When my classmates and I were about to complete JSS in 1997, as was the practice, we selected 3 secondary schools among all the secondary schools in Ghana and ranked them based our preferences and the school’s perceived academic ranking. Our selections were to determine which secondary schools we’d attend. Depending on how well we performed in our BECE exam, we would be placed into the first choice, second or third choice schools. I chose
High school was alright. It wasn’t the best time of my life, but it must have contributed to my development. For one odd reason or another-probably my lack of ability to keep friends in general-I haven’t been able to sustain friendships with those with whom I was in Gey Hey, and maybe that’s why I’m not strongly attached to the school. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have some amount of school pride lurking someplace in my bones, but whatever pride exists is not enough to, for example, motivate me to display a Gey Hey sticker on my car. Indeed some of the women I admire most are people who were in Gey Hey at the same time that I was there, yet we hardly interacted while we were in school so they’re not really friends, just people I know and admire. While I admire these women, I’d never created a necessary link between their status as Gey Hey alumnae and the fact that they’re smarter or more interesting or insert some-other-superlative-adjective-here than some other people I’ve encountered.
One of the things which have surprised me most since I’ve been back in
Now I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have school pride but seriously, high school was ages ago! I’ve gotten over it. Why won’t other Ghanaians do the same? I can even understand that if like me, you didn’t grow up in a family of old-girls, then going to Gey Hey might have been an especially important accomplishment for you but hopefully you’ve gone on to do other things that are even more impressive so you don’t need to keep harping on your decade-old accomplishment. I just don’t get it. In town, I see so many red stickers for Mfantipim School, big, bold, and blue stickers for Presec, and the head of the host stickers and school crest for Motown, and people I meet still ask me, this: wey school you go? (tr: which high school did you go to?) It’s as if I could go to the best schools in the world and no one in
*Photo provided by Nii Koney – Odadeɛ ’00