“Hey, do you know what time the next class starts?” when you are this naïve boy in blue “Bata bullets” a ridiculous back pack and a brown interesting sweater, you wouldn’t understand why this chic would run to you just to find out what time the next class is. What do I look like, a geek or something? Anyway we exchanged numbers, and that is how I made my first two friends in campus; Munira and Aquino, and through the four or so years in school, we had so much with these girls. We had this sort of friendship that only we understood, everyone else had their own interpretation of what we were that was never right.
It has been a pleasant four year period and I look at the leaps and bounds I have made through campus and God! ain’t I a different person from the nineteen years and 364 days old teen, accompanied by mum to school with a brown suitcase. If there’s anything that changed most in me then it must be the dressing, from the white graffiti decorated T-shirt I had on that day of the 25th of August 2008 to the stripped polo shirts that today decorate my closet. The studded ears I had, to what today I call “growing out of it”, it has been a major transformation.
Class wasn’t the most exciting bit in campus, but when you’ve got four friends who believe the five of you are “extra-ordinary gentlemen” despite the fact that they haven’t gone through the complete evolution process and still “Party like Homo Habillis”, then you are sure to love the sessions at the back left end, at times getting out of the lecture room not having heard a single word from the lecturer. The mean moments when trying to make chatter boxes quiet while making a presentation in class (that was stupid, I regret it), the moments we’d laugh at classmates for their “weird” trends, assign each other funny girlfriends, the fun we made of lecturers, laughing at the accents, “A busy in the pushes”, “Hiso msigo sote ni sangu” and the legendary sign language lesson that saw Ms. Kiarithe want to faint – “F*** Me”, just to mention but a few, the laughs could not find a match.
Slowly we learned to love Thursdays, and the fact that we had lecturers lazy enough not to want anything to do with school on Friday made it even much better, turning them into the new Fridays and I can’t forget the third year Thursdays after the “Editing and B(P)ublishing” class when we’d leave class and head straight to the bar (The lecturer was a nun, just so you may know). You can imagine what a fish does in water, we drank like fish and the house parties that would follow later in the weekend at Klaus’ place and the ugali I cooked every time I attended beat any party you thought was your best. I once drowned 750 ml neat vodka and blacked out only to find myself in bed the next day, I’ve never thanked Alfie best for seeing to it that I was safe, and apologize for the embarrassment I caused him when I puked in the damn “matatu”.
Then we happened to meet Georgie, the tall “Bad Boy” I’d once wanted to pick a fight with in first year. With him there must have come something to do with road trips. Two to Coast in a span of four months, “Mombasa we’ve never gone” my friends. Life was easy, singing “Coasto Olele” and Hum4 rejoicing at every “M-Beza” message that buzzed. We must go back to “Coba Cabanna Beach” and help the tourist police clean his “mkwaju”. Klaus couldn’t have just asked for “mchele” (Raw Rice) in a Mombasa Restaurant, that was the shit man. Then, came the Naivasha trip when a bottle of Vodka (Name Withheld) made me miss the fun when I drank too much and fell into the food. That thing saw me stick to Tusker exclusively till a few months ago when I realized, Tonic poured into Gin has a heavenly taste and a glorious high.
And oh! Have you defined the word persistent? If you haven’t met Mwawaka then probably tell A. S. Hornby to re-do the dictionary. This guy would give the persistent widow in the Bible a run for the pennies the other widow gave as offertory. He was my roommate for the greater part of campus life and if you thought campus love is fake then you should hear his love story. This guy always came in handy when it came to complaining about whacky services like the time we realized “Kerio Valley Kibanda” was serving us “see through” chapatis and opted to go for Abu’s option of “Viazi Mix” at “Kwa Chela’s” or maybe the 35 of Wachira’s samosas that Vivian would devour just before a drinking session. I must have forgotten to tell you that Mwawaka missed several drinking sessions because he was left cleaning his computer. I saw it the other day and it looks like it just got picked from the stores, this dude can polish, and you should know the number of times he went to Eldoret for treatment, probably it must have been the dust out of wiping every available surface he came across. But he taught me great, now I can never stand crumbs in my house, I just hate them.
Love would never escape a campus story and it predominantly characterizes our story. I cannot thank P-Unit more for having thought a song would ever be named “Gentleman” and if you thought using song lines was lame, wait till you see my girlfriend. This girl saw my fourth year in school have nothing but smiles and to date with each waking morning the smile broadens. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that in Dee, Dee found the best and don’t try figuring out which of the two Dee’s comes first coz to us Dee is more than just short versions of our Christian names.
Good times, good times, good times they were, but campus experience wouldn’t be complete without the limp, the walking sticks, the morphine infested drugs and the amputation scare. This must have been my lowest moment but friends are great, simple texts and FB inboxes saw me smile through pain. I felt bad every time my friends couldn’t let me touch a beer bottle, it was weird every time I accompanied them to the bar and had to do “Afia” – soft drink, for the whole night. I resorted to having sneaky lone drinking moments, a behavior that I have held to up to date – drinking alone. I loved it when they took my walking sticks and fought with them, tried to do it like I did, always made me think “They are trying to have a feel of what I go through”.
I’d write a book about campus if I had to go through everything, the groups I led that submitted 2 paged term papers, the times I wanted to fight in a bar coz Muuz was there to protect, the heartbreaks and exam moments when I would suddenly turn into a sought after hero and many more. The end result is what makes me happy and like Diana sings to me “proud”. I thank God for sharp brains, protection, guidance and blessings, my parents for support and love, my sisters for adequate preparation and alcohol lessons and my bro JoeJoe for having a big head that was always ready to help me sort out problematic issues. My girlfriend without whom smiles wouldn’t have meaning to me, my relatives for being there when I needed them, my friends at all levels; roommates, crew, classmates and bar mates, honest critics and haters who made me realize I got something that others would probably never have, the none-defined that I wouldn’t know why and how we met. As I receive powers to read on Friday, I promise I will transfer it to you all by writing a book on this interesting journey that taught me how to learn.
“In university you learn how to learn” – Dorothy Ghettuba