Recent leaver, Kobi, talks about his time at Christ’s Hospital.
When I first visited Christ’s Hospital, everyone was wearing this strange uniform and even the tea and biscuits were posh. To be honest, I wanted to attend my local school in west London with my friends, but my parents knew what an opportunity it was at CH.
It took me a term to settle down, as it was a different world. I wasn’t very sociable as a child, and my main passion was reading. I consumed action and adventure stories, like the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, and was happiest in the library with my head in a book, away from the hustle and bustle of school life. But then I started playing football and rugby, and learned to play guitar, before switching to drums. Through sport and music, I made new friends and by Third Form (Year 8), I was much more outgoing.
I didn’t play football before joining CH, let alone rugby! So, the fact that I ended up as a flanker was unexpected! What I love about rugby is the camaraderie, and we would hype ourselves up for matches by playing music on the coach. I love a good tackle and competing in the line-out too, when you’re hoisted up to receive the ball. Unfortunately, I broke my nose last year and my mum said, ‘That’s it! You’re done with rugby!’
In UF (Year 10), I started attending meetings by the African Caribbean Society (ACS). At the end of Deps (Year 12), I was appointed vice president, part of a leadership team that included my friends, Zoe and Alfiena. Every year, the leadership team tries to provide a new edge or element to the ACS, so it can become even more diverse and inclusive. So, when we hosted events like Culture Shock, we celebrated not only African or Caribbean heritage, but other cultures too. The ACS is a platform for us to celebrate our differences and is unique to CH. What this school has is special.
Another area of focus for the ACS has been education. We have talked about influential leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah, who led Ghana to independence from Britain, and Operation Legacy, where the British Colonial Office destroyed documents relating to crimes committed during colonialism. Being Black and British, it was interesting to learn about Black history in the UK.
After discussions with friends and staff at the school, including Father Huxley, I founded the Muslim Students’ Association, and we have already influenced change. We met with the caterers about providing more accessible halal food on the menu. We have also held assemblies, talking to juniors about Islamophobia and dispelling some of the myths that exist. During Ramadan, we organised meals, prayed together as Muslims and visited a mosque. The number of people involved has grown to about 30. Non-Muslims are interested too, as they can learn about the faith and its traditions. The groundwork has been done, but I feel this is only the beginning. I hope someone else can take the association forward.
Kobi is embarking on a degree apprenticeship with PwC, studying computer science at the University of Birmingham and working for PwC in the summer and during a year in industry.