“No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid” – Lupita Nyong’o
Going to school back in those days wasn’t as easy as it is nowadays, waiting for a school bus to pick you at your home. We used to walk a few kilometers to get to school. That is while using the long route. The short route was by going through the shamba which would take around fifteen minutes and this time you are walking as fast as you can and at times running. Unfortunately the rainy days our parents wouldn’t allow us to pass by the short route as it would flood near the river and we would have to remove the shoes(we were not wearing socks…haha)and walk through the waters to the other side. Though sometimes we would hide and pass the short route even if it’s flooding and by the time you get to school you have a running nose after you have enjoyed crossing the flooded rivers.
Remember, you have to be at school in time, by 7:00am. Or you be ready for the consequences thereafter, some nasty caning on your hands or behind, kneeling, cleaning the compound and any other available duties to be done that day would be yours, just because of getting late for school with a few minutes.
I remember there was this male teacher who was a heavy drinker, once you got late in his duty you would really face it, he would make us sleep on dewy grass in the morning, mind you it’s just a few minutes past 7:00am. He would then start talking using some very rude remarks, “you girls getting late to school, you are about to get married, is this the time you will be waking up to prepare your husband’s breakfast?”
After an hour of being outside while others are in class having their morning preps, you are released to go to class and reminded to wake up earlier tomorrow or you will get a heavier punishment. The next days you wake up before the cock crows and rush not to be late.
Those times we would not have toothbrushes, so we would go pruning some sticks and brush heading to school. And believe me; our teeth would still get clean and sparkling white!
Back then private schools were for children from rich families. We would admire their unique uniforms, pretty stripped socks and well polished shoes, while our shoes were turning grayish due to lack of polish…cheeeii!
But still we continued learning. We believed that our future was bright which still is. No matter where we have come from, our dreams are still valid!