For just a few drinks, I am now Dean at new school

Saturday January 30 2016

“Dre wewe ni mchoyo sana,” started Rasto.

“Dre wewe ni mchoyo sana,” started Rasto. “Ungekuwa unatoa kitu Kwame angekwambia how he landed in his school when parents tried to oppose him.” ILLUSTRATION| JOHN NGAYAH 

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Following my meeting with the county staffing officer last week but one, during which he told me to report to Daraja Mbili Primary, and report to police if I experience any resistance, I did not need a calculator to know that I was on my own on this matter.

Last week, I tried to see the County Director of Education several times but he was unavailable. In the meantime, El Nino informed that the situation had not changed and that Tocla and his team kept coming to school every day, to check if I had reported.

I wanted to go to Nairobi to complain to TSC but I knew such a plan could be counterproductive.

On Thursday, the County Director of Education called me and said that he expected me to be in school. I needed no geometrical set to know that the Teachers Suffering Centre was not interested in my safety or successful landing at Daraja Mbili; they would

just observe from far as I suffered. I therefore decided to take matters into my own hands.

I went to Hitler’s last Friday afternoon. The place was teeming with all Mwisho wa Lami’s who is who, and other revellers from near and far off villages when I arrived. The potency of Hitler’s “pickups” is well

known and as such, pilgrims ride bicycles from far and wide just to come partake of Hitler’s famed drinks. When I arrived, I joined my Mwisho wa Lami comrades. There was Rasto, Alphayo and Nyayo.

There was also Saphire, Lutta and Mr Kwame.

“Dre wewe ni mchoyo sana,” started Rasto. “Ungekuwa unatoa kitu Kwame angekwambia how he landed in his school when parents tried to oppose him.”

“Hapo Rasto umesema ukweli kabisa,” said Nyayo. “Dre ni mkono birika na hii uchoyo ndio itakumaliza.”

I knew where they were headed but did not say a thing. “You mean you can’t land at Daraja Mbili?” asked Kizito, who is a Deputy HM of another school. I narrated to him what had transpired when I tried to report at Daraja Mbili. “Who is the person who

hasn’t allowed you to land? It can’t be all parents.”


When I told him it was Tocla, he laughed out loudly. “That is an easy one to deal with, very easy.”

“Tocla comes here almost every day. Let us see if he comes today we will sort the matter and he will open the school for you even before Monday.” We did don’t wait for long. Tocla and his lieutenants arrived shortly after. Some of his lieutenants were part

of those that had chased me from school. They went and sat at their favourite corner under the avocado tree.

“This is your time,” said Kizito as he called Hitler. I told Hitler to give Tocla and his team a drink each. I did not have money but as you know, my credit ratings had improved following my move to Daraja Mbili and Hitler could not deny me anything on

credit. As he served them, he pointed that the drinks had been bought by me, something Tocla and team were quite happy about, going by the way they rigorously and happily shook their heads.

I wanted to join them immediately but Kizito advised me against that. “Tocla himself should come, and he will come here. You relax,” said Kizito.

It didn’t take long, for a few minutes later, Tocla came and asked if they could join us. We welcomed them and together with his lieutenants, they joined us.

After some minutes of small talk, Rasto asked him what the problem was with them. “Mbona mnafukuza shemeji wenyu?” he asked Tocla.

“Hatujafukuza mtu,” said Tocla. “Dre anajua shida iko wapi.” He added that there was no major problem and that once we talked, I could report to school even that evening.

“Thank you, then let us agree today,” said Rasto.

After sometime, Kizito, Tocla and I moved and sat under the mango tree nearby and Kizito asked Tocla to say what the problem is.

“Hakuna shida, ni uchoyo tu wa Dre but leo I see he is a good customer,” he said, pointing fingers to the drink he was taking.

He, however, had some concerns that he needed addressed. He wanted assurances that his two friends will continue to be the watchmen of the school. Last November, the school had been broken into and some valuables stolen and it had been suspected that

the two watchmen were involved.

“That was an inside job so action must be taken against them,” said Kizito.

“Yes it was an inside job because the money was stolen from inside the office, lakini hao wawili hawakuhusika” said Tocla, surprising me that he could speak English. I assured them the two would be retained

“Na usiwahi enda bank without me,” he said. I told him as the PTA chairman, he was a signatory to the school account and there was no way he could be absent when withdrawing any money.

He then said that as chairman he had not benefited from the school at all. “This is my second year as chairman na hakuna kitu hata moja nimepata,” he said. “Na ndio tulifukuza Bwana Sande, alikuwa anakula tu pekee yake.”

Kizito convinced him that I will sort him, but that would only be possible after I land. From his pockets, Tocla got out a bunch of keys and gave me one of them. “Hii ndio ya office ya headmaster,” he said. I thanked him in actions, by ordering another drink

for him and his lieutenants – on credit. They left soon after, singing my praises.

Yesterday, I went to school and entered the HM’s office. Since I wasn’t going to be headmaster, I had to find a good academic name to call myself. I took some manila paper and wrote my new title which I placed outside the office. “DEAN,” it read.

But I was there for other purposes, I went through the books, although the school did not seem to have proper records. I had been thinking of the school’s mission, vision and motto. I knew it was good to discuss this with other teachers before coming up

with the final ones but knowing the intellectual capacities of most teachers, I knew that would be a waste of time.

I wrote what I had settled on some manila papers and put them up on my office wall. They were as below.

School Mission: Natulenge juu

School Vision: Strong to Serve

School Motto: Aim Higher

These had been deeply researched concepts, in an attempt to benchmark our school with other great schools in the country and to instill best practices in the operations of our school. Indeed, Daraja Mbili had

become the first school in the county to have a well-researched, clearly defined and forward looking vision, mission and motto.

I also wrote a few expectations for the teachers that I put up in the staffroom. This covered school arrival time, dress code, class attendance among others. I had also bought a black book which I put in the

staffroom. Every teacher would be expected to sign it upon arrival, clearly indicating time of arrival, and in the evening indicating time of departure. I would organise for a prefect to take the book to my office

every day at 8.15 am, and return it to the staffroom at 3.50 pm. This would enable me to track the late comers and early leavers.

This takes effect from tomorrow. It is one of a raft of measures that I will be putting in place. Tomorrow I will be in school by 6.30 am, as I want to set the right tempo for the school. If you know any Daraja

Mbili teacher, please alert them and tell them that things have changed. It will no longer be business as usual. Not when I am Dean of this school!