Across the Country today, there were multiple feelings of different nature, for different children. I imagine that horizons were shattered.
As Form 1s left their homes to a new home, parents must have been reeling under pains of fees, and anxiety about what shall become of their children. But that’s not my interest tonight.
I am interested in the mind of the children who joined.
Let me begin by reminiscing my days…..
It was the 4th of February two thousand and that, when I strolled into a not far distant school which I ended up calling home for half a decade. As was the custom then, I had my immediate former primary school uniform, with only an additional white socks and some black shoes, which made me walk like a wounded Carmel. Since I was not used to the shoes.
After a very troubled admission which was done by the Deputy Principal at 6.30pm, which almost threatened my admission altogether since I was full of mud and looked emancipated, I was hurriedly dumped by mum and bro, and off they left. Sh 16,025 were needed. Mum had only Sh 6300. Not even half. But Mr Wa Wairimu as the DP was known, I was asked to find which trouser, shirt, socks and sweater would fit me, from a mountain of heap in the Secretary’s office.
Some captain I barely remember showed me the way. And a villagemate who had arrived earlier when the sun was high. I ended up with my metallic box into a dormitory reserved for Monos called Wambugu. After munching on some leftovers, I was told I would be going straight to prep.
What the fuss was Prep! I had never been to class at night, nor had I ever studied after school during the day. Anyway, we read some story book on African Literature. Until 945pm. And off we went to sleep.
But I could not sleep. I was in heaven. New blanket, new mattress with a nylon paper. A bucket and a box on my feet. What a world. A hall where all were supposed to sleep. And no closing of the dorm door.
This was quite strange. I slept by force, when a giant of a man I heard was called Captain in charge of Compund, a top 6 ranking dreaded captain, whose voice reverberated through the hall. Laleni mambwa hii. He was followed by the rest of the 5. I wanted to rise and see who called me a dog. I stood no chance. Over 10 of the Monos had been buried under the blankets by mighty determined slaps that sounded like thunderstorms, to enforce compliance.
Anyway, we shall read the complete horror that followed in the Memoirs. Inshallah soon.
That night marked the beginning of shattering life experiences. Shattering in a good sense. I was separated from the home I knew for 14 years, and ushered to a world that was an academy of knowledge, much of which would determine the life ahead. For a teenager, it’s a hallowing world. But not for teenagers like Zack Kìnùthia .
I had been in another college earlier worse than prison called home poverty. Mum had nothing. We were brought up in the streets. Not your common streets village streets my friend. Food was hard to come by. Good food was a miracle. Only available diet was HOPE. Hope that ended up as constipation for many such of us in the village. Hope was an antidote of Reality Suffering.
I met badass guys from Komarock, Githurai, Kawangware and generally from the city. These guys I think were either thugs, or had acquired a thick skin before us. And I heard that their parents had dumped them in the village secondary school to teach them some morals.
We were in same class, but they intimated us with Sheng and English. We knew neither. They came with Blueband and Biscuits just to torment the hungry rascals from goddamned villages struck by darkness and hunger.
We had seen it on TV. They knew girls. We were afraid of girls. They discussed TV shows that featured weeknights.
These things began to fade, when we closed for 1st term. We began to realize that we were somehow equal. We defeated these guys in one or two subjects. And that gave us some leverage.
By the time we in Form 3,we even assumed responsibilities with privileges based on capabilities, as opposed to what Family one came from. Things looked up. I became a preacher. Spoke some good English by that time, and prayed for longer hours, sometime fasting. Became the Christian Union Secretary. Led a couple of Clubs and School leadership. Final year came in.
Studied hard to change the story of my mother. Tragedy happened. Story will be featured. And many weeks became months. Months gave birth to years. And Gaichanjiru High School became an Alma Mater.
To those children who entered today to this world, and somehow relate to the story I have highlighted. Today your story of Hope and Resilience began. This 4 years must not go to the drain. Don’t worry about Nairobi hommies. Don’t be intimidated their big stories of Nairobi homes. Press on. Keep the rules set for you. Although you can break a few, as long as they don’t break you.
After 4 years, you will knkw what life you wrote for yourself. Your parents are done with you. You’ll never depend on them again, if you won’t proceed to post secondary. They have handed to you, their final cheque. Write your amount.
Life belong to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. I believed in mine. You must believe in yours. Path is thorny, but no less fulfilling.
Let’s do this Monos.