Always unannounced. Boys hostel. Quadrangle! This seven-lettered-word can summon seventy boys in less than seven seconds; and on a straight line! Salako doesn’t need to utter it twice. It commands the obedience of the slothful, the attention of the weary and the strength of the weak. Sometimes, it comes through a loud demanding voice which may connote decided danger or in a cool voice which is always unpredictable. At that moment, nothing in the world may matter. Even being unclad. It is a basic instinct anyone had to respond to for survival in the jungle – anywhere and anytime; even during the dark shades of 2am.
To some, it’s adventurous, to another it’s a pain that cannot be extricated but only adapted to. Of tons of kegs called “yellow forms”; forms not to be filled with fingers but two fists.
Sometimes, it is a summon to fish out and publicly punish culprits, to apportion duties and tasks, and rarely, it comes as a convergence to bring boys back into “common sense” by the counsels of concerned seniors – and all these may independently last for more than 2 hours.
Sometimes called “last ten” with various erratic permutations. Unjust and preferential selection is always bound to happen and as well, the daring ones can “japa”! 1,7,6,8,10….the list goes on. A selected unlucky few are bound to be involved in a rigorous expedition of dry-cleaning, fetching or even ungenerous charity of their “provisions”. Or used to prove superiority among seniors even at the expense of denying yawning juniors their sleep.
Lastman can be fun especially if the “announcer” were to be a frail and short senior, but a macho Salako figure doesn’t speak twice. Sometimes, it can be risky and overbearing . Once, a boy had his knee sprained and lost to crutches for months.
These experiences made many sophomores long for their final year. “I can’t wait to do the same!”.
Lastman! I no go carry last.