Is ours nation of fakes? We even have them in exam rooms!
By MCA Gwinso
Some of the things I hear as an MCA are pure gibberish. Like this outrageous tale the other day that some candidates were engaging Waganga kutoka Tanga to help them excel in the upcoming KCSE exams (the theory tests begin today)! I laughed it off as the creation of a sick mind, but my adviser-in-chief, Mokonyonyo Spoiler, saw things differently.
“Mheshimiwa, it is not a laughing matter. You had better do something about it.”
“Do what? Employ more wagangas?” I asked hoping he would see the absurdity of the whole thing.
“No, you need to encourage the candidates. Just a word of advice from you would go a long way in helping them face the exams with courage,” he said with the seriousness of a retired philosopher. “Remember, these fellows will definitely be voters in 2022.”
I saw sense in this. I did not need further convincing. We arranged to have a small get-together with the candidates in my ward. I agreed to cater for the expenses. After all, I reasoned, it wasn’t going to cost much. There were only two secondary schools in my ward. We agreed to use one of the hotels in my ward.
When I informed Mama Hirohito, the daughter of my mother-in-law, of my noble intention, she sounded skeptical. “Do you even know who is a candidate and who isn’t?,” she asked.
More drinks, snacks
“That’s a small matter we can handle.” I said confidently.
On the day of the event, I found the venue teeming with youngsters. A quick glance at the crowd told me they were definitely more than the number I had expected. Mokonyonyo, too, said he was surprised by the large number. “Bora wote watakuwa voters,” he reassured me.
We had to buy more drinks and snacks. I had to cough more money—not that I was complaining, anyway.
To kick off the event, a volunteer led in prayer. In the rather lengthy supplication, mostly in sheng, the candidate repeatedly pleaded for exam leakage from heaven ‘the way manna fell from heaven to nourish the children of Israel’. He also asked the Almighty to make the candidates’ pens refuse to write any wrong answers ‘the way Balaam’s donkey refused to move’.
In the course of my speech, I asked the candidates what they wanted to become upon completion of their education. Most of them said they wanted to become MCAs. My heart glowed with pride. So I was an inspiration to the youngsters!
“Why do you want to be ward reps?” I asked out of curiosity.
“Pesa,” they chorused.
I did my best to clear the misconception that we MCAs had a lot of money. I explained that our job was more of a calling. Well, I could have as well be talking to myself: The candidates were not listening.
We sneaked away
“Imetosha. Sasa chota,” someone shouted.
“Yes, achote” another said.
The fellows turned rowdy all of a sudden. It took the street wisdom of Mokonyonyo to calm them down. He asked them to organise themselves in groups, share the food and choose their leaders who would see the MCA for ‘something small’.
“Mheshimiwa, let’s get out of this place now,” he whispered to me as the youngsters were busy organising themselves. We sneaked away!
Safe from my would-be tormentors, I called one of the head teachers to complain about the unbecoming conduct of their pupils.
“Which students, Mheshimiwa? All my students are in school preparing for next week’s national examinations.”
I did not believe her. I called the second principal.
“None of my candidates is away from school. They are all busy revising for the KCSE exams. I have just been with them,” said the school head, sounding bewildered.
I am now wondering who exactly the fellows were. Mokonyonyo, who had invited them in the first place, is not picking my calls. Kuna ukora pahali.