Day ants ruined my office date with Bensouda

The entire room was full of ants, all books and documents had been attacked. 

Photo credit: J Nyagah | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • On that Tuesday, I wore my best Green Kaunda suit, which was made to measure in February.
  • She then pulled out two Afya Juice bottles and biscuits from her bag, and opened one for me.

Last week after I had a great time with Ms Skastina Majani (SK), whom everybody calls Bensouda, I started fearing the worst — that the next time I would see her is when schools reopen in 2021.

 So, I left her place happy, but sad that the fate of our next meeting was in the hands of Prof George Magoha.

“I can’t wait to see you dear,” I sent her a text message a day later.

“I know dear, luckily we won’t wait for long. Soon, we will be seeing each other almost daily, mpaka uboeke na mimi,” she responded, seeming to know something I did not know. I assured her that she would never bore me. All along, we chatted on WhatsApp non-stop.

“Let’s meet in school on Tuesday,” she would later tell me.

 I asked why we would be meeting yet schools will open next year. She said sources had whispered to her that schools would re-open on Wednesday September 16. “Prof Magoha is meeting all education stakeholders on Tuesday to make the announcement.”

She liked the suit

I did not doubt her seeing that she has many connections in the Teachers Service Commission that have helped her keep the headmistress job despite reporting to work only twice a month.

On that Tuesday, I wore my best Green Kaunda suit, which was made to measure in February. Pius had said my suits were quite loose and advised me to make them than a little tight. Fiolina, the laugh of my life, had initially opposed this, but she liked the suit the day I wore it, saying I looked great as it flattered my athletic body.

“Who are you going to impress today?” She asked. I said I was heading to school.  She wondered why I was doing so yet schools were still closed.

I left home at around 10.30am using the long route to school because I wanted to avoid passing at the market. The fundi who made the suit would have seen me wearing it yet I still owed him some money. You see, “hata sijawai vaa hiyo suit,” has always been my excuse whenever he reminds me of the arrears.

Bensouda, sorry Skastina, was at her office when I arrived. With the office window facing the gate directly, I was sure all her eyes were on me, admiring me as I walked leisurely towards her. I even reduced my pace, and changed my walking style.

“You look amazing,” she said as she hugged me for the second time in a week. I was going to sit on a chair when she stopped me. “Everything is dusty,” she said, removed a tissue paper from her bag, and wiped the chair clean for me. Here was the Mwisho wa Lami HM, my boss, cleaning a chair for me. I felt special!

I got comfortable and sat. We talked and talked.

“Looks like schools are not re-opening,” she said after receiving a call. “I don’t understand why they can’t open schools yet we all know that this Covid thing is a hoax.”

“I am sure they know something we don’t know” I said.

“Maybe corona is in Nairobi, but not here in rural areas. People are eating, they want to eat more,” she said, then asked me not to quote her anywhere.

“I don’t understand the hurry,” I said. “We teachers haven’t complained, hata wakisema they will open in 2023, we have no problem as long as our salaries are not touched.”

“I know,” she said. “It is the private school owners who want the institutions to reopen. It is a business and they are suffering.” I did not comment as I also own a private school.

Discuss corona

“Anyway, we did not come here to discuss corona and school matters,” she said. “How have you been my dear?”

She then pulled out two Afya Juice bottles and biscuits from her bag, and opened one for me. It was certainly going to be a good day.

And indeed, we had a great time. Until one of us – I can’t remember who it was or what we were doing – leaned on one of the chairs rather heavily. The chair fell off and hit the shelves. All the dusty shelves came tumbling down, missing Bensouda by a whisker.

To our surprise, books, files and other documents had been damaged by ants. The insects had attacked the office and basically eaten everything. In fact, we had been lucky as only the chairs we had sat on were safe.

Dust had covered our faces. Bensouda wiped her face with a shawl, called a boda boda and left the school.

Once she left, I decided to check the staffroom. The entire room was full of ants. All books and documents had been attacked. The ants had built hills on furniture. I opened my office only to meet my half-eaten KCPE certificate at the door.  Classrooms were no different — most desks were houses of ants

I called Kuya, Saphire and Nyayo; and now it has been a week of cleaning and clearing the classrooms. Dear Prof Magoha, just in case you plan to open the schools soon, please note that Mwisho wa Lami will not be able to reopen. We are in dire need of help so we can be a school once more.