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I am a dreamer, no doubt, but my dreams of school are the most interesting by far. My dreams of school, especially secondary school, are both scary but also relieving when I wake up and realize I cleared school. I went to high school at Kagumo High School in Nyeri, Kenya and it was a very interesting four years at the school. There were the haters, the dope boys, nerds, and guys like me who were just there to get done, get good grades, and move on to life as an adult. I was happy at Kagumo and I am very grateful for the education I got there, both in books and also in life. I am also very grateful to all my teachers who held my hand all through the four years and all my other teachers in all levels of education. They made me who I am and taught me invaluable lessons and for that I say, Thank You and God Bless!
Yes, Kagumo High School had all the characters you would find in a normal society, including the crazies. I come from Nyeri, it is my home and those students who came from the city, Nairobi, would not let us ‘ushago’ (rural) boys have a break. They would always brag about being from the city or coming from well-off families. Their kind of bragging was the kind where they would feel like such big people like so important and all, leaving the rest of us feeling a little demoralized and demeaned or intimidated. The good news is that we survived them and to be frank, outdid them by far in academics. The crazies, which made a good number of them, ended up scoring Ds and C-s while we who were looked down upon ended up with As, A-s, and B+s. We made it and I pray that everyone regardless of their grade, is doing well in life. The haters, as they say, are just admirers who don’t want to admit it.
The Ones We Lost
Unfortunately, as life progresses, we have lost some of those we went to school with. It is so heartbreaking and I feel so bad that some of those we shared high school and even overall school memories with have left us. We pray that their souls Rest in Eternal Peace and it is such a huge loss for all of us and even the country as a whole. Some of the people we lost were guys and gals who would have ended up becoming business magnates and big tech or pharma CEOs. We pray that God comforts their families and that their memories are a blessing. We will never forget them and we will always do our best to make society better and live our best lives in their honor.
Read the Loss article below.
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The most interesting lot for me was the geniuses. Actually, some of the guys we ended up going to the same university with and becoming friends after high school, were mostly the nerds. These are guys who will chop up scores of complicated textbooks and end up outsmarting everyone in exams. They are my friends these ones and are super nerdy. These guys would seem like they do not read or try but end up doing remarkably well in academics. I don’t know if I am a nerd but the geniuses for me are always the most intriguing guys to have a conversation with. You can imagine how interesting it was to discuss quantum physics with them or the concept and popularity of Bitcoin. These guys are going to do great things in life and if they work as hard as they party, then the world is definitely going to become a better place. I don’t have my pictures from high school, so we’ll have to work with pictures from my graduation from university. University was a whole other ball game, and that’s a story for another day. Stay tuned.
Canes, Canes, and Canes
Yes, we were caned in high school. Not me particularly, well, rarely, but our teachers rarely missed a chance or opportunity to cane our bottoms. And I don’t mean oh, a few light canes with slims sticks. I mean thorough caning, even with broomsticks or gas pipes. It was this bad and it brought the non-crazies amongst us to good discipline. The crazies, on the other hand, would end up even being beaten physically, something that seemed to not work as they would act even more delinquent. I was and believe, still am a good boy and the times I was caned were countable. I even had a short spell as a class prefect, thanks to my English teacher, so yeah, I was among the more disciplined ones.
I loved the food in high school. Well, not loved loved but I kind of factored in the scale of each cook and divided that by the number of students, ending up with decent meals for all of us. We ate rice, ugali (a local maize/corn meal), and githeri (a mix of beans and maize). I loved it. I mean I have never up to this day, understood why some of the kids would miss meals. The city kids, especially, would snub meals for days and that to me felt like such a waste. I attended almost all my meals and enjoyed the food thoroughly. I guess that’s why I passed my exams, I was eating well and obtaining all the energy needed to study and perform well. On the other hand, maybe that’s why the city kids weren’t that good performing, they often survived on snacks and the seemingly ‘better’ meals to them. These kids were so picky I wonder whether they survive on pizza and soda nowadays. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. They were so fond of picnicking when parents and family visited. I hope they still do.
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Went to school with a relative or two. Kind of a strange awkward thing but it was overall good. Having family in school is kind of weird but can be very beneficial if you are close to them. If not, then it’s a little bit awkward and sometimes you wish you would or they would defend you more. All in all, if it can be avoided, maybe opt to go to different schools. If not, then appreciate the kinship and try and support each other as best as possible. The problem comes in when they don’t like your friends or you don’t like theirs. The way to deal with is to treat it like the mall. Pick from their friends the ones you like, and do not get bothered by those you don’t. As they say, that’s that and it is what it is.
So, as is the custom in Kenya at least, on the weekends there is ‘entertainment’, which is an afternoon where you students get to watch a movie or play some music. Mind you, phones, mp3 players, and any electrical devices were prohibited and there was no TV on a daily basis in my high school. Since I took computer studies, I got to see screens more than most of the students but still, that was in a controlled environment. Even so, knowing what I know about a sedentary lifestyle, I see the purpose of restricting TV content consumption only to the weekend and only for a few hours. I loved entertainment. I secretly wanted to be the entertainment captain but unfortunately, it did not happen.
I remember at nearly 1 PM, the time entertainment started, we would already have our seats at hand itching to rush them to the entertainment hall and ‘book’ spots close to the TV. It also kind of showed patriarchy in work as those who were in the higher classes would sit close to the TV and those in the lower classes the furthest. This showed a weird hierarchical system and I think someone needs to do a social experiment on why this is so. The same went for assemblies, maybe the higher classes sit close to the stage to get more of the points being relayed. We will never know. Not to mention the ‘famous‘ ones.
Read the Fame at Whatever Cost article below.
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One of the most annoying things in high school was the ‘hierarchical’ and patriarchal system that played out in local student leadership circles. There was so much nonsense with those who got to be prefects of something or ‘captains’ as they were called. In my early years in high school, these ‘captains’ would slap people or outright beat them when crossed or when one didn’t do what’s right. It defeats me to this day what justified such wrongful behavior, all in the name of being a captain. To me, these guys were captains of nothing, they were just kids who got an opportunity to mistreat others, even as some did what they were tasked to do rightfully and with respect. to the ‘rights’ of others.
One of them slapped me in Form One for breaking the air. I probably deserved it but that was no way to treat someone. I remember that slap being so fast I only heard it sound, only to realize it happened. It wasn’t even painful, just lightning-fast, and sounded like one of those wooden boards used to start a race in athletics. Some of these captains are today guys running small businesses, while the lower classes students who got most of the mistreatment, or what I would call bullying, have founded their own companies.
Read The Liberation of Women and What It Means for Patriarchy article below.
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Yes, the ugly topic has reared its head. Bullying was a reality when I first joined but was clamped down upon by the time of leaving. I remember being told to fight with one of my peers and we actually did fight, all to entertain the boys in the higher classes. Looking back, such nonsense seems to me like what would happen in prison but I am glad it was drawn down and hopefully exterminated altogether. The bullies would ask someone to do stupid and nonsensical things such as ‘sing to a tree until it blushes’, ‘pretend you have stepped on a banana peel and slide’, or ‘wash my clothes and bedsheets because I am bigger than you and more ‘senior’.’ We survived it, however, and we hope those kids that were at the forefront of such nonsense became mention-worthy people in life. I am still disgusted to this day by the idea that just because one is in the lower classes and you are in the higher classes, you think you have a right to mistreat them.
Read the Bullying article below.
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One of my most memorable and funniest moments in high school was when in Form Two, the guys from Form Three and Form Four went to ‘war’. To clarify, the high school system started from Form One to Form Four with Form One as the lowest and entry class and Form Four as the highest and graduation class. The ‘war’ in question was the culmination of insults and a kind of wrong rubbing of each other’s shoulders between the two levels. Each ‘form’ had several streams and you can imagine tens or even hundreds of students going to ‘war’. These conflicts would even lead one level to tell the other not to attend entertainment or even outright chase them from the entertainment hall. There was a kind of resistance to the hierarchical system in school, and the class ahead of ours, Form Three, thought they could, and actually took Form Four on in a physical fight. From where I was standing, I remember seeing the scene resemble one of ‘Game of Thrones’ where the Form 3s and Form 4s clashed as knights or soldiers did in medieval times. Like in a nation-state, there was so much anxiety and tension leading up to the ‘war’. Rumors were going around that it would go down, and we from the lower classes felt like we were walking a very thin line. In a way, we were fighting anxiety.
The students from both sides formed a line on one side and surged forward like an army would in medieval times when the most dangerous weapons were swords and took on each other. I remember us cracking up after one of the shortest Form 3s shot up and beat a Form 4 with a fly kick. Those moments were hilarious and those memories are the funniest and most intriguing I have of high school. At the time, the Form Three block was just before the Form Four one and there were large windows where, even seated, Form 3s could clearly see Form Fours. The distance between the two blocks was also a few meters and both sides would frequently hurl insults at one another through the windows or in the dining hall. However, war came and the Form 3s did impressively well.
I also remember a smaller ‘war’ in our Form One class when a student was thrashed for saying something stupid. The lights were shut off and I remember seeing a geometrical set glimmer in the little light left, shining with the name of the set, Oxford Geometrical Set, illuminated in a legible way as it flew to hit the student. He was injured, unfortunately, and you can imagine the kind of siege the class went into when the captains arrived. Luckily, I wasn’t among the offenders, and one captain, Sammy, Lord bless him, got me out of trouble. I thank Sammy because he took me off some sticky situations. He was a cool guy. I mean, the guy could breakdance despite typically being so calm and collected. God bless him.
I never went on a suspension and I am very grateful for that. Lord knows I would have been punished thoroughly by my parents. However, a good number of the crazies frequently went on suspension due to alcohol or drug abuse, and so on. It is hard to imagine that at the time some students were even smoking marijuana or cigarettes and taking alcohol. We condemn drug and alcohol abuse and we pray that anyone in addiction gets the help they need. Some kids were also suspended due to a myriad of reasons. Maybe someone said something wrong to a teacher or maybe they sneaked in something they shouldn’t like a phone to school, or brought alcohol from a school trip, and so on.
I loved school trips, or what we called ‘funkiez’. These were golden opportunities to get out of school and miss class while everyone else was undergoing the routine of everyday schooling. Mind you, my school was a boys-only boarding school and funkiez were a good opportunity to met girls from other schools and ‘socialize’. I even remember being in a scuffle with other members of the Scout’s Movement, of which I was proudly a member, after they tried to bring in corruption and impunity in matters of attendance and who had a right to go on a school trip with the movement.
The right way to do things was that those who attended marching practice and were active members were the ones to be considered first for the school trip. Our school bus, another pride of the school, had a capacity of 60 and mostly only 60 would get to go on a school trip. All you need to know is that I stood up against the corruption and impunity and ensured that things were made right, a move that invited a lot of hate. I forgive those kids, however, and I wish them the best. As a Scout, one was also allowed to wear Scout’s Movement uniform on assembly days and I loved that uniform because it was brown and rarely seemed dirty, unlike our white shirts for the school uniform, grey pants, and blue sweater. I remember we would wash our trip clothes the day before the trip and put them under our mattresses to dry, sleep on them and wake up super early to wear them, even if wet, to look our best during the trip. I miss those days.
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Nothing was as precious in school as some time to sleep. Sleep happened in class and the dormitories. I remember that Saturday was the day to do some cleaning and most of us never missed the opportunity to oversleep or take a few moments longer under the blankets. We were slated to wake up a little bit later on the weekends, and I mean at 6 and not before 5, and many would miss breakfast at 6 on the weekends just to sleep. I rarely missed breakfast but right after, if there was sleep to be slept then the necessary happened. Teachers would, however, pass by the dormitories to ensure everyone was cleaning and you can imagine sleeping restlessly knowing that a teacher would find you and give you a punishment or cane you. Saturday was also inspection day and we would clean up everything, including dormitories, classes, the school compound, and ourselves, and wait for the teachers to come and inspect. Even not cutting your nails or lacking a handkerchief would get you in trouble, such discipline.
Of the things that school and Kagumo gave me, it gave me music. I will forever be grateful to our music teachers and Lord knows they fueled the music spark in me that was ignited in primary school. God bless my music teacher in primary school! At both levels, I was in the choir and the experience for me is my most precious and most valued of all my years of being in school, even at university. The high school choir did amazingly well and we advanced to the nationals in the music festivals a few times. I remember even being among the less than 10 Form Four’s that went to the nationals for the music festival that year, and I will always be very grateful for the opportunity. To this day, the songs we sang with the choir are some of my favorites and I can’t wait to release music and pay homage to our music teachers, the choir, and the gift that they let me nurture. I am eternally grateful and may God bless them abundantly. There is music coming very soon so please stay tuned and ‘hallar’ (reach out) at me through my social media.
Read the Rogue Music article below.
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I am very grateful to Kagumo High School especially because they came to my dad’s funeral. The school organized a full bus of my classmates to attend the funeral and even made donations to us. Me and my family will always be eternally grateful for the love and support and I pray that one day I get the opportunity to support the school in whatever way I can. Asanteni Sana Kagumo (thank you very much) and especially my teachers. You were the best and thank you so much for educating us and teaching us how to be our best selves. I salute you and I will always be eternally grateful for your guidance and support. God bless! Mungu awabariki na awapee Maisha marefu yenye Neema na Baraka (God bless you and may He give you a long life full of grace and blessings).
Thank you also to Kagumo High School itself, and my fellow students. You guys are still some of the most kind, intelligent, and interesting people I have ever known, and I want to say Thank You for supporting me and each other to go through high school and get a quality education. You created a conducive environment for learning and I wish each and every one of you the very best in life. I remember some of my good friends such as Moses, Joel, and Brian. You can even see their names are from the Bible. Such great young Kenyans. I forgive anyone who may have wronged me and ask for forgiveness from anyone I may have wronged. Asanteni sana (thank you so much) my brothers and God bless! My experience in Kagumo was good and I am very grateful. Asanteni (thank you).
Thank You, Mama!
Above all, I thank my parents, my mom, and my late dad, may his soul Rest in Eternal Peace, and my family. I am eternally grateful for their support. I owe everything to you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I pray to be half as good a parent as you were and are. You are my biggest blessing. God Bless! Thank you for supporting me before, during, and after my education. Your support means the world to me. I am very very grateful and I hope to make you proud.
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‘Strive to Succeed’
I am happy to have been a student of Kaggz, which was the nickname of our school, and I feel honored to be an alumnus. Kagumo taught me life and I am grateful for that. It was fun, challenging, hilarious, motivating, and an overall good lesson on life, working with others, and striving to succeed (the school motto). Kagumo taught me this ‘fine’ English that you are reading today and I would not do justice if I did not credit my English teachers Ms. Angela and Mr. Karuiru for teaching me all the intricacies of the language. I am very grateful and may God bless you.
Life is good and I went on to university and graduated with a good mark. I am happy because I got the opportunity to follow one of my passions, writing, and even another, music, not forgetting photography, and I believe that my experience in high school and even in all other levels of education was key to who I am today. That said, I also want to pass my thanks to all my teachers at all other levels. God bless you and I am very grateful for your guidance and support. I also want to thank my fellow students at all levels. You all supported me as I hope I supported you, and I am very grateful to have known you and been in the same level, class, or school with you. You taught me so much and I wish you all the very best in life. God bless and Godspeed.
Read the David Mania Photography article below.
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I also want to appreciate my friends from other schools. I love you all and I ache for those we have lost. May their souls Rest in Eternal Peace. They were queens and kings and we will never forget them. Those that are still here, especially the ladies, you know I love you. I do. 100 percent. God bless! I wish you all the best in everything you do and thank you for being there and supporting me. I pray to support you too in every way I can. Nawapenda Sana (I love you all so much). I love you STL. So much. <3 You share a name with my mom and you went to the same school as her. You are special to me and I pray thanking God every day that I met, have known, and grew to love you. I am so elated and grateful for you. A hunnid (100)!
Much love to you too ‘Wa Babaa’. My ‘school wives’ as I called them warmed my heart so much when I was in high school, and they still do to this day. I feel so blessed to have met and known you and despite how much life changes or what happens, know that I am here and I will always love you 100! I remember us sending each other ‘romantic letters’ to our ‘special ones’ in high school and Lord knows I miss communication via letters. Big shout out also to my brothers Derrick, Caleb, and Felix. These are my people and have been such a blessing. God bless you all and your families. Mi Casa Su Casa (my house is your house) and wherever life takes us, you have a brother in me. God Bless!
Read the My Epic Heartbreak article below.
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My dreams of school are sometimes shocking when I am asleep and dreaming thinking that I am yet to clear school. A teacher once told us you don’t finish school, you cannot stop learning, but you clear it. The good thing, however, is that I feel very happy and relieved when I realize that I did clear school and that I am now a man chasing his dreams in life. I want to assure everyone in school right now that it will come to an end, and whatever happens therein, all that is noise, and all that matters is that you clear and graduate with a good grade. This is invaluable advice from my English teacher and I am very grateful he told us that. I remember him saying that I was a letdown when he found me reading a Chemistry book for a lunchtime test during his English class and to be honest, I feel bad and haunted by the statement. However, like with everyone else, I am flawed. Yes, I know. I am flawed and I do my best every day to not let down those who care about me and love me. Yeah, devilishly handsome doesn’t always mean devilishly good.
Read the Dreams article below.
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Education is Key
I am very grateful for my education and I pray that all children get a chance to get an education and to go to a wonderful school such as Kagumo for a wholesome and all-around quality educational experience. If you are in school, study hard, do your best, and God bless you. Always remember, do not be too hard on yourself. Education can be, but it is not everything. Do your thing, do your best and try and have fun. Enjoy high school or the level that you are in because it does not last forever. You will come to find out that being an adult is much much tougher. As such, have fun while you are still in school and stop being gloomy about having the opportunity, support, and environment to educate yourself and become a better person.
Trust me, your future is much better with a good education. Ask me, I would know, I see many fruits of my education every day. I am very grateful and feel blessed for my education. Doesn’t mean you won’t do well if you didn’t get one, however. Some of the top CEOs in the world quit education. Don’t. You are not in the particular environment or set of circumstances they were in. It is mathematically impossible to have lived their life. Clear your education then go from there. You owe that much to yourself.