Rebirth - FARMERCIST 254

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Sunday, 4 February 2018

Rebirth


At F1 Yellow I was received by Kevin Gaunye, the class Secretary, and Douglas Amuono, a gentleman I had given a warm welcome a few years back at Sega Township Primary... Sega had had its own share of bullying and I had defended Douglas against a few, in 1999 when he joined us from Nyamasare Primary in Ugunja. We had been good friends since then and he, therefore, made me to feel so much at home. Gaunye assisted me in securing a seat and I was made to share a space with David Osidha...To-date I do not understand why, but Osidha had stayed without a deskmate for a long time (the gentleman would give anyone headache whenever he chose to). Just in front of us were Kevin Dooso and Arnold Opande; a very friendly but extremely chicky pair.
As I mentioned before, just like Saints, this new market had its fair share of mad people, a story that I plan to share in future when I get a chance and airtime. That evening during preps, an ebony black fellow, Ochiengson...the blackjack...that was his nickname...I later came to learn that everyone in that stream had a nickname...seeked everyone's attention and demanded that I introduce myself to the whole class. Evans Kobiero was even ready with a format, as if they had planned this a week before I joined them. I was to give my name, former school, reason for leaving that school, the previous term's mean grade and the marks I had scored in primary school. I had been known as a notorious noisemaker since primary, Agnes Anne can attest to that, but I had since acquired a silent and very fearful character of late. As such, my long legs shook as I moved towards the blackboard. I gathered courage and did exactly what they had requested of me and everything else went on so well...but I must have lied a lot in the introduction.
The first teacher to come to our class the following day was a beautiful lady, who introduced herself as the teacher of English. Unfortunately to-date, I do not remember her real name since she left Ambira almost immediately after I had joined. Her nickname, the only name that stuck in to my somehow innocent oblangata, was Kasandra. Just like students in my new stream, all teachers in Ambira, apart from Mr. Odhiambo who taught CRE, had nicknames. What struck my attention was the kind of relationship madam had with her students. Students joked with her and the class was very lively...my love for English as a subject rekindled immediately. The next teacher was Mr. Maurice Uduny, a soft-spoken gentleman who would take us through Kiswahili throughout high school. He was friendly, understanding and fatherly. He would later be more than just a teacher to us. Kiswahili teachers were remarkably good...even Mr. Emmanuel Owino of Saints had made me to love the subject from the first day...studying Kiswahili later became as interesting as reading 'Rais Anampenda Mke Wangu' by Erick Shigongo James. By the way, Shigongo James literary pieces had this unique way of capturing a teenager's attention...I could only compare him to Victor Thorpe who was a master in Teenage Literature.

Teacher-student relationship in Ambira was amazing, and this was one of the things that made it possible for her to rise again from ruins. Almost every student had a teacher they would confide in in case of anything. Ambira even had a school baraza...a forum in which students and teachers would discus issues affecting the school community and mostly student welfare. A lot of improvements in service delivery to students came as a result of such fora. Unfortunately, and sadly so, the barazas had to be stopped since some students would grab such opportunities to insult and embarass teachers...it really pained my heart. Personally, I have never believed in corporal punishment; it always demoralised me and killed my ego and confidence as a victim. Just as blood is important for a human body, I have always believed in dialogue for any form of relationship. Am glad to note that Ambira had a resilient spirit...and her path to recovery was wide and clear.
I totally believe that for a society to prosper its weakest members, who are the most vulnerable, must be protected and by everyone. Apart from teachers and students who may be living with disabilities or who may be sick in a way or another, in a school set up, form ones are usually very vulnerable. They are always in a state of disturbance; some are going away from their guardians for the first time, most are always very young and often homesick and go through many other forms of trauma.
From my own experiences I resolved that I would be protecting form ones, then later in life, the vulnerable members of my society. I can proudly and confidently note here that I achieved in this as a student. Back in high school I joined a group of students which would receive form ones every year; orientate them and just make sure that all form ones that passed through me were comfortable. It was so satisfyingly rewarding and the feeling is still burning within me. Through this I learned to heal from my own past, I built dreams of kids most of whom are important members of our society today, I gave hope to the hopeless and myself in the process, I built everlasting contacts, I met wonderful friends who have continued to impact my life positively to-date...friends like Dennis Ndonj, Haggai Tirra, Jesse Mkok, Harold Aura, Vincent Meyo, Steve Ogolla, and so so many mentors that I thank God for forever; above all I made my society better and improved my chances of inheriting the Kingdom of God.
Our teachers and senior brothers helped us grow just like Ambira grew...a journey that I shall explain in the next sitting....

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