Yep! Yet another #capitalhighwednesday is here with us! I hope you enjoyed Episode 8, even though it was difficult to write. Many of you have asked me if I plan to finish Little Foxes. The truth is I would have loved to, but I think leaving the outcome to your imagination makes the story powerful. We will be drawing the curtain on Capital High in a few weeks’ time and I would really love to know if there are any SHS/SSS experiences you think I have not touched on, before we end the series. But, by all means, enjoy this week’s episode. -Keni 🙂
‘And on behalf of the board and the entire school, I would like to say a very big thank you to the sports team for raising the flag of Capital High high. You put in your best against all odds. We are very proud of you, especially our star player, Kwamena Welbeck.’
The whole auditorium erupted with applause. Lawrence, the sports prefect, beamed as Gagert handed over the trophy to him. He in turn handed it over to K Beck, who lifted it above his shoulders. The chants of ‘K Beck! K Beck! K Beck!’ got even louder and transitioned into loud cheers. K Beck’s smile dimmed when he realized that Akpene was not clapping. She had a stony look on her face, her forehead furrowed with worry wrinkles.
Gagert led the school to triumphantly sing the school anthem, K Beck keeping his eyes on Akpene the whole time. It seemed like she was avoiding his eyes.
Capital High, a land where dreams are nurtured; Capital High, a land where hope is watered; We will strive for excellence to make Ghana our motherland proud.
When the assembly was over, he was immediately swarmed by teachers and seniors who wanted to congratulate him. He helplessly watched Akpene disappear into the crowd.
Pull yourself together, Akpene. You already know that men are not to be trusted. Your mistake was believing that K Beck was an exception to that rule.
She angrily brushed the tears off her face and headed to the classroom. Unknown to her, Curtis was watching her from the stairs leading to the staff common room.
It is almost time, Curtis. Be battle ready…
In that same staff common room, Mr Hormeku smiled at his Nokia E5 phone and smiled.
It is almost time, Confidence. The time is here..
The murmuring went on for a while.
Make you no forget oo! Gbeke time, during prep.
Terror go come?
Naah, he no dey mong.
That guy be fearro. Forget am. I shy for am sef. Fearro like your type, wey your nicky be Terror. Like dem for call am Kitten.
Guys stick to the plan oo! We can’t afford to make a mistake.
They broke off the conversation when they saw Gagert approaching, with a cane in her hand.
‘Shouldn’t you be in class by now?’
‘We are on our way, madam!’
The moment K Beck entered his classroom, everyone began to applaud- even the Agricultural Science teacher, Mr Quarshie. He had really suffered in the hands of the boys in this class. His r and l seemed to have merged, as far as his tongue was concerned. His L always sounded like a combination of r and l, more often than not with the wrong letter being dominant. He always insisted on dictating notes to the class and a normal day would go like this:
Mr Q: …and the chrolophyll in the reaves
Student: Sir, the what?
Mr Q: the chrolophyll
Student B: Please say it slowly
Mr Q: Chro-lo-phyll
Student A: Sir, can you write it for us?
Mr Quarshie will turn to the board and write it in capital letters: CHLOROPHYLL
Student C: But Sir, you said Chro instead of Chlo
Mr Quarshie: Get out of my class!
Student A: Oh Sir, prease he begs.
Mr Quarshie would angrily pack his books and walk out of the class with the parting words:
‘Consider this topic taught!’
Not today, he was in a good mood and when K Beck entered the classroom, he proceeded to congratulate him with a handshake.
‘I used to be a basketball prayer in my time.’
As expected, one of the back benchers quipped,’a basketball what?’
Everyone burst into laughter. Once again, K Beck noticed that Akpene’s smile did not reach her eyes.
Maybe I am overthinking things. But this is strange. What could be wrong with her?
She rushed out as soon as the siren went off for lunch and yet K Beck could not find her in the dining hall. It almost felt like a game of hide and seek. Right after dining, he rushed out, trying to find her before siesta, but the Liberation House boys had other plans for him. They greeted him at the entrance with buckets of water, gari mixed with sand, Close up toothpaste and Milo. After mixing the concoction into one big bucket, they started pouring it on him, making sure that every inch of his body was lavishly covered in it. His shoes felt heavy and he was beginning to itch.
Talk about timing! I’ll have to find her later on…
Rejoice was nervous. She knew that Gagert was definitely not aware of this emergency meeting going on in the staff common room. She also knew that Mr Hormeku and Ms Ampadu were planning something terrible. She also knew that Gagert was worried about it. In her three years as Gagert’s secretary, she had never seen her this worried about anything. Not even when Gagert suspected that her husband was cheating on her. Rejoice hesitated before knocking at her door.
‘Madam, there is an emergency meeting in the staff common room.’
‘There is? Who called it? I will be there shortly.’
Gagert picked up her bottle of water and her diary and headed towards the staff common room. It was filled with an interesting mix of people- the chairman of the School Board, a rep from GES (Ghana Education Service), some teachers and the SRC President. At the head of the table was Mr Hormeku, beside himself with joy.
‘Good afternoon. I understand that there is an emergency meeting. I am not aware of the agenda. Can anyone be kind enough to let me know what it is?’
‘Gertrude, we are here because a number of us have lost confidence in your leadership. This can end in two ways: you either resign or we drag you down from the throne that you have erected for yourself.’, Mr Hormeku said.
‘I see. And every single one of you shares this view?’, she turned around to look at every single person in the room. The SRC President, Brian, squirmed when her gaze lingered on his face.
‘Yes, Mrs Asante Poku. All of us share that view’, Ms. Ampadu haughtily replied.
‘Well then, let’s hear what you all have to say.’
‘Allow me to take you through the many reasons why. You have become a tyrannical leader, making decisions to suit your own interests. We expressed our unhappiness with you selling the old bus and yet today I saw the For Sale sign behind it. The students are out of control. As we speak, some boys have vandalized the Science lab and broken bounds. We have suspicions about how the school funds are managed. As teachers, we still haven’t received the bonuses you promised us. Our bungalows have still not been renovated. We are tired of you as Headmistress, simply put. I have a petition here signed by 60% of the student body. As you can see, a majority of the teachers are here. The PTA Chair is also here. The writing is on the wall. Just step down!’
‘Ms. Ampadu, why have you allowed power and greed to blind you momentarily? First of all, when you are planning a coup, there must be a clear leader. Hormeku is seated in the main chair but you have done almost all of the talking. It is clear that you don’t even trust his leadership. I know for a fact that you were planning a coup inside this coup. Hormeku, you didn’t know that, did you? I don’t blame her. A man who is beaten by his own wife is not ready to run a school, definitely not a school like Capital High. She has every cause to doubt your competence.
Secondly, I don’t understand your obsession with the old bus. It consumes more fuel, doesn’t take as much people as the new one and it has broken down twice in the last week. No responsible parent will feel comfortable loading their children into such a bus, so yes I am selling it. Funny you should mention the boys vandalizing the Science Lab. I have very reliable sources that tell me that you paid the boys to vandalize it. I am more convinced about that information because I discovered the mess and I locked up the place and hid the key. How did you know about the vandalization if I have not mentioned and you are allegedly not aware of whoever may have instigated this? I also know that they have broken bounds. I actually saw them leave. I thought it was so strange for them to leave at a time when they knew I was around. Those who break bounds usually wait until I have gone home. Surprised? This is my school. I built it up. I know how it works.’
Mr Addae Mensah spoke up, ‘This is the problem I have with you, Gertrude. This sense of possessiveness.’
‘I was coming to you. Mr. Addae Mensah, you are only here because I suspended your son. I am sorry but nobody is above the law in this school. He deserved it. No product of this school should go round objectifying girls and bullying his classmates. He is lucky that he was not deboardinized. Nobody is above the law here, not even if his monthly pocket money can cover my fuel expenses for a month. I am honestly appalled that you allowed yourself to be dragged into this murky business. You are supposed to be the unifier, not the sponsor of the coup makers. Back to you, Ampadu and Co. Many people are not privy to the financial situation of this school, but at least you are. When the funds to commence the renovation come in, you know I will do it. If you were at the last staff meeting, you would also know why bonuses have not been paid. Like I said, until I am convinced that every one of the Form 3s will get at least a B in every WASSCE core subject, no bonuses will be paid. There is a reason why they are discretionary. Key word here is discretion and I am the one who exercises that right. The students did not sign that petition. They signed a petition to include groundnut soup and chicken in the menu for next term, but you altered it.’
The room had become very quiet and Gagert’s voice was booming. Rejoice pushed her thighs together even more tightly. She badly needed to visit the washroom but she didn’t want to miss a word of what her boss was saying.
‘I can see looks of regret on some faces. You have been misled, haven’t you? I hate to dole out ‘coup making’ advice, but you should have really waited until you had an air tight story. Not everyone on your team is actually on your side. Some of them planted themselves there, just to make sure that the interest of this school is protected. Ampadu, if you had waited just a few more months, I would have stepped down and handed over to you. I am not as young as I used to be. I have eyes and ears everywhere but Capital High needs some fresh blood. You were the obvious choice. You just had to ruin it. I am glad you have a rep from GES here. It makes this much easier for me. This will work in one of two ways: I will wait your resignation letters. After a week, I will just suspend those who haven’t mustered the courage to resign yet. This has been fun. Now if you will excuse me, I have a school to run.’
She pulled back her chair and walked out, the sound of her heels echoing in the hollow hallway. Gagert sat at her desk in the dark for a long time. After what seems like three hours, she began to hum a song.
In the jungle, the mighty jungle,
The lion sleeps tonight..
Hush, my darling, don’t fear, my darling
The lion sleeps tonight…
See you next week! 😉