There’s nothing as tricky as being a member of Board of Management (BOM)in a school in your home area.BOMs are the bodies that replaced BOGs.
When you land in the village for a BOM meeting, the lanky chaps idling at the shopping center openly say ‘wamekuja kukula pesa zetu’.Mostly, these are parents whose fees arrears in the school books are the equivalent to the value of a small car. The mamas half-gossiping and half-selling bananas at the shopping centre asks you:’ Umekuja mkutano, eh?’
The whole village already knows there is a meeting. Probably, they also know that one of the agendas is to discipline one of the members of staff – a casual who has papasaring schoolgirls titties like ripe mangoes. And since everybody around is related to you, they all expect a favour from you based on your position.
A matronly mama calls me aside and whispers to me that those schoolgirls are too thin. They need something to fatten them up. And what’s her solution? Duck eggs. She thus wants a ‘hoda’ to supply the school with the nourishing eggs. Its not lost to me that her own kids are so thin that you can play a mugithi tune on their protruding ribs. But again,most people seem to have solutions for children who arent their own.
Another elderly lady who keeps on calling me ‘bwana shaiman’ insists that we should employ her grandson as a driver in the school. The young chap, she swears, has a ‘difroma’ in driving from Petanns College.’Maitu, but we don’t have a school bus at the moment.’ I tell her.’When the driver is employed, they will buy a school bus.’ She says with finality.
The strangest offer comes from one of my kinsman- my machete-wielding uncle.’If those daft kids eat these sweet potatoes called ‘nyamuiru’ on the exams day, they will pass all their exams en mass’, he says prophetically.
‘Give me a tender to supply them to the school- and the school will appear on TV.‘ He quips, a Rooster cigarette dangling from his fingers.I get tempted to ask why his kids- my cousins- never passed with flying colours if he knew that trick all along.
But when I notice the shiny glint of his sharp machete, I shelve the idea.