History of NAS
In the early days of the University College of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, higher education was a near exclusive preserve of children from wealthy homes. The product of this middle upbringing, scions of business tycoons and colonial aristocracy, brought into the University College all their notions of class privilege and indifference to the social realities of the nation.
The handful of students from poorer backgrounds either stuck doggedly to their books, looking forward to the day when the prize of an academic degree would compensate their present indignities, or strove assiduously to be admitted to the sophisticated circle of their flashier peers. Ashamed of their peasant or worker background, some played on the ignorance of their parents who made prodigious sacrifices to enable their children join the aristocratic sets, in appearance and acquisitions at least. So thoroughly did they absorb the habits and ethics of the class to which they desperately aspired that they, in effect, even outdid the "natural" elite of the university campus.
At this time, University College, Ibadan was affiliated with the University of London and was one of the two higher institutions of learning (in the real sense of the words) in Nigeria.
Not surprisingly, student clubs were a reflection of these ambitions; so also was the orientation of the Student' Representative Council, which often made demands on the rest of the Nigerian community as if it was a body of exotic strangers from outer space.
The 1950s also marked a heightening of the nationalist movement and the sad recourse to tribal alignments in the country. Quick as always to absorb the worst tendencies of many national movements, the University College, Ibadan, itself became a breeding ground for the worst kind of tribal thinking clubs, the Students' Representative Council, all forms of student activity, including sports, became mere expressions of tribal pettiness.
Beginning of Pyracy
It was against this background and to combat these negative tendencies that seven students founded the Pyrates Confraternity (PC) in 1952. Their original scroll written and signed by those founding fathers, listed below, remains a most valued item in the Pyrates Treasure Chest.
These men known as the Original Seven are:
1. Wole Soyinka
2. Ralph Okpara
3. Pius Oleghe
4. Ikpehare Aig-Imoukhuede
5. Nathaniel Oyelola
6. Olumuyiwa Awe
7. Sylvanus U. Egbuche
The Original Seven, at Tedder Hall Quadrangle, University College Ibadan. From left: Wole Soyinka,
Ikpehare Aig-Imoukhuede, Sylvanus Egbuche, Pius Oleghe, Nathaniel Oyelola, Muyiwa Awe, Ralph Okpara
Soon their rank increased to fifteen to become the "fifteen men on a dead man's chest". To combat tribalism within their ranks, they adopted pyratical names, different from their "lubbish" names, with no trace to any tribe or origin. Thus was born the Jolly Rogers l (JR1) deck which for a long time remained the mothership of the pyrates Confraternity.
- Next >>