Visiting days in schools were like christmas or mashujaa day. For that day you forgot about classes and the awful subjects. You were allowed to see your parent . You dont know the value of someone until you require an appointment to see them. They felt like honorary chefs to us coming to jumpstart our taste buds from the boiled githeri we ate. They were like the media actively controlling what we would talk about for the next weeks; eating delicious homemade food, drinking soda, new socks brought to you, or meeting a new sibling.
Being a boss in school meant you had a weekly supply of biscuits in your box. You shared your pack of biscuits with people you loved and if they betrayed you, you just wrote them down on the blackboard(goes without saying that majority of us prayed for moments when teachers would forget their chalks in class) . Whoever got the chalk became the alpha of the day. They got enemies and friends on the same day. The haters would say, “Ule anajiskia sababu ako na chalk ya announcements.” Waah kids can be mean. The friends would say, damn I wish I could grab that chalk like you did.
pWhere were we, yes, visiting days in schools. Mind you it wasn’t that glorious if you failed your midterm exams.
“So Kamau, you have become like the grass in the field?”
“What do you mean dad?” the boy in shorts asks.
“You are doing nothing. You are just here to be stepped on.”
Baba Kamau has one of those serious faces and only carries a gazeti in his travels. Baba Kamau also brought his better half to visit their son, she however is not as harsh and soulless.
“Eeh Kababa” she greets.
Photo burnt. Now, there are things that should be labelled as inside nicknames for parents. Some names should only be said in the vicinity of two people not in a playfield sorrounded by your classmates.
People turn their heads and look at big ol you. You are as tall as the girraffes and your beards require 5 rounds work to achieve a clean shave but to your mama, you are just kababa. A tiny little boy who still needs his hand held while crossing the road. You might have faced alot of things in school, like getting 00% in mazematics but being called Kababa in an open ground you can’t recover. You can’t. I know a good therapist though.
Then, there were the parents who never came and that cut deep through some students. It is hard to go more than four months as a child without a parent. I can only hope their reasons were good enough.
Some students like me go the kind of parents that came together for the visits. A fact that am eternally grateful for. Oh and they never called me kamum in the play field, if you ever find me in any therapists office just know am trying to understand why life will not hand me 1 million kenya shillings.