Ghanatta Ayaric (Editor)


Eric Akanpaanab Ayaric recalls his school days in the 1930s and 1940s

Taken from an audio- recorded account by Akanpaanab in 2000


Akanpaanab around 2000

The names of some of my classmates are very familiar to you, and you probably grew up to know a few of them; Awulley, Akanjambudai, Akantigsi, or Syme Anbeawai, for instance. We were the first batch of thirty-six children who were sent to Sandema Primary Boarding School in 1936. This was how it all happened. I was not in the know at all about a decision by the family to send me to school. I was too young to be concerned about whatever was happening around me, so when the decision came that a child in the family was to be sent to school, it was, according to my mother, my name which always came up.

And even though I was not aware of what was going on, she made a number of attempts to prevent me from being sent to school by taking me from Gbedema to her maiden-home (ko-yeri) in Kanjarga-Jiningsa. Unfortunately for her, I didn’t like the idea of being kept away from home, so each time she sent me there I would cry and worry my grandmother by refusing to eat or play with other children and insist to be sent back to Gbedema. She would succeed in convincing me to stay only one night. The next day she had to send me back to Gbedema. Given that situation, there was no way my being sent to school could be prevented.

When the chiefs were summoned to Sandema by the District Commissioner, a young Englishman, and given the responsibility to get children from their various villages to enroll in school, it was stressed to them that they themselves were required to send their own children, their own biological children, first and to be followed by children they could lay hands on. Well, I can’t say it was an unfortunate situation that my name came up in the family as the child to be sent to school.

My parents, my father in particular, noticed that I was not concerned at all about what was happening with my name constantly being mentioned, so he was not worried and didn’t hide the discussion about the matter from me and from other members of the house. The Colonial District Office made it clear that they were expecting more than one child from each chief’s family. Unfortunately, no other parents in our house were prepared to release their children to join me, so my father tried all over Gbedema to get a second child, but his attempts were all in vain. Realizing that they were not getting the numbers they expected and wanted, the District Commissioner, ordered that children be taken to Sandema for interviews and enrolled if they were found fit to start school. Chiefs who disobeyed such orders were always made to suffer for it by paying a fine or even losing their chieftaincy. I was to be the sacrificial lamb of the family. I was taken to Sandema on horseback by one of my father’s followers. He himself and another follower rode alone on their horses. I failed the interview. I was too young to even understand what it was all about and behave appropriately so as to qualify for selection. I was rejected even though there was the need for children. My father was asked to take me back home and bring me after two years. He opposed the idea, not because he was bent on having me schooled but because he knew it was almost impossible to get another child from the village. My only brother, Apagrimchang, who later succeeded our father as chief in 1971, was above school-going age and had already started performing his duties as a shepherd boy very well, so he was left out of the discussion. My sister, Abaamai, was not an option at all from the very beginning even though she met the age requirement, being five years older than me and about four years younger than my brother.

My father’s opposition didn’t yield any results. I was rejected and he had to find a substitute, if not substitutes, for me. Under such pressure, he managed to convince one of his brothers to agree to send one of his sons, a chap who was about four years older than me. When this boy was to be sent to Sandema the following year, my father took me along, his hope being that the enrollment team would change their mind and accept me. It was on this second occasion that it dawned on me that I was not the young child they took me for during the first visit, and it seemed my father had planned to have me presented there the second time as a child that was old and strong enough to start school. He was going to make sure that I got enrolled, and he made me understand and feel his resolve to have me enrolled before and during the journey.

The comfortable horse-ride to and back home from Sandema for the first interview made way for a harsh ordeal. He ordered his two followers not to take me on horseback this time but to let me walk the distance from Gbedema to Sandema, while the second boy, who was much older and stronger than me, be taken on horseback. I thought he was joking about it, but he was serious. I set out before him and the other two riders, one of them carrying the new boy, and they followed later, staying in a visible distance ahead of me to make sure I was safe. I cried all the way to Wiaga, but my father remained hard. Between Wiaga and Sandema, several people stopped and pleaded with my father to take me on horseback, but he remained adamant. He would add that the boy was going in to face worse ordeals than walking when he started school, and he wanted to see me suffer himself. He didn’t want reports of his son suffering in school and wanting to drop out to be news to him if he succeeded in finally getting me enrolled after my rejection the previous year. Each time a new group of people stopped him to plead for me to be taken on horseback, I always prayed hard and hoped he would give in but my earnest prayer was never heard, neither could my tears and miserable countenance succeed in invoking pity on his part. He remained hard and consistent.

Akanpaanab's father:

Chief Ayaric

When we got to Sandema, I felt relieved and blessed. But my joy was short-lived. I was rejected again on the grounds that I was still too young. The thought of having to make the return journey to Gbedema on foot the next day, if my father still wanted to have things that way, was very scary. It would have been better for me if I had been accepted. Then there would be no need to return to Gbedema.

My father complained very bitterly to the enrollment team, explaining that he got his son to come there on foot, and he was not ready to accept a rejection after making me go through such an ordeal, besides having had to cope with a weeping mother who had to put up with the knowledge and sorrow of her younger son walking all the way to Sandema. The team could have me and do whatever they wanted with me. He was not taking me back to Gbedema, whether they liked it or not. His complaint was supported by the then Kadema-Nab, the original Adangabey. The matter had to be taken to the District Commissioner who said my father was right in his complaint and stance, and therefore ordered my enrollment. I didn’t even realize it when my father and his entourage left Sandema. There was no farewell.

So the new batch of thirty-six children, and I was the youngest and smallest, was put in the care of one of the elders of the Sandema-Nab who took us to the school grounds in Suwarinsa. That was in May 1936. I was quite taciturn, and being the youngest and smallest I even had nothing to say out of fear of the bigger boys. And it was not on my own that I reasoned that it was better for me to be gentle and behave well, so as not to get myself into trouble. Luckily, most of the bigger boys liked and treated me like their younger brother. Some of them would ask me to accompany them each time they were asked by the senior boys to run errands for them. If any big boy attempted bullying me, there were always others who immediately came to my aid. This made me feel comfortable and protected, and I didn’t miss my mother, siblings and home much.

When actual classes and real school life started, we were made to feel the authority and strictness of our teacher and the discipline we were expected to practise, our teacher himself, and the only teacher for that matter, being the leading example. He was called Assibi Anyasuikbey, from Wiaga, an Achimota-School-trained teacher, and the son of a policeman, who grew up in police barracks where he was very familiar with superiors giving commands and subordinates having to follow and carry them out without complaining. He expected the kind of discipline known to exist only in the police and military, and of course Achimota School, to be part and parcel of our daily school life.

We were divided into three groups of twelve pupils and made to join one of the three houses; Atuga, Anaankum and Azantilow. I was in Atuga, and fortunately for me, the prefect of that house, Awomnaya Awulley, father of our member of parliament, Honourable Norbert Awulley, took to me and chose me to run petty errands for him. In this role, I felt really protected and liked. School life was very hard though. But the thought of the ordeal I had to go through – walk to Sandema – was enough to kill any desire of wanting to quit. My father would have been mad if I had quit, and I could imagine the punishment awaiting me. It would have been worse than walking from Gbedema to Sandema.

I gradually adapted to the new situation and environment, and was contented with being in school. We were fed three times a day, though the food portions were not always big enough to fill our stomachs. I enjoyed learning, and even though I was much younger than the rest I could grasp contents fast and retain them well, particularly in Arithmetic and English language. We used to have what was called mental drill in Arithmetic lessons and I always emerged one of the best in the class. The same applied to oral drill in spelling and pronunciation in English language lessons. This endeared me to our teacher and most of my mates.

Despite these positive developments, the little food portions we got at meals were a cause for worry, most of us being used to eating to our fill in our homes. Our teacher was aware of our dissatisfaction with the size of the portions, and if we thought he was going to do something positive about it, we were mistaken. Instead of getting bigger portions as we hoped for and expected, he introduced a new rule which made things even worse for us. It was forbidden for pupils to receive supplementary food from home, regardless what kind of food. Money was also banned, and even if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t have served any purpose because the practice of selling and buying food, as we know it today, was not common. Food was sold and bought in Sandema and only on market days, and we were not allowed to leave the school grounds. Visits from parents were not permitted, so there was no way parents could bring food to their children. And what was even the use visiting us if they couldn’t bring food? We had no other alternative than to accept the situation and concentrate on learning and other school activities.

Mr Anyasuikbey was a very good teacher, both in and outside the classroom. The disciplinarian he was, there was no way we could misbehave. And the motto those days was “spare the rod and spoil the child.” I remember he showed us a cane at the very beginning and asked us to give it a name. We gave it all sorts of names but none was accepted. Raising it to make sure we could all see it well, he announced that it was called Asagbiik-yam (“teach a child reason or sense”), making us to repeat the name three times, each time louder and more emphatically. And he had bundles of Asagbiik-yam. And whenever any of us misbehaved, Asagbiik-yam was the first to play an active role in getting us understand the need to be of good behaviour. The number of lashes varied between six and thirty-six, the latter for serious cases of indiscipline and misbehaviour. So we were warned to be very careful not to give reason for Asagbiik-yam to be used. None of us had ever seen a child stretched out, held horizontally at the feet and arms and caned on the bare buttocks, so it was a strange and frightening experience for us.

This kind of apparent cruelty notwithstanding, he liked us, was very devoted to his job and enjoyed teaching very much. He would even organize extra lessons in his free-time to help weaker pupils. Come to think of it, he had plenty of time, having nowhere else to go than to be engrossed in his duties as a teacher. There were hardly drinking spots in Sandema, neither were there other entertainment places where he could go to spend his leisure time. The school was more entertaining for him than any other social activity outside it, and he was always with us. And all along he was teaching us either this or that or whatever was related to the school curriculum that we needed to know; gardening, nature study, singing, story-telling, art and craft, in fact almost everything that was relevant to us. And we were always at his disposal. On some occasions he would organize us in groups, delegating the good pupils to teach those who needed help. That way, we also learned to be responsible and take responsibility for others. If you have the mental picture of our teacher as the typical colonial teacher gentleman dressed in an immaculate white and white uniform, you are mistaken. Despite his Achimota School background, Mr. Anayasuikbey was a man who was very inclined to Bulsa traditional culture. He spoke perfect Buli, and was always dressed in the traditional way, wearing a big pair of shorts made of smock material and a tankalung (dry goat or sheep skin worn on one side of the body across the shoulder). His only footwear was a pair of local leather sandals with rubber soles.

In our second year, he registered us on a number of occasions for competitive work with the Catholic School in Navrongo, and we always returned with top results. This made us very proud and we liked and respected him very much. Unfortunately, he was with us for only two years. In April 1938, he died suddenly. He was taken ill only briefly. Very distraught and devastated as we were, we had to accept it. We were assembled on parade and his body was brought out and sent to Wiaga for burial. We all attended the burial ceremony. 

After Mr. Anyasuikbey’s death, we were left without a teacher for a whole month, with Adiita acting as our care-taker on the orders of Chief Azantilow. During that period the school prefects organized classes and other school activities until a new teacher was found. It was not easy finding a new full-time teacher, so Mr. Albert Asueme, a young man from Wiaga, and at the time a form two (known as Standard 5 at the time) student at Tamale Middle Boarding School (and later to attend Achimota School), was sent to come and teach us until a full-time trained teacher was found. Even though still a student, Mr Asueme filled the gap very well. He was admired particularly for his good English accent and intonation. He taught us for some weeks before Mr. Mahama Yakubu came to take over from him, so he could go back and finish middle school.

Though a strict teacher, too, Mr. Mahama Yakubu relaxed some of the rules set by Mr. Anyasuikbey. We could bring food and money to school when returning from our short holidays. And his wife used to make kose (fried bean cakes) to sell to us. This changed our social life a bit. Our learning conditions and general code of discipline remained intact, nevertheless. We were still expected to learn hard and excel in all subjects and to be of good behaviour at all times. Some of us became victims of this hard schedule. My worst experience as a pupil came in August that year. We had been on holidays for two weeks and were preparing to return to school towards the end of these when a message was sent to my father informing him that a policeman was on his way with orders to stop one of us from returning to school. The policeman was on his way from Doninga through Kanjarga, Wiesi and Fumbisi where he had been executing the same order, an order that became necessary due to poor school performance on the part of the affected pupils. This raised eyebrows in the family. My mother tried to persuade me not to return to school but to remain in the village and join in looking after the family cattle as a shepherd boy. She took advantage of the fact that each time the holidays were over, I wept bitterly, not because I didn’t like school, but at the thought of having to miss life at home and in the village. Today, I understand her concern though it would have meant denying me the golden opportunity of acquiring formal education if she had had her way. My father inherited a big herd of cattle from his father, my grand-father, Akaa-nyemi. My mother feared school would not only alienate me from our traditions and way of life but would deny me access to the family property as well.

Akanpaanab’s mother, Abasiilie

Well, the policeman finally arrived in our house by bicycle late in the afternoon two days later. He repeated the message that came earlier that one of us was to stay back home and not continue schooling. Unaware of the reasons behind that message, and because I was the one who wept each time school holidays were over and I had to return to school, most people in the house thought I was the pupil affected and joined my mother in trying to convince me not to return to school. But my father always had his own stubborn position on issues, as you might have observed by now. He insisted that I was to return to school no matter what. And he was aware that if he had a choice as to who was to stay back and he made me stay, his brother would hold him a grudge for preferring to keep his own child and thereby preventing him, my uncle, from having one more child to help him in his farm work.

The potential conflict situation was cleared when it became known that the other boy was the one to stay back home. His school performance was poor, and there was little room for improvement. It would have shocked me if I had been the one rejected. I was neither a weak pupil nor unfit in behaviour to be dropped from school. I liked school and was determined to continue and finish my education. Without waiting to be told what to do, I took my small bag containing a few books, some zom (millet flour) and groundnuts as provisions, and took a short-cut from our house to the main road to Wiaga and Sandema. Before I left, the policeman told me he would catch up with me, and I interpreted that to mean he would give me a lift to Sandema on his bicycle. That was around 6 pm. He did catch up with me, but to my utter dismay, he informed me that he was not a good rider, having learnt to ride not long ago, and could not give me a lift on the bicycle. That he was a learner could be seen in the unsteady and stiff manner he rode the bicycle. He tried to console me by telling me that he was ready to take my bag, deliver it in school and inform my teacher that I was on the way. I was to walk all the way to Sandema. That immediately brought back the bitter memory of my journey on foot there for the first interview. At least my father and his two fellow riders were in view that time. This time I was all alone.         

The sun was beginning to set, and there I was, still to reach Wiaga, and yet had to make it on foot and alone in the dark there and further to Sandema. I contemplated returning home but that made no sense as I had covered some distance already, and it was the same uninhabited area that I would have had to go through to get home, and about the same distance that I needed to walk to get to Wiaga. It was wiser to try to get to Wiaga before it got really dark. If I reached Wiaga, I could ask at the nearest house for shelter for the night and then continue my journey the next morning. That seemed a better alternative. If I walked all the way back to Gbedema, I was, most likely, going to have to deal with a harsh father who would scold me for returning home, and refuse to let me be taken on horseback to Sandema the next day, insisting I had to make the journey on foot. Was I ready to be rebuked? No, it was better to brave the journey in the dark, walk fast, run some distance if I could, so as to make it to the first houses in Wiaga before it got totally dark.

It was after the fading shape of the unsteady bicycle rider had completely disappeared and it started to grow dark fast that my courage abandoned me. If it had been moonlight, I would have felt safe. The moon was nowhere to be seen that night.

I started running and weeping, stopping to walk only when I couldn’t run anymore. But the strange noises and movements coming from the surrounding bushes and trees were too scary to make me walk for long. I resolved not to look backward, to either side of the road or in any direction the strange noises were coming from but to stick to my onward journey, my eyes fixed on the part of the road that I could still make out in the dark. The noises apart, I was scared of ghosts, and there were plenty ghost stories circulating at the time. In that frightened state, I managed to reach Wiag-Gonsa. It crossed my mind to go to the Wiaga Chief’s house and ask for some adults to accompany me to Sandema, but I dismissed the idea on second thought, encouraged by the sight of the houses and the barking of dogs to continue my night journey with a feeling of safety. I finally made it to school towards 9:30 pm, and went straight to our teacher’s house. He was even more frightened to see me in the dark than I was relieved to be there. He and his wife asked me over and over if I was all right, and I replied that I was ok. They still persisted, wanting to know if anything had bitten or “touched” me. I still stated that nothing of the sort had happened and that I was fine. They felt me from toe to head and from head to toe to make sure I was really well before asking me to join my mates in our dormitory. The following day, I went for my bag. The policeman had actually deposited it with my teacher.

That Monday at parade late-comers were being called out and caned. They were taking lashes ranging from twelve to twenty. My name was the last to be called, and when I answered our teacher asked me to step forward and get closer to him. I knew I was in for it. To my relief, he dropped the cane and announced to the whole school how I had walked all alone in the dark from Gbedema to Sandema to come to school two days ago. He praised me to the whole school for risking my life to be in school on re-opening day, and that even though I arrived very late, he had no grounds to punish me. He expected all pupils to emulate my kind of enthusiasm for school.

School life continued as it was before that incident. I made more progress in learning and became one of the good pupils. Our teacher liked me for my motivation, industry and retentive memory, besides the fact that I was a very peaceful boy, and I had to be because all the other pupils were older and much stronger than me, and if I ever annoyed any of them and it came to a fight, I stood no chance at all of winning it. I would be beaten up mercilessly.

Unlike under Mr. Assibi Anyasuikbey’s supervision when visits from parents and relatives were forbidden, Mr. Yakubu allowed these. But I did not receive any visits from my parents. Neither did my father send me food or money, like other parents did. I was only a chief’s son by name. As a very strict parent, my father thought such care would only spoil me. And this was not just in my case but also in the case of my senior brother, Apagrimchang, who farmed with him. Even though he was still an adolescent, my father did not spare him but made him work like an adult. No wonder by the time he was twenty, my brother already had his own farms and livestock. I got used to the situation of not getting visits or money from my parents. I guess also my mother did not visit me either because my father had forbidden her to do so. I also realized that I didn’t have much use for money even if I got it. In that state of mind, I concentrated on learning and improving my performance.

The reward came when I was selected to go to the Middle Boarding School in Tamale in 1942. It was like gaining admission into university today. Selection was very competitive. It was the only middle school in the whole of the then Northern Territories and admitted pupils from all the primary schools in the region. Some of these were Kete Krachi, Salaga, Yendi, Bawku, Tumu, Lawra, Wa and Sandema. The Tamale Middle Boarding School had vacancies for only forty-five pupils that year. And before a pupil could take part in the main entrance examination, he had to first pass all four quarterly exams conducted by his school very well. Only five of us out of a total of eighteen pupils from my school who sat for the entrance examination made it. The others were Akanjambudai from Kanjarga, Syme Anbeawai from Siniensi, Anabaeta from Chuchuliga and Awen-naya Awulley from Wiesi, an art specialist who was to be trained in weaving, drawing and similar skills. In Tamale we had to take and pass another exam to justify our admission. This was so because schools like Gambaga Primary School, for instance, recommended as many as twenty pupils bringing the total number to ninety while there were only forty-five vacancies. I fell ill before the justification exam but managed to sit it only to be admitted to hospital the next day. I had malaria. The school was still responsible for my feeding, and so my mates from Sandema would bring my food to me in hospital. On one such visit they congratulated me with the news that we had all managed to come under the top fifteen in the justification examination, so our admission was certain. When I was discharged, I was taken to school and shown my house and class. The school term there was longer than we knew it in Sandema Boarding Primary, lasting from February to November with only short holidays in between, not long enough to go home. The long vacation was always from November to January, so we spent the Christmas period at home.

We soon settled down in or new social environment and learning started and progressed well. But by the time we reached middle form four (known as Standard Seven at the time) in 1946, some unpleasant things started taking place. On one occasion, we went on strike protesting against certain rules and teachers. Most of my mates were almost young adults by then, and so they began engaging in things only adults did at the time, drinking, smoking and interest in girls, for example. These notwithstanding, we all passed our Middle School Leaving Certificate (MSLC) examinations quite well.

Akanapaanab as a Certificate B teacher

in the 1950s

I gained admission to Tamale Teachers Training College to do my Teachers’ Certificate B training course the following year. In May 1948, I did some weeks of teaching practice at my former school, Sandema Boarding Primary. Some new trends in social life had taken place in the late 1940s. Selling and buying alcohol, gin and pito (alcoholic drink brewed from fermented millet), was a new trend. And my own foolishness would have cost me the fruits of all my toil if some insignificant incident hadn’t taken place very early in my teaching career and made a tremendous and permanent impact on my life. I had begun drinking and smoking just to be part of what was considered modern and socially entertaining even though I never really enjoyed it. I found the feeling of drunkenness quite nauseating, apart from making people capable of talking and acting stupidly, saying and doing things they would be very ashamed to say or do in their right frames of mind. It began with occasional drinking and smoking, coaxed by the self-deceptive thinking that they would become neither regular habits nor addictions. They eventually became regular habits though I fooled myself that they weren’t, and yet lacked the will and courage to give them up completely. And so I continued drinking and smoking quite regularly, sometimes getting drunk, only to be stricken with remorse the next morning and vowing to stop but not doing so convincingly.

The little incident that was to redeem me from that creeping danger was the following. During a visit to Gbedema on one occasion, I got drunk one evening. Luckily, my father didn’t see me that evening, but he had gotten wind of my drinking habit and had severely reprimanded me once. When he scolded me, he couldn’t hide his utter disappointment, and I even noticed he was beginning to form a rather negative image about formal education in general, and to get a distorted image of the new generation of young men who had gone to the white man’s school for that matter. I felt terribly indicted. He was not the father who repeated warnings. One serious warning was enough, and he expected the social deviant to get his life back on track without further warning. The line between a disciplined person and a useless person in his world was very clearly defined, and the side of the line on which you found yourself was the individual’s conscious choice. In any case, his family and home were on the good side of that line. What he knew and demanded there was good behaviour, hard work, self-respect and ambition, the same virtues and ideal my teachers, especially Mr. Assibi Anyasuikbey, had devoted their lives to instilling them in their pupils.

Anyway, my father was lying in the kusung (open grass-roofed shed used mostly for relaxation but also for gatherings and meetings) in front of the house with other male members of our extended family when I got home drunk that evening. To make sure my unsteady steps wouldn’t betray me, I used the back gate, nangaang, to get into my mother’s part of the compound. My mother was lying in the yard conversing with some of my father’s younger wives. They shared their mats with their babies and younger children, so the yard was full and one had to be careful not to step on a leg or an arm. Unsteady as my steps were, the probability that I would step on a foot or an arm was very high. I was smoking a cigarette when I got into the yard. In my attempt to weave my way through the mats and their users, I stepped on the foot of one of the women. And she was the kind of person, who, like my father, would not tolerate any nonsense or form of insolent behaviour. She was, apparently, a good student of my father’s teaching. Her reaction and what she said hit me hard. Tin ka boa! Fi dan doa vuusi ale fi jienta, da-nyuirisinga de kan te fu vuusum mua, age ban fuuli ba nyuisa a gbiti fu. (What is the matter? When you are tired and lie down to rest, these drunkards would hardly allow you to do so, blowing their cigarette smoke to choke you as well”. I felt humiliated, and didn’t sleep well that night. My father’s warning kept ringing in my ears. The use of that derogatory word, da-nyuirik, (drunkard) to refer to me, hurt my ego deeply. Was it true, the son of a chief, certificate B trained teacher, and one of the few “educated” people in the whole of Buluk, who had been subjected to such humiliation by a woman who wasn’t even old enough to be my mother? It was high time I quit smoking and drinking.

I gave away the rest of the cigarettes I had on me the next morning, apologized to step-mother for stepping on her foot, and vowed then and there to myself never to use tobacco or alcohol. And neither cigarettes nor alcohol have touched my lips since. That was forty-five years ago. You, Ghanatta, had not been born yet.

Giving up smoking and drinking helped me to re-organize myself, rediscover some joy of life and a sense of purpose in the profession I, like most teachers of my generation, love so much. With time my teaching and general school duties improved. And my work was appreciated not only by my pupils but by various education officers who came to supervise my lessons. After completing my teachers’ Certificate B course in 1948, I was posted to Doninga where I taught for some years before being transferred to Gbedema and then to Old Primary School in 1955 as the head-teacher. From Sandema Primary I was sent back to Gbedema Primary School in 1957, the year of your birth and our independence from the British. I taught in Gbedema Primary School for a year before getting transferred to Fumbisi Primary School. I was there for about three years before being asked to move to Afoko Primary School Sandema. In the early 1960s the ministry of education started sending many of our qualified teachers out of the district, to Bolga in particular. We were flattered to foolishly think that if you were transferred to the big town, it was an indication that you were a good teacher. But as we realized later, it was rather bringing down the standard of education in Buluk. The district wasn’t getting the same number of teachers in return. And many non-Bulsa teachers were not always happy to be transferred to our villages, so it affected their teaching.

From Afoko primary I was transferred to Sumbrungu. That was around 1964. It was from there that I left to go and do my Teachers’ Certificate A training course at Tamale Teachers Training College. On completion, I was transferred to Anaankum Primary in Sandema and then to Sandema Middle Boarding School in 1968.From Sandema Middle Boarding School I was sent Ayieta Middle Day School where I was until 1973. The rest of my teaching career saw me working in various schools and education offices in Bolga, Gambaga, Tamale, Savelugu, and mostly in the Bulsa district, interspersed with periods of further education courses in agriculture and rural development as school subjects before retiring in 1982.