To all men who helped a child’s life grow one step higher.
To all the men that loved their wives and cared for them.
To all men that a child looks at and tears of joy blur their eyes.
To all the men that have never discriminated a child because of anything not of their choice.
May LOVE follow you all the days of your lives.
So, growing up for my brothers and I hasn’t been all flowers. We had to be put into situations hard enough for a child early in life. And I have a few friends whom we share such stories. It’s such days that I remember all the men figures that built the man I am and those that helped a long to see my brothers and I relate to who men are.
It’s so easy to lose identity and love if one’s childhood isn’t well catered for. And so today I remember these men:
The late Mr. Ahoya, my primary school headteacher who introduced computer studies for the first time in a public school. For this reason, I took part in the first ever exhibition at the ASK show on the power of computers in primary education. I remember when I first saw the pipes run on a laptop(which I later came to learn was a screensaver) I knew I wanted to play with computers. I don’t doubt why I took the path of computing. He lived well.
When I came to high school and I met one Mr. Omondi. Maaaan… this gentleman loved math. And he loved teaching it. Our class was rather slow or let me say averagely lower to the others. But the hard work he put in us… the fatherly smile amplified by his moustache made me fall in love with math the more. He would take time in his office to answer to our questions. We would do papers in the early hour of the morning before other students woke up and take it to him for marking. I loved Kabarak because of men like Mr. Omondi. His love too for his family built a soft character in me. I remember sometimes I would have an answer with me but not confident enough to raise my hand and he’d look at me and like he’d see my mind and read the answer… and off he would call, “Yes Jermin”. My classmates would agree, he is a great man.
We rarely have a double blessings, but given a chance to study at Kabarak came with great blessings. He other men were Mr. Okumu the deputy principal, Mr. Maina my chemistry teacher and house Master and Mr. Oketch my class master.
Okumu reminded me of who am called and why I need to protect my name. This went deep into my spirituality. The need to protect Christ’s name with a loving and lovable character. He’s the one who also encouraged my mom to struggle through with letting me study at Kabarak despite the changes in fees. I remember those days were not so bright. That story and more are for another day. Thank you Okumu.
Mr. Maina made me believe I can do anything. He exuded great confidence in us. I remember a few days before my Chemistry paper, he came to me and other friends confirming his confidence that we will pass. He even joked that we can put a cash agreement with our parents that if we don’t get As, he’d refund us. Man! Didn’t we get As? Just to mention, he was thorough with discipline. One day I was late for the morning prep’s class. He didn’t spare the ear pinch and slap! I never got late again!
Then Mr. Oketch, he was rather calm but firm. We loved his English classes. English was not my strength but this man helped me walk through it building my confidence. I could get As in many things but this one subject and Swahili gave me real challenge. I thank God he never gave up with us. Frankly I know I got an A when I did KSCE but how it turned to a B+ I don’t remember. How worse would it have been without one who went great lengths to assist me. From him, I learnt to never get tired helping. Going the extra mile.
Thank you men. You are my dad’s. God used you to rebuild the father figure in me. Am not yet great I can say but yes, I can confidently look to God and see a part of Him in each of you.