Unity Hall and University Hall, also known as CONTI AND KATANGA respectively, are two halls with so much history. They are arguably the best halls in KNUST. Besides the presumed notoriety and stubbornness these two halls are known for, they have produced a lot of great people in Ghanaian society. These halls, previously male halls, are known for their brotherhood, positive resistance, and the electrifying and ecstasy-filled Friday morale nights. The feeling and intensity associated with the Friday morale night of drumming and chanting songs is something else.
It can be quite terrifying for most who join for the very first time. The electrifying atmosphere is one that cannot be easily imagined. It is one that cannot be easily explained. To know the feeling, one must be present and engage actively. A lot of people have had various stories to tell about the first time of partaking in such a special ritual that has been carried on over the years. A lot of people say that watching from afar is very much different from being there. A lot of people seem to admire the scenes and events that unfold before their very eyes even though it seems a bit terrifying.
The first time you join the Friday night morale, you will be a bit confused at the beginning with the songs and the chants especially if you have not learnt the common ones beforehand. Some common ones are taught by continuing students to first-year students to carry on the tradition. Everything takes place at the entrance of both halls. Most of the entrance is blocked by the “morale boys” who mostly form a circle around those who beat the drums, and the leader or leaders stands in the middle. The “morale boys” are mostly half-naked. Some are in wigs and lady garments, dresses, underpants, shoes, and makeup. Others are also practically naked. If you go there for the first time, it will feel quite odd if you’re fully clothed and a bit uncomfortable since most are half-naked. If you are not ‘noise-tolerant’, you will probably not enjoy the fan, especially on your first day. Most of the songs and chants are profane; some are also gospel related. Others talk about daily life happens and such events are expressed humorously. Just before the entrance, in the car park area, you would find some “morale boys” doing some crazy dance moves and chanting in their wigs and awkward clothing. You will find most of them in that area especially when there is a “procession” about to be embarked on. Amongst all those “morale boys” you will find one who carries what we call the “bombardier”; a long cylindrical object which releases a loud blast of sound every time it is launched. The sound it releases is almost deafening especially when you are very close to it but somehow the carrier seems to be fine even though he carries it on his shoulder.
No matter how many times you hear that deafening sound, it never gets old. Both halls have a traditional council which is headed by what they call the ‘odifuo’. Interestingly, all members of the traditional council are students. As a member of either Katanga or Conti, you are most likely to see them in action during the Friday morale nights, wearing red clothing, holding pots with fire, and pouring libation. It can be quite a scary experience especially if it’s your first time. Specific rituals are performed, and specific songs are chanted; it is on a whole other level. You would never understand it till you have experienced it.
The Friday morale nights are usually started with the hall’s anthem. The drumming, chanting, and dancing can go on for hours and hours and the intensity gets even higher with every passing minute. It is a great sight to behold.
By: hypercitigh.com | Sebastian Otoo