Wednesday, 29 February 2012


My high school days were nothing short of hilarious. Where I went to high school, form one students were called ‘nyani’. That’s Swahili for baboon - though in high school context it generally referred to any non human primate (with a tail preferably). Legend has it that in some past era, a form one student climbed a tree right outside my former dorm in search of some distasteful fruit. This boyish escapade ended up in him falling and breaking his arm. From then onwards, all form ones were labeled 'nyani'.

Other characteristics of this primate species of students included; high speed darting to the dining hall at mealtimes (we are talking Kapsabet Express, Rudisha and Usain Bolt kind of speeds), mortal fear of prefects and seniors, an invisible tail and a very retarded reasoning capacity. Class time took less than a meager percentage of their time. They spent most of the day running, scrubbing floors, kneeling and doing other punishments.

Higher up the evolutionary chain were form two students. This lot was often referred to as 'Nyati', Swahili for buffalo. Students in this stage of learning exhibited defiance and some improvement in reasoning. The reasoning bit is best captured by an incident I forever hold funny in my chest of gags. On that day the deputy principal was doing his usual patrols snooping for 'crime'. He happened to stumble upon this 'culprit' ogling at pictures of lingerie models on an old newspaper during prep time. Here is how the situation went down:

Deputy: Kijana (young man), give me that.

Student: {obviously shocked that he has been caught red handed, hands the paper to the deputy}

Deputy: {acting deeply perturbed} What is this you are looking at young man? Why are you reading 'pornographic' material during class time? (FYI, those were pictures from a national newspaper)

Student: {strongly fighting the urge to giggle, then looks up and replies simply}actually sir, I was wondering how such profane material found its way into such a prestigious learning environment…

Rest of the class: {dead!}

Form twos however wore shorts, ditto for Form ones(I hated shorts!). They therefore had an affinity to ‘harvest’ clothes belonging to the Nyani’s from the hanging lines. Save for the geeks, this lot also had an immense loss of focus and a tendency to read for tests at the very last minute - if they ever read at all.

As for the senior students, I don’t recall any alternative names given to them except the common 'Fisi' (Hyena). In credence to the name, all the girls that attended school functions rightfully belonged to this lot. Wearing trousers implied you had taken a quantum leap up the 'evolution ladder'. A senior was regarded as a higher level primate; a Homo sapien to be precise.

Indeed, some form of sanity had fully kicked in amongst most members of this species. This special lot had access to the senior route. Worth mentioning were their rights to solicit for ‘favours’ from juniors ranging from unlimited laundry services to errands like shopping at the canteen (at the juniors' expense of course). Being a senior also meant that running to and fro was no longer compulsory. Members therefore adopted a new way to locomote; walking, or a type of sluggish running which fell more on the extremes of brisk walking whenever required.

There were some other interesting entities who I have to mention to complete this high school story. These are

The principal

Alias: Raich, Yao Ming

Height: pygmies are taller

Nationality: Kenyan

Language: English and Meru… a lot of Meru

Famous quotes: "some people ave to mbe protected against themselves", "we ave to ngo out of our way…" (And boy, all talks on sacrifices had so many 'ways' to 'ngo' out of)

Motives: Lead the school, Command fear, Make money… lots of money

The deputy principal

Alias: Nyastu

Height: tall enough to slap the 'evil Knievel' out of you

Nationality: (Origins rather unclear) Snake Park, maybe hells gate? No. Hell is a tad bit more precise

Language: Swahili (he was out to give the language a bad name), English

Famous quotes: "usilibughudhi jike lipitalo" (whatever that’s supposed to mean), "hamjambo" (an ice breaker), "student of goodwill" (read snitch)

Motive: Find ass, slap ass, whoop ass, kick ass, suspend or expel ass….. jack ass!

The discipline master

Alias: Thendex, JW, Jesus Walks, Jonny Walker, Waithaka e.t.c

Height: towering, tall enough to arrest lightening

Nationality: Murang'a

Language: Kikuyu, English-kikuyu… did I mention Kikuyu?

Famous quotes: “bring a squizer, a broom, a pairo (pail) and a bakett (bucket)” (and my personal favourite) “crass monta, I can see three-quota of the crass is hia, where is the other haf?” etc

Special Adaptations: tall for a larger radius of surveillance, large strides and slightly leaning forward when walking for speed. This dude was always on top gear. Massive memory: from biometrics recognition, to easy Intel retrieval including culprits full name (with abbreviations), admission number, crime time and site, evidence, both parents' addresses and any other previous encounters. He was a walking forensics lab. Others adaptations are athleticism and insomnia (whoever said we needed a bell ringer to wake us up in the wee hours of the morning).

Motive: You can run young man, but you can't hide

Conclusion: High school had its moments, but I NEVER wish to go back there.

1 comment:

  1. Hahahaha!!....this is just too hilarious!!! but its safe to say you got away unscathed?


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