Inmate 309/97: Nyeri High ‘Education Camp’!


Remember how excited i told you i was when i got admitted to Nyeri High? Well, the excitement deteriorated rather quickly when we got to Tea Room to board the 4 NK mathree to Nyeri. I knew i would miss home and that was not a comforting thought. I would miss my mum’s cooking and tea and chapos and stories. Goodness, i would so miss my grandmother’s roasted bananas and ‘happy hour’ with grandpa at the ka joint we used to buy soup and boiled cow tongue.

At Tea Room i met a former classmate; a yellow yellow chic called Lucy. She was dressed in full Sacred Heart school uniform and wewewe the skirt looked awesome on her. The few months i had not seen her since clearing KCPE had transformed her into a lady fit for a reputable girl’s boarding school, though there was never anything sacred about Sacred Heart Girls High School.

I will chapia you that story later.

We didn’t chat much with her, our mothers exchanged the kawaida motherly banter about how school fees was high and how great it was having their kids attend high school. I looked at Lucy, she looked scared as shit. I gave her a reassuring look; it’s gonna be ok girl, just hang in there…..

Goodness, never in my life had i travelled that far; dude, Nyeri sio karibu, right then i thought it was the farthest place i had ever been to. I slept, dreamt, woke up, repeated the whole exercise and kept asking my mum whether we were there yet.

Mum was used to it, she was in Tumutumu girls for her O levels.

We passed by Mura’nga and bought a bunch of bananas at a throw away price. I had fun throwing away the peels as we sped past lots of greenery and peace and quiet. Man this place of Central Kenya is so beautiful; you just fall in love with it so spontaneously you hardly notice.

Fast forward to Nyeri High. We are up and down filling forms, getting uniforms, PE kits with the destination dorms printed at the back (mine was Nyati 2), forms and more forms. It was tiresome and boring and stressing coz up to that point i knew there was no turning back.

The registration point was a small square measuring about 160 sqm right between the Admin office and staffroom. There was a red telephone booth erected against a white wall, we used to ‘tap’ the phone just so we could speak to our sweet hearts. Tapping was what you would call flashing nowadays, or something close to it.

It must have taken the entire day coz by the time we were through, the kids (haha) and akina Tanyai O’ Beast were heading out of class at 1600 hours. Most of the ‘monos’, my comrades in degradation had already donned their starchy uniforms and they looked quite ridiculous.

If the situation was any different i would have laughed.

So mum is busy completing the forms to hand me over to a maximum security prison and some dude in cool specs, fancy walking style and a massive faux smile approaches me. I felt relieved, life in Nyeri High would be fun, i was gonna love it. I mean, this guy is all smiles and it warmed my heart….

“Your mama is leaving,” he whispered, the smile replaced by a cold stare, “and you will be left here with us, you will see fire!” then he walked into the staffroom with a smile.

I almost crapped my pants, i swear. I looked at mum and she did not even see what had transpired. I had a bad feeling that i would expire even before our first visiting day that term and this would be the last time Waithira would see her son!

So everything goes well, Nyeri High tattoos me with inmate number 309/97 and am issued to my handler, a decent forth former who seemed rather humble and kind. He carries my box and calls another dude to assist…..the latter dude is Tanyai O’ Beast!!

You see, i was quite tiny and tiny people in some cases benefit from affirmative action. The reason Tanyai liked me was because i was tiny and soooo in need of protection and we shared the same second name; Ndegwa….from then on i was his ‘cousin’ and i fell directly under his protection.

They, Tanyai and my handler Kiragu even assigned me a Bom 2 (2nd former) to perform, among other things take me to the sanitation block at night and fix me ‘cold power’.

I was with the Bom 2 when i saw a man’s ass in the shower cubicle. It took me 2 days to have a shower, and i did it when it was almost lights off just so my ass is not seen…..i had heard stories of soap dropping and……..let’s not talk about this!!

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