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BY: Juma Hemedi

The headmaster announced at the school parade that the school will be sending students to the Agricultural Show that was to be held in Nairobi the following week. A team of select teachers were tasked with the responsibility of registering the students who wanted to go. But they had to go and inform their parents first and there was money to be paid for transport and lunch (Broadway 'boflo'  and soda). So as usual we tried the best we could to explain the need for us to be allowed to go to the show.

The headmaster had said that a big "Jogoo Kimakia" bus will be available to take all those who wanted to go to Nairobi for the show. But only those in class seven and eight would get the opportunity to go and if there is space then a few class six pupils would be added. Thank God I was in Class seven. We tried to be at our best that week as we were being closely being monitored for discipline both at school and at home.

The trip was to be for Tuesday the following week. None of our ghetto parents had given us the clearest indication that they will even consider paying for the trip, since they argued that the trip will not add value because none of them had any farm or kept any animals. "sasa hata mukiona hizo ngombe, zitawasaidia aje? ( how will seeing those cows be value to you?).

We met at the 'Base' after class to figure out how we will convince our parents. We were still discussing when 'Waini and Maish' joined us. Maish lived in 'Ndula' (Kiandutu) and no one knew where Waini lived but he occasionally appeared in school and when he did he would tell us stories about his aunt in Umoja in Nairobi and his escapades in the city with many "lights ' (" kya matawa"). From his stories we concluded that Waini was the only human student we knew in both Kenyatta and Madaraka zone schools who knew how to take himself to Nairobi and back to Thika without getting lost.

He was our definition of "No Human is Limited".

So you would understand our excitement when Waini said he could take us to Nairobi Show and back without travelling with the school "Jogoo Kimakia' bus. He also threw in an idea that he had other friends that had asked him to organise and take them to the show and that we had limited time to pay for him to go engage a small 'face me' matatu.

There was now the problem of who will act as our 'teacher' on the trip since all of us were students. On this matter Waini said that he will deal with it since he had an "uncle" who left school because of repeating class seven four times until he started shaving beard in school.

The deal was done and we would now meet the following day which was a Friday at the "base' near" Kwa Wanje" shop, Majengo Centre. The meeting was to introduce us to our 'teacher' for the trip to Nairobi Show the following week. Waini's "uncle" came. He looked everything you would doubt in a person, he appeared as though he had recovered from a very severe hangover that would take scientists a great deal of time to discover a cure. But Waini's 'uncle' did say something that made us believe him. He said that the charges the school was charging us were high and that for a lower charge we will go to Nairobi, come back and even have Bread and Soda. Now that was it we hurriedly hustled and paid, but since we didn't trust the "uncle" very much we gave the money to Waini.

We spent that sundae eating "rotis" and some very spicy and hot food given to us by "wahindi" at the Shree Hindu temple in Thika town. Those days they would have ceremonies at the temple and so many of us ghetto children would come and enjoy free food while watching a small monkey that was always at the temple, dance. what happened to those events and the monkey at the temple?

Anyway we agreed to keep our Sunday event secret as well as the secret trip to the show from prying eyes and enemies of development (kamati ya roho chafu) . All was well that Monday at school until in the afternoon when we had the art and craft lesson.

The teachers attention was drawn to the noise of ruffling of books and papers that almost all students had as they tried to fan their noses and faces from the Fart smell that seemed to come nonstop from some area in the class.

No one spoke when the teacher asked the one responsible to come forward. Now the Arts teacher was not the Kind that you would joke with, he had shown time and again that he had the potential of dispatching you to your maker for a crime as small as not drawing a straight line on the drawing book. Now farting in class was a serious crime, a capital crime, one that would deny fellow students right to education not to mention the environmental laws that the "farter" may have broken and the International treaties that Kenya was a party to.

Since no one was coming forward, the teacher decided to launch his own investigations. Everyone in class was a suspect but the people in the back bench were persons of interest. So before the evidence got lost in the air he decided to start with us at the back bench.

Everyone was to go in front and he would smell your behind and then you would be cleared of "spoiling" the air. The teacher smelled everyone of us and halfway through he had gotten the culprit, none other than Waini. Waini made it worse by farting again just when the teacher had finished smelling and collecting evidence maybe due to panic.

The class was asked what it wanted as punishment for Waini, some busy bodied guys whose names I cannot mention since it is not a naming ceremony and because their files are classified said that Waini should be sent home for two weeks.

Before we could say Neeeiiiii, the Aaayyeeees had already carried the day.

Why did Waini eat so many 'rotis' at the temple? why did he have to add avocados and Githeri on top of the already spicy and hot Indian food? Because of that mixture his stomach misbehaved and spoilt the Art and craft air in class. And why did the teacher take the farting issue too seriously. Its never that serious.

We are still hopeful that Waini will emerge from wherever he went and fulfill his word of taking us to the Nairobi Show since he still has our money and having Parte after Party.

Since non of us knew where he lived or where he went, we can only be hopeful.

Yours hopefully

Juma Hemedi

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