Mr. Quartey Papafio (N2P)


Esse Quam Videri
(To be, rather than to seem)





Welcome to Accra Academy Alumni Web site!!!!!      Esse Quam Videri - To be, rather than to seem.!!!!!                Accra Aca Bleooo!!!!!!!!


It was a Saturday night-HOMOS NIGHT- for first year, Form1 students.The whole Assembly Hall was packed to capacity. The year was 1972, in the month of September. I found myself seated in the front row among a motley group of frightened, apprehensive boys. We were to take a "qualifying" examination that would determine our fate in Accra Academy. Those who passed would stay. Those who missed the mark were going home the following day,Sunday, with the school truck.

Poor homos! We believed every word, hook,line and sinker. For us the Form 1 students,the situation was tense but for the rest of the student body,it was one of excitement. We were handed sheets of paper and told to get ready to write an essay. It was alleged that some studnets had come in through the back door and they had to be weeded out! When the essay topic was mentioned, I almost blacked out!What the heck! The Entertainment Prefect who was the MC for the occasion succintly spelt out the topic amid loud cheering from the student body.

The topic was: Write an essay about the last night you spent with your girlfriend before coming to school. My! What do I do? I had no girlfriend.Sure, I had friends who were girls but none was my girlfriend.What saved the day was my fertile imagination and the many novels I had read. I concocted a brilliant, colourful story and heaved a sigh of relief when we told time was up.

The Homos(short term for homosapiens I guess) Night continued with various activities. One of the highlights was the giving of nicknames to the new Form 1 boys.One nickname I still remember to this day was "LONGISMONDOGO", given to the tallest guy amongst us. His response everytime he was to be called that name was "I am heading towards the moon!".

Sunday morning saw us all at the Dining Hall. The whole place was agog with excitement and expectancy. The scripts had been marked. The results were in. A hush fell on the hall as the Dining Hall Prefect got ready to announce the results. You could hear a pin drop.Then the bombshell. The best essay so far among the number submitted,was that of Joseph Nii Boi Ammah-Tagoe of International Hall(now Halm Addo Hall).

I was flabbergasted, shocked but at the same time delighted by the outcome. But my joy soon diminished when the best essay had to be read before the whole school! O the catcalls,laughter and clappings! It was a day to remember, moreso because I had to stand on the bench we were sitting on for everyone to see who this boy was. The happy ending to this story for me was that I was given for my prize ,"doublo"(a double plate of breakfast).

I was the toast of my "master" Snr. Lionel Riby-Williams who was the International Hall Prefect by then. For those who "failed" the exams, it did not have a happy ending.Their names were mentioned and they wre asked to pack their trunks and chopboxes into the school to be sent home. It so happened that those who ended up on that list were those who played truant during the first week in school, those who were disrespectful to seniors and those who were just stubborn(a me kuor bor!).

Tears flowed freely. The school truck left campus, took them for a ride through town, and brought them back! This one experience among many, sure made boarding school memorable and I do cherish those formative years spent in the boarding house-seven good years! Not to mention the many lifelong friendships spawned during that preiod. Accra Aca! Bleoo!!

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