How Kuya failed in his attempt to shame us

Saturday May 18 2019

Last Tuesday, as Kuya was revising Maths with the candidates, we started discussing the CBC issue and who between Magoha and Sossion were right. ILLUSTRATION | J. NYAGAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP


As you are well aware, although I am the official deputy HM of this school, and the de facto HM since I basically run the school; Bensouda, the female HM of the school shifts between myself and Kuya as her principal assistants.

She started last term working with Kuya until, as expected, Kuya disappointed her then she came back to my waiting arms.


But I don’t know what happened over the April holidays for once more, she has taken all her attention to Kuya, and has been behaving as if I don’t exist. In the first staff meeting of the term, which she personally called, although I was seated on her left, she kept talking to Kuya who was seated on her right. And after that, she has been issuing instructions to us through Kuya.

Kuya has taken the new role with relish. But last week, his attempts to order teachers around like pupils heavily backfired on him.

As you know, the staffroom is adjacent to Class Eight, something I opposed some time ago, but did not succeed.


You see, that means that we can never joke or speak loudly in the staffroom, as anything we speak is picked by the pupils.


And in some cases, we are accused of making noise to the candidates yet teachers never make noise, they just consult loudly.

As part of his new roles, the deputy soon brought up the matter at a staff meeting. He told the meeting that Class Eight pupils were unable to concentrate on their studies owing to the noise from the staffroom.

Saphire suggested that the candidates be moved to another empty room some metres away from the staffroom. Although I supported this idea, as deputy HM, I could not say so publicly.

“We are here to discuss how teachers can stop making noise, not moving the Class Eight pupils,” answered Kuya.

“I think we need to address the root cause of this matter,” said Saphire. “Candidates need to study in a relaxed environment without worrying that teachers are …”


“You are missing the point, Saphire,” Kuya cut in before Saphire could complete his sentence. “We need the candidates near us so that we can monitor them closely.”

“Anyway, I won’t allow us to sit here discussing noise making by teachers. This is a school, not a market place,” he said with finality.

We maintained silence for a week. But last Tuesday, as Kuya was revising Maths with the candidates, we started discussing the CBC issue and who between Magoha and Sossion were right.

“I have attended the CBC and it’s nothing new,” said Alex.

Lena, who also attended the CBC training was in full support of the programme. “This 8-4-4 is no longer working. CBC is the future.”

The debate soon degenerated into a shouting match. Kuya, unable to concentrate on his lesson, could not stand it anymore.


“Alex,” he shouted as he stormed the staff room, “I want the list of teachers making noise.” Class Eight students roared in laughter, happy to see teachers get a taste of their own medicine. “Give me the list by lunch time,” he added and went back to class to a heroic re-entry.

Once Bensouda arrived, Kuya called for an emergency staff meeting that afternoon. Kuya started by saying that the staffroom was not a market place. No one seemed to be listening to his long lecture.

It was Mrs Atika who responded first. She regretted what had transpired, but took issue with the way Kuya had reacted. At that moment, Bensouda excused herself. “Kuya, please let me know the conclusion to that matter,” she said then left. Only Nzomo supported Kuya, saying noise in the staff room was approaching alarming levels. No one was surprised at this defence.


Things got worse when he read the list of noise makers that Alex had given him. I was number one on the list, followed by Lena, Saphire then Madam Ruth. Nzomo and Alex, who had been the loudest were not on the list.

“This is shameful,” he said. “The most experienced teachers leading in noise making. Who will the young teachers learn from?”

Mrs Atika spoke.

“Mr Kuya, I have to congratulate you for your enthusiasm in instilling discipline in the school,” she began, as the deputy smiled. After a few other compliments, she shifted gear.

“You however need to appreciate that to manage these pupils you will need us, teachers.” But her last statement caught everyone unawares.

“There is nothing wrong with telling us to keep quiet. But it is morally wrong to embarrass teachers in order to impress one Class Eight girl.”


Mrs Atika had touched a raw nerve. She was alluding to the whispers that Kuya has an affair with Jaeline, the school head girl. Indeed, those in the know had it that this was the reason why Kuya and Nzomo had separated in April.

Kuya could not contain himself on hearing this. Nzomo picked her bag and left the staffroom. “Let’s avoid sideshows and discuss the matter at hand — noise making by teachers,” he said. No one was listening o him.

Noticing that he was speaking to himself, he called off the meeting and went back to class eight, dejected. It was quite clear that the beginning of the end of Kuya had just begun. It was a wonderful feeling.