If you meetGeorge Nelly you can never tell the unique character of this man. George Nelly always looked nondescript and a little out of place. In the way up his waist was a fitting coat and unmasching shirt which most likely indicated his village lifestyle and love of benga music. Anyway, anyone would agree he had no taste for fashion, even todays YY generation girl would assert he was a color blind man; above all, that was George Nelly’s style.
We met way back in Meru when Nyanza province had an influx of teachers. For him,other than scrambling for few TSC slots in his place of birth, he opted to come to work asa missionary teacherin the old larger Meru District. Since then he never left Meru, henceforth, was joining ourKamundehall club of first intellectualsin the heart of Meru town in late 70’s.
At Kamunde hall, is where we used to perfect our art of making use of PTA kitty, mark my word! ‘Making use of’ and more importantly, reflect on our failures in music festivals, a thing we adored much, yes adored too much, can you imagine? Reflecting on the reasons why we had failed to impress the adjudicator and later on proceed to shake hands with the president at state house after a music festival?
In fact,that’s why we never cared progressing past the district level to be assured of another reconnectionwith buddies which was topped up with the Ksh200 allowance to help us threaten other villagers by showing them a difference between being a public servant and a peasant, and above all, why we chose to go to Tigoni TTC and then later on breath chalk dust.
Away from that, I mean from George Nelly’s code of dress and allowances, it was only last year when I came to meet George Nellyfor the first time after a long separation which was forced entirely by a coalition between the home area chief and our women, I mean our wives whom we have paid bride price for. Together, theyforced us to separatewhen they created perceptions of the mind and brought in circumstances unavoidable to the point of informing themselves and the chiefthat we were becoming a nuisance by living together, a plea which thechief didn’t heed to at first, bearing in mind we were sponsors of his quest to promoting Nyayo torture ideas.
Although they achieved their dreams afterwards when the then powerful chief took from them and arrested us twice to show he was serious on affirmative action, indeed, we were forced to part ways since it indicated we were a real threat to them.
The agenda of our meeting, after our long separation, now that the chief had retired and no longer felt threatened, was to figure out how we could cow cash out of devolution through financing as teachers representatives. We laid all our options, from starting up the women funds drive, to being the village peer mentors. All these options had been weeded out by the young Turks who were roaming the village.
“This is very true. They have flashed out our witty lifestyle” George Nelly told me in the middle of our discussion. I nodded with agreement. What if we tried championing the NyumbaKumi initiative?” I suggested admirably. That too could not work; we realized Wazeewamtaa had already taken over the initiative.
The only option was to revive the Kamunde hall club team. It was a perfect idea. It would be celebrated by all teachers, in fact, these days only headmasters and mistresses go for reflection moments in Mombasa and that’s why we envy their job, we never have our turn to iron our voices as we used to at Kamunde hall. Anyone could agree to this, including the ever disturbing and cunning Teacher MuthauraMwitiDanger,who has always been consistent in opposing any material project if introduced without him being slapped with Gitundu(bribe) from Kamunde reflection time to now. During the days, Muthaura had made his name by selling the entire school library in 1984 hunger menace to salvage his family, and thereafter, went on to ban his headmaster from accessing the school via a bridge which was situated next to his home after a squabble ensued in court in relation to his library auction arrest. This is what earned him the word danger. From that moment people take his ideas seriously, if he decides to spoil the party, he can, and he is such a complainer that you cannot ignore him, if you do, it is at your own peril.
Mwalimu George Nelly had only one problem with this idea. That is,the strict Kaimenyi,the Meru Son of soil is the teachers adjudicator and believes you canonly fail twice in co-curricular activities which is contrary to what used to happen then. For us, we embraced failure in co-curricular activities which was highly motivated back then to allow a moment of reflection atKamunde hall back in the days. Will he really allow our conferences to be funded?
Telling you for free, this idea will be suicidal at thisera, especially bycoiling it with our age where the young think tanks assume we are blocking their way up to state house to shake hands with son of Kenyatta, with that, you know what will happen, it is obvious, we will find suspension letters ‘ Men’!. What did I say? Men? Ooh!That’s a slip of the tongue and influence from my new staff member who thrills us with tongue twisters borrowed from sheng.
Away from Kaimenyi issue, the other block to cross over is how to convince and approach otherKamunde hall club membersto admit NkubituMobbNkunja. Mobb is my longtime pal; he earned his name after dangerously being beaten up by the roundy drunkards at Gakoromone after failing to settle a twenty shilling ride by a bodaboda man after driving him while drunk with stupor from Karumaindo bar which later collapsed due ageing patrons. Mobb was later rescued by my in-laws whorecognized him while receiving the beating as one of my point man in my delegation when I had gone to pay my bride price.
However, we are under siege. The probable modalities of moving on with the project are likely to hit an iceberg since behind every unsuccessful devolution project; there is a disgruntled member of the council of governors. Nkubitu and Danger have complicated our Metrix and will definitely hold us to ransom and the Kamunde team must revive, danger is now an appointee in the governor’s office. We really need his endorsement what we are sure of he will ask for something that we don’t have. We need to feed on devolution. We have also heard from governors that nothing comes from teachers but let’s meet at the governor’s office and put some sense on the table.