Simpa Spartans in action at Simpa Hall, UEW.

The beauty of life lies in finding happiness because without happiness, one cannot find the needed passion and drive to push harder in order to achieve set goals or aspirations. When happiness is found, we must make sure it is guarded like an ancient secret. When happiness is found, we must ensure that we do not exchange it for anything.

In the palace of the Simpa Spartans of UEW, lies this invaluable emotional tool called happiness. Of course, every group has a philosophy of its existence and a lack of knowledge on the philosophy of a group always leads to perceptions which are often unfounded. A visit to ancient Greek history gives an insight into the Spartans thus revealing who they are and what they stood for. Historically, the iconic Spartan army was first developed by a semi-mythical Spartan legislator called Lycurgus whose idea was to have a “wall made up of men instead of a wall made up of bricks”. A Spartan man’s involvement with the army began in infancy upon inspection by the Gerousia. After inspection by the Gerousia, if the baby was found out to be weak or deformed, he was sent to Mount Taygetus to die since Sparta did not want to raise men who are deemed incapable of defending themselves. Those deemed to be strong and fit enough were then put in the Agoge regime at the age of seven. In the Agoge, these boys are subjected to intense and rigorous military training. Those who survive the Agoge till the age of thirty are given full Spartan citizenship. The end point of the creation of this army was to ensure that men with never-surrendering spirits who are educated in sports and war tactics, poetry, music, wisdom and also politics were raised. In their prime, between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, the Spartan army was revered by all. So great was the reverence given to the Spartans such that it was an open secret at the time that one Spartan was worth several men of any other state.

With the ancient ideology and philosophy of the Spartan army in mind, the Spartans of UEW was formed. Over the years, the name of the Spartans of UEW has been dragged into the mud. This is simply because of misunderstanding. Contrary to peddled falsehood, we are a pressure group who stand for discipline and intellectual ingenuity and just like most sportsmen and security forces do, we create the needed psychological comfort through music to enable us reach our goals. Life is full of challenges and most often than not, we need the right atmosphere to surmount these challenges, if not we could be swallowed by such challenges, leading to stress and even depression. This explains why on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Simpa Spartans come out in their numbers to “shi jama”. It is amazing how so many people stop to watch the Simpa Spartans on such days. Obviously, they get thrilled and enthused by the performance of the Simpa Spartans but with reasons best known to themselves, they still sit back and soil the name of this noble group of which I am a proud member of. The most amazing thing is that when you engage in a “tete a tete” with such detractors, they are unable to come up with a single good reason why the Simpa Spartans is a bad association.

One thing that baffles me is that we are in the highest institution of learning and if at this stage of our academic life, we are directed by rumors which we do not take steps to validate as factual or non-factual, what then do we have to offer when we graduate? Do we become intellectuals synonymous to leaves which move according to the wind (whatever we hear). What then happens to Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy of learning when it is expected that at the University we do much of analysis and evaluation?

If the presence of pressure groups on campuses are evil and a recipe for disaster, why is it that pressure groups in other universities aren’t deemed as illegal and catastrophic? What we must know is that the truth doesn’t limp neither does it need any form of support to stand. On the other hand, a lie just like a cork submerged under water continuously needs to be supported for it to stay submerged. As soon as the support goes away, the truth pops out for all to see.

We are the Simpa Spartans and any plot to paint us black or tarnish our integrity will yield no dividends because truth always triumphs over falsehood and light always conquers darkness.

Baiden Gideon

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