Prampram, Prampram, Prampram – brief memories of Achimota School
Prampram, Prampram, Prampram. Here we are now. In front of me is the sea, behind me is the town. No swimming and no going to town. Those words spoken by Mr Galevo, our cadet master at the time who subsequently became my Young Pioneer master were for me the defining moment in 60s Achimota.
I had been to camp before, a scouts camp at the Shai Hills when our senior scout leader spent the best time carrying me on his shoulders, but that was three years before. This was the real thing a cadet camp and we had real soldiers to take us through our map reading, our rifle training and our drills. And oh yes there were the fights and the escaping to town despite the warnings and of course swimming in water that caused bilharzia for most of us. The final humiliation for me after that camp was going home, walking through the streets of Lagos Town with my head held high, marching home like the soldier that I quite was not and having my grandmother strip off all my clothes and scrubbing me down because she could just not believe how dirty I looked and how foul I smelt.