“I couldn't understand. How can anyone die in our school, in my hostel?”
This was how Wabi, 25, felt when she heard the news about the fire at Moi Girls Secondary School on 2 September 2017.
The inferno - which investigators say was caused by arson - took the lives of 10 students, and left over 50 others injured.
As an alumnus of the prestigious boarding school, Wabi was initially in complete denial. “Partly because of its reputation, you don't expect it to happen there,” she told Nation.co.ke. “It's a school in Nairobi; that's the capital, that's where everything good is.”
But after visiting campus and seeing the destruction for herself, reality sank in. “I went into the hostel and I realised that the place that was worst burnt is the place where I slept,” she said. “It touched me so much because it hit me that that could be me.”
To witness the aftermath of the fire was not only traumatic for Wabi. It also prompted her to speculate on some of the issues that may lead to school fires - among them poor infrastructure, weak safety guidelines, and a lack of support for students who could potentially be facing mental health issues.
The piece also features reflections by Dr Gladys Mwiti, a clinic psychologist, trauma specialist and founder of Oasis Africa Centre for Transformational Psychology and Trauma.
Listen to the audio piece to find out more.
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KUROMARU, "Demons" (Under Creative Commons License CC BY 3.0)
KUROMARU, “Regret” (Under Creative Commons License CC BY 3.0)
DURDEN, “You can’t mix what you’ve never had" - INSTRUMENTAL (Under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC 3.0)
Ythera Music, “Don’t Worry About Me (Cover) - A Moi Girls Nairobi (Quabbz) Tribute
Wabi Sherie, “Kazawa”