PLATTE-LAND 018: ANNIVERSARY

Related imageTime had rolled off in such a fast pace. The journalism club members were busy preparing for the maiden anniversary of the school mag since the celebrated launch. Everyone was upbeat and excited by the niche the mag had curved for itself. Blue chip corporate firms were jostling for the elusive space in the premier millennials’ magazine. From the giants in the telecommunication industry to multinational brands; the likes of Safaricom and Samsung, it was bliss and glow to the team behind the mag. Tidy monies were rocking their accounts so consistently stealing an eye from the campus V.C who as a result gladly accepted to honour the invitation of being the Chief Guest during the celebrations earmarked to take place, on the subsequent weekend.

Sly had worked on her presentation the entire week. Being the chair-lady of the Journalism club and the ingenious brains behind the mag, it was only well deserving for her to have a slot to talk about the journey the magazine had covered. She had like 6 drafts with Abigail her co-chair helping in editing her final draft.

The magazine had a special pullout to acknowledge the season it came to birth. A pictorial album was being crafted as well as a detailed editorial script summarizing its maiden year it had been in circulation. Many ads had also been lined up as part of the marketing gimmick to tap the million dollar youthful section of the economy.

***

Ladies and gentlemen, to start with, I wish to extend my gratitude to each and everyone of you present in this room, for resolving to come and witness this momentous day of our institution. As you all know, 12 months ago Must Zone magazine came to the fore. You can all bear me witness, it has been a roller-coaster and marathon race to the journalism club and all the stakeholders for having made my dream come true. The magazine has leapfrogged and gained confidence over time but more importantly won the hearts of legions of comrades.

Comrades yeeeh

Comrades aaaah

We’ve sharpened our skills in producing competitive work and in return attracted many partners who in tandem have moulded long-term partnerships. Well, it started as an idea in my mind and were it not for each one of you who believed in it and the school management who walked the talk of sponsoring it, certainly, we wouldn’t be in this room, today.

Of importance to all of us is to appreciate MUST Zone has become a household name and such a coveted brand besides emerging as a product of benchmarking by other institutions of higher learning in and around East Africa. Mt.Thondio University, Ndunduri University, Gathigiriri Teachers College, Wiitemere School of Applied Sciences, just to name a few have not only shown interest in emulating this noble idea but have manifested high appreciation for the level of investment and the kind branding our school has achieved through MUST Zone.

We have also tapped on the amazing talent our school has got and exposed it to a bigger audience for nurturing. For instance, we have student-writers publishing articles in our columns in a very regular sequence. Dr. Kiogothe to be more specific, has been running a fiction series that I’m told is on the verge of closing in a deal with one of the top daily newspaper – Syokimau Weekend. Isn’t that unprecedented?

Last and not least, I’d like to exude my indebted regards to our Dean of Students Mr. Mwangi for believing in our idea even when it had little to prove. He went ahead to pitch it to the school management who in return dared to give us a chance. On behalf of the journalism club, we can’t thank you enough Mr. Mwangi.

Mr. Mwangi stood up and briefly waved to the crowd, though shyly.

It’s now my humble opportunity to invite our V.C to give his speech.

***

The V.C having been impressed by the noble idea of MUST Zone school magazine made a surprise declaration that all current members of the Journalism Club who were actively involved in publishing the mag would earn a competitive salary starting immediately. But more importantly, he promised to steer a team that would ensure most journalism club members in MUST University got absorbed by the leading media houses the likes of; Syokimau Media Group, Igwa Miti Television Network, Kiawara Broadcasters & Kiandutu TV. He also hailed praise to Sly for landing the post of Syokimau Morning show presenter.

Mr. Mwangi, the dean of students would later have a word with his love-struck student, Sly, at the sidelines of the anniversary itinerary.

“Congratulations, you looked very confident on stage.”

“I owe it to you. You believed in my idea.”

“Just the other day, it’s now a year gone.”

“Sure, will you be joining us for the after-party?”

“You didn’t invite me plus still haven’t received your feedback on our trip to North Coast.”

“Is it payback time Mr. Mwangi?”

“Not really, is only that you misunderstood me during our date.”

“Can I make it clear to you that, that was not a date. At least not with my approval. Secondly, it sits awkwardly with me to have you develop feelings to a student who holds you in high regard.”

” It’s just a casual arrangement. Don’t read too much.”

“I’m disturbed Mwalimu by your pestering. Sorry if I sound offensive.”

“Anyway, let’s meet at the After Party.”

“Fine, if you say so.”

“By the way, you’re doing an incredible work at Syokimau Fm.”

Sly’s face melted from a frown to an easy face.

“So, you listen to my show? How do I sound on radio?”

“A voice that one would wish to listen on and on. You were made for the radio!”

“You can say that again.”

“See you later.”

Photo credit: Ted Talks

Previously on Platte-land series Internship

Platte-land continues next Monday…

PLATTE-LAND 012: MATERNITY WARD

Image result for maternity wardThe first EDD had slipped away with nothing much to write home about. There were no unusual feelings or mild pains to trigger any heedful reaction. They called Dr. Angela and she reassured them nothing was amiss. She however, emphasized that they should report to the hospital if the second EDD came by, with no labor symptoms being witnessed. The gap between the two EDDs was one week.

On the eve of the second EDD, Anastasia started experiencing irregular contractions, after midday. Being her first time pregnancy she had vague clues about labor. When the orange-ball was setting on the other side of the city, sinking beyond the horizon and consequently inviting the night as it compelled the bogged city dwellers to retire to their rented apartments, the contractions became a bit regular. Mongoose suggested they time their interval span. They ranged between 30-40 minutes and as the day wore the pains cycle narrowed to 20 minutes. Soon after, it became unbearable.

It was dreadful pain. Pain that came with its extended family and girlfriends. Pain that was a dozen times worse than a toothache. Pain that could make you pee on yourself. Simply put – An agony that makes you wonder, why you became pregnant in the first place. A poor Anastasia wrenched in a biting misery, helplessly. Mongoose couldn’t wait for 8-10 minutes as advised by Dr. Angela, not even 12 minutes would do. He had never watched Anastasia in such kind of twinge. It was inordinate. She had not left her seat for an hour or so. When the wave of contractions would commence, she’d put her arms in between her legs, droop her head and sigh off out of bruising anguish. The pains would crumble her down, and squeeze out any energy left behind.

Mongoose called his main man – Euty, cut from another mother. In no minute, he would pull off at Mongoose’s place. They put the basin and the packed bag right into the car, assisted Anastasia hop inside and sped off to Zion City Nursing Home. Meanwhile, he called Aunty Bobo, who naturally had a heads up of her niece’s fate. She promised to board the first matatu from Kaibaga to the city the next morning. Waithiegeni was on her way to the hospital, never mind it was past 11 pm.

***

She is put in a waiting room next to the maternity block awaiting to be booked for admission. At such an hour, the hospital is busy receiving droves of other expectant women overwhelmed by labor pains. Some are accompanied by their husbands but majority are chaperoned by women – be it their mums, mother in laws, or female friends. Euty whispers to Mongoose that out of strange reasons many deliveries occur at night since that’s when labor contractions worsen. Is it a coincidence or pure fallacy? Euty spoke authoritatively, having been in Mongoose’s situation twice. He is a dad to two high spirited boys – 3 and 1 year respectively.

In my community, they say an ailment worsens in the night.

Two nurses pop up, one be like: “Ehe msaidiwe aje?”

Mongoose jumps in.

“She is in labor.”

“How did you tell?”

“The contractions.”

“What about them?”

“They are a bit regular and quite strong and we’ve timed them for the last 4 hours.”

“And?”

“The span is about 15 minutes.”

“So?”

“Dr.Angela told me to bring her if it nears 10 minutes, but the pain was too much.”

“Any blood spots?”

“No.”

“Is she a first time?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Excuse us.”

Mongoose is ordered out.

Seated at the ice-cold bench along the busy corridor, they stare at helpless would-be husbands moving up and down clinging on their phones if not keeping up with the buzzing phone calls, while some peep at maternity doors to lift their hopes regarding their wives’ fate. They grapple with ridiculous anxiety. The weather is horrible. It’s approaching midnight and the temperatures are below 10 degrees. Aunty Bobo calls as Waithiegeni arrives.

The nurses examine Anastasia. They establish the contractions are genuine labor pains but sadly the cervix dilation is not adequate. They need 10 cm and she is at 3. She is however admitted at the prenatal ward, only to meet other women in different stages of labor. Some lie on the floor while others bite the metallic beds just to trick the grueling pains. Meanwhile, Waithiegeni and the boys remain outside watching over any news from the nurses walking up and down. Most of the them are below 28 years. A sizable number seem passionate on their job. Some pull warm faces and appear receptive while others feel like their work is demeaned and consequently appear very intimidating.

Two hours pass by with no word from the hospital and Mongoose walks to the Admission room demanding to know the fate of his woman. No one is in the mood of listening to his pleas. He calls Dr. Angela but the calls go unanswered. He stops anybody he spots at the corridor be it the cleaners, interns, students on attachment and patients in their oversize gowns. The information he gets is too economical and doesn’t add up. He however learns that Dr. Angela is on off duty. As he ponders for the next move, they get rudely interrupted by women yelling in the labor ward. Could Anastasia be one of them? They wonder, helplessly.

Mongoose is called in after ages of waiting. He meets Dr. Muchemi and he is like;

“Hi, we’ve established the cervix dilation is quite sluggish. She has only managed 3cm more after injecting her with Synthetic Oxycontin to fasten the dilation bringing the total to 6cm. We need 10cm for her to undergo normal child delivery process.”

Moongose sighs off.

“How is the baby?” He asks.

“The baby appears to be in good spirits but he/she might tire soon since the labor is over 10 hours which is not recommended. We were buying time since the infant’s head was at the tip of the pelvic bones, but the progress of the dilation is not very good.”

“What are the dangers?”

“If we prolong the labor pains, Anastasia could be vulnerable to fistula complications in future. But more pertinently, chances of amniotic fluid bursting are high which could end up harming the infant’s skin and the digestive organs. The baby and the mother may also tire out and run out of oxygen.”

So, what are you suggesting Doc?

“You need to make a decision Mr. Ezekiel. The thing is, in as much as Anastasia was set to deliver the baby via the natural method, I’m afraid we’ll have to book her for an Emergency C-section operation. This is the most prudent action at stake if we are to guarantee the safety of both the baby and the mother.”

“Can I see her before I make the decision?”

“Unfortunately, we can’t grant your request at this point in time. But I can assure you she is alright. You are her next of kin. You’ve got to authorize us by filling and signing this form or else you could consider getting a second opinion from a different hospital.”

“Just give me minute.”

Mongoose walks out to brief Waithiegeni and Euty. He also calls Aunt Bobo.

The C-section operation is given a nod by Mongoose. The theater room is prepared and in a short while, Anastasia is wheeled inside. She may or may not come back alive – that was the spirit of the form Mongoose signed.

It’s past 1am with no word from the hospital regarding Anastasia. It’s extremely cold and the winds are blowing rudely. Mongoose and his company are impatiently resting at the waiting room. They’ve been served lukewarm black tea which does little to bail out their freezing bodies. Meanwhile, more patients battling labor continue to arrive at such ungodly hour while in the labor ward, distressful yells and wails seem to curse the heavens. Clearly, nature has a sense of humor.

Mongoose recalls a story told by Anastasia regarding how her biological mum passed on while delivering her. The same complications seem to haunt her. Could it be genetic? A cold sweat runs down his underarms.

2am…

The C-section is successful. Anastasia gains conscious half an hour after. It’s a baby girl. The tag reads Female – Kendy Karimi. She is cleaned by the nurses as she makes her first reaction to the world by crying faintly. She weighs 3.2 kilograms.

Photo credit: Sheknows.com

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Next on Platte-Land series: Lechery

By the way, do you have a kid of up to 15 years, these folks have something for you Nanyuki Toy World

PLATTE-LAND 005: SCHOOL MAGAZINE

Related image

Sly was the head of the Journalism Club in Matiba University of Science & Technology (MUST) in as much as she was studying Computer Science together with Njagi. Her parents made her not follow her writing journey as they imagined journalism was not a well-paying job. Beyond that, they presumed it would have been tough for their daughter to get a job and plus it didn’t appear so much of a white-collar career, according to them. I wish they realized how much formidable the writing industry has grown. From the demand in the editorial departments in the sprouting media houses and the international market that has a lot of online jobs for outsourced writers, to the improved reading culture across the globe, writing jobs have never been this lucrative. Nevertheless, Sly was running her blog and still making money from ads running on her site while still keeping her parents happy with her school course. You could call it killing two birds with one stone.

The school didn’t have a school magazine and that bothered her so much. She always visualized that idea in her mind until one day she grew enough guts to go pitch it to the Dean of Students. She consulted Njagi on the same and he equally upheld it and in fact accompanied her to the dean. She secured an audience with Mr. Ngamau the dean of students on a hot and lazy Friday afternoon. Mr. Ngamau was a short man by any standards and seemingly, a well-functioning alcoholic. He had this patched forest of beards all over his face that seemed to lack nutrients to grow steadily, evenly and not appear neglected. That notwithstanding, he was a very brilliant guy and way passionate on students’ welfare. He was a man who’d listen keenly when you conversed with him and not rudely interject while admiring his fat, flowery tie like some people in high offices do.

Hi Sly, what’s your friend’s name.

He is Njagi.

Ooh great. So, you told me you have something you want us to discuss. Makes himself comfortable slanting his chair at an angle he’d give 100% attention.

Yea Mwalimu. It’s about the school magazine.

His face lights up.

I was proposing, with your support we can have the journalism club kick-start a school magazine and be running it while the management helps us with finances as start-up capital until the business breaks even.

Now Sly, how will the school gain from a students magazine?

You see Mr. Ngamau, this is an identity thing. It will boost the enthusiasm the students have with the school besides being the reference point for all matters school events. It will spot talents and expose them to a bigger audience for nurturing purpose. The revenue will sustain the journalism club and give them firsthand experience before they move on to the job market in addition to enabling the institution have a platform to market its products. More importantly, the magazine will go along way in fostering a cultured heritage for the school apart from enriching the bond between the management and the student fraternity.

Sly would listen to her convincing tone in the background and ride on the soft spot Mr.Ngamau has no her and cross her fingers.

Mr.Ngamau promises to forward the idea to the school management board and revert in a month’s time or so.

Meanwhile, an optimistic Sly mobilizes her team even before an approval by the school management is arrived at on publishing and running the magazine.

A month later…

The decision is upheld and the management sets aside some funds to launch Sly’s brainchild.

On receiving the news, she convenes a special meeting whereby the members resolve to have a division of roles as follows;

One team headed by Sue would market the school magazine idea to most if not all students by preparing brochures and distributing them across all the public outlets be it the hostels, dining area, canteen, school library, indoor sports hall, social hall, gym training area, lecture halls and virtually anywhere where one could find students holed.

It was a very rigorous idea but Sue was up to it. She was heading a very big team of about 50, mopping the entire campus with leaflets highlighting in brief, the school mag idea and requesting interested persons to volunteer items they would wish featured in the magazine from poetry, creative writing, photography, cartoonist, relationship stuff, motivational articles and upcoming events. There were directions on all collection centers and formalities of application.

Sue was chosen since she had and an easy and likable character. She was also a hands-on person apart from being super efficient in her tasks. Better put, she was the club’s stalwart. Her dressing code was a tomboy look – long basketball vests, sweatpants, fancy caps and headphones. Plus she was such a rubber shoe fanatic while her barber brought out his A game in making her short haircut, appear edgy.

Jay was the chair of the main collection center which was at the journalism club office donated by the school dean. Here, he’d oversee the collection of all items the students would propose to be featured, evaluate them, come up with ways of improving the potential ones, drop the not so promising and have the best embraced by his team. Depending on how thorough his team evaluated items proposed and polished them, would determine the fate of the magazine.

Abigail would co-chair the Editorial department together with Sly. They would hold the last word on what would be published and what wouldn’t. Additionally, they would scrutinize accuracy and authenticity of all items in the mag including ensuring matters ethics were adhered to. The magazine would be published in less than a fortnight and consequently run monthly.

Subsequently, Njagi and his team would take on graphics where he was a passionate pundit and clearly had the skills at his fingertips. He’d lead the team that would give the magazine life – a friendly demeanor, a youthful character, a trendy feel, bones to catwalk on everybody’s lips and dominate every chitchat, and give it wings to dart in every public space in the school. The task was daunting and the cover page hard to crack and decide on.

Jared would man the IT department ensuring all the records were safe and intact, the back up was well monitored, the computers were efficient, the internet was super-fast and the servers had enough firewalls and in good shape.

Kevoo would govern the Procurement Department especially on appointing the best printing service company in town and also mandated in scrutinizing the quality of the paper. It’s a mag remember.

There was a major event happening in two weeks time in the school, running an entire week. What a better coincidence than to launch the magazine then! The stage was set, anticipation was building and so was pressure to Sly and her team.

Would she deliver on her brainchild and offer justice to Mr. Ngamau and the management for all the monies pumped to her project? Only time would tell.

Next on Platte-Land series: Cultural Week

Photo Credit: Campustechnology.com

 

THE DEGREE SYNDROME

The anger over kids not getting into university speaks to how Kenya education has become a search for papers, rather than true learning which opens many doors at many different levels. Shouldn’t we perhaps interrogate our all-roads-lead-to-university model of schooling? – Gathara – Media personality

We are such a ridiculous nation that seemingly panics and vomits its lungs out all because one Dr. Matiang’i seems to be catching up with the cunning cartels at the Ministry of Education, TSC and Mtihani House. To the extent that a whole bunch of us have been reduced to do hues and cries and daring to tame bwana CS for what they term “mass failure”, is a joke of the year. That besides opportunistic politicians in the name of MCA’s who can barely express themselves in English left to whip emotions and emancipate cheap political mileages by storming schools to eject new Principals taking office in the new stations, is only a very sad affair. Did I also overhear and watch some parents jeer new school principals in front of their children reporting to school and accusing the head-teachers of poor track records in their former schools?

The lack of tolerance experienced with the new head-teachers’ transfers is unprecedented and perhaps underlying our inherent fears of being obsessed and trapped by the Degree syndrome. We don’t really care what our children will study in those campuses neither do we bother to care if it’ll be part of their passion. All we want them to do is score As whether faked or otherwise and go study courses they genuinely never would have qualified for, only to later miserably fail in their exams if not end up peeling off to incompetent Engineers or be it clueless Doctors if not unpassionate Computer Scientists who compromised their lecturers to award them with “favourable” grades.

Eventually, our economy gets trapped by disillusioned millennials performing jobs that they don’t even grasp the basics. What a tragedy are we succumbing to? Meanwhile, we pressure our politicians to score cheap goals by skinning a poor cabinet minister only executing and implementing his job description diligently. And since we are a country that celebrates mediocrity rather amazingly, here we are bombarded by shockwaves of a reality that has been turned around and mixed around all in tandem.

I can confirm to have interacted with a legion of fresh graduates who hardly seem to grasp the basics when they knock at our offices for attachment or employment opportunities. More surprisingly, their papers sharply contradict their personas in many instances. This alone is a hell-bent ordeal waiting to break loose to much of a shame for a country celebrating over 54 years of self-rule. As a matter of fact, students who pass through diploma level before joining campus seem to exude more seriousness and determination as opposed to the rest that just join campus to take on courses that were compelled by their cluster scores and not their own volition.

Long live the days when having a degree was the epitome of high intellectualism as opposed to our contemporary times where a degree is a mere conformity to a world driven by papers faked or forged and not substance in the form of passion-driven or talent nurtured. Iron sharpens iron and so does a country like Kenya seem to antagonise the posterity of education benchmarking. Basically, we are a nation that values more, wearing of gowns from some of the so-called campuses that have zero facilities leave alone reputable lecturers and where classes rarely have quorum apart from when exams draw near.

A bit of statistics; In 2014 Kenya had 3,073 ‘clean’ As, in 2015 had 2,636 in 2016 had 141 As while in 2017 had 142 As. While you ponder on the numbers appreciate that Dr.Matiang’i let out a confession that as early as 1990’s to 2015, exam marking was complete before Christmas holidays but wouldn’t be released just yet! Not before massaging of marks in the name of trading marks and selling of grades to the highest bidder for another two months. He further alluded that exams setting was being done over a year to the exam-commencing date to give room for leaking to interested stakeholders hence why some ‘National’ schools had the guts of attaining over 80% ‘clean’ As and A-minuses and failing to register a single A or partly less than 5 A-minuses post Matiang’i era.

While some of us complained that out of 615,772 students who wrote the 2017 KCSE exam only 176, 858 scored C- and above, the script wasn’t that different in the past; Students who scored C plus and above were 165,766 and 149,719 in 2015 and 2014 respectively. That is simply the fact.

There is hope though; Part of the benefits of the new system of education Kenya launched this year of 2-6-3-3 scraps off the obsession of ‘National Exams’ which to a very high extent built the pressure of cheating in exams. Students can now specialise in their areas of interest especially in senior secondary levels which includes Art subjects which were unceremoniously removed midway in the 8-4-4 system. The new system will also be skills-oriented rather than exam oriented where students will be moulded to all rounded personas. Talents will feature dominantly alongside their academic work unlike in the 8-4-4 system which neglected talent and focused solely on exams.

Speaking of Art which conspicuously missed in the 8-4-4 system as earlier pointed out, it’s now one of the best paying employment avenues Kenya is bragging off at the moment. In fact, the next generation will owe a lot of talent breakthroughs to the growth of Art in this country. The global media seem to have realised this and is highlighting a surge of intense interest in Pan-African Art. Some of the youngest and budding employers our country has, are doing big in matters Art investment. From Online Content Creators, Musicians, Photographers, Filmmakers, Atheists, Graphic Designs, Poets, Writers, Novel publishers and Painters just to name a few. And this has nothing to do with degree papers but purely passion that is self-dependent and not necessarily dictated by degree papers.

I’m not against university education no! I’m only opposed to the ideology that its the only road to success and that having a degree in Kenya is a matter of life and death. That shouldn’t be the case. To the parents, with all due respect don’t remain fixated on the 18th century where you condition your children to take specific careers that are a soft-spot to you and not them. If you pressure your kids to take certain courses that you so like, you are only living your dreams through them which clearly is setting them up for failure.

Let me leave it here; Show me a successful person who is living a fairly happy life working in a career he or she either has no passion or talent for?

 

 

 

 

DEAR STUDENTS, PLEASE CUT THE SLACK

Students strikesAbout a 100 students have been charged in court for arson related cases in the last one month. Moreover, close to a 100 high schools have been closed down following the unfurling unrest among students. The unwavering strikes have had pundits citing reasons to do with extension of 2nd term, mind you, for just one week and the archaic anxiety brought about by form four Mock exams. Some have even gone ahead to allege it’s all about Matiang’i leadership style! If you ask me though, he is one of the most hands on C.S in the Jubilee government. By the way, it’s time he cracked on the clueless County Educational Officers, as all they do is sit and wait for a hefty salary at the end of the month.

There has been this misconception over the years in the minds of many students that the world starts and ends with them. We were in that stage too, toying and flattering with the same euphoria. We used to imagine we were the end game and the creme of the world. We believed the world looked at us with awe and admiration and that it would literally stop, sit back and wait for our nonsensical mindsets to steer us to burn schools and pull a see no evil, hear no evil. Nobody could have convinced us otherwise. Dear students, we’ve been there, done it and come to regret it. Please lend us your ears and while at it, kindly cut the slack and the hype. It won’t matter a thing in a few years.

You see, there is something about uniforms that hides our family status. It blurs hard facts creating an impression that we are equal and will forever be. The truth of the matter is, that’s far from the truth. It’s colonial and cheating. Come to think of schools in developed countries and why they don’t emphasize on school uniforms. The philosophy behind this, from my imagination is to help these kids develop self-identity and appreciate backgrounds will always differ. That hasn’t been felt in Kenya. I say it again; uniforms have a way of creating artificial uniformity which is misleading to me, from where I sit. Let students appreciate they are different and must chase their individual dreams. Dear students, the moment you walk out of that high school gate having successfully sat for your KCSE exams if lucky and safe to be out of jail, reality will coldly welcome you to the other world. To the world that puts you to your rightful place. It has no time for slack and mob justice syndrome. Never. Here, everybody carries his or her cross, baggage and dream(s). In here it’s all about how you far you push your envelopes; how you trade your skills; how you amass networks and not how wealthy or poor your family is. You can also get away with impunity anyway but if not lucky, you will die a young death and a painful one for that matter. So dear students, please cut the slack.

Woo unto you especially, that is funded by a bursary scheme or harambees. No pun intended. If your parents sacrifice everything to have you in school and all you do is conspire strikes that burn classrooms; may the good Lord speak to you in a special way, now. May He wake you from the messy ignorance you are swimming in. You know, it is extremely annoying if you burn a school while your relatives have combed the entire community soliciting for small donations here and there just to give you what they didn’t benefit from. This is what we call parental love, boy! I also assume that you have come across an idiom that says; You never throw stones if you live in a glass house. Nature can be punishing and unforgiving.

Dear young girl that is chauffeured to school in pricey cars. Please don’t inconvenience poor kids’ dreams with your selfish influence. After organising for a strike, your parents will bribe their way, and ship you to another school. This is Kenya, right? Your life will move on seamlessly but you’ll have cut short someone’s only hope. Those students you badly influenced to join you in organising to burn classrooms will have their fate sealed by poverty and misery. Their parents will not have the stature or the evil monies to bribe their way to other schools. Their kids will have to drop out school sadly and get married at their young age if lucky not to get pregnant and start the journey of single motherhood before they celebrate their 18th birthday.

On the other hand, parents fixed to the corner by hard economic times will have to approach their chamas and Saccos for emergency loans. Yes they will do so to pay for your selfishness that had dormitories and classrooms torched. You even torch your books and beddings seriously while some of you don’t even have enough beddings at home. Why do you allow yourself to be drugged by this stupidity? Imagine it won’t matter in few years. You will never meet with some your so called friends after completing your KCSE. Some will do well in life while otherwise will have it rough. Some of you will have the potential of even employing some of these so called rich kids. Please dare to prove me right by not joining them in torching schools that are your only getaway to your dreams. Don’t allow them to mess with your future. You know what; Life cares very little about your family background. Actually in most cases it doesn’t. Imagine you all have a blank cheque for your life. It’s all about who you let in to your life and whose opinion you choose to buy. Life is all about creating something with what you choose. If you choose bad influence and slack from rich kids who believe their future is cut out, or from students who have lost hope of life; you’ll have sealed your fate for the worst.

To some of you, it will feel momentous when one contributes to the pattern that adds to the infamous staggering statistics of schools torched. Momentarily, your peers will celebrate you. How foolish is that and how long will it last? How much will you cost your struggling parents while even having you in school smoothly without being sent home for fees is a problem?(No pun intended). Dear students, it’s all fun and games until when you check to your parents’ humble homes only to be welcomed by reality. This is when you realise, the uniform no longer matters but rather, is the devil in the details. You realise how much uniform hides from reality. Who lied to you that you were born conjoined at the hip with your classmates? That’s a fallacy you need to drop before it’s too late. Their lives will be fixed by their influential parents but what about you who can’t afford a lawyer or can’t relate to the term – Family doctor?

Promise to stop this madness, dear student.

Address to parents:

Parents must step up and cede from overprotecting their kids. They must drop the shenanigans of treating their children with kids gloves. This alone, has immensely contributed in the soaring indiscipline cases in schools. Just the other day, it was reported that a parents’ association had bailed for an out of court case with one of the affected schools. Now, what will stop this delinquent kids from torching their schools all over again given a chance?

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