- A-Z Publications
- Institute of African Studies Research Review
- Previous Issues
- Volume 2008, Issue sup-8, 2008
Institute of African Studies Research Review - Supplement 8, January 2008
Volumes & issues
Supplement 8, January 2008
Author Carola LentzSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 1 –6 (2008)More Less
S. W. D. K. Gandah, or 'Kum', as he was affectionately called by his friends, belonged to the first generation of educated Northerners. He was born in Birifu, in North-Western Ghana, in 1927, as a member of the Naayiile patriclan and the son of a well-known, powerful village chief, and he was among the first group of students to re-open the Lawra Confederacy Native Authority Primary School, which he attended from 1935 to 1939. From 1940 to 1944, Kumbonoh Gandah continued his education at Tamale Government Middle Boarding School - at that time the only state-run post-primary educational institution in what were then the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 7 –15 (2008)More Less
In Lawra, in the primary school, we used the whistle and the bell to call the roll. Here in Tamale, in the Government Middle Boarding School, the bugle was used to play reveille at 5:30 a.m., and in the evening to sound for lights-out. The talking drums tompani were used in calling us to the early morning parades, to the dining-hall, to the classrooms and to games. A typical day in that school ran like this. At 5:30 a.m. the bugle was sounded and we would get up to clean our dormitories as well as the surrounds of each compound.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 16 –25 (2008)More Less
Originally all the meals were enjoyed by all of us students, but as the year progressed our rice was the roughest kind, full of little shells of snails. The cow-peas and black-eyed beans were full of weavers while the maize that was ground to make our light porridge kooko for our breakfast had an awful stench. Those with pocket money refused to eat these meals and went out to buy food prepared and sold by some teachers' wives or by women hawkers from town and the nearby village of Sanerigu. I could not keep the porridge down in my stomach when I ate it in the morning and consequently wrote to my father, asking for more pocket money since I had lost what he had given to me on the way to school.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 26 –33 (2008)More Less
At home we met Sorkumo and Debomo who were already on holiday from the junior school. The holidays went quickly as usual and not very different from the previous ones. The only difference was that this year we had decided to spend Christmas in the house and to entertain all the members of Sunkuol Wura's house with plays as well as with food and drinks. Christmas had never been celebrated in Birifu as none of the inhabitants was Christian. But the bagre is performed in the same period or just before hand. So if the performances of bagre fell within the third week of December, we normally abandoned our Christmas activities.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 34 –41 (2008)More Less
As soon as Assibi left us and drove back to town, we took our scanty luggage and dispersed to our compounds. Of course, as newcomers Sorkumo and Debomo were not assigned to their compounds until after the roll was called. So we stayed together in front of compound five until the assembly drum was sounded. Then Sorkumo was assigned to compound two and Debomo to compound one. The Lawra boys, under whose prefectship I had suffered so badly and who had been made deputy captains in my first year, were now promoted to be compound captains. Gangman was appointed to compound one, Diedong Dombo to compound two and Yiriyele Baanye to compound three. Luckily for me I was in none of their compounds, and compound four in which I had been placed the year before was captained by Mumuni Kpaligu. The head prefect was a Waala boy, Yakubu Bole, and the dining hall chairman was Asumda Ayibo.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 42 –49 (2008)More Less
The holidays were so enjoyable that particular year that they seemed very short. But to school we had to return. The school had arranged for the younger boys from Lawra and Wa to travel by the government transport lorry which at that time consisted predominantly of Albion trucks with one or two Commer vehicles as well. The names of those to be picked up by the driver were sent to their parents through the respective native authorities. Debomo and I were considered as the small boys among the Gandah brothers. However, my father was not prepared to let the other six brothers travel on foot through Konkore, since he travelled through there as prisoner, and he paid their fares to go by lorry via Kumasi as there were no commercial vehicles going direct. So they had to leave for school even before we did.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 50 –58 (2008)More Less
Gyub and the other aspiring trainee teachers were sent to Tamale by government transport while for the Lawra children returning to school a passenger truck was hired. So when it was time for us to leave for the school, our illiterate brothers and cousins carried our luggage and accompanied us to Babile where we waited for the arrival of the truck from Lawra. When it did arrive, we bade farewell to our brothers and cousins and then boarded the truck. We arrived at Tamale the next day, and after some hours of shopping in town we left for school towards evening to attend roll-call at 5:30 p.m. Tiisip, Deri and I were going to be in standard seven while Debomo and Sorkumo would be in standard six. As usual, the school posts were distributed to some of the boys deemed to deserve it in the eyes of the school staff. The new boys were allocated to their compounds while some of the old ones were reallocated to others.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 59 –73 (2008)More Less
My father was still not altogether himself when we got home. In his heart he was still mourning the loss of Sorkumo, and until the final funeral rites had been performed he was still a chief mourner. Perhaps my father did not believe that the deaths of his two eldest sons were due to natural causes but induced by some magic, because people were jealous either of his wealth or of the number of his children, many of whom were now becoming adults. Within one month of our being at home he had purchased about seventeen horses for his stable from Mossi traders from the Upper Volta, paying no regard as to whether they carried any disease or not. Door-iere, his favourite son and father and his chancellor and counsellor, became very worried at the way he was wasting his money on purchasing so many horses, but his protest and advice fell on deaf ears.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2008, pp 74 –81 (2008)More Less
When we returned to college, it was not long before Mr Dickens was appointed Acting Director of Education in addition to his post as Principal of the college. We were fortunate in that, as Director of Education and Principal of the college, Mr Dickens could in theory favour and authorise any financial expenditure that the college asked for. This seemed to be the case since the college library was generously stocked with many reference books and became the best reference library in the whole of the Northern Territories. In addition, the college was provided with funds for the construction of permanent college buildings on a new site. By the middle of the year, the classrooms, the dormitories and the African housemasters' quarters were ready for occupation. So we moved from our old site into our new premises whilst the rest of the construction still went on.