May 10, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Abdulrahman M Abu-yaman




’12-16, Child Avenue, Apapa, Lagos’



I can still depict her address. And by her,

I mean NPA staff school; the once

beautiful yellowish ‘U’ shaped two

story building, my Primary school.


The Nigerian Ports Authority Staff

school or simply NPA Staff School

as we called her was unique in

extraordinary ways. The school

uniform was a checkered pattern

of yellow and white grids of micro

squares, aesthetically woven alternating

the two colours, and complemented

with a khakish green shot with

an elastic waist band.


Passing through her gate on

arrival, the pupils were greeted by

fragrance of blackberry flowers

planted on both sides. My memory


cannot stop rewinding and pausing at

scenarios in the Nursery days NPA Staff

school served us ice creams and snacks

of different varieties. From the doughnuts

and sausages, to the meat pies and fish rolls.


Aunty Stella used to sing rhymes

and rhythms of poems to us, back

in Nursery 1, I believe I have her to

thank for my elementary poetry

foundation. The multi talented Mr.


Gbadamosi blessed with gifted hands

and beautiful tongue would appear in

our morning class as a French tutor

and after break time as our Fine-Art

teacher. His teachings must have

played a role in my present knack

for sketching. And for that I’d say

“merci beaucoup Gbadamosi”

Oluko, as we popularly address Mr.

Onokoya was more famous as a

staunch disciplinarian than as a

Yoruba teacher. The flares of

humour he blended with his

strictness carved him his niche.


Uncle Dauda, our P.E (Physical Education)

master would take us out for

exercises, games and sports, which

are still embedded in my bloodstreams.

For that, a ‘high-five’ to him where ever

he is. And of course,


the memories of Mrs. Akwali, our

headmistress and Iron Lady would

forever remain lush green in my

brain box. When she spoke, teachers

trembled at her voice. Pupils froze in

her presence. Her charisma won her

our Parent’s superlative

respect. But sadly,


NPA Staff School no longer

exists. I think she was sold for

anonymous pieces of silver. She

died a premature macabre, still

pregnant with unborn talents yet

unleashed to the world.


I remember Mrs. Nwonsu closing

the last graduation ceremony I

attended saying “long live NPA

Staff School.” Ironically, she was

short lived afterwards.








Abdulrahman M Abu-yaman

Abdulrahman M Abu-yaman is a Nigerian poet born in the western part of the country (Tin-can island, Lagos), occasionally visiting the south (Warri) despite being from the north where he currently lives (Minna). He majored in Economics at IBB University, Lapai, Niger State, loves to draw in pencil monochrome. His works have appeared in Kalahari Reviews, Elsielsy blog and forthcoming in Lunaris Review and Black Boy Review. You can follow him on Twitter@abuu_yaman.


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