Brown is not my favorite color. It’s far from it. It’s on the bottom of the barrel of colors I am drawn too. Why probably because I had to wear that color for five days a week when I was in primary school. Then I ended up in a high school whose main color was brown.
I had to wear it for another four years! Goodness! Brown tie, brown sweater, brown skirt with a box pleat. We got blessed with a nice burgundy (maroon) color for a blazer. Probably to break down the boredom of brown. I lost mine my blazer my first year of high school or to put it succinctly, it was stolen.
I have so many memories of my high school life. Like random punishments I ended up doing because I laughed too loudly or being a noise maker. My second year of high school I sat infront of my friend, Samora, and man, we would crack jokes and laugh forever. My name was always on the list of noisemakers but Samora’s name was never to be seen. Why? Because I have a habit of bursting out loudly. I can not contain my laughter. It has a mind of it’s own. It starts as a small titter, then gradually becomes a shout, then my body shakes and the next thing my whole body convulses and I am bellowing. Samora on the other hand would laugh so hard but no sound would come out of her mouth. You can see the tears streaming down her face, eyes shut in that euphoric laughing bliss but not a peep. I always told myself that I was done talking to Samora while vigorously sweeping the pavement or washing dishes or whatever form of punishment the prefects came up with. Then back in class, we would be at it all over again, and I would be on another list of noisemakers.
I was eventually moved to the back of the class. The back bench. The teacher thought placing myself next to my new Deskie, would deter me from showing up on the list. Unbeknownst to my teacher, Mrs. Kamau, my Deskie, Winnie and I were in Drama club together. Drama club was one of the most fascinating clubs to be in. We played out characters,laughed, sang, and went out for Drama festivals which to someone who was in a boarding school was like the most amazing thing everrrr! Well anything that pertained to going out of school was a great thing! Knowing this inspired me to joing a gazzilion clubs.
My eyes light up when I was told to move to the back but I pulled myself together and swallowed the smile that was forming on my face. We became deskies and even call each other desky today. My siblings don’t even know her name. We still squeal “deskkkkkiiieeeee” each other deskie. If there is one person with a ton of stories to tell about my highschool days, it’s my deskie!
Another punishment that fell on me now and then was not having the bed well made. Ahhh boarding school life. Yes! That was a thing. I had to wake up early in the am and go for my study group. I'd straightened my bed to the best of my ability. But on the Friday assembly. If your bed was not properly made, they would call out your name. You would then step in front of the whoooolleee school, teachers, students, school bus driver, watchman - everyone. You would receive that sad blank look because one, you can’t make your damn bed or execute a mitered corner and two you had to face the whole school with everyone looking at you until after the assembly was done. You never wanted your name called. You would be the butt of jokes. Then assigned bathrooms and toilets to clean on the weekends. On top of that, if you were a Home Science student like I was, you would receive another punishment because how can a Home Science student not know how to make a bed? I lowkey dreaded Friday assembly. Like a well trained soldier, I still make my bed up to today.
Sometimes, I can hear the principal saying “ Beds of the following NOT well made!!!”
Amid punishments, laughing, drama clubs, and studying it’s also where high school discovered that I enjoyed writing. I started writing in my first year of highschool. We had so much time to kill, and then there was the network of novels that seem to be floating about. You had to know someone who knew someone. Plus you had to be a fast reader. I digested novels like meals. When I was not reading a novel, I was writing my own novellas. I wrote novels or little stories. I wrote them during preps, breaktime, lunch ime, any free time I had - when I was done studying. The little books I wrote circulated in and out the classes. There were lines and some of my buddies took it up to themselves to bring them back, especially when I had left the story dangling.
Suspense was a huge part of the plot. It was like wondering what would happen on the next episode of Game of Thrones. Marion Mungasia, a buddy a class behind me would ask me if I wrote a page or even a paragraph. The thing with writing, these stories needed to marinate and simmer to make the tale super interesting. That would take a few days. The wait would make my dear readers incensed. Please remember I still had to study, turn in assignments, go for my study groups and so forth. How I created time to write novels is beyond me.
I stopped writing in my third year in high school. Maybe it was a sign that I needed to focus more on my studies who know.
Here’s what happened. I had just finished a writing several pages. At this stage the books had become somewhat “famous” . I had written close to over 400 pages. This damn story was on three 200 page notepads (exercise books) and it had a que. My buddy Ejidia had finished reading or was reading it when our Math teacher found it on top of her desk. My Math teacher took the book and I just wanted to diffuse in the air. Never to come back!
The book had my name all over it. Ejidia had also written her name on it too. To put it mildly, this manuscript of a book had some graphic and intense stories. I had poured my active imagination in it, and it had been confiscated. I was worried when the teachers read my writing I would be expelled. Sent home to my mother. Good Lawd!!! What would I tell her? That I was writing semi - romantic books laced with other stuff I had picked up from other books for what? The thought of being expelled was enough to put the fear of God in me.
Ejidia and I were called to the staff room the following Saturday afternoon. Head hung low, hands in front. I was trying to put a brave face but I failed miserably. We humbled ourselves before the Lord so that we could be lifted upM from whatever was coming our way. Mrs. Kamau did not ask a lot of questions but had a few sentences for us. To never repeat it again and get back to our studies. We apologised and promised never to repeat it again. We walked out of there gulping deep breaths of air, as if a narrow escape from deep waters. I promised not to write again but I still held storytime sessions with my home science crew Ade, Beato, and the gang. It was in the home science room that I first learnt to stitch a garment.
I have no idea where I was going with this post when I started typing. I made a skirt that was brown in color and it brought all these high school memories. I had not planned on shooting this look against a colored back drop however, this location presented itself and here we are.
I probably need to do a part two of this post. My high school years bring carry a lot of memories. I’ve poked a tiny whole in this bag full of memories. If I were to write about them, I would be here forever. There were days when I disliked high school, especially when doing those punishments. Then there were days I really, really loved it. Actually, I loved it most of the time. That’s just me. Life was good. Simple even. Just study, do your duties, go for clubs or sports, wash your clothes on saturday, show up for class and live.
I made really, really amazing friends. Friends that I am in contact with even today. Friends that will go see my family when I things are thick. Friends that give my mum a hug in those Nairobi streets because my mum is their mum and their mums are my mum. Friends that I have to link up with when I’m back home for vacay. My girl Nyambu is my go to reggea partner. Wapi doba? The stories, the laughs, and oh how the jokes will fly! Friends that will make me the the butt of jokes and can’t wait to rip my “accent” too smithereens. My buddy Nat and Sash are famous for it. Fortunately, I execute my kiswahili sheng perfectly. What accent? Friends who became family. Friends who taught me the that true friendship isn't about being inseparable, it’s about being separated and nothing changes.
Dressed in that drabby brown color, we made colorful memories. Damn, I miss the heck out of you all.
Today my country KENYA exercises democracy by voting for it's leaders.
May peace reign. One KENYA.
Skirt: ROSHIE ANNE
Body Suit: Local Store
Accessories: Maasai Market - Kenya