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CAMP LAZ

He seemed angry, mad. Like he'd had pepper and a concoction of bitter herbs for breakfast. Maybe he was facing destruction. But since I ain't a priest who goes around solving people's problems and asking for sadaka, I just watched him. Watched him the way an assassin would watch his quarry. His gaze rose from the paper and met mine. Our eyes locked in this intense war, I just had to look away. Then he signed the leaving certificate, the way a judge would sign a death sentence for a reknown rapist. He handed over the paper. With a croaky voice, he said.
"Here you go boy, we're done. Good luck and fly the name of Kapsabet high."
If you think we're done here, we're not. It's the beginning, when you think it's the end.
As I walked out of his office, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia washed over me. I thought I'll be happy to be finally gone. This wasn't the case. See, a place where you spend four years of your adolescence, will remain etched in your heart forever. No matter where you go, you can't forget, it's like home. So I decided to sit on the stairs leading to his office for one last time. And memories on how found myself here came running to my mind.
That where you don't want, the gods take your sorry ass there. I never wanted this place.
See, when the high school calling letters came, I went batshit! I wanted another place not LAZ. Oh! You don't know LAZ , you'll find out soon. So here I am during admission. The legendary Busolo asks.
"Osoch, ulieka Kapsabet number one?"
I just nodded. But if he knew the burning truth. Kapsabet wasn't even in my goddamned list. Just for the record, I don't regret joining Kapsabet, it's the best. This is how it happened.
See, my parents are bad ass firebrands. Pure African, Kenyan to the core. They don't believe in ludicrous stuff like open dialogue between parent and child. One evening, my father comes with the calling letter. My dad, the breadwinner, the alpha and omega, and the endless stream of praise.
"Boy, you're going to Kapsabet."
The moron in me tried to argue.
"But Dad, I don't want it. Listen how even the name sounds. I'm sure you have to cross seven rivers and walk through a rainforest before you get there."
"No the school is on the Eldoret highway. It's a good school actually. And that's where you're going. No more buts."
"But dad it's not fair."
I turned to my mother to see if she could support my argument. Now, my mum and dad. I don't know how to put it to you. They are the classic, quintessential, domestic dictators. And they had formed this unholy alliance. My mum looked at me disdainfully, like I wasn't her last born son. And you know what she said?
"Are you trying to argue with your father? "
Then that "mscheew." I knew the argument was lost but homeboy wasn't going to give up easily.
"But Dad, for chrissake!" See, I'mma  a little drama King. So I got a little theatrical. Throwing arms in the air.
There's a way fathers look at their sons, in that look. There are a thousand unsaid sentences which scare the shit out of you. Telling you if you go farther, your ass may just be thrown out of the damn house. This is the kind of look my father gave me. Cold as balls. He didn't say a word, just looked at me. The battle was lost, so was the war. To be honest, fathers should stop looking at their sons that way. It's not good. But rest assured, should I have a son one day. That is the exact look I'll be giving him, cold as balls.
And that's how I found myself at the legendary Kapsabet high school. A place which forged me into everything I am today. I don't know, if I had attended a different school maybe I would be another person. Surely not a writer. Chances are I would be concerned with poppycock things such as the plight of birds and cats.
I get up from the stairs to take in the school for one last time. And look who I run into. Mandila! The director of football, in tow was Mutai, the team coach. Lemme tell you about Mutai first. Epic guy, played for Harambee stars at some instance. But that's not what makes Mutai stand out. Naah!  It's his laugh. I mean,like he can laugh. A joke which ain't funny maybe said. You have no plan to laugh, but should you hear Mutai laughing. You will laugh too, I swear, you'll break into fits. Mutai is a cool guy. With Mandila, I think he should get professional help. You know what he asked me.
"Osoch, have you already impregnated someone's daughter huko Kisii?"
Jeez, No!
Then I met Mrs Sumukwo. We used to call her Chero. One of those good, God fearing ladies, you can't describe and finish. I told her she looked good. You know what, she walked away from me. Maybe she thought.
" Oh, God, here is that sinner. He never concentrated during mass and never paid thithe. Please steer him away from me. Ashindwe!! Kwa jina la kondoo."
But you know what? Chero was the class form principal class of 2017. One of the best chemistry teachers around, with a masters in chem under her belt. During KCSE, she was among those who woke up to lead us in prayers before we sat the damned papers. While they prayed, I know some characters, me excluded were fantasising about the mint. A sweet we took before exams. It opens your mind. That's what they said. But that's not to mean that you should wait for KCSE and eat mints. Make hay while the sun shines. Don't I sound  so philosophical??  Like Aristotle or those great thinkers.
Most people will talk about working smart but don't listen to such. That's just rhetorical garbage. In Kapsbet there's  no narrative like working smart. It pure hard work, old school. You put in the damn hours. Some guys slept at 12am and woke up at 3 am. They ain't coerced,bullied, or forced to do so. It's just in the blood. So we slogged, went to war with books. Heck! Results don't just fall like manna from heaven. It's a bloody war, people sweat. And as such, last year's class, where I was. Managed to come in the top ten country wide that's no mean feat.
For parents reading this, Kapsabet is the place  for your boy. Because values on how to transit to manhood are taught there. IN UNDERSTANDING BE MEN. It's also a beautiful place, the weather, lush and verdant grass, the works. If I continue describing it, I won't finish I guess.
Now, don't get me wrong. Kapsabet is not a land of milk and honey where people have croissants for breakfast. Where people sing and clap from morning to evening. And there's continuous playing of the harp. Naah!  It has all the beauty. But this pulchritude nature came about as a result of the work people put in. Alumni and everybody including the non teaching staff. Na if you wish to join that place be prepared to work like never before. Like your life depends on it but heck! Your life depends on it, ain't that why you in school??
The school also attracts the who and who in Kenya. Prezda Uhuru is always there. By the way last month a thanksgiving was held. Those who got A grades were given an iPhone 6 and a cool 60 thao. The A- were given medals of valor. The rest of the poultry have their admission numbers to be thankful for but know what?? There was a 100% transition to university. Where almost everyone will be doing a premium course. Just like me of course.
I walked around the school once more and damn! I was going to miss this place. That saying "you don't know what you have till it's gone".Came alive. I felt crying, I did not.
I spent two awesome days in the highlands. Bytha, in tow was homeboy, Otonchi. A partner in crime. One hell of a guy. He swallows bananas whole. And we also ran into one, Butasi and Undercover. Butasi was the football genius, while Undercover, as the name goes, was undercover. A guy who thrives in the shadows, his presence is never felt. To be honest, he scares me, maybe he's a police informer. You just never know how people survive in this country.
But si you know. Nothing beats moments with the boys. We were laughing all the time, cracking jokes, chiding each other. We went to a PlayStation joint, where I hammered the guys flat. Then had supper (not dinner). In this gorgeous hotel. We then sampled Kapsabet's night life. Kapsabet  is one sleepy town. There's nothing to report on activities executed in the dark. Then we caught our 25 winks in this restaurant with an excellent service but lousy Wi-Fi. 

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Yours truly. The Rainmaker.
©Osochogun2018. Sharing is sexy. 

2 comments:

  1. Oh my god I love this piece sooo much. People should know high school is not a joke.You work your ass off for everything. Btw y didn't you mention about junkies to Moi Eldoret 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

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