#KuruAt80: Kuru; The Bitter Sweet Experience – Chamdang Bako

Kuru Boys Greet; Good Morrrrrning Sir.

Good Day Seniors, I am Comr. Chamdang Bako, a Geologist and a member of KOSA Set 2009. I Graduated from Gbong Gwom House, room 10.

Every time I remember Kuru, strong feelings of nostalgia which can best be described by the oxymoron “Bitter Sweet” comes to mind.

On the 2nd Day of October 2003, My father and I set out from the hilly countryside of Amper in Kanke LGA and arrived the Gates of Science School Kuru with the motto; Discipline and Hard work boldly written on the Gate staring at Us. What could that mean, hard work?? Hope my father has not brought me to the much talked about prison that we hear outside??. All this were the thoughts running through the mind of the young Chamdang will we moved in to the administrative block.

It was on a Thursday, after we got done with registration, we were told to wait for our respective House captains that will take us to our various hostels when school closes. I was taken to Emir Of Keffi house, it was already lunch time and I followed down to the dining, at the first taste of rice and beans,I found no much problems with it because as a village man, I could virtually eat anything available for me.

After the rigours of the day, it was time for “PREPS” was i followed my roommates who were ahead of me and went to my class, we read and the bell rang and I saw everyone running out as if fire had engulfed the building, not knowing that there’s a Routine called the “Roll Call”. I jumped too and started running, before I could get to room 18 up block EK House, we were told to squad down for coming late only to see that those who were already on the roll call ground were not more than 20 and I was the first to be told to squad down, the Sub prefect now told us to come in one by one, so I moved in innocently as the first on the queue, and before I knew it I saw a flash, a ray, some stars and my ear was sonorously sounding like an ambulance. THIS WAS HOW I RECEIVED MY FIRST SENSE IN KURU, it was a hot slap. Those of us that came that day were now called aside and we had our long tails cut off (I am sure you know what I mean).

Now, I am already a boy of Kuru and the next day, I could now gallantly sing the school anthem on the assembly ground. This day was a Friday, and you know the hell that Friday means to a junior boy, General work for Inspection which usually holds on Saturday.

It was the day my “JJC” would finally be baptized, we began cleaning from 12:50pm till dinner from one portion to another with canes following us behind, I kept hoping the trouble I was seeing was just for the day but each passing day, different and tougher troubles and stresses keep coming. After a week, I said to myself that “is this how this school is or is it because we are new and the seniors are trying to punish us to chase us away from the school, not knowing that it was a culture that I was being initiated into and through which I must endure for years and enforce same to younger ones (juniors) and pass same culture to them.

I girded my loins and adapted to the new environment, the new life, the new experience. No book can contain the experiences we had in Kuru, no man can remember to write it all, for time and space one may not be able to give a full account but to at best say some memories one can remember and reminisce.

You wake up as early as 5am only to hibernate as late as 11pm after many challenging activities for the day. The rising bell wakes you up for Morning Prayers then to Morning Work after which you go to the checking point where after proper inspection of a student’s neatness and decorum then you are sent to the assembly ground. Our classes then were under strick supervision by the perfects on duty to check for students who wouldn’t sit in the class and read even if there’s no teacher in the class.

I was battling with the motto of the school until I became acquainted with the daily routines of the school then I saw the exemplification or perhaps the dormistication of the motto of Kuru in all of us. Not only the students but the entire staff and even their families, everyone in Kuru was living “Discipline and Hard work”, you enter Kuru and see the orderliness of the students and the dedication of the staff then you will get the nexus as to why life seems to be very difficult and tough especially in the early days.

As a young boy, the geographic location of Kuru capped with its extremely chilly weather was another great factor that truly inculcated Discipline in me and it even influenced my aspirations and choice of carrier. The scorching heat of the sun that beats you every Friday when you trek from Kuru to Cavitex to get Kaolin to paint stones and the teeth gnashing cold that blows your hair up when you go out early morning for the routines of the day is more like a training in the military. The tedious work of keeping the school need, the labour and long walks are part of the endurance training of the military, I never knew it was the making of a military man in the Kuru boy, no wonder Kuru boys have done tremendously in the armed forces.

Kuru will teach you to improvise and negotiate even in situations that may seem insurmountable to others. without soap and bucket, you wash. Without rope you fetch water from the well, without pressing iron, you iron clothes, without a dish you eat in the dinning hall. Amidst all these, you perform excellently well in class, I ask, who can have such experiences and still end up a nuisance to the society??

Kuru is flanked towards the southern part by the Yakubu Gowon Airport, to the north west by the Highest landmark in Nigeria and with the railway line by passing it. All these influenced me, there’s a friend who now is a pilot and works in Florida who was also influenced by the few times we saw planes landing and taking off. Some got inspirations from the loud sound of Trains when passing while I personally developed interest for geology/geographic, climatology due to Kuru.

“And then to our labs we make our way for that’s why we came to Kuru”, have you ever wondered why Kuru has always produced the best Doctors, Engineers, Pharmacists, Architects ??
This is it, every Kuru student knows that he is primarily in Kuru for the “labs” (Sciences) hence the need to study even harder. The labs in science school Kuru cannot even be found in some tertiary institutions, but this is a secondary school that is well equipped with modern scientific tools for studies, tell me why a Kuru boy will be indolent?? Don’t blame us for our startling performances because Kuru made us.

Kuru has produced great men in the field of Medicine, Law, Engineering, Sciences, Military, Astrology, Computer, Banking, Geology, Business and guess what?? Even in sports, that’s because “on the field we are so very tough” you must be good to be good enough to play against Kuru boys in sports. You must be good to be good enough to compete or debate with Kuru boys.

A day I wouldn’t forget was in my JSS 2, during preps, I was reading and began to doze off. A senior said I was sleeping and I said no, he left me. Next time when he noticed it, he came and put his hands on the book and waved it in my face, he noticed I didn’t move so I heard one alert on my face that left indelible Inscriptions on my face. He picked another boy who was also sleeping, and made us to start slapping each other. By tomorrow, I began to go for preps with Kuli Kuli or Kambar. By this time I had learnt sense number 50, everyday is learning day in Kuru.
You now can begin to see why Kuru boys behave differently in the society, our experiences has thought us greatly which is why we easily adapt to new situations and most importantly, Kuru boys are ingenious in decision making because we know how well a wrong decision can land one into hell of stresses.

At the risk of sounding immodest, Kuru boys have answers to every question or situation, I remember the slang we usually say was “SCOPES” this was our tool of escape and respite, if you are good in scope, you would always find life easy because you will always exonerate yourself from “stresses”. I was one great scopist that at my JSS2, I was already becoming a friend to every Senior to a point I could “Obtain” (Beg for something) a senior by a way of Scope.

We named every point in Kuru so we could avoid being traced by seniors, from Downbase to T Base, Pump House to Kuru 3, Villa to Highest Point, Up base to Hills these were points juniors converge to recount their gains before going to the hostels by night.

There are times I have had to dress in white and white before putting on compound wears to sleep so that by morning, whatever the case maybe, I will only have to pull off the compound wears while running to Check point… I now see reasons why I still dream about my days in Kuru even after over a decade leaving the environment.
You see why I get sense ABI??
My resilience, Hard work, Dedication, Commitment, Patience and Persistence are a product of Kuru.

The guiding star has brought us back together, the guiding star has rummaged round the four angles of this country and beyond the shores to bring us together for this Great Reunion And Anniversary.

Now I know that KURU has not only helped me, but has helped us upon our ways…

Take a minute and do this absence analysis, Imagine there was ever nothing like Science School Kuru???
We could have just been local champions and the Country would never have had a feel of the great personalities (You and I) Kuru have produced…

This is just a tip of the compendium of my experiences in Kuru, Tell me this memories are not “Bitter Sweet”?






Chamdang Bako,

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#KuruAt80: Kuru; The Bitter Sweet Experience – Chamdang Bako

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About The Author
- Friday Bako is Certified National Accountant (CNA), Blogger, Social Media Influencer/Strategist, Youth Activist and Advocate for good governance.