What you need to know:
- I needed to have Alex in my pocket to prevent him and Kuya from uniting to fight me.
- Come last Monday when the revised timetable was released, Kuya protested.
When Kuya returned from a medical leave two weeks ago and started criticising everything at school, I knew I had to do something to survive. I remembered the old saying that ‘a friend of your enemy is your enemy while an enemy of your friend is your friend.’
I needed to have Alex in my pocket to prevent him and Kuya from uniting to fight me. I needed to make Alex my friend so we could fight Kuya together!
“I know you are doing a good job but you need to be careful with Kuya,” I told Alex. “If you listen to him, he will land you in unnecessary trouble. You need to show him that you are a man of your own, and that you run the school and need to be respected.”
I promised that I would support him should Kuya bring up any issue. At that time, Alex was reviewing the school timetable to include Kuya.
“I want to relieve some teachers and accommodate Kuya, but most of the classes that I can give him are either in the morning or evening. Will he accept?” He asked.
“Why not? Don’t be afraid, give him the classes. He has repeatedly said he is okay and can teach without any challenge. In any case the legs don’t teach, do they?”
Come last Monday when the revised timetable was released, Kuya protested.
“I wonder what Bensouda saw in you to make you acting deputy,” he told Alex when he arrived at school. “What nonsense is this? I will not accept morning or evening classes,” he said.
He was sure Alex would back down.
“We will have to work with that Kuya, all teachers have morning and evening classes,” Alex said firmly. “And you told me you have recovered and that you want to contribute to the school.”
“That does not mean I am fully recovered,” he said.
As I had advised Alex, he asked Kuya to present a letter from a doctor exempting him from morning and evening classes. But Kuya did not have any, and thus Alex did not change the timetable.
On Tuesday evening we all received an SMS from Kuya.
“Let us all meet briefly at 10am after tea to discuss the timetable. I am not comfortable with what we have.”
Alex called me and asked that I advise him on what to do. I reminded him that to give Kuya lessons, every teacher had been relieved of one or two lessons.
“Let us talk to the teachers and they will support you.”
“Is this a staff meeting or what kind of meeting is it?” asked Mrs Atika as soon as Kuya called the meeting to order. “We need to know so that tujipange,” she added.
Kuya said it was not a staff meeting but an informal session. He then went on to complain about the fact that he had been given morning and evening lessons.
“Who doesn’t have morning classes?” asked Madam Ruth.
“And who doesn’t have evening classes?” asked Lena.
Mrs Atika and Sella also said they had morning and evening classes. Only Nzomo kept mum.
“What you are doing is not fair at all,” Kuya said, visibly upset.
“I know it is not ideal but we cannot call it unfair when it affects everyone,” said Alex, authoritatively. “If I were you, Kuya, I would swap lessons with others who are willing to help. But I am sorry I cannot favour you”
“I am not asking for any favours sir, I am just asking you to be reasonable,” he said.
Alex reminded him that if he were to provide a letter from a qualified doctor saying he cannot handle evening classes, his request would be honoured.
“Without that, you will have to follow the timetable.”
“And on that note, I declare this meeting over, can we go to class now!” declared Alex.
“Even Dre was better off, one could reason with him,” Kuya told Alex after most teachers had left for class. “You are so immature!”
This really upset Alex and he reminded Kuya to respect him. Later on, as I congratulated Alex for handling the meeting so firmly, I reminded him that he would need to dig in further.
“If you give this man space he will bring you down. Now that you have all the teachers behind you, it is time to make your next move.”
I went on: “If Kuya thinks that you are weak, he will trample on you. Let him know that you are strong-willed.”
Alex asked me what to do next and I told him he needed to make Kuya the Teacher on Duty as soon as possible.
“Won’t he be angry?” asked Alex.
“Of course he will be, but we will all support you. We can’t have teachers being on duty for the second time this term when Kuya hasn’t done even once.”
On Thursday evening, via the staffroom WhatsApp group, Alex officially welcomed Kuya back to the school and announced that he would be on duty the following week. Several teachers thanked Alex for this.
However, I sent Kuya a message and told him to refuse.
We could see Kuya typing on the WhatsApp for a long time, but no message came. On Friday morning in the staffroom, he told Alex Off.
“You are already a dictator yet you are just acting. Who do you think you are?”
He later asked me to advise Alex. “Tell your friend to slow down or else atajua hajui!”
“You know Alex — I have tried advising him but yeye ni kiburi, wacha ajichome na mafuta yake,” I said. Kuya was happy to hear this.
I wish he knew how happy I was to see the two of them fight, and how delighted I was to see him frustrated!