By: Olamilekan Oke
The use of the term “The Only Living Hall” in describing Independence Hall is not a mere catch-phrase. It is as a result of traits that have been observed over the years. In Independence Hall, no dull moment is expected. Also, administrations over the years have always ensured that social facilities are catered for. Of these social activities, we have the Indy Hall Week, the Common Pot, and the availability of the Junior Common Room, which serves many purposes to several Katangites – a football house, a house of fun, among others.
It is a given that Katanga’s social life is in different parts, all of which must be met. As things stand, an important aspect of Indy Hall’s social life has been dangling at the precipice. The mantra is “we go dey alright las las”. However, will we be truly alright if things continue this way? The Social and Buttery Commissioner, Mr. Adejumo Olalekan, also known as Wemmy, has been neglecting some of his duties. The new premier league season started since Wednesday, but Katangites had to make do in other halls of residence over the weekend, not until the subscription was made on Sunday. Indy has always been known as one of the halls with up-to-date DSTV subscription and the opportunity to watch football. I can remember how Zikites used to populate our hall in past sessions, to watch football. Now, the reverse is the case; Katangites are the ones who go crawling and begging. Should Katangites walk to the ends of the University of Ibadan to watch football?
One Katangite, while lamenting, said: “this is the worst set of executives I have seen. I’m not requesting so much from them, just let me watch football in the hall where I paid my hall dues. Dr. Tee told me they didn’t subscribe yet because of the freshers orientation programme. He doesn’t want the freshers attention diverted because of football, but what about the Wednesday Super Cup final that we didn’t watch? Or the other games that kicked off after the freshers orientation?”
The Junior Common Room is a place where we have fun during the weekends, throw football bants, and unite with other Katangites while we watch football. Katangites can’t even throw football bants again because they now watch football in a strange land (hall).
While asking the Social and Buttery Commissioner about the generator, he said “that’s not my duty but that of the House Secretary, Mr. Pelumi.” So, I shall ask, Mr. Pelumi, what happened to the generator? Why hasn’t it been fixed yet? Katangites are grumbling and we’re all fed up. This relaxed and lackadaisical attitude towards responsibilities is disturbing.
It is understandable that the Covid-19 pandemic affected us in a lot of ways. It affected the administration of student-owned organizations, and it equally affected people’s perspectives on life. Nonetheless, things should not degenerate to the level of Indy Hall not having any common pot for this semester, of Katangites missing out on football matches. There are fundamental things that bring joy to Katangites; these things must not be sacrificed at the altar of any other thing.
How much would it cost to hold a common pot? Common pot is one of the things that promote brotherhood among Katangites, and it should never for once be done away with.
Has it ever happened in the history of Indy Hall that gyration is held without palm wine? It happened on 19 July, 2021. There was an unannounced gyration at the Quadrangle All that was made available were drums and songs. Sorry, with cold sachets of water for tired Katangites. A freshman recently asked me what common pot is. These show how fast we are losing some of our traditions. We should not give in to the drastic negative effects of Covid-19. The Social and Buttery Commissioner should give equal attention to all duties under his office. History has shown to us that Katangites do not really require too much; however, it is necessary to satisfy their basic social needs.
A Katangite, who would prefer to stay anonymous, said, “Zikites do come to Indy to watch football, but now, we have to go to Zik to watch football all because these executives are not concerned about Katangites fun. I paid hall dues, so they do not have an excuse. Other halls were also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but they still measure up and perform their tasks.”
The grievances of football-loving Katangites (which is a large population) have been made known. While it is true that the subscription issue has been resolved, we must never fail to remind ourselves of the things that bind us together. We must always strive to keep these things alive. as all other things are extra. The moment we fail to keep these things alive, Katanga would gradually lose its appeal to members of the hall.