The defiant short black boy with an oversize coat, zipless folded trousers and a book in the pocket

I went to Kianyaga Boys in Kirinyaga County, for my high school education. We fondly refer to the place as Kalahari.

Interestingly, I have not reminisced much about Kalahari in the recent past, until Wakili Kevin Karuga, a former Kabarak University student leader (who was one year ahead of me in Kalahari), decided to pen down a humbling piece about me, two days ago.

Kevin writes:

“I was a decorated Captain during my high school days! A General of some sort!

The reason I have reminisced my high school days here today is because I feel like I should celebrate a budding leader who I met back in my school days in the most unlikely way.

Here is the story, As a Captain, we were allocated duties every week. This came with a lot of perks, luckily the Sarah Serem Commission was not there to regulate it. We ate more bread and meat during such times!

It so happened that I was the prefect on duty one day when a case was reported to me that a form two boy had refused to clean his class! I moved with speed to see who the boy was and why he had not fulfilled his duties! 

Those who knew me during my days as Captain know that I was very particular and hands on. My friends nicknamed me ‘Mtemi Bokono’ (they ensured they referred to me as Mtemi when I was not hearing). 

I walked to the Form Two block that morning and on seeing me approaching, there was pin drop silence in the whole block! I guess the form twos did not want to cross my path just yet!

The class prefect of the class in question called the short dark boy outside.

The boy came out with an attitude bigger than life written all over his face. He adorn a White or Green t-shirt (can’t quite remember) and an oversize navy blue blazer. His trousers were oversize as well, had a broken down zipper and were folded up above his ankles. In his trouser pocket bulged a book stuffed in carelessly? It being a weekend he was in his slippers. 

I asked the boy why he had not cleaned up and he said with defiance and exasperation written all over his face that the prefect had put him to clean the class two days in a row and that he found it unfair. I don’t remember much of what he told me but I remember requesting him to clean with a promise that I would ensure the duty rosta is regularized. He obliged. 

In that young man I saw tremendous potential and leadership. I saw a bright future in him. Much later I found time to look for him for a quick chat, and asked him: “do you envision getting into politics in future?”

He answered to the affirmative.

I told him that for sure he would actually make an excellent debater and politician and that we would meet later in the world of politics, in Parliament perhaps!

That young man is today the self proclaimed Mr Chronicles Alvan Kinyua. I am told in his Local at Difathas they call him ALU! I guess my prophecy is coming to fulfillment as ALU is in the path of getting to where I envisioned.

Keep doing what you do my brother, don’t hit ‘Yule Jamaa’ too hard with your translation chronicles. From where I sit I feel proud of you!”



  • I was not defiant. It’s only that I have abhorred injustices throughout my life.
  • The book that was carelessly stuffed in my pocket happens to be the oldest chronicle: The 78 page handwritten ‘Orange Revolution’ manuscript about the 2007 elections that I have kept to date!


All story credits: Wakili Kevin Karuga.