In Summary
  • The land this school sits on was our family land,” said Rasto, who together with Alphayo, have always sat in the Parents Teachers Association of the school and have also been sitting on the Board of Management (BOM).
  • He told me this a few months ago at Hitler’s. “It was donated by my brother Ezekia. Ezekia also bought the iron sheets for the first three classes. We are the people who laboured in the construction of this school to save our children form crossing River Lukose to go to a school far away.”
  • He added: “Whenever River Lukose flooded, our children would be absent from school, and that is how Ezekia said that we must do something.”

For those not in the know, Rasto and Alphayo, with all their apparent failings, are the founders of this school.

You can claim that they merely watched as other people donated land, iron sheets and other building materials, but you can’t dispute that they are part of the few people who were there when the idea of Mwisho wa Lami Primary School was mooted and implemented. And that makes them founders.

That was in the early 1980s, and although I was born already, I was still trying to know my name.

“The land this school sits on was our family land,” said Rasto, who together with Alphayo, have always sat in the Parents Teachers Association of the school and have also been sitting on the Board of Management (BOM).

He told me this a few months ago at Hitler’s. “It was donated by my brother Ezekia. Ezekia also bought the iron sheets for the first three classes. We are the people who laboured in the construction of this school to save our children form crossing River Lukose to go to a school far away.”

He added: “Whenever River Lukose flooded, our children would be absent from school, and that is how Ezekia said that we must do something.”

I was told this in the first term, when Catherina had come in as acting head teacher and removed them from the BOM, arguing they did not have Form Four certificates.

“Why didn’t anyone ask for our certificates when we were busy constructing this school?” wondered Nyayo. “I remember carrying poles that my father had donated.”  They say they were not paid for the work, although Hitler, who has a better history of the school and things in Mwisho wa Lami, will tell you that they were paid.

“We are founders of this school,” Rasto reminded me last week. “And we must have a say on how the school is run.” This was after Bensouda had replaced Rasto with Kizito. On the day the two confronted Kizito and Bensouda, Kuya had saved Kizito from a beating while Bensouda took off.

She returned a week later, and during that week, neither Rasto nor Alphayo were seen at school, and Bensouda carried on with her headmistress duties with no interruptions.

 I met Rasto and Alphayo at Hitler’s that week, and they were categorical that they must sit on the BOM. I laughed, telling them there was nothing they could do.

“Just because we are quiet doesn’t mean that we will let Bensouda do what she wants,”  Alphayo told me.

That week was the lull before the storm. They returned last week bolder, louder and more organised. It started last Monday when we were having our  staff meeting, chaired by Bensouda, who of late comes to school regularly – averagely twice a week!

We were still reviewing the previous week’s activities when we heard noises from outside. It was Rasto, Alphayo, Nyayo, other villagers and children  carrying twigs and placards, blowing whistles and singing. As they approached the staffroom, it was clear what they were asking for.

“Kizito must Go! Skastina Must Go!” They sang, among other chants. Skastina is Bensouda’s real name. They also were carrying placards.

“No Rasto No Education,” read a placard carried by a young Class Four pupil – Rasto’s grandson. The brother was also carrying another Placard: “Nyayo must come!”

“Go lock yourself in the Office,” Kuya, the strongest of us, told Bensouda. She went in, followed by Sella and Nzomo, who were trembling. Kuya then stood outside the staffroom door.

I followed him and stood, very near him but I was not a fool. I had already identified an exit in case of trouble.

With the strongly built Kuya at the door, they could not move at all, but kept singing and shouting that “Skastina Must Go, Rasto must Come!” This went on for some time.

This had brought the school to a standstill. Three pupils, Nyayo’s son and Alphayo’s two grand-children, also joined the protestors.

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