How Being Suspended In High School made me realize am a storyteller…
A certain soft spoken lady once told me,
“Don’t write for them, write for you and see your story take shape in your reader’s mind exactly as it did in yours.”
So this is my story as a writer.
The first time I held a pencil was at the age of 3 and I remember my brother telling me to hold it with the correct hand but I couldn’t. I am proudly left handed and so is Obama, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie and Eminem. The left hand is not the wrong hand its another limb that you cannot do without. Shout out to all my left handed creatures. Yes, creatures coz we’re a whole different species.
The first books I read were “The Famous 5” series which I had to wrestle from my big sister as soon as I learnt how to read and use a dictionary.
The first story I told was to my Dad after he had come home after being away for more than a month on his work related travels. As was our regular routine, he sat on his designated chair in the living room and sat me on his lap. He always had a glass of whiskey mixed with juice. I figure that’s where my love for whiskey came from.
Anyway, he wanted to know exactly what had happened while he was away and did I have stories to tell.
I told of how I had seen my sister bring her boyfriend home and cooked him a meal, and how they later cuddled together on the couch and watched “Titanic.” I don’t care what you think but Titanic is by far the best romantic movie ever made, Romeo & Juliet have nothing on it.
I explained how my two big brothers came to blows over the Tv remote because my older brother wanted to watch “Channel O” while the younger wanted to watch “Days of our lives.” I made it clear what I had wanted to watch Cartoon Network,(Back when it was spelled in full) but I didn’t want to get in on the fight.
I even remember quoting…
“like sand through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives.” With that being sed, I’m sure you can guess who won the fight.
I went ahead to explain how my new desk-mate in school was so pretty with long flowing hair all over her shoulders and how we always shared snacks at lunch time.
My crush was of Indian descent and it is on that same day that my Dad taught me about different races and how we are all equally human beings.
All this at the tender age of 7. He was amazed at the amount of detail I used in my explanation he told me to choose any gift and he would buy it for me. I asked for a pen knife. You see, while other kids were busy watching Lion King, I was hooked on Street Fighter, Wesley Snipes Movies, Rambo and American Gangster. Up to today I haven’t watched “Lion King” #SorryNotSorry
Well, he got me a plastic pen knife but my imagination did the rest during playtime.
I believe that my dream of being a renowned writer is just a mile away but, 7 years down the line when I was 14, trouble was much closer than my dream.
The first story to ever get me in trouble was one I wrote a week after I got admitted to a public High School. This High School was so peculiar that if I said its name you’d say something like Tere-What-Now?.
My pride and joy Teremi Boys High School. It doesn’t sound as classy as Alliance Boys or Starehe Boys which I believe you are all familiar with. It got me this far, didn’t it? It taught me how to live through adversities of copral punishment to become a bigger better individual in society.
Having come from a private primary school where we were literally being spoon fed everything including books, and being thrown head first into a high school run by the government was basically my life being turned upside down.
In a bid to survive I tried my best to harden up. If you saw a picture of me in primary school and compare it to one after a year in high school you’d think its a picture of a father next to a picture of his son. That’s how tough my high school was.
Anyway, before I lose track, let me get back to how I got in trouble for writing.
My first day of high school, at the entrance I met a 60 year old lad in a faded khaki uniform, combat boots and a military hat. Despite his age, his eyes had a certain spark to them. He and my dad were acquainted as they were probably the same age. They exchanged their niceties and asked each other how good it felt to still be alive at 60. I guess by that age they’d lost a couple if not a lot of friends. Anyway.
All Kenyans can agree that the only person to be feared in Kenyan high schools is the deputy principal or as I nicknamed him “Hitler.”
We proceeded to the Hitler’s office to have me entered into “The system.”
I walked into his office confident and excited to be in high school at last, but the first time I set eyes on his abomination of a face, I kid you not, peed myself a little because I was extremely scared. Believe me, I had seen my fair share of scary faces. I have an uncle who got shot in the face when he served in the military but his face was nothing compared to the abomination of a scowl on this man’s face.
He had a grey mustache that looked like a caterpillar had made a permanent home on his upper lip.
His bushy eyebrows had traces of white hair on them. Age thou art a heartless mistress.
A nose the shape of a fist and a permanent scowl on his face that said “I wish you would disobey my rules”
I immediately conlcided he was someone I should avoid at all costs.”
This simple figurative definition of his outward disposition is what got me in trouble. See, a week after admission he came to the Form 1 block looking for noise makers and of course I was one of them. I was at the front of the class pretending to dictate notes when I was actually reading this elaborate definition of “Hitler” a name that is stuck with him up to today.
‘Was I suspended? Definitely. Hitler don’t play!’ (Please excuse the connotation of urban suggestion in that statement, lol)
If two weeks out of school wasn’t enough, after I got back, my punishment was to uproot a tree stump at the far end of the school compound. That tree stump must have had a lot of stories to tell about Hitler’s choice of punishment because apparently I wasn’t the only one who had been given this impossible task. The tree stump was half uprooted by the time i got assigned to it.
While in class my English teacher Mr. Wasike, at the time encouraged me to write about every single thing I found interesting and send to him for feedback. So I wrote an elaborate description of him.
“A 4-wheel-drive young man with the articulation of Queen Elizabeth. I call him a 4-wheel-drive because he had crutches which he insisted was from a car accident but the rumor around school was that it was from a bar fight he lost. A man quick to slap you if you looked at him too long without blinking. What was a man with so much bitterness doing teaching English in high school anyway?”
He read this description and we had a sarcastic laugh about it for a week or so. Being the least judgmental person on earth, he soon became my only best friend in Teremi High School.
Three years down the line, He introduced me to Wordpress.com and so begun my blogging endeavors.
I remember him saying, ‘N‘ever be sorry about the truth you write about’’.
A few WordPress accounts down the line, i settled on…
Where I go on and on about my thought process.
Describing my world through the eyes of an angel with demons. Commonly referred to as a Silver Tongue Devil.
Am working on two books called,
“Memoirs of an Perfect High School Life.”
“The Story of Him & Her”..
For the story of Him & Her you can find snippets of it on my blog right there.
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.