Dear Mr President, give me a state commendation


Mr President, I am Kenya’s foremost pedagogist currently plying my trade at Mwisho wa Lami Primary, a school I have contributed to its growth for close to 20 years now.

Photo credit: John Nyaga | Nation Media Group

My President Sir,

I hope you are doing well and are enjoying your last few days in the State House as you prepare to go back to Ichaweri to take care of your cows and chickens. I know this feeling, sir, as we close school at least thrice a year. Therefore, I can understand your emotions.

I do not know whether your aides have told you about me, but I fear that they may not have told you as they could be jealous. Like the lizard that praised itself when no one noted that it had successfully climbed the iroko tree, I take this opportunity to tell you about myself in the hope that by knowing me, you will do something before you leave.

Mr President, I am Kenya’s foremost pedagogist currently plying my trade at Mwisho wa Lami Primary, a school I have contributed to its growth for close to 20 years now. I joined as a young teacher, fresh from college, and I now head the school. TSC may be referring to me as Acting HM but everyone knows that I am a senior headmaster and should have been for years now. And that I am fully in charge.

Like you, Mr President, I have no deputy. Or rather, I can’t really say I have a deputy. Yet, having no deputy has not stopped me from taking this school to great heights. Kuya, who should be the acting deputy, spends his time fighting me and is never even there when I need him. This sounds familiar to you, doesn’t it? What he doesn’t know is how I plan to deal with him swiftly, effectively and efficiently. Indeed, once you retire, I am sure we can catch up and talk about the relationship between bosses and their deputies. I have been on both sides and have quite some insights. Cosmos Bar and Rest, or Hitler’s, would be a good place for us to meet and talk as men.

Emanex Computer College

You will not believe this, Mr President, but I am the most educated and knowledgeable primary school teacher in this school and surroundings. My record at Kilimambogo TTC as the most academically gifted student remains untouched and that is before I mention the Computer Microsoft Windows certificate that I have from the prestigious Emanex Computer College in Githurai. Has anyone told you that I am pursuing a degree at Kenyatta University, Africa’s shrine of pedagogy?

As you know, my graduation has been delayed by a small statistical matter and my appeal to the university leadership that no one needs statistics to teach Kiswahili and CRE has been ignored by successive administrations. Luckily, Mr President, you are currently making long overdue changes at the university and I have no doubt that the new administration will prioritise my matter and, with that, I can even graduate this coming Friday.

Despite the many challenges I face, from lack of resources to stubborn teachers, unsupportive parents and sub-par students, I have led this school to give fantastic examination results.

The Bible tells us that he who finds a wife finds a good thing. I do not know if your deputy has told you that the same bible says that he who found Fiolina found a better thing? Guess who found Fiolina? Me. Despite Fiolina working in Kakamega with a big company, we continue to have a blissful marriage. We also have a big, growing family.

Four years before you became president, I started sharing my troubles, successes, stories, hopes and the happenings in the great Mwisho wa Lami with the rest of the country on this page every Sunday. And I have continued doing so for the 10 years you have been in power. This shows someone who is ready to share knowledge and wisdom to the rest of the country; someone who is not mean.

And it is not just about sharing my life with all, I have a huge contribution to the pedagogy of the country, as I influence education policy and the framework as teachers, parents, policy makers, TSC leaders, ministry officials, read me to understand the state of the education sector, and before making critical decisions. Students, too, read me to learn how to write colourful compositions — as do language teachers.

In short, I am a role model to many, a source of inspiration to millions and a key person not just in Mwisho wa Lami but the rest of the country.

But why, Mr President, am I blowing my own trumpet? Because you don’t seem to know of my exceptional achievement. Or rather, your people have ensured that you do not get to know. That is why every year my name has been missing on the list of people you award state commendations. I complained in 2017 hoping that you would consider me the following year. But you did not.

Last week, I read your last list of people you gave state commendations and was shocked to find my name missing once again. Yet there were many names there of people of dubious character and many others with little or no achievements to speak about.

Mr President, you will agree that I have more achievements than many of the people in the list. Please, before you leave office, give me a state commendation. It does not have to be a very prestigious one like the Order of the Golden Heart, or Order of the Burning Spear. No, just any, you can even create a new one specifically for me. Like Golden Heart Hero (GHC), King of Green Kaunda Suit (GKS) or Moran of the Sharp Spear (MSS). Or Celebrated Human Elder (CRE)

You can hide it in page 273 of the gazette notice where no one will notice.

But as you know, one cannot eat titles, Mr President. As you give me a State commendation, throw in a Board Appointment. Any Board, like the Standing Board Investigating Cold Weathers Alternatively. There is a current relevant vacancy. I know that you are reconstituting the University Council of Kenyatta University. As a (former) student, a great teacher, a foremost pedagogist and renowned school administrator, I am qualified to serve in that position, as I know KU like the back of my hands. I promise to take care of your interests at the university, after taking care of mine – graduating.

Thank you in advance, Mr President, and good luck in your last three weeks!

Your true servant, Mwalimu Andrew, Esquire,  GHC, CRE, TSC, SWA