I looked forward to joining form one after I passed my K.C.P.E, it was not easy as I thought because for unknown reasons I never got a calling letter. I had cried when my friends joined Secondary School and I remained home. I managed to convince mum to take me to any school I would work hard there. That is how I landed in my sister Debra’s school. She was in forth form when I joined form one some three weeks to closing day. It did not matter whether I liked the school or not, what mattered was that I was in school and ready to learn.
Debra helped me to settle in and in no time we were doing exams. I passed alright but not to my expectation as I still had notes pending that I had to copy. I was grateful anyway since I had second term to catch up. You know how form ones are always treated. We were the supermarket in school, some senior girls expected some of us to wash their uniforms, when going for outings it was our new uniforms and shoes they used. I have been wondering where this trend started. Is it that some people enjoy seeing others petrified of them or it is just a hobby to bully others? To make matters worse we were terrified of the prefects. Who gave them the authority to impose on us some rules that looked inhumane. For instance, a prefect would give you punishment of kneeling on the assembly ground for some certain period. They were demigods if you ask me.
I am not the type to get in trouble as I was a law abiding student but some of the extremes some prefects put the students through were too much. Actually this made me hate the school. The school I was in had three water tanks that were only used when there was water shortage. It meant that the whole student population depended on one tap that was near the classes. Imagine the long queues to get water. We were to concentrate during prep time at night but this was seeming impossible as we had to be alert lest our turn to fetch water was overtaken by events. Sometimes we would stand in the queues for long hours after the 10 pm preps. Some of the nights were cold, others humid.
There is this particular day after preps I was among those waiting in the queue to fetch water. I think I was the third in line or so. After a long wait in the cold June weather, I was hopeful I could have a chance to carry a basin back to the dormitory that I would use to bathe the next day and wash my uniform. I saw one of the prefects who was in forth form walk from the dormitories with her empty bucket. I thought that just like everyone she would join the queue too. She did not! She walked to the front and placed her bucket beside the one that was almost full. My antenaes were full at this time and I was looking at her wondering what she was upto. There were a few seniors in line but most were monos as they referred to us.
Seeing that no one dared to face her, I got a perfect chance to exercise my rights. Which rights if you ask me, the right not to be bullied as all of us were equals regardless of the class one was in. I took her bucket and went to the end of the queue and placed it there. She became furious and took it to the front. Imagine this scenario, a form one daring a form four and a senior prefect for that matter! Emma is not the type of woman to be intimidated. She was starting to get on my nerves. With a strong voice, this is what I told her ‘just because we are form one’s and you are a senior does not give you the authority to trample over us. If you knew you wanted water you should have been the first in line. Do you think we do not have other things to do thus we ought to stand here all night because of you and your fellow friends who think you are mighty? Kindly make a queue or I will stand here the whole night and see to it that you do the right thing! She was shocked to say the least! I heard some cheering and claps and she was embarrassed. That night we fetched water in peace!
The next morning I woke up to whispers of how a form one challenged a form four prefect. Everyone wanted to see this girl. By this time Debra had heard of what transpired the previous night and was so furious at me for ashaming her as everyone referred to me as Debra’s sister. She wondered how I dared to challenge her classmate. She even wrote a letter home complaining of my behaviour. God bless my dad, he applauded my bravado. He told me he was raising us to have a voice not to be cowards. Sorry Debra, but dad was with me on this. Thanks to my voice this trend stopped and atleast form ones were accorded respect too. I did not believe in the saying that a form one should be seen and not heard! I made it my business to see to it that I was heard! I had rights and I had a voice too.
You should have heard people whispering while I passed signalling each other that this is she who dared a prefect and she obliged. I smiled from the inside as I had driven my point home. We later became friends and burried the hatchet. As a leader, do not oppress your subjects instead you should endeavour to be a good example to them.
Have a pleasant evening friends.