In her book, Yvonne Nelson shared some intriguing stories from her childhood and teenage years that captivated the readers.
One of them was about her time at Aggrey Memorial Senior High School, where she faced many difficulties as a boarding student.
She recounted how her headmaster slapped her hard on her face because of her hair.
She explained that students were not allowed to have long or unkempt hair in school. However, as a final year student, she wanted to keep her hair for perming or braiding when she left school.
She said this was a common practice among the final year girls, but it landed her in trouble on her last day in school, after completing her WASSCE exams.
She described the encounter with the headmaster as her worst memory of Aggrey Memorial. She said,
“He slapped me so hard that I will never forget it. My crime was that my hair was bushy. We had to keep our natural hair short and neat. But we were eager to perm or extend our hair after school, so we preserved it in the last term. That was what caused my nightmare in the school,” she said.
Yvonne also narrated some of the unpleasant conditions she endured as a boarding house student.
“The food was awful to say the least. It was beyond description. I remember the soup we called ‘moftoto’. It was either groundnut or palm nut soup. It was so watery that you could see your reflection in it. It separated into layers when left for a while. The water was on top and the rest at the bottom. It was like a science experiment that we didn’t use. Some memories in the dining hall still make me cringe. A friend once found a toenail in his kenkey and another student saw a cockroach wing in her food. The boarding school food was bad in many schools, but Aggrey was different.
“When we had to get rid of the waste after eating the food, it was another challenge. The toilet and bath facilities were overcrowded and dirty. Sometimes we bathed outside. And the only way to avoid smelling like you had been in the toilet was to do what we called ‘take away’,” she recalled.