We attended FBC during a most remarkable and memorable epoch -The Harry Sawyer era (When one had to wear an academic gown to see Professor the Rev. Canon of the “We are the Durham breed” fame ) , the rise of student political activism and the downfall at last of the Almighty College Administration ; the birth of clubs like the Auradicals and the Cyclades , which controlled social and academic life and have stood the test of time; the Njai-Bah and Hindolo Trye eras when once stoic students brought down the archaic college administration and almost unseated the national government downtown for the first time; when student life was dominated by unprecedented fellowship and “comrade-ish” excitement, etc. etc. Somebody must have on record the Eldred Jones– Doc. P -Lemuel Johnson- Newman Smart -Dan Diddo era which was unforgettable. Whether you were their favorite students or not, there is always something interesting to write about their interaction with students. Can we afford to see people like Doc. P, Eldred Jones, Muctarr Kabba, etc to die without reading our own autobiographies, novels, travelogues and adventure stories to show them that we grasped what they taught us? NO, WE CAN’T.
Also we enjoyed the best moment of campus life at FBC. We did not go through the hard life that subsequent students experienced and we could even say that the quality of learning we received was among the best, quickly discernible from our output and input in society, whatever may be said about us. We have predominated in our society and we thank God for the part FBC played in our success in life.
God has blessed most of us with enviable positions of authority. It would be beautiful to highlight where the journey started, to motivate oncoming generations.
How can we fail to give an account of the difficult, but enjoyable Tea Club initiation ceremonies, the glory nights at the Adjai Crowther Amphitheatre, the fresher’s dances where at first we used to float like butterflies to be ridiculed later by AUREOL TIMES, the excitement when the Super Combo Kings or Purple Haze had to perform on the campus ; campus journalism and Chuks Press (Perhaps the best and the most enlightening , with many of the participants in later life becoming the star journalists of their country ) ; crab shooting and new acquisitions at Lati Hyde, the Lovers’ Den, now called Boss Tick , the official dinners, Mammy Betts and the coke and buttered bread and boiled eggs , Mammy Green and the delicious cassava leaves and potato leaves in the dining halls; Best Lamin and the other college hawkers who became absolved in our lives , the legendary fights between T.E.A. Campbell and Reginald Pobee and Abu Mansaray and Frank Kposowa ; the electricity demonstration at S.I’s office where our revolutionary leader , Njai-Bah trembled like a leaf before the VP until Alhassan Kamara ( TOUJOURS ) saved the day by wresting the microphone from him and telling the VP that if light was not restored on campus, we would not return there and the resounding success that followed ; Fixity on campus and how we killed and buried it in 1974 , though we saw a resurgence , due to the failure of the Njai-Bah revolution.; the Creole Vs. Country Man affair etc. etc.
If we succeed in writing books on the campus politics, academic and social life of those days, we would have left future generations with a wealth of knowledge about the good, old days of the Athens of West Africa and the intricacies, the joys, the disenchantment and the agonies of student life.
Significantly, it is a thing of joy and pride that our 1970s brigade has produced a whole President of the Republic of Sierra Leone , His Excellency Dr. Ernest Koroma , ministers of government , ambassadors and social and political activists, with top party cadres of both the SLPP and APC being members of our batch of students . We all went through those glorious and tumultuous days at FBC. People would be interested in reading what we did as teens up there. Ambassador Stevens was my flat mate at Block A, only three rooms apart.
Would people not be interested in knowing our social life as teens and what we teased each other about? Would it not interest people to know how their future President behaved as a teen in college? Would it not be interesting to recount I used to go to the S.U. Building to disturb Ambassadors Osman Yansaneh and Ibrahim Sourie, who were Students Union Secretary General and Social Secretary respectively, for ancient copies of the Aureol Times? Would it not interest people to know how I used to attack their government on Chuks Press? What about the interesting superfluity of words and colorful verbosity of our present Speaker of Parliament, Hon. S.B.B. Dumbuya , which made for thrilling coverage by the Aureol Times ?
Would it not interest people how we the radical students used to fare with Logus for his fanatical APC party activities on campus? Logus and Bockarie Stevens had always been flaming APC foot soldiers, even when we were teens in college and anti-government zealots always gunned for them, but Logus and Bocky’s spirit was relentless. Logus en Bocky nar patient man dem to this day. What about the way we –Ambassador Bangalie, Sulay Daramy , Kanji Daramy , John Benjamin, John Karimu , your humble servant etc–used to provoke one another as students ? These are all very interesting stories to write.
Those books should come out. There is a thirsty readership waiting to devour them.
And who else can assure us better about this that Dr. Osman Sankoh (Mallam O), the originator and publisher of the Sierra Leone Writers’ Series?
MEANWHILE, ENJOY SOME OF MY FBC STUDENT PHOTOS. THAT WAS WHAT I LOOKED LIKE ABOUT 50 YEARS AGO. ENJOY MY ALAN BUCKY PLATFORM SHOES AND COLISEE POLLO WITHOUT WHICH YOU WERE NOBODY IN THOSE DAYS