"Rrring Rrrriinnnng"
The morning tambourine was being rung by Oga Charles.
That zealous organizing secretary who never missed the 5am morning routine.
Who could blame him?
Apparently all corpers would continue to sleep until 10am if given a leeway.

Apparently, this was one of the ways through which he could impress his muse who was our sisters coordinator.
For it reflected that he was a serious and disciplined man.
One ready to take on the real world with all seriousness.

Apparently this was the best way to always get back at Dr V, the papa (president).
Lord knows that man slept like a log of wood at all seasons. 

Like Hypnos, he was king among sleepers,
He slept like one already stung by a thousand Tse Tse flies.

Ten minutes went by without any response.
And he came back.
Shaking the tambourine this time with a violent vigor.
For the corpers were still in a semi sleepy state.

Good old Kosi was still seething with anger at being rudely awoken from sleep
For he was stopped in the 'You may kiss your bride' moment while getting wedded to madame dearest.

A muse, a crush.
Who words fail in description of her beauty, brilliance, radiance.
A mathematical genius whose beauty led me to start taking further maths lessons.
An unfortunate exercise that left my head with severe migraines.

Teflon Don Mc Ryhmes was angry at being interrupted from sleep.
For his beloved Arsenal football club were walloping FC Barcelona in the Champions League final.
A scoreline of 6:0 which was greatly delighting him and arabirin until he was rudely woken.

Oga Toluwalase Greyworth was seriously angry at that moment.
For he was chilling out with J Cole, his favorite rapper, and watching Man Utd wallop Manchester City in the Derby to decide the premier League winner.

With groggy eyes,
We all trudged to the living room for devotion. 

Vickie led the devotion that morning.
Weaving through her cataloge of Igbo songs that elicited energetic clapping response from every one of us.

Within twenty minutes, the praise session ended.
The preacher came on board for morning devotion.

"Praise da Lord
Do not park in the same place your father's parked you"
These words our beloved Uncle started to preach.
Emphasizing on the need to love one another. 

Apparently two corpers almost fought the previous day because of food.
For mama's food was priceless, finger and plate licking good. 

Haaa my people!!
Mama's food was priceless biko.

The preacher emphasized on the need to be disciplined.

Apparently, news had reached his ears that some corpers always slept with their female students.
Also, he was having major issues with some corp members who never understood the need to flush the toilets after use.
Poor 'Aje butters' who were finding it hard to adjust to the reality of doing things themselves.

He emphasized on the need for greater discipline too.
Apparently, he had seen a brother come out to the living room wearing singlets only.

Being the culprit of that account, 
I transfixed my eyes to the side walls next to him.
Staring at the devotion roaster for the next day.

A gaze which brought joy to my reading.
For Adetutu was going to lead the praise.
And Oga Wumi, the allocated preacher.

Within thirty minutes,
The devotion ended.and the corpers dispersed to their various rooms.

Mama and sister Maureen went into the kitchen.

Papa Dr. Vin and oga Tolu to their favorite beds.
Two 'executive' corpers who always reached their PPA's (Place of primary assignment) by 9pm.

Who could blame them?
Apparently the corper population in the school made their absence unnoticeable by the principal.
For they numbered about one hundred on ground and thirty in 'ghostmode'.
Those 'ghostmode' corpers who made the Area Inspector always happy with constant alerts at the end of the month.

Apparently, their head corper Femi, was falling head over heels, for a female friend of oga Tolu.
A female friend, who Bashorun kept on wracking his head on how to approach and win her heart amongst a plethora of other male suitors.

Rrrriinnnng Rrring (Beyonce's Halo being my ringtone)
My phone interrupted my flow of observations.

"Hello Kosi
Start coming to school oo. The principal say she no like wetin corpers dey do. And Patorakin (corper head) no dey around"
Corper Emmanuel said.
Our amiable NCCF zonal coordinator who always amused me.

For he was a literal firebrand.
One who kept up a stream of tongues speaking in the first day of entering Ikot Essien Grammar School.

Back to reality.
The principal was unhappy that day.
As the corpers of that school were of a most wonderful sort.
For we went to school whenever we pleased.

Evidently it was not easy going every day.
As most of us stayed in Nung Udoe (main town) and Uyo the state capital.

"Tell am say make she we dey come to teach."
Words I replied Emmanuel with.

"Abeg write my name down for attendance. Also write Tolu and Jennifer own"
I added.
The same words being a national anthem among all corpers.

A sort of 'Youths obey the clarion call...' for all Corp members.
For the Nigeria factor was embedded in our veins.
A factor that entailed a penchant for lateness and consequent search for a cover up.

Evidently i was just playing a more advanced role.
A role that entails a cover up for your 'goons' at all times.
For Lady J and oga Tolu were more than just friends.

They were a brother and sister to good old Bashorun.

Within thirty minutes,
I had overcome in the 'War of the Baths'.
For bathing in the family house was an activity that could equated to fighting a war.
As thirty people struggled to use the bathroom and toilets before the school assemblies started at 7:45am.

To the kitchen I went.
Stumbling upon a sight that sent warm glows to my heart.

Bread, Egg and Tea was the food served that morning.
Little plates spread and arranged horizontal pattern.

In careful tiptoed steps,
I sidestepped other plates and took the plate located at the third row.
A half splintered ceramic plate, whose food occupant looked bigger to the eyes than the others.

All the while thanking God as I raced towards the room.
For I knew that oga Tolu would not eat.
"Oga Tolu o. Oga mi sir. Mo ki yin jujuju. Buugan ni won serve loni oo"
"(Boss Tolu o. My boss sir. I greet you very well. They served bread today)"
Words I said to him upon my entrance into the room.

Sitting down on one of the lean mattresses around,
I proceeded to enjoy my meal.

In measured motions,
I transfered a piece of bread into the tea cup.
For bread, taken that way transforms into something special
Something stupendously relishing in taste.

Today's fried egg tasted great.
A dividend of Five thousand naira (#5,000) well spent.
As this was the stipulated amount tasked upon us for the monthly feeding.

An amount which Uncle hated paying.
Strong 'Onye-igbo' that preferred giving mama one hundred naira(#100) for each meal.

A practice that always infuriated her and her 'Nwoke oma' by extension.
To be continued in later posts.

okonta kosi