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As Our Alma Mater Cries on Mothers’ Day

Only you can save her now. Won’t you?

The “3 rocks of ages” as seen by Author from Ososo Tourist Center
Like me, most of us take the meaning of the words, Alma Mater for granted. But recently, I’ve been wondering, Alma-Mater: What’s the root meaning of that compound word? I wasn’t sure, but I guessed the word “Mater” might just be another one from over 6,500 different renditions of the word “mother” in this Babel of our planet. Mother. Sweet mother.
I guessed right. And I literally screamed when Google spewed out its meaning. 
Now read it for yourself.
… English dictionaries define Alma Mater as, “a school, college, or university at which one has studied and, usually, from which one has graduated.”
But in a Latin dictionary, Alma Mater might seem like a strange phrase to associate with higher education. “Alma,” translated means, “kind and nourishing.” “Mater,” translated means, “Mother.” Alma Mater means a kind and nourishing mother.
Sure, you didn’t miss those words: “Alma Mater” literally means, “Kind and nourishing mother.” 
And we all used to and still do hymn and hum to that timeless rhyme, “Sweet moother, I no go forget you… “
Good day, everyone.
In this season when we are celebrating all our gracious loving mothers, do well to remember your other “mother”, your Alma Mater – the mother that nourished you with knowledge before you reached your giddy heights. 
Yes, may we all continue to soar, borne by the wings of our loving mothers and our “mother’s” love.
Though, we won’t be here to see how they fare thousands and millions of years later, the evidences are right before your eyes. These formidable and timeless rocks are peeling, crumbling, and dissolving away.

 

That sweet mother, our Alma Mater, our beloved Ososo Grammar School, Ososo is looking up to us, her children, and grandchildren for succor and a new life. That school gave us the light and life of knowledge. It is time we, her children, give her a rebirth and new life to nurture future generations.
Her children, many of them, sitting in palaces and commanding higher echelons in the society prefer to sit on their fences, all turning aside and looking the other way. Her other children, very few of them, are the ones sacrificing to bring Ososo Grammar School renewed hope and life.
I knew this because I was once there. Even though I knew better even then, I did not know how to act better. Because, as I thought then, “What difference will my barely full shovel of sand or concrete suffice towards erecting a non-existing school fence, repairing broken classrooms walls, replacing leaking-roofs, restoring shattered windows, installing none existent science laboratories, rebuilding weeds and vermin-infested derelict classrooms of what was once a towering promising citadel of knowledge?” 
Now, hear the confession of a venerable old student of our Ososo Grammar School; “When I came to inspect and see what has become of our old school. I was shocked by what I saw. I couldn’t restrain myself back from shedding tears. I wept and wept at the derelict ruins of what was once a glorious college.”
Doesn’t it touch your heart? Is it nothing to you that this is how far our Alma Mater, Ososo Grammar School, has fallen into hard times in our beleaguered and troubled nation? Ososo Grammar School used to be a first among equals during its heydays. But now, all we have on the ground are embers and ashes of faded glory. 
The generations that are succeeding us are looking up to us. They deserve better things than we had in our times. That is “the way we roll”. That’s the way we ought to roll. Arise. Let’s join our hands and hearts. The quest is now on. Let’s team up. Renewed glory for our Alma Mater. Join in.
These days, with innuendos towards none, but maximum respect towards all, many of her children have even disowned her permanently. Some don’t even want to be identified as ex-students of OGSO at all. Can you imagine that!
Dilapidated school building

 

I thank God, though late, I finally realized. I saw the light when my elder brother (a member of this group) prodded me in. He stirred and spurred me to bring my feeble shovel and meager means to support, in a little measure the lofty works of some of our peers and most especially those that preceded me (us) through that great college – Ososo Grammar School, Ososo, (also known as St. Aloysius College, Ososo).
To all our supporters, ex-students, and friends of OGSO, may your hands never be weary or heavy, may your pockets never run dry. May God Almighty bless your generations. Amen. 
How do civilizations progress? How does any society or community thrive out of darkness into light? Communities flourish, resilient and prevailing against the vagaries of time as her people continuously plant trees even though they know fully that they may not be around to partake of the fruits of those trees or take cover under their shades when those trees of their planting mature and bear fruits. 
That is the way our ancestors did it. That tradition ought to and must be sustained by us. And may it never be said that the spirit of altruism died in our own times.
I remember that same “personal” elder brother reminding me and this group that we are now in the age of “giving back”. Our time here is getting shorter by the day. I repeat the sands of time are fast-draining out for many of us. Time no dey again. That none of us ever regret, let us do the little we can in the little time we have left. 
Yes, we have very little time left o. Now is the time to give back – to our Alma Mater. I repeat, “You ain’t going to be here for much longer.” Now is the time to show appreciation to our beloved Ososo Grammar School, Ososo. 
All those fence-sitters in our midst should please arise, stand up to the occasion. Let us show gratitude to all the valiant, selfless ex-students and friends of OGSO who are tirelessly thinking, planning, contributing, and running up and down to ensure our old Alma Mater stays alive to nurture future generations.
Old science class block

 

You may not give $1 million to support our OGSO now, but you might be able to give N10m, or N1m or N100K or N10K. Many of our ex-students and friends have done, and they are still doing that. 
I dare insist all the rest of us follow my small but worthy, though late example. We will certainly do better by following the selfless sacrifice of many unsung but never forgotten benefactors of OGSO.
As it is for individuals, so it is for institutions; in the long run, even N500s or N1000s can make so many differences between life and death. 
Remember the immortal words of the famous crooner, 1 kobo may not go far (that is, amount to much), but thousands of multiples of 1 kobo will go further (that is, achieve much) – a la, Ebenezer Obey.
Kọ́bọ̀ kan ò lọ j̀inọ̀, ẹgbẹgbẹ̀ruń ẹ̀ á lọọ.
~ Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey
An Ososo proverb has a similar saying, “It is the strength in numbers that gives an army of ants the strength for lifting heavy detritus.”
It is better late than never. Let’s never forget our Alma Mater, Ososo Grammar School, Ososo. She is the mother who nourished us – with knowledge.
Let us arise and build.
By God’s grace, we will get there. Amen.
Thank you. 
God bless you. All.
AFTERWORD.
I created an online form to capture the data of all former students of our Alma Mater.
Please click here and fill the form if you are an ex-student of Ososo Grammar School, Ososo, Edo State, Nigeria.
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  1. Steve Obaro

    God bless you for this wonderful and thought provoking write-up. You are a genius of reput. I hope those still waiting to support OGSO development needs will wake up to do the needful. Thanks so much my brother.

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