My Kunoni Days
A True Story
on Jan 9, 2020
A few days ago before retiring to bed at night, I prayed to God that my slumber may be deep and my dreams sweet. And wow! God answered my prayers because I had a restful sleep that night and a pleasant dream as well. I dreamt of Bien Aime Baraza, a Kenyan celeb who sings with a popular afro-pop band called Sauti Sol, visiting me at home here in Kiserian. Although Bien found my bed unmade, he was impressed with how organized my room is and commended me for owning a laptop.
Bien Aime Baraza was a classmate of mine at Kunoni Educational Centre, a private primary school I have mentioned in the caption of the photo above. I don't know why my mind conjured up images of Bien visiting me in the dream I have told you about. Maybe it's because of the way Kunoni was a school dear to me in my boyhood days.
Well, my immediate elder brother Paddy was the first sibling in my family to attend Kunoni Educational Centre. He was transferred to the school in 1998 at the beginning of his Standard 7 education. I heard it that he was transferred to the school due to his brilliance. And I also heard it that I wasn't taken to Kunoni at the same time with Paddy because I wasn't that bright.
While Paddy was in Kunoni, he would sometimes entertain us with tales about the school. At one time, he teased me that I had never seen a computer which they had at Kunoni. Those tales and teases by Paddy must have fuelled my desire to also join Kunoni. I pleaded with my parents to take me to the school but somehow, they were reluctant to transfer me even after I threatened them several times that I would commit suicide if I wasn't taken to Kunoni. Eventually, I gave up pleading with my parents that I be transferred to Kunoni and I settled on finishing my primary school education at a public primary school where I had began schooling in 1993.
But guess what! Sometime in September 2000 when I was in my final term in Standard 7, my parents suddenly changed their minds and decided to avail to me the same opportunities they had accorded Paddy. So my Mum went to Kunoni and told the headmaster of the school about me. The headmaster asked Mum to take me to Kunoni for an interview. I took several exams during the interview. And as I headed back home on the evening of that day I took the interview, I liked the way some of the Kunoni pupils carried themselves.
I must have done well in the interview exams because the Kunoni headmaster admitted me to his school as a sponsored pupil, just like my brother Paddy had been. And if my memory serves me well, I remember him saying that I should have joined Kunoni earlier on in the year.
Learning at Kunoni turned out to be a great experience for me. For the first time since I began schooling, I had to wear a tie, a pair of socks and black shoes. And the shoes had to be polished everyday. I felt some pride in wearing the Kunoni uniform, especially the tie which was a first for me. The other firsts for me at Kunoni were keeping a diary, going for half-term breaks, having end-term parties and learning how to use a computer.
Even though I fared well in class during my time at Kunoni, I have to confess that I never understood anything in the computer lessons we were receiving in the school. I just thank God that Computer Studies was not part of the examinable subjects. If it had been, I would never have made it to Starehe Boys' Centre - the prestigious institution where I had my high school and college education. And it wasn't until several years later in 2006 when I was in Starehe Institute that I got to understand how a computer is operated.
As I have said, I was admitted at Kunoni as a sponsored pupil. It doesn't bother me now to let that fact be known to the world but back in the days when I was in Kunoni, I never wanted my fellow classmates to know that I didn't pay fees. I recall vividly my classmate Timothy Kassamy inquiring from me at one time whether I paid fees after he noted I wasn't receiving receipts for school fees like other pupils. Though I can't recollect the response I gave to Timothy, I am sure I must have felt afraid my classmates might discover I was a sponsored pupil. Thankfully, no classmate ever found that out during our time in the school.
My classmates at Kunoni, I must tell you, were from well-off families. Some used to be dropped at school in the morning in their parents' cars. I could also tell how wealthy some of my classmates were from the quality of food they brought to school for lunch. Theirs were delicious, well-cooked meals - the kind that would make you look forward to eating.
The day before we sat for our final national primary school exams known as KCPE, I visited the home of my classmate Nicholas Onyancha together with several other classmates. During the visit, I was envious of the way Onyancha's family had juices and biscuits in a cupboard in the living room of their mansion. Here at home when we were growing up, we never used to have such delicacies as biscuits in the cupboard; we would feast on them as soon as they were brought home, never sparing a morsel for another day.
Another classmate of mine at Kunoni I wish to tell you about was Eric Chege who loved telling us about his relatives in America. He made me admire America because of the way he used to speak so highly of it. I am looking forward to the time I will first set foot "in the States", as Eric Chege liked calling America.
It has been ages since I last interacted with my Kunoni classmates face to face. But I am glad to be in touch with a few of them via Facebook. Others like Bien Aime Baraza, who I have mentioned at the beginning of this story, have moved on to distinguished careers that make them difficult to contact. As for me, I am still trying to carve a niche for myself as a writer and a musician. I believe I will succeed. So help me God.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on my Kunoni days, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sone time back on "Lessons I learnt From Books". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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The Real Devil Worshippers
A True Story
on Jan 7, 2020
Back in the '90s when I was a small boy in primary school, I used to be bombarded with stories about the Devil and his worshippers. The Devil was portrayed to us as an ugly man with horns like those of a cow, with teeth like those of a cat and with nails like the claws of an eagle - a very grisly figure that must have left us wondering why anyone would want to worship him. From those stories, I heard it that devil-worshippers become wealthy in a short time. What I wasn't told is where that wealth came from and how the Devil bestowed it.
In those days, there was this owner of a big mansion on the foot of Ngong Hills who was rumoured to be a devil-worshipper. Though the mansion was not far from where I lived, I never got to know its owner but I came to believe the rumours that he was a devil-worshipper.
One afternoon in the late '90s, I joined a gang of altar boys from my hometown Catholic Church who headed to the mansion to shame its owner for worshipping the Devil. We went there courageously and enthusiastically. Guess what happened?
Well, we began to lose courage and enthusiasm when we neared the mansion. We kept going to and fro on the road that led to the mansion till we finally gave up on our mission. So went back to our homes without having talked to anyone in the mansion.
It has been a long time since I last saw that mansion because I don't frequent those sides where it is located. And I have never ascertained whether the rumours I heard in the '90s (that its owner was a devil-worshipper) were true or malicious slander.
I have also never got to know whether there are indeed some people who worship the Devil since I have never come across a devil-worshipper. But I am thinking that devil-worshippers probably exist, only that they are afraid of making themselves known to the world. Tell me, who would want to be known as a devil-worshipper?
And if devil-worshippers exist, I am wondering why anyone would want to turn to the scary Devil for help while the God I worship promises us in His Word that He rewards those who love Him with health, wealth and peace. I am also wondering how devil-worshippers act as they go about their daily business. Are they kind or hateful? Are they generous or mean?
It could be that the so-called devil-worshippers are more cheerful, more loving, more generous and more hard-working than some of us who worship the Almighty God. That leads me to think that those who bow down to worship the Devil are actually worshipping God, only that they refer to their God as the Devil. What is in a name anyway? A rose by any other name would still smell the same. Similarly, God by any other name still remains the same.
So in a sense, the real devil-worshippers are not those who bow down to pray to the Devil. The real devil-worshippers are those who do acts of evil such as lying, stealing, putting others down and shedding innocent blood. What I am trying to say is that stealing is worshipping the Devil; so is lying, putting others down and shedding innocent blood.
Going by my interpretation of devil-worshipping, you will agree with me that this world is full of devil-worshippers; as in, people who do evil. We encounter them in our day-to-day activities. And we read about them in the newspapers. People who are conning others, defiling minors, raping women and terrorizing residents. We are living in a fallen world that is full of devil-worshippers.
As for me, I have resolved to resist the Devil by doing what's right such as loving myself, telling the truth and encouraging others. I will also resist the Devil by confessing whenever I sin. Already, I have repented of all the transgressions I did in the past.
My dear reader, I also beseech you not to worship the Devil by doing what is evil. Resist him with all the strength you can muster and turn to God by walking uprightly. Be kind to others and to yourself as well; tell the truth at all times and keep good company. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on the real devil worshippers, you might also enjoy another one I wrote some time back on "Growing Our Faith in God". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.