Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Before I embark on my title story, I want to start by saying that for once, I am considering paying attention to the proceedings of the caine prize for writers... Its not as if Caine prize is not a good thing but like many other people, I have had issues with it. The prize seems to favour stories that tell of a failing Africa, an Africa where everybody is dying of poverty and disease, an Africa that is so 'dark', an Africa that is being carried away by floods... simply, the Caine prize seems to favour writers that write about Africa's single story. Was it any wonder that, Chimamanda's talk on TED  titled "The Danger of a single story" went viral on the internet followed by Binyavanga Wainaina's How to Write about Africa? But this year, the various stories on the short list, at least to speak of the short story category have taken into consideration the dynamism of Africa, the ever changing society that is Africa. Melissa Tandiwe Myambo's short story THE DEPARTURE LOUNGE is on the short list and my oh my! I can't wait to hear her winning interview. But she doesn't believe she can win the prize... I heard her being interviewed a few days ago on 'The Strand' and she was so modest about the nomination and she insists she is not going to win.... I wish her the best.

Anyway, I'm now back to the story I intended to write.

Last Saturday, I met a former primary school mate. We parted ways after K.C.P.E(Kenya Certificate of Primary Education).  We met last week after close to six years and Liz hasn't changed!

So as it was wont to happen, our conversation digressed to our high school escapades and that was when Liz told me about her sneaking out of school in form three.
"Where were you going?" I asked eagerly because I did not want to imagine that she also had a {fill in any person you think can cheat a school girl into sneaking out of school}
"Daisy, just listen" She said and then broke into a loud burst. I joined in the laughter without knowing why I was laughing. She continued.
"My friends then, Damaris, Lilian and Winnie organized it all. I was their friend and I did not want to be left behind. So when we got to Kisumu town around 10.30 pm, we stood somewhere and after a short time, two men came and left with Damaris and Lilian. 'we will see you tomorrow in school' They said leaving." At this point Liz paused and I did not hurry her because I thought I knew what would happen next... someone would come and pick them, blablabla... but no.
"After we were left with Winnie, it suddenly dawned on us that we had nowhere to go. We just sneaked out of school...." I couldn't control my laughter. I laughed so hard that I thought the waiter was going to ask us out of the restaurant.
"So what happened next?" I asked now with fresh anxiety.
"Being the dead of the night, there was no way we could head back to school and Daisy you know me, my knowledge of Kisumu city is confined to the tour we went for in class... was it six or five? By the way I don't even know what I saw on that tour, I can't remember." She paused again, allowing me a heavy gale of laughter.
"After a few minutes, Winnie remembered that she knew a neighbour from home who operated a butchery in town but she did not know exactly where. So we walked up and down trying to locate it until eventually, we found the place just about to close." I now listened empathetically, things were getting grave...
"There was another issue," Liz continued. "Winnie's parents and this neighbour were not exactly good to each other so the reception was not so warm. But the man was kind enough to give us space to pass the night in the butchery." " It was hardly believable that, I had abandoned my powdered bed in school to come and spent the night in a butchery that sold goat meat. Daisy you can imagine the smell!" By this time, I was almost going crazy, just laughing. "So in the morning, the man woke us up at 3a.m! Daisy three a.m! Who wakes up at that time? He wanted to clean the butchery."
To cut a long story short, Liz and Winnie were eventually found out and sent home on suspension. "And Daisy I hope you remember my mother. " I nodded my head in agreement because really, Lizzie's mother is not a joke. She had come to school severally over Lizzie's drop in performance and I could visualize what happened to Lizzie when she arrived at home with a suspension letter.

We had a good Saturday with Liz, just remembering stuffs. But that particular story ended there.

So back to the basic; where are you sneaking to, young girl? I have never sneaked so I don't know if it is right or wrong but at least, know where you are sneaking to!! And do I need to list the lessons from that story again? I guess not.

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