Fewer make roll call
While the doors opened at 9 p.m., the first bell rang at about 11 p.m. as a warning to get inside the “school” gates of Kensington Oval last Wednesday for Wadadah’s annual Back To School Fete.
It was clear that not as many students as years gone by had shown up, which was confirmed by secretary of the club, Gregory Gaskin, who estimated by ticket sales that just over 3000 attended, a drop from last year’s 4000.
Nonetheless, those assembled went through a strict security check that included taking their shoes off for a proper search before entry.
Representing their schools, men and women were dressed in the uniforms of private and public schools and from every level – nursery through secondary school.
Some inter-school “athletes” also joined the mix this year. And while some students looked very studious, others were downright in need of detention for breaking the uniform code.
Gathered in the Oval’s “schoolyard”, the “pupils” awaited the second bell that would signal general assembly, led by the headmistress, Alex Jordan and at midnight sharp – she called classes to order beginning with Orlando Perez and Ekundayo – two relative newcomers.
Next was Cooper Dan with the Question of the Year, who also helped the men to answer by throwing out tape measures. Verseewild, who was transformed to “Professor Dirty Versee” presented his “thesis” on how to be nice on the road and Dibby In A Fete and to Scab It Out.
Hypasound got an A+ with his sweet ragga songs Feeling To, Sunrise and I Like Dat. But class really came to attention when BoBo hit the stage. Clearly, he was one of the star pupils as he freestyled to the delight of the thousands who partied to his Fun Friend and Boatride with Fadda Fox.
The students didn’t mind being in the rain when class teacher Mr Crop Over Lil Rick gave lessons on Out To All, Crazy People, Wine Um Down, how to Behave Pun It and much more, while the General and krosfyah would have the final say of the night, singing songs that spanned over 20 years, including 2013’s Last Man Standing, Up In It and The Recipe, that got the crowd moving. School was not complete without Mikey’s Enjoy Meh Life, who was then joined by Blood to sing Roll It to a now frenzied crowd!
However, it was clear that Porgie and Murda were the “valedictorians” as their lone song Condense got the most reaction – from young and old. Not only did it get “pull-up” several times but was also the only encore for the night.