by attitude of the crowd. We could be distractive. Don't wait for the followers to take actions as you may wait, ad infinitum. Lead us with grace, lead us with foresight, lead us with integrity. Remember the 80-20 formular of Pareto. It takes 20 per cent of every Association, including the world to make things happen. God will help our course through you as we bond more and take our great alma mater even to higher height. 

In closing, I was saddened by my inability to attend the event. I had prepared for it, only to have a broken ankle that incapacitated me.
Majada Wajada.. Forward ever backward never! 

*Tope Adaramola* is 
a PR practitioner and old student of GSS Ilorin.

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