While in 4th year, you make up your mind and join student politics. This decision is inspired by various happenings across the university. The students who don’t stay on campus are robbed when they leave the library in the night to go back home. The university administration has become too high-handed and general service delivery is poor.
As the true politician and activist that you have become, you champion these issues in a very vocal manner. While the students cheer you on, the university administration is not amused by the upheaval. You soldier on anyway and your movement gathers a lot of support from the student population.
In a move that proves to be your greatest undoing, you start planning a peaceful demonstration against the university administration. On the eve of the demonstration, you are summoned before the university senate and you are accused of planning a strike. With no right of reply, you receive an expulsion letter. The university security escorts you out of the premises in a tinted van. Things happen so fast and not a word is whispered to your supporters. They eventually find out but they cannot defend you lest they be expelled too. You are on your own.
A friend hosts you for a month as you ponder your next move. Back in Butere, your folks have no idea of what is happening. They hope that their son will be graduating at the end of that year. So with a small amount you had saved in addition to school fees given to you by your father, you sell clothes at Gikomba market. The business is booming and after three months you are able to stand on your own. However, there is that small issue of graduation.
Its only one month to the graduation and your whole village in Butere has their marked calendar. Two Msamaria Mwema buses have been booked to ferry your people to the city for your big day. Ameyo the prolific village tailor has already made your mum’s kitenge and your father’s Kaunda suit and is only putting finishing touches here and there. Ameyo will also be in the delegation to Nairobi because he has been the trusted maker of your school uniform from nursery school all the way to high school. In fact, if university students wore uniforms, Ameyo would have made yours. Other prominent villagers will also be in attendance. There is your area sub-chief whose only claim to fame is that he signed your HELB forms. Mzee Shiundu, who once whipped you for misbehaving with a girl in a sugarcane plantation while in primary school will also be in the high powered delegation. As Nairobi people say, the party is going to be lit.
On the eve of the graduation day, everything is well prepared for you. Through your connections at Gikomba, you have managed to procure the full graduation attire that is identical to that of your university. Through your other connections at River Road, you have managed to procure a graduation booklet that has your name in it. The lie is all set.
The day finally arrives and so does the Msamaria Mwema delegation fresh from Butere. So many people are in attendance including the president of the republic. Your former classmates are too busy with their families to notice your lie. As your clan descends from their buses, song and dance erupts and in a matter of minutes they turn you into a shiny walking Christmas tree. You show them the graduation booklet and your mother being the ever religious type shouts “Amen”
As your people sing and rejoice, a feeling of guilt engulfs you. You have successfully managed to lie to your parents in addition to two Msamaria Mwema buses filled with people. After the celebrations in the evening, your people board the two buses and start the journey back to Butere. You are now travelling with them. From the university grounds all the way to Westlands, they keep singing and beating the Isukuti as they praise the God of Meshack, Shadrack and Abednego. No one will tell them to shut up, after all their son has just graduated.
This article is part of a two-part series written by Captial Campus Contributor Collins Pasi.