The crazy things we did in High School


A public school in Soweto

High school years are always memorable to everyone. These are the defining transformative four years where kids turn to grown-ups.  For some, high school was like prison; heavy study schedules and boring routines. For some, high school days were the best. It depends on where you schooled really. Personally, I spent those years at a popular but tough school in Western Kenya. Everyone was crazy at that school, even the teachers.

There were students who couldn’t help but shrub every word. Those of us who were fortunate to be fluent, had the luxury of laughing at the funny pronunciations. Funny enough, when it came to writing, the shrubbing guys were good. Some teachers also couldn’t help but roll with the accent.  Sometimes all these things got so boring that one always looked forward to half term breaks, fee-collection breaks and closing days. The feeling on those days was indescribable. Guys always stormed out of school the moment the principle flicked the green light. On those days, businesses in the nearby town got plenty of student customers. While some students opted for hotels, some opted for clubs and dingy music piracy harbors.

Morning preps were stressful and so were exams. Studying was like going to work in the farm, not so cool but you know you have to do it or else your future will not be too bright. It sucked when your books were stolen. It sucked even more when classmates were mean with their books. In class, questions asked by normal teachers always seemed hard and boring but the questions asked by the beautiful ladies who came for teaching practice made everyone shoot their hand up.

The best days were during school outings and funkies. Guys would do anything to be on the list. Club officials always had hard times coming up with fair lists. There were always parallel lists and you were never sure if you were part of the team. Once there was a rumor of an upcoming trip for a certain club, almost everyone in the school would flock the latest meeting, in order to force a chance.  Form ones were always unlucky, they would miss out on the trips and all their new uniforms would be borrowed by the senior students. There were some students who would look like Form 8 students due to worn out uniforms. These students always transformed into superbly dressed fashion icons during school gigs.

Who could forget Music Festivals, Sports days and Science Congresses? Everyone looked for an opportunity out of school and to meet chics from sister schools. The most difficult part during the funkies, was approaching a hot girl. If you had practiced a vibe line, tension made you forget everything once the girl stared you straight in the eyes. The important thing wasn’t getting a number, but a name. Once you had the name, you could continue the rest of the vibe days later in a love letter. Love was severely overrated.  A boy and girl exchanged sweaters and ties so as to remember each other.  Love hangover were common after funkies.

Secondary National Drama Festivals
Secondary National Drama Festivals

Much effort was put into writing quality love letters. Writing pads always sold like hotcakes. The standard price was 5 bob or in some cases 10 bob in case of a monopoly. Some students were experts in composing love letters but novices in exam compositions. Guys who got many love letters were the envy of the class. Good letters went round the class for all to read. Those who had poor handwriting always hired their fortunate handed friends to write letters for them. Failure to receive a letter for more than a month made you look at yourself twice and wonder.

Food was very important in high school. School cooked meals were not so good that’s why we all looked forward to visiting days. We always made sure to remind our parents through letters or phone calls from the expensive ‘Simu ya Jamii’ at school. Disheartening was the feeling you got if your parent or guardian didn’t show up. You ended up being a beggar. These were the times when you realized who your true friends were, the times when rivalry over food was created.

Rule breaking was common. Sneaking out of school was for the brave. Sometimes it was necessary to get a phone and call that girl from the sister school. Radios too were very useful for following football games or keeping track of the latest new jam from Turbulance, Matonya and Richie Spice. And how can I forget entertainment day? – The best day of the week.




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