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The Sail A Literary/Art Publication of the Boys of Whitesands School


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Image on book cover:

“Independence� Chukwudubem Okoli (SS3) First Prize Winner in the Senior Category Arts Competition


The Sail A Literary/Art Publication of the Boys of Whitesands School

Whitesands School


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Published by Feathers and Ink E9/1067 Abayomi Estate, Old Ife Road, Agodi, Box 4023, University of Ibadan Post Office, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria mail@feathersink.com www.feathersink.com for Whitesands School Plot 140, Whitesands Street, Elf Bustop, Lekki Phase I, Lagos State, Nigeria www.whitesands.org.ng www.facebook.com/WhitesandsSchool www.twitter.com/whitesandsSch Š Whitesands School (2015) All rights reserved. This book is copyright and so no part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, electrostatic, magnetic tape, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. A catalogue record of this book is available in the National Library of Nigeria.

Editoral Board: Mr. Chido Ahumibe, Mr. Matthew Lanre-Alimi, Mr. Bayo Olupohunda, Mr. Kola Olatubosun, Mr. Emeka OnukwuIsitua, Mr. Romanus Eboh, Mr. James Eboseme and Mr. Henry Dike

ISBN: 978-978-50046-7-0


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Editor’s Note

When we conceived the idea of an anthology of students’ literary output, our ambition was modest. We wanted something to encourage students to express themselves in creative writing. We also wanted something to engender healthy competition in an innovative way. What we did not plan for at the moment of announcing the publication project was how enthusiastic the response would be. In the end, we were pleasantly surprised, not just by the quantity of the entries, but also by the quality. The tone, the theme, the style, and the overall preoccupation of all the works submitted convinced us that this is a project worth completing and worth celebrating. We received over forty entries from both the junior and the senior arms of the school, with most of the entries coming from the senior school. To cut down the number of entries in the publication you now hold, we instituted what we called The Sail Writing Competition to select the best entries in each category (Prose fiction, Drama, Essay, Poetry, and Art). The competition had, as judges, two prominent external practitioners in the field who have also won prominent awards for writing. To judge the prose fiction category was Chika Unigwe (PhD) the author of On Black Sisters’ Street for which she won the NLNG Nigerian Prize for Literature in 2012. Judging our poetry entries was Barrister Tade Ipadeola, also a winner of the Nigerian Literature Prize (2013) and author of a number of poetry books, including The Sahara Testaments. They both also graciously left short comments on the overall work as a way of encouraging the entrants.


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Judging the essay, and facilitating the overall success of this endeavour, were other members of the Whitesands Staff: Mr. Emeka Onukwu-Isitua, Mr. Chido Ahumibe, Mr. Bayo Olupohunda, Mr. Matthew Lanre-Alimi, Mr. Romanus Eboh, Mr. James Eboseme, Mr. Henry Dike, and Mr. Osokomaiya. I thank them for all their efforts, particularly Mr. Tunde Olaifa who helped curate the Art Competition and choose the winners out of all the entries. Special thanks are due to the management of Whitesands School for letting this idea mature from just a conceptual stage to concrete reality, but especially for providing both the funding required and the enabling environment for a project like this to succeed. It is our hope that this becomes an annual venture that keeps students continually involved in creative extracurricular pursuit not just for the present but for the future. We also hope that next year, there will be more entries from the junior school (unlike what we have here) to give us a more representative look into the creative output of all Whitesands boys. But for now, this will do. Enjoy. Kola Olatubosun Teacher, English Language (Senior School) March 13, 2015


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Contents

Editor’s Note

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By Kola Olatubosun

Fiction Berserk By Elton Odoemenam

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Tribute To A Jew By Joseph Agbu

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Pure Heroin By Imeobong Udoetuk

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My Honey Bee By Anthony Azekwoh

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Nigeriancracy By David-Praise Ebiringa

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The Missing Emerald By Nwadike Omarizu

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The Day Everything Went Wrong By Chidera Ezeokeke

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The Sail

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By Fikayomi Olagbami


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Essays Bullying and Its Many Dimensions

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By Chukwuka Omene Ebola By Adedayo Adeniyi-Adeoye

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Racism By Chukwuemeka Okafor

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Dreams, Hopes and Aspirations

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By Emmanuel Ohiomah How to End Bullying

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By Felix Okolo Tomorrow By Uche Chukwujekwe

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Poetry The Mask By Tamilore Ogunbanjo

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Promise

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By Chinedu Odibeli Freedom By Eniafe Savage

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The Life in Disguise

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By Jesulayomi Kupoluyi Between Two Plains By David Amusan

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War By Oluwasemiloore Lawal

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The Big Bully

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By Chigozirim Nlewedim Kingdom By Imeobong Udoetuk

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School and Grades

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By Uche Onyejide Harlem By Subomi Owoyele

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Philosophy of Life

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By Abdulbasit Haruna

Drama Orisaye

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By Imeobong Udoetuk

Appendix

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List of Artworks Black Innocence By Omodele Adefala

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No Hiding Place By Omodele Adefala

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Nature By Edaban Oselumense

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Fairy Tale Love By Rotimi Abayomi-Bishop

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Mirrors By Chukwuma Ukah

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A Dream By Attah C. Attah

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Hope By Jesse Akorah

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Fiction


Black Innocence

Omodele Adefala (SS3A)


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Berserk By Elton Odoemenam (SS3B) (First Prize Winner in the Fiction Category) I was excited at the prospect of going to Congo. From my studies, I learnt it was a large country located in Central Africa, with dense rainforests. I was to go there on an assignment from my company, Wills & Co. Timber, to explore and survey the wild species of hardwood trees that grew there. As a newly found country, Congo had the potential to be a mass producer of timber, and Wills & Co. intended on making an early investment. I boarded the ship that would take me from Plymouth in England, to Pointe Noire in Congo in three days. As I settled in my cabin, I thought about what may lie ahead of me. Previously, I had heard bizarre stories from people who had visited the ‘dark continent’. But little did I know I was going to find out the true meaning of the name. A hot, thick air filled the morning mist in Pointe Noire; every few minutes I would have to pull out my handkerchief. The weather was pleasantly warm, though it was morning; suitable for a beach day. Unfortunately for me, I was in a typical Englishman’s three piece suit, and a black one for that matter. Although the sun wasn’t out yet, I could feel the streams of sweat welling up in my underarm. A young man in his late twenties, who stood a few inches taller than I, wearing a gleaming white traditional robe, and a pair of leather sandals, introduced himself to me, with low-standard English, and a French accent, “Bonjour Monsieur, I am Jean, you are Salizburee?”, he said. “Yes. Salisbury. William Salisbury. Nice to meet you.” I replied, not minding his wrong pronunciation of my name. “Come.” He led away from where the ship was docked, shooing away children who stopped to stare at


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me on the way. I looked around and realised that the locals shot me austere glances at every angle, probably because of the colour of my skin. What did the French do to these people? I thought. Nevertheless, we got to a place where a vehicle that looked like a war relic was parked. In the car, Jean said, “We go to Loubomo, not so? It is 100km north-west from here. Everything is prepare for you there, Monsieur.” “Please, call me William, not Monsieur”, I replied. He cast me a curious look and held it for a few seconds then said “You make big mistake, Monsieur William.” I frowned at this statement, as if asking him to explain further. “The forest is very bad place. Mambu is there, I see him before. He eat fellow like you.” A chill ran down my spine, but I shook it off. A local myth? Probably to scare children and visitors. He must be joking. I laughed. “Jean, I am a grown man, you do not expect me to believe such things, do you?” I laughed again. Jean looked at me and frowned. His voice was a bit raised in anger now “It is no lie! Mambu was king in Loubomo, before the white man come and kill his son. He become mad and run into forest. Anyone who goes there, he eat!” I noticed people looking at us strangely, so I decided not to make a scene on my first day, so I said, “It’s alright Jean, let’s go.” “J’ai desole, Monsieur William”, he said as we drove on. From my little knowledge of French, I knew that this meant ‘sorry’. I smiled at him, warmly. Still, I could not help but wonder at the passion with which he defended the existence of this ‘Mambu’. Although I would not show it, it scared me a little. It was possible that some dangerous animals lived in the forest, but a man-eating monarch was completely out of the question. Bollocks. I was a good shooter and could defend myself against any sort of wild animal, so I had nothing to be afraid of. I relaxed in my seat and slept till we reached Loubomo at nightfall, wherein I spent the night. I unpacked my belongings and materials into cupboards in the wooden shack that was prepared for me. It was cool enough for comfort, and I quickly got to work on surveying the area. Jean came in to the shack, this time


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wearing a brown embroidered robe, and the same pair of leather sandals. “Take this”, he said, handing me a sack. It contained a map, a pair of binoculars, and compass, a cutlass, and a hunter’s rifle. Pulling each out item out, I frowned at the rifle. “What’s this for?” I asked bluntly. “I tell you before, jungle is not good, Ma-” “Oh good heavens Jean! Enough of that. Not one more word from you about that! Is that clear?” Jean frowned, went silent, and gave a professional apology “J’ai desole Monsieur.” I planned my journey, took a nap, and we set out for the forest around 5pm that evening. Arriving at 6pm, I noted that Loubomo’s forests were spectacular. Tall, strong mahogany and acacia trees stood in the forest. Marvellous. The jungle was teeming with wildlife, as expected. But nothing strayed from your usual monkey here and there. As I moved through the forest, I felt this piercing feeling, as though I were being watched. I reassured myself that there was nothing out there. I looked back at Jean, who was trailing me, and noticed a distressed look on his face. I pondered on this for a few seconds, then moved on. Several minutes later, I heard Jean’s voice calling out to me “Monsieur William, we go back now, night is near”. “Nonsense Jean”, I replied “I am just beginning to understand the vegetation pattern here, so give me a few more minutes and we’ll go back to the shack” As I turned away from him, a loud half-shriek, half-bellow boomed in the forest. Birds flurried away from the direction of the noise, cawing. I stumbled back several steps in shock. “Good heavens! What was that?” Looking back, I saw Jean running towards me, with a terrified look on his face, as though he knew what was wrong. He yanked my arm and ran as fast as he could; dragging me along, heading in the direction we had come in. I didn’t ask any questions. I just ran. While we ran, I noticed some gleaming, white things I had previously mistaken for rocks while being so preoccupied with the trees; human skulls. I went pale and swallowed hard. This must have been the reason for Jean’s sour look


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earlier. At that moment, I heard some rustling in the trees and undergrowth adjacent to us. Wild animals startled by the noise? Then, out of the blue, a huge hulking figure of a man, appeared in the thicket before us. Jean and I stopped in our tracks, and I felt Jean’s palm go cold, still clenched on mine. He took a few steps back, stumbling, but held a terrified gaze at the man-beast in front of us. Who or what is this? No…not a matter of who, but what. I looked into the creature’s eyes and saw a dangerously evil passion, dance round in its dilated pupils like a flame. It grinned, revealing a brown, carnivorous dentition. Then, it spoke in a hoarse, deep voice worse than the Devil’s, “You will die.” These words fell on me like an executioner’s blade. The last thing I remember before waking up in a hunter’s camp, was Jean being slowly roasted alive, while I lay next to him tied up, murmuring what I thought may have been my last prayers.


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Tribute to a Jew By Joseph Agbu (SS2B) (Second Prize Winner in the Fiction Category) Today is special. The room is dark and musty with a pungent smell of body odour and urine. There are dark red stains on the rough stone walls. The room looks roughly about the size of my father’s orchard back at home. Every other memory had either become blurry or even faded into oblivion except the memories experienced in my father’s orchard. The image so vivid, the colours so intense, the sweet scent of the various exotic flowers and herbs the names of which I never bothered to learn. It brings tears to my eyes when I remember all the things I took for granted. I remember having a wife and kid. I don’t remember either of their ages or personalities; I don’t even remember how their voices sounded but I remember taking them to the orchard. I remember now how they felt, how they smelt, how they moved, the way my son hobbled on his barely developed feet. I don’t remember their faces. Every time I struggle to relive their memory I see blank spaces where faces would have been; blank spaces like that of an unfinished puzzle; blank spaces that suck you in and threaten to steal any shred of happiness you cling unto. But today is special. My train of thought is broken by a loud bang and clink, like the sound you would hear from a key hitting against metal, heard from somewhere across the room. I can’t exactly make out the exact origin of the sound due to the darkness but I do notice frantic movement in that area. I am uncomfortable, (lately that’s all I’ve been feeling); that, and self pity.


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I can’t stand this place! I hate everything about it: the uniforms, the unquestioned conformity, the inhumane treatment, and, most especially, the beatings. Sometimes I even consider ending this whole wretched existence but I hold tightly to the memories of the orchard, the only thing that has kept me sane through this experience. But today is special. Again I am disturbed by the frantic movement but this time it seems to have spread across the whole room. People are screaming and panicking. I have no idea why, I was told we are gathered here for a shower. My heart beats faster when a dark thought creeps into my mind but I shrug it off. I look to the man beside me. He’s only a few inches shorter than me with a slouched and weary posture. He seems to be the only person around in the crowded room who’s not panic stricken. In fact he seems unnaturally calm. I ask him about the sudden agitation in the room and he turns to me but doesn’t look up to my face so I can’t see his. He lifts up his arm and points a long bony finger to a small opening about the size of a manhole on the ceiling. Dim sunlight streams through the opening but not enough to pierce the darkness of the room. There seems to be small shape peeking through the opening but it’s too far to tell. Today is definitely special. The man then begins to undo the large buttons on his mandatory white shirt with blue stripes. When he’s done, he does the same for his straight, free flowing, matching trousers. Then he crashes to the floor, his face buried in his palms as he begins to let out short soft sobs, the sobs of a man overcome with grief. The dark thought resurfaces in my mind but this time as a nagging realization. I almost begin to panic but then I remember that today is special. Today, I get to meet my wife and kid. Today is very special. Today, I am free.


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Pure Heroin By Imeobong Udoetuk (SS3A) (Third Prize Winner in the Fiction Category) People ask why. They look at you with scorn and ask why you would do it. It’s about the thrill. It’s about the sweaty palms, the racing pulse, the feeling that you are floating above everything. In those moments, the world is no longer a dark, scary place; it is a paradise, a heaven filled with the most beautiful spectrum of light. In those moments, everything is right with the world. Then it’s not; it’s not and you have to do it again. She sits, huddled in a corner. Her forehead is pressed against the cool bricks to soothe her fever. She can’t move. If she moves, she will break the brittle fantasy; upset the cheap thrill. In her mind, she is floating and if she moves she will come crashing down. But she needs to take care of her baby. She rises and walks to her. Baby sits on the ground, playing with a doll. She pulls her child into her arms and rocks her back and forth as she hums a lullaby. Baby stares at her through her wide eyes. She kisses her forehead, before placing her in the cardboard box that has become her crib. She doesn’t sleep anymore; she just sits and watches Baby. It’s for Baby. It’s all for Baby. She’s not sure if she slept at all last night. It was dark, and when morning came, she packed their stuff into a bag, grabbed Baby and they left.


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It doesn’t surprise her when Mother opens the door; or when she allows them to stay. That’s what mothers are supposed to do. She places Baby in front of the TV with her doll before joining Mother in the kitchen. She accepts the cup of tea, trying to ignore the churning in her stomach. Then she waits for it to begin. Minutes pass before Mother speaks. “I assume Baby will be staying with me.” She places the cup on the table. “Why would you think that?” Mother sighs. All their conversations eventually go like this. “You don’t have a job, or a house. You can’t take care of her.” “I’m her mother. I-” “You’re an addict.” Mother says, staring at her arm like she can see the needle marks hidden by her sleeve. “You need help. I know a good pastor who can-” “No. I’m a good mother. Baby is my child and I won’t let you or anyone else take her away from me.” Mother’s staring at her and she realises she’s been shouting. She’s about to speak when she tastes bile in her mouth. She reaches the sink just as her scanty breakfast spews from her mouth. “I’m clean.” She says, hunched over the sink, rinsing her mouth.


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“For how many hours?” Mother asks. She stands. Her legs feel like rubber. “I’m taking my child and I’m leaving.” Mother doesn’t argue. She just stands there and watches as they walk out. She throws up twice more that night. She is drained of all her energy and now she just lays on the ground. Two days ago, she would’ve disappeared into the haze of opiates by now. But she needs to prove to herself that she can stay strong. Not for herself but for Baby. For Baby. She knows how she looks to them. She is emaciated; nothing more than angles and edges covered by skin. Her hair is lank and dirty, her eyes sunken in from lack of sleep. She stumbles down the street, exhausted. Baby walks beside her in a worn dress. She knows how she looks to them: she looks like a bad mother. She squeezes a sizable amount of soap into her palm and massages it into her hair. Then she washes it under the sink. She runs her hands through her hair and smiles at herself in the mirror. She picks up Baby and walks out of the bathroom. The smell of fried chicken hits her, reminding her that she hasn’t eaten a full meal in days; she’s been giving all her food to Baby. The woman behind the counter gives her a death glare, like she knows what happened. She puts her head down and walks out as a homely woman with three hyperactive children walks in. Their eyes meet and the woman’s face twists into an expression of scorn. The children run in, screaming. They


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don’t look at her. She wishes their fat, ugly mother wouldn’t look at her. She rushes past her, muttering apologies. Everyone has a void inside them; a hole in their soul. The problem is, if you don’t fill the void with something, it grows larger. And then you fall in. And once you fall in, you need an anchor, a rope to help you climb out. Baby is her anchor. She needs Baby, or she’ll die. She wraps her in a blanket and places her in her crib. The cardboard box has become her crib. She reaches for Baby’s favourite book. Her hand stops. There’s a twitching at the base of her skull. There’s a vile taste in her mouth. The spasms begin; rocking her body with an intensity that she has never before experienced. She can feel each muscle contract and relax, sporadically. Her spine twists, her bones breaks, the blood pounds in her ears. Then she blacks out. Blisters are forming on her fingers to match the ones on her gums. She dunks the dress back into the water. Her fingers ache. She must’ve been watching for hours. It’s no use. The urine stain is still there. She needs a new dress. She feels an almost physical pain, handing out the last of her money. The cashier refuses to look at her as she holds out the bag of groceries. They have no home, and now they have no money. One of her teeth fell out today. It was bloody, but she didn’t feel it. She is floating in a dream; a dampening of her senses. She used to be beautiful, so beautiful, but like a fallen angel, her beauty has left her. Her skin has become sallow. Her hair is falling out in clumps. She could raise her shirt and count


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her ribs. Ever since the seizure, she’s been exhausted, wasting away. She’s dying. And she knows it. Each step is a journey, but she keeps moving. The store has everything she needs. She picks a can of soup and slips it into her bag. Baked beans, corned beef, they all find their way into the bag. Baby walks in front of her, enchanted by a toy she’s discovered. It’s going in the bag soon. She stops to rest and it begins again. This time, it is worse. The jolts send her toppling over. She slams her head against a shelf. The pain, like her skull has been cracked open, blacks out everything. But she can hear Baby crying for her. She can hear it and the pain it brings her is worse than anything she’s ever felt. Because she knows she’ll die. She’ll die and Baby will be alone.


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My Honey Bee By Anthony Azekwoh (SS2C) (Honourable Mention: Fiction) I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t. It had been almost a year since she was gone and yet I couldn’t let go, I couldn’t forget the way her hair flowed in the wind, or the way she giggled out of joy when she was tickled or pushed high up on a swing, Melissa. “I’ll name her ‘Star’” she said, clinging to her new bear. It was a prize she had won at school, she was constantly being praised as the best academic student in her year and it was rumoured that she was due for a scholarship, but that was the funny thing about Melissa. She learnt because she wanted to and she was curious, not because of any reward. Right from her birth, I knew she was special. That’s why I also gave her the name, Dúutsèn Wúyàa, Jewel and Melissa: Honey Bee. It was also my late wife’s dying wish. Melissa was a living reminder of my late wife, brave, determined and strong. Each day I saw her I couldn’t help remembering the woman I once shared a life with: a scar that had never truly healed. She was going back to school tomorrow morning and we were busy getting ready. It was my favourite thing to do, helping her get ready. It was amusing the way she appeared flustered when she knew she was forgetting something but couldn’t remember exactly what. I still remember that day, the last day we spent together. We had just finished buying her provisions and we were both tired. I kissed her goodnight and went to bed myself. I personally never liked boarding school. In the words of one of my secondary school teachers,


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it was ‘prison for children’. But I assumed it was for the best and I enrolled her into the school, seeing as it was the best in the town. So I sat there in her room staring at where Star used to be placed and I couldn’t help the tear that fell on my face. “John, it’s time” a voice behind me said, interrupting my reverie. I turned around to face my brother, Michael. Before today it had been years since we talked. The pain that had come from that day still lingered in our minds. My heart sank; I had been dreading this moment for so long, it was the symbolic meaning of the whole thing, the cruel finalisation. She was really gone. A child’s funeral is easily the most painful and the saddest thing in existence. The fact that the death could snatch someone so young, so innocent; is just too much to bear for some. I was one of those people. Here I was sitting at my own child’s funeral, wondering how it had gone so wrong so fast. What made it worse was that there was no body to bury. She had gone to school that morning, all dressed up and eager to get to school, I smiled at that. She was probably the only ten-year old that actually enjoyed school. I silently waited for the “question”. She always asked it and I couldn’t blame her because silently I asked myself the same thing. “Where’s mommy?” “I don’t know” I always answered because I knew that if I told her the truth, it would break her heart. “Bye” she said as she went to the school bus, I replied saying bye with a smile, little did I know that I would never say that to her again.


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And then, she was just gone. I remember shouting and screaming at night, this was normally a quiet town I thought. “Who would make trouble in Chibok?” I said to myself. Gunshots were fired and the sounds reverberated all over the town, there was chaos all around and yet I didn’t know what was wrong. I will always regret that moment, not doing anything, hiding in cowardice; I should’ve done something, but what? After the assailant had left and the dust settled, the cruel realisation of what they had done solidified, I didn’t waste time shouting and crying like the others. It was of no use. I had lost my wife and then my daughter. I was broken. She was gone. I was asked at the funeral to say a few words but I couldn’t. The very fact that we were even having a funeral was a sign that we had given up hope. Since that day I hadn’t been myself, I was simply an empty shell of the man I used to be. After the funeral, I was approached by a lanky man who didn’t look like he had washed in a while. As he came closer I suddenly recognized him. He was the caretaker. It was irrational but I harboured a lot of resentment for the man. I kept on feeling that he could’ve done more. He gave his condolences and after he gave me a parcel, he said that he had been cleaning the rooms in which the girls slept and he found it, he knew it belonged to my daughter and he thought it was right that I should have it. So here I wait, after a year and yet she hasn’t come back to me. Even the military troops from abroad had thought of it as a lost cause but I couldn’t do that. So here I wait as they struggle for power almost a year after, and no one has brought my little girls home. I sit at my porch waiting, clinging to Star, waiting for my Honey Bee to come home.


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Nigeriancracy By David-Praise Ebiringa (SS2A) (Honourable Mention: Fiction) Ken was astonished at the progress he made in just eight months of his joining the Alternative Mandate Party. It was a time when the country was preparing for its general elections. Ken was a graduate of political science but majored in Nigerian Government and Politics in his Masters. He was a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Administration at the State University. He therefore saw his romance with party politics as an avenue to practicalise the theories he had learnt in school. The leaders of the (AMP) were very happy to have him among their fold. He was unanimously chosen as the Party’s flag bearer in the coming elections. Ken’s political profile rose tremendously when the Alternative Mandate Party named him their contestant for the election. He saw the choice as an honour and pledged his loyalty and support to the opposition. He refused the entreaties of the ruling Mandate Party, and he thanked his stars that he didn’t fall into their trap because the vacancy they tried to use to lure him to their side was offered to sixty other people. With elections less than six weeks away, Ken observed that it was at this time the voters’ registration lists were published. It was full of irregularities. So many names, including that of his state party Chairman, were missing


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from the list. He fumed, cursed, and complained to anyone who cared to listen at the office of the commission of National Elections. Emeka, his uncle, incidentally was present at the place. He called Ken aside and tried to calm him down. “This is Nigeria”, he simply told Ken. “What is Nigeria? That barely six weeks to a general election, you still find such irregularities in the voters’ list. What is this?” He barked. “Take it easy, these things would be sorted out” Emeka assured him to mollify the young man. Ken was later to learn that such omissions could be deliberate. Politicians could collude with the commission officials to omit names of opponents and disqualify them hours before the elections. Ken confronted his uncle with this discovery. “It is possible” Emeka confirmed. Ken was speechless. “Is the commission not supposed to be independent?” He managed to ask. “Yes, but that is on paper. So far from reality. Can’t you see?” “Are the men and women working at the commission not bothered about their honour and integrity?” “Are you a stranger here? Our people only bother about money; no one cares about honour or integrity as you call it.”


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Ken went back to his home with a heavy heart. How could a people conduct their affairs in such a manner? How? He asked obviously from no one. On a good evening, Ken was at home relaxing and watching TV. Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the door. He opened and nearly collapsed. Standing before him were five mobile policemen from the notorious Special Operations Squad (SOS), fully armed with assault rifles and looking quite combat ready. Before he could recover from the initial shock, the Sergeant bellowed in a voice that reminded one of a roaring thunder: “You are supposed to be Senator Ken?” “I am not supposed to be, I am. Can I help you?” “In that case you’re under arrest!” “For what?” “You will know at the station. My instruction is to bring you, if necessary with maximum force. Now move.” “Which station are you talking...?” Ken’s voice was drowned as he was slapped hard by one of the officers. He saw stars, staggered, but was prevented from falling by the other officer. To cut it short, he was detained that night with common criminals after being accused of a plot to assassinate the president. Ken denied the allegation and after a while he was released, but not without some lashes. It was a warning. Ken wanted to take the case to court but his uncle advised him against the idea. Expectedly, tempers rose to high heavens with opposition


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and the ruling party engaging in a war of words with each other. But his party resolved to put all these crises behind them, and focus only on the elections. The Election Day came. The Election Commission had promised the citizens a free and fair election. Ken saw the day as one that would mark a turning point in the nation’s history. Voting was supposed to end by 1.00pm, but the ballot boxes hadn’t even arrived. He wondered if the elections had been cancelled. Meanwhile elections were going on as planned in other regions of the country. At 2.00p.m the materials were still yet to arrive at the polling centre. Many of the electorates out of boredom had returned back to their homes. Ken waited patiently with a few others. At about 3.30p.m the materials finally came and charged the whole atmosphere with excitement. It was short lived though as gunshots were heard a few meters from the polling centre. Ken looked in the direction but could not believe his eyes. The Special Assistant to the President on domestic matters, who hails from the area in company of some fierce looking armed thugs were moving towards the polling centre. He was dragged into a nearby apartment by a close relation. Safe at least for the moment, he watched the horror scenes from behind the blinds of the house where he had temporary refuge. The thugs caused a stampede with their random shootings and within a short time, three opposition supporters lay dead and four lay wriggling in intense pain. The rest scampered to different directions obviously running for their lives. In the midst of the confusion, the Special Assistant ordered the election official into a waiting car. This they did with the materials and they left for an unknown destination. Later in the evening, results started trickling in from all over the nation. The ruling party had won in all the senatorial


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districts in the state. Ken lost. The Chairman of the Election Commission in a nationwide broadcast declared the elections free and fair. He also thanked the people for their large turnout and orderly conduct during the elections. Ken felt the world should come to an end. “Democracy! Democracy!!...” He saw himself call the word repeatedly. He reasoned that Abraham Lincoln who defined ‘Democracy’ as ‘government of the people...’ would be turning in his grave if he beheld this bizarre spectacle in the name of democracy. Ken reflected on his dreams. His heart went out to the numerous poor masses. He saw a country richly blessed by nature but doomed by the greed and lack of purpose on the part of its leaders. He thought of democracy as practiced in other nations. How the application of its principles had made life more comfortable for the greater number of people. He compared what happened in the West to what he saw in the country and saw no basis for comparison. He even wondered why this practice should be called ‘democracy’. “We should in fact find another name for this system of government. Perhaps, ‘Nigeriancracy’. Yes, that’s the name, unless anyone has a better alternative.” He concluded.


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The Missing Emerald By Nwadike Omarizu (JSS2A) In the years between 1885 and 1894 in Italy, there were strong reports of all kinds of crime: murder, theft, felony… you name them. But apart from these common crimes, there were some very silly cases that a certain English detective who lived in the country had a knack for. This detective was a man called Sir Raymond Clifford Wright. Sir Raymond was sitting comfortably at his dinner table having a warm breakfast and engaging in some small talk, when the doorbell was rung. The door opened and Mrs. Wright, Sir Raymond’s wife, stepped into the room. She was a short, plump woman, about 40, with large eyes and big arms. “Telegram for you, Raymond,” she said. Sir Raymond grabbed the telegram, read it, threw it on the ground and began to chuckle. “Old Gianluca. He says he must see me urgently, Angela, and I fancy there has been some villainy of some sort. Alright, I shall go down there and find out what it’s all about.” When he got to the Poliza di Stato, he was received by a young red-haired man in his late 20s. Short and bulky, with an anxious expression on his face, this was Inspector Gianluca. “Good afternoon Sir Raymond. Come inside and have a look at a letter we received this morning by post.”


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Sir Raymond stepped into the neat well-maintained building and was led into a small interrogation room. He took the letter from him and read it closely. It said: Noble gentlemen of Polizia di Stato, I would like to discuss with your Head of Staff about a very important issue. I have a very urgent matter which I should like to discuss with him only and his best detective. Yours Truly, Her Royal Majesty Queen Magherita It had the queen’s seal on it so it was definitely real. “Why have you called me over today, Gian? Certainly the letter did say that Her Highness would speak to no one but you and your top detective.” “Now, Sir, you know that I admire your work very much. So, I thought you could pose as the top detective.” “Alright then. I suppose that is the Queen herself.” A brilliantly decorated covered wagon had pulled up at the side road. From it, the Queen emerged and was shown into the room by a big superintendent. “Good morning, gentlemen. Let’s get down to business. My most prized


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possession has been stolen. It is the Blue Emerald of Hunta, which I prize very highly. Even His Highness is worried.” “Was His Highness away when it went missing?” asked Sir Raymond. “Yes. He was watching a play at the Teatro la Fenice.” “Is there anyone you suspect, your highness?” “No.” “Any details?” “Yes. I saw the emerald the night before, at around 9:00pm, before I went to bed. The guards on duty also said that they had seen it before changing shifts. It is kept in a gold plated case.” “And the guards heard no noise?” “Yes. In fact, they are currently in police custody until they can prove their innocence.” “Thank you, your highness. I have gotten all the information I need. As for you Gianluca, you will come with me.” They both went to the king’s palace and Sir Raymond observed that the room in which the jewel was kept had long wooden tiles and that two of them had been removed and replaced. He turned to the buttler. “Who is allowed into this room?”


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“Only I, and the Queen herself.” “Haha. Gian, we are making faster progress than I expected. I need to make one or two enquiries.” Upon Sir Raymond’s enquiries, he found out that there was a man named Filipe Giovanni who had been hanging out with one of the servants of the palace and had been reported to have played several tricks on important people. He was a former bodyguard of the Duchess of Naples and once a guard at Buckingham Palace in England. He was reported to be mad during the years between 1895 and 1897. Next, Sir Raymond went to the official Italian Asylum Consulate to get Filipe’s current health report and found that he was still mad. He had also broken away from his cell on the day of the crime. Sir Raymond had, by then, concluded the case. __ Later on, Sir Raymond came back with a paper in his hand. When Inspector Gianluca saw what it was, he exclaimed. “A health report? What does a health report have to do with anything?” “Oh, it is everything”, he responded. “In fact, I have solved the mystery. Anyway, the long story short is that the Queen had a mad man break into her palace who hid her gem under the tiles just to have fun seeing us look for it all over Italia.”


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The inspector raced to the tiles, turned up the one in the front of the safe, and beheld a gleaming sapphire-green emerald. The Queen was called and all was explained to her. Today, I hear that the Queen sold her emerald for a fortune. Filipe is serving a three-year sentence in a prison asylum, and that Sir Raymond is living peacefully in his little cottage with his wife, Mrs. Wright.


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The Day Everything Went Wrong By Chidera Ezeokeke (SS2B) I woke up from bed with an irritating headache. It was one of those days that you just don’t have the strength or energy to get up from bed. I had only slept for four hours during the night due to my late reading. I got up sluggishly and walked sheepishly into the bathroom. I picked up my toothbrush and started to brush my teeth. When I was done I realized that I had mistakenly used my brother’s toothbrush. I felt disgusted but I didn’t let that slow me down as I looked at my clock and noticed that I really didn’t have enough time left to get to school early. “My school bus will be arriving soon”, I thought. I got into the bathtub and let the shower run. I picked my sponge up and noticed that there wasn’t any soap left, so I had to get my towel and go look for soap while my body was all wet. Eventually, I took my bath and went downstairs to eat some cereal. My favorite cereal is Coco-Pops. I prepared it and just as I lifted the spoon towards my mouth, I heard the school bus horn. Quite disappointed, I rushed outside with my school bag and got to the gate. I found out that it wasn’t my bus that honked but my neighbors’, Timi and Anjola. I waited for the bus for several more minutes before I took a fearful look at my watch and realized that I had missed the school bus. I anxiously worried up and down on what to do. “I should call my parents,” I thought. Then I totally condemned that idea when I realized that if I did that, I would be in loads of trouble. I made up my mind to use some of the money that I was saving on a video game to get a ride on a taxi to school. It was a very tough decision to make because it wasn’t still too dark in the morning.


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When I went outside I found a taxi really quickly and heaved a sigh of relief. I believed that my luck was changing for the good. The moment didn’t last long because when we were half way to school, I realized that I was wearing the wrong school uniform. I had a Debriuss school badge on, instead of a Whitesands’ one and it wasn’t even ironed or straightened. I knew that it would be stupid to go back, so I kept on sulking and moaning in the taxi cab. Minutes before I got to school, I looked fearfully at my wristwatch once more and confirmed that I had missed two periods of class already. On arriving at school, I walked out of the taxi cab looking like a tattered child and I was also quite hungry. I paid the driver and thanked him. I walked shamefully to the school gate and I realized that it was very silent for a school day. I prayed silently inside hoping that my worst fears wouldn’t be confirmed. I looked through the gate and I saw a few teachers, some cleaners, the principal but I saw no student. I wondered if everyone was also having a bad day and would all come late. Then I spent some time outside before the security man approached me and looked at me with a startled look, he asked me why I was there and I replied, “For school of course”. He laughed and he told me that there was no school because we were on a weekend. I walked away, sat down, and laughed too, realizing that if I had told my parents to drop me at school, they would have told me the same thing that he said and I wouldn’t have been in so much of a mess. I had no money left because I was planning to follow one of my classmates back home, so I called my parents who were also startled and angry. They yelled at me furiously till I got off the call. I thought that this kind of day never existed and I waited for them to come pick me up while saying under my breath that this day will never likely ever in my life repeat itself again in the future.


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The Sail By Fikayomi Olagbami (JSS2A) Log | Year: 1786 Day 1 My name is Jason Kyle Madison. I’m 24 years old. I was on a ship to New York, America, but the ship crashed into an iceberg. I am the only survivor. I managed to build a raft, get some supplies, such as spark stones, extra wood, cooking platter, compass, rope, and a piece of ship sail. The worst part of these is that I’m asthmatic. I have my pills but there are only 22 left. I hope that I’m not here for long. Day 2 Last night, I was able to make a fishing net using a rope and a sail, so I ate. 21 pills left. I must keep calm if I want to live. The compass states that I should go east. I should draw a map. Hopefully the sail will work. I think I’d better go to sleep. The sail should make a good kilt, so I don’t freeze to death on a cold night. 19 pills left. I nearly drowned today. Day 3 I made a big catch of fish today. It will last me at least a month. And to top it off, it rained! So, my thirst has been quenched. God is good. I remained alive and didn’t even use the pills. Keep this up and I will surely survive. I need to go to bed. I spent all day working on a man, finding all these poles


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floating in the sea. Each had a carving that read: Adriki, Baldwin and Cole. They sound familiar but I can’t remember from where. Day 4 The worst thing happened today. I sailed right into a heavy storm. I lost everything: my spark stones, fish, cooking platter, the wood… In fact, the only reason why I am alive is because of my said. I tied it on top of my raft and hid under it like a shield, just holding on to my pills and compass, playing that I shall live. I used 5 pills. But thank God that I lived. As I removed the sail, the first thing I saw was another floating pole. It said “Danzishe” but under it I saw a tiny logo. It was a boat inside a sun. And then I realized that I was in the middle of the Japanese dock transport system. The map all ends up. I might just live! Day 5 Right now, I’m just waiting for the next ship to arrive. I’ve been living on raw fish (it’s disgusting). I did get to watch a flock of birds fly in through the sky. It was lovely. I am about to sleep. Still waiting. Day 6 My tummy aches like crazy. I can’t remember a time when I was in that much pain. But I still have to eat, and it is best that I can do for now. Day 7 I thought that getting hit by a storm was the worst thing that can happen to you. Well, I was wrong. Getting attacked by a shark is. As I was lying down


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looking at the clouds, I saw a fin sticking out of the water. I was so scared. I tried to move back but I pierced my foot on a sharp stick. Blood gushed out and I screamed. The shark now charged at me and took a chomp off a part of my raft. Running out of ideas, I jumped on the shark, took the sail, tied it on the shark’s mouth, and started beating it with a wooden plank. The shark swam away after that, and I got the sail back and am now ready to go to sleep. Day 8 I am still waiting for the ship to come and I’m still eating raw fish. I came across a dolphin today. I tried to pet it but it bit my finger off! (Useless sea creature!) So I used a tiny part of the sail as bandage and poured salt on it so as to stop the bleeding. It was very dark at the time that I saw these lovely multi-coloured lights, shining and moving across the night sky. It is a lovely view to sleep with. Day 9 God is good! As I woke up, I found myself on a small boat with two Japanese men, both speaking Japanese. I stood up to see a giant ship being held down by an anchor. I jumped with joy and fell off the boat. They told me that they had towed me onto the boat. I must have slept very deeply. The first thing I did when I got to the ship was throwing up (tip: raw fish stinks). They escorted me to a cabin where I could sleep.


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Day 10 I was woken up by the sound of knocking on the door. I said “come in” and a beautiful young lady came in with some hot soup. She barely even knew English but she understood it. She asked me how it felt to be stranded in the sea, and I told her the story of all my troubles. Did I mention her name was Ty-lee? Anyway, she has now left the room. She left with a wide smile. Day 11 Usually, I’d play soccer with the crew members, admire the scenery, or write. I also like to visit Ty-lee (a lot). She’s so nice. Day 12 The captain’s first mate came to me. He said that the captain wanted to see me. When I entered the captain’s quarters, I saw my sail map being attached to a torn map. The captain explained that I drew the missing piece. The captain gave me some money for “when we dock” as a reward. I couldn’t go to sleep so I went outside to get some air. Ty-lee came. We talked for at least an hour. Then she kissed me! Usually, when that happens, I do something stupid and mess up everything. Not this time. After the kiss, she left, giggling. Day 13 Today, as I was playing soccer, the first mate came again. I thought he had a message. The only thing he sent was a punch to the face (boy, it hurt). It turns out that the first mate (his name is “Chi”) is Ty-lee’s older brother. Tylee came and they started arguing in Japanese. This is all I heard: Chi! Shindinjonto-hagihofilola…


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Day 14 It has taken time, but I am alive. We have docked and I am off the ship. Did I mention that Ty-lee is now following me? They banished her from the ship too, so she is now accompanying me to New York. With only 4 more pills left, I am thrilled to be on the next ship to America. Lord, please grant journey mercies for me and Ty-lee.


No Hiding Place

Omodele Adefala (SS3)


Essays


Nature

Ebadan Oselumense (SS2B)


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Bullying and Its Many Dimensions By Chukwuka Omene (SS2C) (First Prize Winner: Essay Senior Category) Bullying is not just about the strongest person in a class intimidating weaker classmates for their lunch. It isn’t just about a person of coloured skin being racially abused by people of different skin colour. It isn’t just about the more privileged people constantly making jest of the less privileged people. There is more to bullying than meets the eye and we will take a closer look in this article. Bullying is a form of aggressive behaviour by someone continuously and intentionally so as to abuse, injure or have control over other people. The various forms of bullying include: physical, social, cyber, and verbal bullying. Physical bullying may take the form of impact to the victim’s body in different ways or corporal punishment. It may also entail unlawful and forcible dispossession of the victim of his property. Verbal bullying takes the form of abuse, intimidation or spreading of hurtful rumours. In social bullying, the victim may be shut out of a circle or group, run down in public, mobbed or mocked. Cyber bullying uses the internet or social media to intimidate, run down or spread hurtful rumours about the victim. This article takes a look at bullying in secondary schools which is bullying that takes place in an educational setting. The bullies in secondary school are normally senior students or classmates of the victim. One tends to wonder what drives one to bullying. It happens for different reasons and can be caused by different people ranging from the bully’s parents to the bully himself and even the victims. Most, if not all bullies are


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exposed to abusive and socially unhealthy family environments where the bully’s parents may always have arguments and constantly ignore the bully. The bully then vents his frustration on others as a means of getting the attention of his parents. In tackling this, parents/guardians at inception should be interviewed and should undergo a family orientation course where the need for healthy family environment will be emphasized. Besides, the new students should have an induction course during which the ideal school culture is taught including zero tolerance for any form of abuse. The media also plays a role; some games, movies and shows, promote high violence and bullies try to practise this on other students. Parents should control what their children watch, read or do on the internet. The internet particularly should be filtered to avoid straying to unwholesome websites. The school should also not permit the use of electronic devices in its premises. A bully may also be negative socially; this makes him envious of other students that excel in academics and sports and bullies them for these reasons. For such students, the school curriculum should encourage total child formation with participation in sports and club activities apart from academics. Also, some people feel the need to bully others in order to fit in with the “cool crowd” due to their race or religion. It pains me to constantly hear of people of coloured skin who drop out of school or even go to the lengths of suicide due the degree of racial abuse they receive. Some victims may also constantly provoke the bullies and this brings a reaction from them. Other bullies may be ‘born with a silver spoon’ and pick on classmates from poorer backgrounds. Bullies also pick on some people due to their sexual orientation. For these, the school policy should not permit discrimination in form of social class, tribe or religion and the use of


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unwholesome language. Students should be encouraged to have healthy relationships. In the case of sexual orientation, there are more peaceful ways of helping them such as praying for God to help them and treating them the same way we treat others so they won’t feel out of place. In all cases, parents/guardians and students should sign an undertaking at admission, of zero tolerance for any form of bullying. Maximum penalty should be exerted when contravened to serve as deterrent to others. The role of the school’s advisory and counselling systems cannot be overemphasized and there should be regular parents-teachers’ forum as well as interactions with the children’s advisors. The consequences of bullying are diverse and range from bodily harm, fear, poor concentration on school work, depression, aloneness, poor character formation and suicide in extreme cases. In conclusion, secondary school bullying though real and diverse in nature, can be effectively tackled with concerted efforts of parents/guardians, students and the school authorities.


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Ebola By Adedayo Adeniyi-Adeoye (SS3B) (Second Prize: Essay Senior Category) In 1976, a certain disease appeared. This disease took the life of a number of West Africans. This same infection then appeared in 2014 and is now one of world’s deadliest ailments. This illness is none other than the manslaughtering Ebola virus disease. The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever first appeared in 1976, as mentioned before. It appeared in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in Yambaku, Democratic Republic of Congo and the other in Nzara, Sudan. The virus responsible for the initial outbreak, first thought to be Marburg Virus, was later identified as a new type of virus associated to the Marburg viruses. Virus strain samples obtained from both outbreaks were named as the Ebola virus after the Ebola River, located near the initial viral outbreak site in Democratic Republic of Congo. More occurrences of the Ebola virus occurred in different parts of West Africa in 1995, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2012 and the most current in 2014. From 1995 – 2012, this disease killed about 900 people. The most recent outbreak, in 2014, was detected by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Guinea, West Africa. Researchers traced the outbreak of the disease to an infant who died in December 2013. The infection then spread to the surrounding countries; Liberia and Sierra Leone. Soon after, the WHO declared the epidemic to be an international public health emergency as it had spread all the way to Nigeria and other African countries in such a short time. The WHO further went on to say that the disease is the most severe and acute public health disaster seen in modern times. As of


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October 2014, more than 17 cases of Ebola outside Africa were reported. The disease had spread outside the continent. The UK, United States, Spain had all reported cases of Ebola victims within their borders. The Ebola causing organism, the virus, was classified by professionals under the virus family of Filoviridae. Viruses of this family cause a viral haemorrhagic fever in primates, infects primates, pigs, bats and other mammals and replicate exclusively in the host cell. One of the factors that make the Ebola virus deadly is its transmission mode. Ebola is inserted into human population through contact with infected animals. Ebola then spreads among humans through direct contact with the blood, secretions or other bodily fluids of infected people. It can also be spread through surfaces and materials contaminated with this fluid. However, humans are not infectious until they start revealing symptoms of the disease. The time interval from infection to showing of signs of Ebola is mostly 2 to 21 days. After this period, the infected person starts showing symptoms such as fever fatigue, headache, sore throat and muscle pain. This is followed by vomiting and diarrhoea, rash and signs of reduced liver and kidney function. Internal and external bleeding e.g. bleeding from the gums, bloody stool can, in some cases, be present. The EVD has emphasized above, is a very deadly and contagious disease. The fatality rate of those infected with Ebola varies from 25% to as high as 90%. Treatment or vaccines for the ailment are unavailable so the best way to combat the epidemic is through prevention and control. A list of methods has to be applied in order to facilitate good prevention and control of EVD. Creating awareness worldwide of the risks factors and protective measures of the Ebola disease is at the top of the list. Lessening the risk of wildlife to human transmission can be achieved by handling animals with gloves and other protective clothing, and thorough cooking of animal meat before


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ingesting. Another form of EVD transmission which is human to human can be controlled by avoiding direct or indirect contact with people showing EVD symptoms. Gloves and appropriate protective clothing should be worn when taking care of Ebola victims. Regular hand washing and sanitizing should be a common practice amidst people who take care of or visit Ebola patients. In order to further prevent human to human transmissions, sudden outbreaks of the disease should be contained appropriately. The dead should be buried swiftly and carefully and people who have had close contact with the person or any other infected person should be monitored for 21 days or more. Healthy people should also be separated from the sick to prevent further spread of the disease. Healthcare and laboratory workers are required to take extra care as they are often in close contact with the virus. Mankind has survived many disease outbreaks in the past. Influenza, plague, yellow and dengue fever, measles etc. mankind has fought them all and has won or is currently winning. Through precise and swift actions, an example being Nigeria’s own, Ebola can be combated worldwide and the lives of millions can be protected from the fangs of this deadly disease.


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Racism By Chukwuemeka Okafor (SS3A) (Third Prize: Essay Senior Category) Racism is a word that has been used a lot recently because of the killing of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown by people meant to protect them (vigilante and policeman). The people that usually complain about racism are the black people. Some people believe that there is no more visible racism, but it still exists. Some others believe it is less pronounced and is seen and shown in subtle references in TV shows and in real life. The people who are usually affected by racism are the “blacks�. Stories have been heard of black people looking for jobs, and they are told they are under qualified then they go back and gain the required qualification, and come back for the same job and are told they are over qualified. It makes no sense. That right there is racism, but is not as pronounced as it was in the late 1800s and 1900s, where they would have told you it is because you are a man or woman of color you cannot get this job or cannot sit next to a white man on the bus or you cannot enter this place or move in certain areas. There have been cases where parents complain that their children are associating with a particular black person in school leading to the black student being kicked out of school. Martin Luther King Jr. was forced to move because the local KKK members in his area broke the windows in his house. They lacked the rights and privileges of the white man in a country where they have been shipped off to, sold by people of their own colour for mirrors and salt (though some people eventually started fighting slave trade when they found out what was really going on). Back then when blacks were discriminated and segregated because of their colour. However,


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nowadays you don’t normally see things like that happen as openly as they used to. Nowadays you can sue someone for racially insulting you or stepping on your rights because of your colour. Racism even though still present is not as pronounced and, now truthfully it is not totally the fault of every white man, but because of institutions and past unfair perceptions of black people as violent. Nowadays racism is mostly based on stereotyping. Where the stereotypical black American adolescent is a part of a gang, does drugs, and steals, or the stereotypical black American people are poor unless they dribble or they fiddle with microphones (e.g. artists and athletes). This is why when a black person walks into a supermarket he is usually followed by an attendant to ensure that he does not shoplift. Since they think they are poor or might steal when black teens walk into a designer store, the overzealous white clerks tell them not to touch anything or when they ask for the price they tell them they cannot afford it. Here you can say the white man racist, but you cannot lay all the blame on them because some of the black people in America have paraded themselves in negative light because of years of fighting slavery. Part of the blame can be placed on a percentage of blacks that are actually criminals but many will argue that the society is responsible for turning them out this way because of institutionalized discrimination. Changing and destroying the stereotype that blacks are bad people is the way of stemming out some of the racism we experience nowadays. Some of the white people should be blamed for following the stereotype, while some of the blacks should be blamed for creating the stereotype that all blacks are criminals. The black people should not always blame racism for the fact that a good percentage of the people in prison in America are black (1 of 15 African American men and 1 in 3 African American men are expected to go to jail in their lifetime) but that many of them did the wrong thing and


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deserve to be put away. The black people need to find a way of enlightening the white people that not all blacks are like that. Majority of people pulled over by police in America are black (Black drivers are 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than white ones). The reason why things like this mainly happen to black people is because of the bad image created by both the black and white over a period of time. If this image can be changed then I think that this kind of racism where people are labeled because of their color would be completely wiped out. The white man has used the media to their advantage and made themselves look like the good people who are enjoying life (though this story is not true for many) and the black people as the bad people wallowing in poverty. The white man is not perfect and has flaws but these flaws are not always portrayed on the news. The black people should enlighten the unenlightened white people. They should know that the high level of melanin in blacks does not make black people more violent or barbaric. They should use the media to their advantage, how the white people have done. They have made it seem that ‘the white man’s land’ is good and the black man’s land is full of chaos, anarchy, hunger and poverty. They have made themselves look so good that they can even get more benefits and are treated with more hospitality in the black man’s land. Where a white man can come to Nigeria and still get a higher position in an organization than a Nigerian with equal qualifications. The blacks should change the image that Africa where the Negro race stems from is not a massive charity project. That we are also developed and have our good qualities. Africa is not just one big corrupt country full of animals living a barbaric lifestyle and killing each other (some unenlightened people think Africa is a country). We should put Africa in the news for good things and maybe that will change the stereotype. We should pioneer in great things that not even the


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white man has done that we can boast of. We should tell the good stories of Africa and not always be in the news because of stories of corruption in our countries, poverty, mass kill or political instability. We should be able to present ourselves properly within and outside our nations and maybe we will stop being looked down on by few unenlightened and maybe eventually achieve racial equality.


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Dreams, Hopes and Aspirations By Emmanuel Ohiomah (SS2C) My dreams, my goals, my hopes, my failures (and achievements); all these will eventually decide the outcome of my future. Will it be good? Will it be bad? Will I be rich and famous or poor and unknown? These are the thoughts that occasionally run through the mind of a young adult. For some people, these thoughts are just a facade covering our greatest fears or it might be said to be a placebo for failure due to lack of serenity or rancorousness of the young, immature mind. For some other people these thoughts may be considered very dubious (especially as a result of his/her age) even though he might be precociously skilled. Also, some people want to take these dreams seriously, even though most of them end up being distracted and lose focus, there still remain some that hold steadfast and focused on achieving these goals. These are the people that deserve to be revered, and emulated whether they make it or not. As a young adult, you might think that you have surplus or ample time to fit anything into your “busy� schedule, but the truth of the matter is that you have little or no time. Your aspirations are arguably one of the most relevant things to you as of the time being as they are what actually gives you a picture of what your tomorrow will look like. Most of the time, we fail to realize that our tomorrow is today, and by this I mean, it seems as though there is little to no time left, the more vivid these thoughts and aspirations become the more time appears to be moving forward, to either my inevitable end or success. These days it seems that the concept of success is so poorly established in our educational institutions, that the clearest form of success as of now, is the grade system; whoever has the most A’s is most likely going


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to wake up thirty years from now and the name on the throne is his. We have to know from now that we are the only ones who can truly define for ourselves what the meaning of success is. There are many answers to the this question “What is success?” my favourite of these is “When opportunity meets preparation, will my A’s define or will they just be letters that will undoubtedly form the academic range of my transcript?” I suppose it still matters, it keeps us in check, we do not get any lazier for it, but ultimately does it matter? Yes, it does but it is not what is most important. A bit confused? Here’s an example of a little boy who has always wanted to play for Arsenal, so he decided to focus more of on football than to burn the candle at both ends, as a result, his report card was full of B’s and C’s. Fifteen years along the line, he finds himself on the Arsenal-starting-eleven with a very handsome salary and a trove of medals and trophies. As you can see, this boy had a dream, and one would think that school being a liability to his football practice and the occasional talk from dad telling him to take a more professional course like medicine or engineering will tend to curtail his efforts, but no, he overcame the obstacles and even augmented his efforts. We must all find time to ask ourselves the question, do I have a dream? Am I working towards it? Undoubtedly knowing the fact that only person that can stop me from reaching my goals is me.


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How to End Bullying By Felix Okolo (SS2C) Bullying is the “act of purposely harming or threatening to harm another person through physical or emotional abuse”. Bullying in secondary schools is a source of concern for the school authorities and parents of the students or victims. It has been confirmed that bullying has great negative effects on the victims. “Bullies are made not born”. Parents have the obligation to curb immoral or indecent behaviours or attitude in their wards or children. Bullying is caused by improper training and bad morals. When not trained well at home, they tend to want to have negative control over their peers and/or juniors. They do not know the good from the bad, or probably have a deformed conscience which is a voice in ourselves that help distinguish the good from bad in our daily actions. This problem can be solved if parents are given talks or seminars by experienced and resourceful persons to educate them on how best to train and raise up their children for the benefit of the students and the community. In addition, bullying can also be caused by the victims themselves. The victims may have very low self-esteem. The students lack confidence to stand up for their rights when confronted by the students who harbour the plan to bully and who would have noticed the victim’s low self-esteem. The students who have low self-esteem make it very easy for the bullies to carry out their aggressive actions. It can be solved by the students themselves, by building their self-esteem, by way of playing team games, giving speeches regularly, in order for them to have a belief in themselves.


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Furthermore, bullying is caused by depression. Students who are depressed from home as a result of parental issues or lack of resources caused by broken homes, poverty, etcetera, tend to take it out on other school mates. It can be solved by the parents, since they have the first obligation to guide and inculcate in their children, good values and morals, especially at a young age. Parents should build mutual love between each other and provide essential resources to show good examples to their children. Also, by having a good family plan even before getting married, in order to avoid these circumstances like bullying form their ward(s). More-so, cyber-bullying is another aspect of bullying. Students are now bullied on social networks. It is caused by insecurity and lack of good morals on both parties involved. It sometimes leads to depression as stated above or suicide in extreme cases. It can be solved by teachers having talks with their students, to know more about their interior and personal life in order to help them in these cases. In conclusion, I would like to encourage or advise schools to create antibullying rules and regulations, the government also should take action in extreme cases by prosecuting, etcetera.


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Tomorrow By Uche Chukwujekwe (SS2B) When I think of tomorrow, the thought of waking up at 5am to get ready for school comes to mind. But after giving it some more thought, I end up seeing myself successful. How I achieve this success remains a mystery to me. Just like most boys my age I have a burning passion for football and it is ever-present in my numerous scenarios of my life in the next ten years. Becoming a footballer would be a dream come true. It sounds a tad bit clichÊ, I know. This however, is something I dream of while wide awake and while snoring away. The thought of getting paid millions of naira to play football seems like something written in a storybook. Along with this thought of the success comes one of doubt and I am left thinking what happens if I do not make it. This is where it gets hard for me to differentiate between belief in one’s ability and simply being pragmatic. So when people ask me what I want to be, I search for the end product of this entire train of thought and realize I never came to one. What tomorrow will look like will be greatly influenced by the decisions I take now. But the question is, what decisions do I take? A great importance has been put on going to school and getting a good education, but why? Why do we actually go to school? Because our parents say we have to? Why do we wake up so early five out of the seven days in a week to come and gain knowledge? Majority of the people who strive to gain this knowledge have no idea what they want to do with it, so why acquire it? A person who goes to a technical school with a trade in mind and develops his ability to perform that trade has a clearer picture of what he wants for his tomorrow than someone who does not know why he is in school or why it is good to pass


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but believes it just is. The decisions I take now should be done so in respect to my tomorrow. So the importance of knowing why I am in school becomes very evident. Whether it’s going for football clinics or participating in science fairs. Of course I could do both, but for how long? Sooner or later one would triumph over the other. Leaving football aside, I have tried to picture myself doing something else. It would have to be something I really enjoy, meaning nothing Chemistry related. I scan through all the ten subjects and no one really jumps out as my favorite. So I take a different approach. I scan through looking for the subject I dislike the least. After a bit of crossing out, I end up with Physics. It is challenging in a lot of ways but I guess it’s true that nothing good comes easy. Physics is quite interesting and involves a lot of calculation but mostly deals with the understanding of certain concepts or principles. The picking of Physics as the subject I dislike the least led me to checking the possible professions one could take up as regards Physics. Apart from engineering, the only other field that caught my eye was aviation and piloting. I do love to travel and seeing as I am a naturally adventurous person, I was spurred to continue journey into the world that is aviation and piloting. The salary of the average pilot is quite jaw-dropping so that only increased my intrigue. However, it all came to an end when I tried bouncing the idea off my mother. She immediately sat me down and implored me not to become a pilot. She asked me in between her pleading if I wanted to kill her before her time. But really, I should have seen it coming knowing about her dreaded fear of flying. But after giving it some more thought, the thought of plane crashes made me sick to my stomach so that was the end of that. I sincerely thought I would gain more clarity on what I wanted to do with


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myself when I entered senior school but it has not happened yet. On entering, so much had been of the subject further mathematics and more seniors than I could count had warned me not to go close to it, but I just really wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I took it up. Also I had the slight hope that it could lend some help in shaping my tomorrow. And if it was and I was able to center my tomorrow on it, I was more than eager to see exactly where I would get to use x2+7=0 in the real world. Not to my surprise, further mathematics failed to lend much help on the shaping of my tomorrow but what it did do was help steer me away from including it in the tomorrow. Nowadays, when my mates talk about the universities they are looking at I just listen and think to myself, “How come he’s figured it out and I haven’t?’’. Or as most parents say when talking about that boy that came first, “Does he have two heads?”, and it gets worse when they notice I have been quiet and ask me for my preferred choice of university. I am always at a loss for words as I am not sure of what I want to study talk less of which university. I just shrug it off or I try to change the subject very swiftly. So far, I have been looking at the tomorrow that’s still a bit far ahead. What of the one that is not? Unlike the tomorrow that is far away I have a clear idea of the goals I want to achieve in the near future. For starters I want to make at least six A1s in WAEC, I want to be able to speak a second language not including pidgin which I am starting to realize does not count. I want to captain the Whitesands football team before I graduate, it goes without saying I want to graduate from Whitesands and last but not least I want to become a prefect.


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My tomorrow is something I have given a lot of thought to. I may only have a vivid idea of how to attain the success I foresee for myself but what I do know is my tomorrow is looking bright and I will strive to make sure it comes out as such.


Poetry


Fairy Tale Love

Rotimi Abayomi-Bishop (JSS3C) Third Prize Junior Category


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The Mask By Tamilore Ogunbanjo (SS2C) (First Prize: Poetry) I hid beneath the mask Frightened and ashamed of what I was And reluctant to flee From what I was not:

I hid beneath for so long That less and less of myself remained And more of the mask I became.

I became a surface And the depth of my being; lost Unable to return To a time before, For beneath the mask was the truth The truth I had run from But I could only run for so long, not forever. And when the mask comes off I cease to exist For I had become the mask So I could not permit it to be removed

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I kept it on. It did come off For it could stay no more And all was revealed I lay bare for the all of the world And I was seen for what I was.


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Promise By Chinedu Odibeli (SS3C) (Second Prize: Poetry) Nothing like a few tears to ruin a pretty face. Makeup mixing with the salty taste. You want to move but you’ve lost your will. Don’t know the difference between fake and real. So you bury your head in your palms, And fall down to your knees. You pour it all out, And wait for death’s sweet release. Nothing like dark clouds before it rains, Casting shadows over lonely plains. You want to speak but you’ve lost your voice. Want all to be well but it’s not your choice. But yet you run with heart in hand, Like all you love isn’t under sand. Brother, my only promise is that It gets better. Maybe the sky is black but I’m sure, The sun rises later. And honey that’s all you need to know.

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Freedom By Eniafe Savage (SS3B) (Third Prize: Poetry) As a boy, I ride on the swing, With no worries in my head, With endearment all around, And not a single tear being shed, I feel on top of the world, As though I am king.

But as life whirls by, Counting the seasons, As the clouds tumble across the sky, The troubles of life arise, As my happiness begins demise, I wonder, in this beautiful harsh world, How will I survive? In this world, where apathy is accepted, And love is rejected, Where selfishness is the theme of the day, And emotions begin to decay But I shall not be affected by this plight, I will stand firm, and not take flight,


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With all my strength, with all my might, I will strive to survive, for I know who I am, And what I want, And to fight to be nobody but yourself, In a world that is doing its best, To make you into someone else, Is to fight for yourself, That is what I strive for, that is what I will fight for, What do you strive for?

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The Life in Disguise By Jesulayomi Kupoluyi (SS3C) (Honourable Mention: Poetry) The dwindling hope of 276 souls, Battered to ruin none to console. Animosity they say, is man’s obverse foe, But is man the better, when his foe’s go get Her? (or the getter) In malice they lie, “but In God we stand!” Yet they bomb, and execute - their plan. An entree of cowardice, served with sourness, Salted in bitterness, deserted without a blip. Thus is the life, taking innocent lives, A life in disguise under the almighty LIFE.


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Between Two Plains By David Amusan (SS1B) (Honourable Mention: Poetry) Between two plains, my mind lays in the balance My heart rests in the suspense’s of what is next

Life is precious, life is gold As a black kid, life was whatever I was sold As a dreamer, life was whatever I was sold So we grew up to live as we were taught, But our morals were parallel to our intentions So our conscience we always fought

Mad world we live in, Intelligent planet we live on, Makes me wonder what world our kids will meet when they are born, Fitting into the system in which the society is run, Where we seek for vanity upon vanity, Until material things are our only source of sanity.

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War By Oluwasemiloore Lawal (SS3B) (Honourable mention: Poetry) As I hear a shout from my commander I witness the death of my fellow soldier The betterment of my country is the reason why I risk my life In the battlefield all that is in my mind is how to survive Poisonous gases surround me so I gasp for breath I still fight the enemy even though I have little ammunition left Dead bodies are all I see I am filled with doubts that I will still live The loud sounds of guns and grenades makes my heart beat so fast I begin to wonder if that day will be my very last I mourn at the death of my fellow country brothers May their soul rest in eternal bliss War is an enemy of peace It is a dark abyss.


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The Big Bully By Chigozirim Nlewedim (SS1B) They all try to look the same And try to give themselves a name Pick on the boy who is all alone Just because his identity in his own What has this world turn to? All this wrong that people do Just for the image they want to show Down the evil path they seem to go The next person you go to hurt Or try to make feel like dirt Instead of trying to look cool Feel for the guy you make look a fool A cool identity isn’t a need let those you bully be freed your identity should be your own A better person you will be known

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Kingdom By Imeobong Udoetuk (SS3A) Welcome This is nevermore The bridge to the afterlife The gateway between the body, the soul and the pain Enjoy The kingdom is littered with bones And ashes And ashes of bones Screams are the soundtracks of living Teardrops are the raindrops The waterfalls An endless fount of iniquity I do not want the kingdom The dead walk and the dead fall It is almost fun to watch Our meaning of paradise have changed Because we have seen how the bodies refuse to rot And how the souls dance for money under the trees Fire and flames Sticks and stones With servitude we break our bones


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Sticks and stones And gravestones The angel with the broken wings guides my way The angel with the broken wings told me to stay He left a trail of feathers in his wake They glowed It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

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School and Grades By Uche Onyejide (SS3B) School, an organization that educates the next generation School, a place where young people build their strongest foundation School, a training camp for leaders of the nation School, where young people get motivation Once saw it as a place of frustration All the talk like get all A’s and you would rule the nation All these teachers new noting but condemnation What is the need for an examination? Well, wisdom opens the eyes of a fool My father told me education is a tool To success and riches forget being cool All you have to do is to understand you


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Harlem By Subomi Owoyele (SS1A) Anguish in a heart of Harlem. Green trees to be replaced – With clouds of smoke. Dancing in nothingness.

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Philosophy of Life By Abdulbasit Haruna (JSS3C) Follow your ways Follow the days Take a step at a time For you don’t know what’s in store As your destination may be the prison door. Life is not as easy as it seems But if you think of it There are so many dreams. There is nothing you can’t do Once you have God Then it is true. Work hard during your hay days Suffer now and enjoy later Then you will realize that you are greater Dreams come true For those who believe and dare To be the best among their peers. For life is a long race That benefits who has the steadiest pace.


DRAMA


Mirrors

Chukwuma Ukah (SS3)


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Orisaye By Imeobong Udoetuk (SS3A) [In this work, the author utilizes a creative license to extend the limits and directions of the plot of an already published play: Women of Owu by Femi Osofisan. The editors especially commend this work for its inventiveness, creativity, and dynamism in extending the limits of another author’s story. All the characters are fictional.] Scene I Situation: It is the day after Orisaye left Owu as part of Balogun Kusa’s harem. Now she walks in line with the rest of his slaves. Then she stops, and with a piercing wail she drops to the ground. ORISAYE My mother is dead! (the women gather around her, whispering) WOMAN You know she is not well. WOMAN Tell her to shut up! She is making a scene. Two soldiers walk up to her and raise her to her feet.


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ORISAYE Leave me! Get your dirty hands off me! Filthy Ijebu animals. Is it because your own mother is pathetic that I cannot mourn my own? Leave me! One of the soldiers raises his hand to slap her but is stopped by the other one. They let go of her and she drops to her knees. ORISAYE (singing) Wele-wele leri nse o Wele-wele leri o Sewele sewele lojo alele o Sewele sewele lojo Iku o ni gbowo Iku o ni gbebe? A kigbe-kigbe oro iku Iku o loogun o! The lights fade and the two soldiers are revealed to be ORUNMILA and OBATALA. They hum along with her until she ends her dirge with a heart-rending wail.


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ORUNMILA Take heart my child. Your mother died a hero’s death. It is because of her that your father and sibling are safe in the house of their ancestors. Her sacrifice has elevated her in the eyes of the gods. You must stay strong; ensure that she did not die in vain. He steps away from her as she rolls on the ground, screaming ‘My mother is dead.” ORISAYE You stupid women, have you not heard? Erelu Afin is dead. The mother of Owu is dead! Erelu Afin is dead. My mother is dead! OBATALA (looking away, he cannot bear to watch her grief) Will she cope? Is she strong enough to cope? ORUNMILA She has to. [They turn around and walk away as Orisaye’s screams fade into sobs.] ______ Scene II Orisaye sits on the ground; her eyes are red and puffy. She has spent the past day crying over her mother. An elderly woman stands over her,


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massaging her shoulder. She is preparing her for her wedding to Balogun Kusa. WOMAN You are tense. You need to relax. ORISAYE How can I relax when I am about to be married to the animal that killed my family and burnt my home to the ground. WOMAN (laughing) You will soon learn that there are worse fates than to be married to animal. You young people need to understand that you are a mere piece in the grand puzzle of life. Often times an insignificant piece. ORISAYE How can you say that to me after all I have been through? WOMAN Stupid girl. The gods are not concerned about what you have been through. Our only concern is what you are willing to do. She smiles, revealing herself to be LAWUMI. Orisaye tries to stand but she pulls her back down.


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LAWUMI It is Kusa’s hunger for that which is between your legs that has kept you alive. Especially after what you did yesterday. ORISAYE My mother had died, I wasLAWUMI So what? Are you the first girl to have lost her mother? You did not even see her die. The death of a parent is not an excuse to forget everything they have taught you and throw a tantrum. Would you have liked to tear your wrapper, maybe rub some ash in your hair? In case the rest of the world had not heard that Erelu Afin had died. ORISAYE You think I do not know that it was you that contributed to our destruction? I am not stupid. LAWUMI (shrugging) I did what needed to be done. When your goat gets too bold you must cut off its horns. However if you think I am satisfied with only Owu, then you are wrong. Ijebu needs to fall, and you are going to help me do that. And maybe I might let Owu rise again. ______


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Scene III It is late at night. Orisaye sits on the ground in a hut, speaking to an unseen figure. ORISAYE I wasn’t strong as a child. Not like my mother. Not like Adeoti, my sister. I was always delicate. The fact that I was betrothed to Obatala made things even worse. My parents had sheltered me, so I never really understood how weak I was. But everything changed when Owu fell. My mother rushed my sisters and I into a hidden room so that we could be safe. The fighting didn’t last long. Thanks to the gods, Owu was unprepared, and she fell quickly. Speaking of the gods, did you know that they were at the wedding? Sango and Ogun sat in front. Orunmila was somewhere at the back. I saw them all. Lawumi stood beside me, whispering in my ear, instructing me. She told me that Ijebu needed to fall, Ijebu needed to learn the same lesson as Owu. Her exacts words were: “Those uncultured beasts desecrated my altar. They cannot expect me to turn the other cheek.” She stands. Her unseen audience is revealed to be BALOGUN KUSA. A wrapper covers his lower body and a knife sticks out of his throat. She has killed him. ORISAYE She told me to slit your throat the same way one of your soldier’s slit my sisters after violating her. She told me that your death would bring chaos to Ijebu. However, I just want you to know that I did not put in a knife in your throat because she told me to do so. I would have killed you anyway. She fastens her wrapper and walks out of the hut, into the moonlight.


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______ Scene IV They tie her to an old tree trunk. There is no hearing, no time for her to explain herself. They had found her in the bushes and dragged her back her to be stoned to death. A soldier steps in front of her, he might be the one to throw the first stone. SOLDIER Do you have any last words? ORISAYE (smiling) Lawumi told me that Ijebu would fall. However that isn’t enough for me. (pauses) May your days be filled with sorrow, The hardship I have been through shall pale in comparison to the pain you will experience. For as long as the Ijebu walk this earth they will never know what it means to feel joy. Those are my last words. [She closes her eyes and thinks of her mother; of the powerful woman that was Erelu Afin. She hopes she has not failed her. She prays she has not failed her.] END


A Dream

Attah C. Attah (SS2A) Third Prize Senior Category


Appendix


Hope

Jesse Akorah (SS3A)


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Poetry Results General Comment: by Tade Ipadeola All 18 poems displayed ambition and a capability which is intrinsically poetic... Given time and consistency, the poets all have the promise of poetry in them. Top Prize 1.

The Mask by Tamilore Ogunbanjo “…a simple poem elegantly executed. It uses contrastive techniques to great effect, illustrating mood shifts with an economy of words. The poem explores the ancient human conflict between character and personality with precocious talent.”

2.

Promise by Chinedu Odibeli “This poem … handles the very human concept of hope with remarkable skill. The work gains immediate traction as it lays the premises for the human condition it explores and it achieves a denouement which complements the original promise of its launch.”

3.

Freedom by Eniafe Savage “For its poetic vision of artistic and moral integrity as well as dialogic imagination, Freedom qualifies for a place among the top three. This poet has much promise, but must learn to resolve a denouement with as much skill as the poet begins with.”

Honourable Mentions 1.

The Life in Disguise by Jesulayomi Kupoluyi

2.

Between Two Plains by David Amusan

3.

War by Oluwasemiloore Lawal


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Essay Results General Comments: by the Editorial Board All the essays show significant improvement in the writing styles of the students concerned. This is especially evident in the senior students with whom we have spent a couple of years training in the best practices of essay writing. The subject matters were also challenging, but properly handled. The winning entries were chosen because of adherence to rules, the use of an inventive style, clear and concise development of ideas, and attention to detail. In all, the works in here have surpassed our most modest expectations. Top Prize 1.

Bullying and Its Many Dimensions by Chukwuka Omene

2.

Ebola by Adedayo Adeniyi-Adeoye

3.

Racism by Chukwuemeka Okafor


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Prose Fiction Results General Comments: by Chika Unigwe What an amazing display of talent. The sagacity of the writing — from writers so young — is astounding. I found many of the stories (both in content and form) engaging and poignant. Thank you for giving me a chance to read and discover the future. Top Prize 1.

Beserk by Elton Odoemenam

2.

Tribute To a Jew by Joseph Agbu

3.

Pure Heroin by Imeobong Udoetuk

Honourable Mentions 4.

My Honey Bee by Anthony Azekwoh

5.

Nigeriancracy by David-Praise Ebiringa


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Art Competition Results General Comment: by Tunde Olaifa The winning entries were chosen because of their originality, talent, and attention to detail, but particularly because of the focus of the artists to subjects in their most immediate surroundings. Junior Category First Prize: Fikayomi Olagbami Second Prize: Temitope Olopade Third Prize: Rotimi Abayomi-Bishop Senior Category First Prize: Chukwudubem Okoli Second Prize: Adeoluwa Adedipe Third Prize: Attah C. Attah


A Literary Publication of the Boys of Whitesands School

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The Sail  

This is an Art/Literary Anthology published by the boys of Whitesands School, Lekki, Lagos.

The Sail  

This is an Art/Literary Anthology published by the boys of Whitesands School, Lekki, Lagos.

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