How plan to fete top KCSE exam performers flopped
When colleague MCA, Matayo, invited me to grace the celebration of top KCSE exam performers in his ward last Friday, I felt honoured.
This was going to be another opportunity for me to sell myself to the people, given my 2022 gubernatorial ambitions.
The thought of arriving at the event flanked by Mama Hirohito, daughter of my mum-in-law, and responding to cheers from a crowd was elating. I asked her to prepare for the occasion.
“Baba Hiro, if I were you, I would not go there,” she said to my utter shock.
“You also have your candidates to celebrate, don’t you?”
“But all of them are our children,” I protested.
“Ok, you go alone. Count me out,” she said resolutely.
I decided to seek a second opinion. I consulted my chief strategist, Mokonyonyo Spoiler.
“Mhesh, your wife has a point. If you go to Matayo’s event, it will be like you have abandoned your own candidates. Let us think of a unique way of rewarding our own,” Moks said.
“Take them for a tour somewhere exciting.”
Suddenly, a spark of genius ignited my thinking. I remembered there would be a number of graduation ceremonies in the city that Friday. Why not take the top performers to one of them?
Witnessing graduands receiving their degrees would definitely inspire the young fellows. I shared the idea with Moks, and he was in agreement. I gave him the go-ahead to plan for the event, and give it maximum publicity.
The dawn of Friday found us all set for the journey to the city. The eight-seater van Moks had hired was comfortable enough for five candidates and the two of us. As we drove on, I took the opportunity to congratulate and advise the young fellows.
I assured them of my support throughout their academic journey, promising to give each one of them bursaries. When I asked each of them to say what they wanted to become after university, I was disappointed that none wanted to be an MCA.
“Which university are we going to?” asked the driver.
“Let us go to the University of Nairobi,” I said.
“Do you have invitation cards?” he asked.
Well, I had not imagined that would be important. After all, I did not see how a public figure like me could be stopped from attending a public event just because I had not been invited.
“No problem, twende,” I said.
We arrived at the UoN graduation square to find a sea of humanity. I asked my team to follow me as I elbowed my way to one of the entrances.
“Where are your cards?” asked an orderly.
“I am an MCA,” I responded.
“It doesn’t matter. You cannot get in here without a card.”
“Excuse me, this is an elected leader. He is representing our governor and he has brought candidates to witness the graduation ceremony,” thundered Moks.
“I am sorry, but you cannot get in here without invitation cards,” said the orderly with annoying finality.
“Can we see the vice-councillor?” Mokonyonyo demanded.
“Vice-chancellor,” I corrected.
“The vice-chancellor is too busy now to see anybody,” said the guard. “Please clear the way for those with cards to pass.”
Realising we were fighting a losing battle, I led my team away from that entrance. Another idea struck me; why not try Kenyatta University where a former classmate was a professor?
He would definitely assist us to get in and witness their graduation ceremony. We were soon on our way to KU.
When we reached the gate, I asked to see the professor.
“In which department?” asked the security officer.
“I don’t know,” I responded.
“Why don’t you call him on his phone?”
“I don’t have his number.”
“Now how can we help you?”
“Look here,” Moks intervened. “This is not just anybody. This is an MCA. He has the right to attend the graduation ceremony.”
“That is OK but he needs to have an invitation card,” the officer said coolly.
My attempts to explain that I did not know about the card did not bear any fruit. The look of despair on the faces of my candidates was heart breaking.
“Bwana MCA, why don’t you look for a place with a TV set and watch the event?” said the officer. “It is being televised live.”
“Let’s go back home,” the driver suggested. Our mission to the city having aborted, we had no choice but to board our van. Tutaambia watu nini?