Kioni Steve Waithaka
Memories of School:
Where do I start? Let me first say that anytime I hear the name "Boon" (Headmaster E. Owuor 1989-1993) it brings back
chills on the spine especially the one time he walked along the 1st form block I think it was two days after reporting to
school less than 10 minutes into night prep and I needed to use the boys room so I dashed to the door to take a peek and
as soon as I popped my head out he stood right there and asked, "young man, you just got here, where else do want to go,
to my office?'' and I said, "no sir, I just forgot to use the boys room" he said "Go and next time you forget you will
find yourself lucky to be waiting in my office" So I wondered what he really meant by that and on my way back I saw about
25 2nd formers on the next block hopping (frog jumps) in single file, apparently they were late to night prep and that's
when Boon's words really sunk in!
The grass in the quadrangle was the most precious and it didn't take me long to find out. One time I was walking along the
paved walkway between the chapel and the quad and about 5 strides ahead of me were two rabbles, Karanja S.W. (Tana) and
Wahome D. (Mars). I dont know what happened that Karanja lost his step and ended up taking a couple steps on the grass and
right across was Elgon house and there were three members of the prefect brass standing by including Opot (HOH Elgon)
one of the 'baddest' there ever was. He snapped his fingers and there's no doubt it sounded like a gun shot. So evidently
Karanja knew it was directed at him but what he didn't know was if the prefects called in anyway; one had to rush but
never cross grass rushing to the prefect but that's what our boy did. He was accosted big time. All I can tell you is that
for next three afternoons when we went for games he always reported outside Opot's Study in games kits, a bucket and a
brush on top of the push ups and the frog jumps he must have cleaned the entire Elgon house!
I hold my memories in Patch so dear whether great or bad because I know any Patcherian who underwent rabblisation and with
the many of us I keep in touch with, I remember some so naive and some who were bullies and I saw them change, be it
attitude, academics, or even sports made them a better individuals, I would not change it if I had another way....
I will never forget the French Exchange Programme we shared with Boma to the Reunion Island, it definitely was one of the
highlights of life in Patch. I remember how the Bomarians were feeling too good for us the first two weeks before
departure while meeting at either school for rehearsals and of course we made advances to them but we could tell it was
not the ordinary 'play hard to get' card they played but the ice broke and by the time came to leave for the island
some of us had started getting cozy with girls (not me). I must say our group did not have as good looking girls as the
previous year. There was about three very attractive in the group who every guy was jostling for of ten and the rest were
anything but (sorry for any bomarians reading this I'm just being real) - anyhow to cut this story short when we arrived
at the little island (BTW very beautiful place) and met our exotic hosts thats when the games begun, thats when many of
us became ourselves. There was The Players, The played Around With and The Played Out. first of, let me just say a big
Thank You to The Nairobi School, Kenya High School and the (FCC) French Cultural Center for letting me be the first boy
to host a girl (Catherine Gence) thru the entire programme without a hitch even though it was not planned that way I'm
proud of how I handled the whole thing without any embarrassments. She was beautiful, mature and full of character we had a
great time together and I will leave it at that because a true patcherian does not kiss and tell.
The last part is anyone who knew me I'm sure will ask if I still play squash having been the Squash Captain, answer is yes
but not as much I would love to since I now live about 50 miles from my club outside the Philadelphia Area. I love the
game, the Squash Court was my sanctuary I loved the younger kids who joined and we formed a great competing squad against
the Saint Mary's, Visa Oshwal and Nairobi Academy. FOr some reason Changez (Lenana) did not compete much but we took it
to heart all the time gave them a thrashing, that was the thing any event against Lenana was a personal affair.
And as usual I loved the ladies I loved it when Kianda Girls came for practice every wednesday, its funny thats when boys
wanted to join the squash club. I have so much more I could write a book.
Ooh yeah, I will never forget when I got suspended for being one of the organisers of the "No Rugby No Classes"
demonstration it was the first of its kind due to some ill-mannered individuals the day before when we went to RVA for a
match and some kids decided to take what did not belong to them and there was also the story that Max Owiti was allegedly
found fondling some girl, there was the human skull Akifuma G(Gibbo), took with him to RVA as a good luck charm and
stories leaked to the newspapers that Patch was full of devil worshippers, and the next day it caused so much of a stir,
that our new Headmaster, sorry Principal(J.J. Ngatiari as he said from then on thats what he would be referred to as)
cancelled anything Rugby indefinitely. We had heard of that rumour but we were waiting to hear from the horse's mouth
that following morning (Friday) at the quadrangle. Ngatiari's words were not minced, there was a couple of guys in my
class Form 4D who said should his words come into fruition we plan a peaceful demo. So some of us who were in the rugby
cheering squad decided to pass word around that after dismissal from the assembly we start singing 'Patch Kipenzi Changu',
now we did not know how effective this was going to be, but as soon as he said "School Fall Out" and I will never
forget this because we were sold out by Ogolla(Head of School) Manda (School Prefect) and a couple other prefects standing
by were right there. When Akifuma, Karanja SW, Chemngorem V, and I all started in unison after a silent 1,2,3, count
"Patchi Kipenzi Changu Mimi Nimeapa......" and then the whole house joined in, it kind of picked up like stadium wave when
the next house (Naivashsa picked the chant, Athi and so on. We all swarmed toward the center of the quad ignored the
call to go to class until in the afternoon when slowly by slowly there were of course the loyal students, the
goody-two-shoes and even after getting back to class one could tell the teaching staff were baffled if not in shock. You
could tell they wanted to find out who the masterminds were. The following morning suspension letters were drafted, and
students were been called one by one, and from what I understand half of my class 4D was empty for a whole two weeks.
We all came back and depending on one's role in the disruption of the school's curriculum got either six, nine, twelve or
eighteen strokes of the cane and manual labour on top of all that. A lot of us did not really care as long as Rugby
continued to be a part of the curriculum which eventually was the case!
That four year period was one of my greatest!!!
Currently live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(Registered - 23rd June 2005)
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