Of Siga-Nangi and other stories
When you attended Sigalame High School, you’ll get when I tell you there are guys who’d ‘cube’ the six o’clock uji every morning and would want us to think they are normal people (cubing porridge! Seriously!)! You’ll understand when I say there are guys that would go for weeks without hitting the shower, you’ll get what I mean when I mention prefects like Ochanji who’d book the whole school including fellow prefects. You’ll recall Ocampo (the deputy principal) whose wasn’t just a normal slap but an electric one. You’ll recall the famous Siga-Nangi alliance that never died no matter how Butula guys tried to snatch Nangina girls, you’ll recall the famous boiler (old lorry) that would go for water at Munana and how everybody fought for a slot in it, only to come back dirty and dusty that they left.
Aye! Si we start this afresh?
So it’s second term, you are a form four chap. A living master. Team number one. You are respected. Revered even. You can decide to forego the Sunday morning chai-mkate breakfast because you have issues with Mr Sumba the boarding master and everybody else will not go for it. So somebody convenes a teachers staff meeting and exempts you from community work because apparently, you are busy preparing for KCSE. When the 4:45 morning preps bell wakes you up, as people like Ojwang’ that sleep in their official black shoes and full uniform just hit the floor and run to class, you that sleep in boxers have to lazily open your eyes, remain covering yourself in a blanket and wait for the teachers on duty to show up shouting, “Wake up boys! Run to Class!” before getting out of bed. Coming back after the morning preps, you’d brush your teeth, occasionally take a shower, then rush to the dinning hall where Emba and Abedi and Didiero would be waiting to serve you kikombe nusu ya uji.
So being second term, symposiums and trips are the order of the day. The next symposium is a Mathematics contest, taking down in St Francis Rang’ala Girls. It’s scheduled for this Saturday and that means you have to nourish your maths skills… Calculating velocity, calculating the time taken for two cars moving towards each other to meet, finding the value of X and stuff. By the way do you guys know the value of X? Anybody? Well, don’t worry, you’ll find it out the day you’ll lose your girl to her ex. You’ll not even lose her ati because she intended to get back to him, no. It’ll just be one of those lazy Friday afternoons when her ex texts and she says there’s no harm seeing him. So she’ll say, “Ah, aki amenisumbua sana. Wacha tu nimuone, after all nothing can happen between us.” You will then set her free and trust me, that’s the night you’ll sleep on your cold couch regretting. That’s the only night you’ll wish you had somebody to help you find the value of X.
Anyway, do you know how you prepare for a trip to Rang’ala Girls? Simple. You wash your favorite pair of uniforms, or even borrow a prefects’ long-sleeved shirt, then you wash it kitu three-four days to the D-day. Then, because not all of you can get access to one of the teachers’ iron boxes, you will fold that shirt and that trouser properly, wrap it in a sheet and put it under your mattress. Or under your metal box. Friday morning, you will retrieve your uniforms and as expected, they’ll look great and with no cruises (what the entire school will describe as ‘mng’aro‘. And of course you’ll join the long queues during games time to call home asking for money for the trip..
On the D-day, you’ll all slip into your ming’aro. You now have 500 Bob warming your ass, very rich. You are all smelling great because now who wants to stink and spoil his reputation in front of girls? In fact a good number of you are now wearing the same cologne, but that doesn’t even bother you. What’s important is that you are boarding the bus to Rang’ala.
So after treating yourself to a porridge and two ngumus meal, you all run to the bus. And though the school borrowed two more buses from neighboring schools to accommodate the entire form four class, there is always the classic bus that you’d prefer, but maybe based on your index number, you won’t board it. Yeah, this is not Rongai where you just wobble into the car you want. Here, there is some sort of order – your performance decides where you sit. Say index number 1-60 will board bus one, 61-130 bus two, then 131-195 will board bus three. So yeah, if you don’t like the bus allocated to you hiyo ni shauri yako. If it doesn’t have music then you can as well beat stories the whole journey. And if your dere doesn’t speed the way you want then pia still that’s your problem.
You are now at Rang’ala Girls and guess who else is there? Nangina Girls – your all time sister school. But what does your egos tell you? “Ah! Hawa madem watajipanga bana. Sisi leo tuko rada ya Rang’s (Rang’ala Girls).” And by default, you realize the girls you are professing to hang out with today have also ditched their brother-school because those boys are poor academic performers. So yeah, you now have a new alliance – Siga-Rang’s. In the Maths contest that Ndachu your Maths HOD registered forty guys to sit, when results are out, you realize almost half of you scored a 4/50. And that’s just fine considering the fact that a good number scooped only one mark. Heck, some even walked out that paper with nothing. Just experience.
With a 4 out of 50, you match around the school head high like a boss. You win yourself new girlfriends. Your sister-school bae tries to reach you but all in vain. Why on earth do you need her when you are now swimming in a pool of smart asses from Rang’ala, Socho, Cardinal Otunga, and a sea of other girls? Maskini akipata matako hufanya nini? So you are there. And the good thing with sitting that contest is that when you get out the exam, you are always free to join any discussion group.
After flirting and walking around, finally, together with your new catch, you join a discussion group. Minutes later, when you are proving to folks that not only are you smart outwardly but mathematically too, one of your schoolmate join your group. It’s now the two of you representing your school -Sigalame. So when you are still explaining some concept, the guy jumps in and asks why you still wet your bed up to this time. The entire group directs their eyes on you. You ignore him and proceed expounding and solving that mathematical question. “Na sasa leo utalala kwa malazi baridi?” the guy continues. But this time, his question is met with mixed reactions. “Kwani what’s wrong with you? How is that related to what we are doing here?” some honey asks. She’s backed by a proportion of the group. “Lakini sasa wewe mtu mkubwa hivi bado unakojoa kwa malazi?” some black nigga chimes in.
At this moment, you are tempted to tell these people that you don’t wet your bed but thinking about it, who will even believe you? Because look, these people don’t know you. It’s the guy leveling these claims on you that knows you properly. So even if he says you are a murderer, people will still believe him. You want to tell them that this guy is just mad because he stole someone’s shirt and when the owner (a form one) came complaining to you (because you are the house captain), you ordered this guy to give back the shirt. He gave it back and is still not in terms with you. You want to tell them that, but you can’t. So because nobody wants big boys that pee on bed, your new catch walks away. Guy finds you flirting with another gorgeous hunny and this time round, “Na leo unanukia aje! Ungekuwa unaoga hivyo at least hata kama ni once per week. Anyway, tukirudi shule urudishe hiyo shati leo.” jamaa declares and walks away.