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MWALIMU ANDREW: Everyone wants to be on London list, even the HM

Sunday March 10 2019

My wife, too, had been sure she would go, and was already preparing: ‘We will make it our horny-moon’, she SMSed me. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH

My wife, too, had been sure she would go, and was already preparing: ‘We will make it our horny-moon’, she SMSed me. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH 

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When Bensouda, our headmistress (HM), started sidelining me, I said it here that her cohabitation with Kuya would not last long, and, that sooner Bensouda would be doing everything to be back in my arms.

Usually, I would have worked hard to break the friendship, but not this time.

As you are aware, I got much more important things to do, so much better than trying to catch the attention of a not-so-well academically talented HM.

Why would I do that when other more educated, more experienced, and more beautiful HMs are all after me?

As expected, Kuya messed up things. When we opened school, one of the girls who was supposed to join Class Eight did not report. On looking for her, we were told that the girl had gone back to her parents, as she had been staying with her uncle.

Two weeks ago, information reached us that Redempta, for that is her name, is pregnant.

A lot was said about this case; with the long and short of it being that Kuya was accused of CN, a professional term only teachers will understand.

It’s very difficult to prove CN, and many of such accusations do not go far, but as soon as Kuya started smelling of CN, Bensouda dropped him like a hot potato.

So last Sunday she texted me and asked me to call for a staff meeting. It had never happened this year.

When I asked her what the agenda would be, she answered me. “You know what to do Dre.”


And so for the first time this year, Mwisho wa Lami Primary had a professionally run staff meeting.

I kept the meeting short and focused, so much that when Bensouda arrived, she told me to continue chairing the meeting.

“I had missed this, Dre,” Bensouda told me soon after the meeting. “I now feel confident that the school is back in good hands.”

By Wednesday, I had fully returned to the fold, and had even resumed using the Deputy HM’s office.

Kuya was away, spending most of the time in TSC offices trying to kill the CN story. As such, we have been spending lots of time with Bensouda, wherever she has been in school — which I don’t need to tell you is rare.

“Dre, I tell you your problems are over,” Bensouda told me, regarding the donors we met. “But only if you play your cards well. You need to take full advantage of this so that in case of any problem, utakuwa umehepa na kitu mzuri.”

I wondered what problems I could get into. “These are good people and are willing to help our people. I will only be facilitating.”

“I know that, Dre,” she said. “But hii dunia adui ni wengi. You are lucky you have me as your HM and I will defend and support you completely,” she added.

We went to other matters. In the meantime, Mrs Kandia, — who writes her name as Ms Kandiah — the Principal of St Theresa’s Girls, had been looking for me.

Two weeks ago, she had sought my help to convince the donors to help complete a laboratory that had been started many years ago but had stalled. It looks like her agenda has changed.

“If you have a problem explaining to wazungus, about the laboratory, I have talked to your brother Pius who says if I go with you guys to London, I will easily convince them how impactful such a project would be,” she had said when she called me on Monday. I had asked her to call me on Wednesday morning.


I avoided all her calls on Wednesday, since I was getting confused on who to put on the London List. Both Nyayo and his wife Anindo had been adamant they would go to London, so was Apostle Elkana.

“London is far and anything can happen while in the sky. You need prayers throughout the journey,” he had said.

My wife too, had been sure she would go, and was already preparing. “We will make it our horny-moon,” she SMSed me.

So Mrs Kandia’s entry into the scene had complicated matters — considering she was talking to Pius, who was her collegemate at the University of Nairobi. On Friday evening, as I walked from class back to the staffroom, I met Bensouda, who was holding my phone.

“Please pick Mrs Kandia’s phone,” she said, handing me the ringing phone. “She has called a million times.”

“Hello …” I said, as I picked. “Sorry, I have been in meetings since yesterday … No, am still drawing up the list … by tomorrow I will let you know.”

“Don’t tell me you want to take that woman to London,” Bensouda said as soon as Mrs Kandia hanged up. I told her nothing was confirmed.

“That is good,” she said. “You will surely need a woman HM on that trip but it must be a primary school HM,” she told me. “Secondary schools have no problems.”

“That makes sense,” I said.

“So you are confirming that I will be on the list?” she asked. We were now in her office and Bensouda was seated on the table, opposite me.

“Dre, you need someone who has handled wazungus before — I had a mzungu boyfriend before — and will be of great help even hearing what they say.” She had a point, I never heard a lot of what Smiffy and Hempstone said when they were around.

“Plus, you are better off with people like me who already have passports,” she said, then added something that sounded like a threat: “If I were a bad person, I would have already reported you to TSC for deserting duty since you have rarely been in school for the past few weeks. And I am still the one who will give you permission”.

With the list due tomorrow, I don’t know what to do, considering that besides me, I can only take two more people.