Life ain’t a rehearsal or so they day but I can still remember many many years ago when I did my KCPE rehearsal. The day before rehearsal usually ended on a high note. Fetching water from the river and transporting it several miles on my back to the school compound and hiding it in a place where nobody else could see it or risk going for rehearsal the following day and finding that I don’t have water to scrub the desk was a task more uphill than walking a tight rope. No wonder the keeper of the stars strategically placed the rivers downhill, this way you always have to go uphill. More time would be spent looking for sand, sandpaper, ash, charcoal, steel wool and whatever other paraphanelia that your eyes could land on to scrub the desks. The mantra was simple, ‘if it can scrub, pick it.’
See the thing was the desks didn’t require help in acquiring dust over the year, but they required help in reclaiming the only shade that Magoha can appreciate. So I get to class and find this girl writing on the board and I don’t get curious enough to check what she’s writing. Turns out she was writing some really nasty stuff about a couply teacher 💞.
On the material rehearsal day, it was more of scrubbing than rehearsing. The desk had to come out as ‘mūanga mūūwe’ a peeled cassava. All the muscles, joints and tendons in the body unanimously coordinated to deliver an ‘exceeds expectations’ CBC kind of result. And so we scrubbed, then we rehearsed and then we were rounded to give out details on the naughty girl. I ended up being a snitch since they wouldn’t let us go home without naming the culprit and I was already hungry enough from scrubbing. There’s a reason Esau sold his birthright. Rummaging through the wild while the stars conspire to send all the bush meat out of your way is not funny. You get back home limp, hungry and thirsty only to find your gakware brother tempting you with ndengu. Earth is hard.
So before letting us go home they gave us the success cards they had accumulated over the term. Receiving two melody cards thanks to my brother Mike who is now resting in peace and my Sunday school teacher was reason enough to make a village girl smile from ear to ear. The hunger pangs were forgotten. I listened to the melodies all the way home.
I take this opportunity to wish all the standard eight 2021KCPE candidates all the best in the exams and the life ahead.


Published by Nyar Kaheti

Born and raised on the picturesque slopes of Mt Kenya, Nyar Kaheti is your girl next door vibe kind of girl. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and listening to country music among other things.

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