“ Sidi wake up, you are going to be late for school” these are the words I hear from my granny Hawe Kadzo every morning. Struggling to rub off the little sleep in my eyes, I walk out of the hut to start preparing for school. My breakfast is as usual, a hot cup of tea with ‘mahamri’ (doughnut). After hurried good byes and promises to work hard in school, I pick up my small bag and set off to school with my cousins, Charo and Katana. Katana tells very funny stories all the time. I think he lies a lot too but he makes our walk to school fun. As we walk, I can see Charo’s toe is still swollen since the cow stepped on it last evening; he is not limping though.
I will be 14 years old next week, and I am working very hard for my class eight exams in November. I hope to do well and go to a national secondary school. KESHO has promised to continue sponsoring me if I keep my grades up. I have been sponsored by KESHO since class six. As a result of the sponsorship my grandmother has a little more money, she can now concentrate on selling fish which enables her to buy food for the family. My favorite subjects are English and Mathematics and when I grow up, I want to be a doctor.
My best friend is a tall and lovely girl called Jumwa. She is a 15 years old and in class five. Like a lot of other children in Kilifi, Jumwa went to school late, as her peasant father could not afford to pay her school fees, being the last born in the family of six. When we get to school we clean up the school compound, attend assembly and are sitted in class by 8:00 am. Our teachers teach us mostly in English but sometimes my Mathematics teacher has to use someKigiriama (local dialect) especially when the sums are too hard to understand. Jumwa’s teachers use Kigiriama more because they are in a lower class. We sit in rows facing the blackboard and I am lucky I get to share a desk with two of my good friends; Zawadi and Halima.
There are eight classes in our school each accommodating 60 children. The classrooms are made of air-bricks to keep us cool in the sun and a tin roof to keep us dry when it rains. It gets noisy when it rains and can be difficult to hear what the teacher is saying.
I can’t wait for break time. Yesterday I beat Halima in skipping and I hope to beat her today. She wins most of the time as she is smaller. I am better at playing rounders though, as I run faster. Zawadi always buys ‘viazi karai’ (boiled Irish potatoes dipped in a paste of wheat flour, food colour and water then deep fried) or fried cassava which she always shares with me and Halima. Sometimes we eat mangoes which we get from trees close to the school. Other students who live very close to the school rush home for a cup of porridge.
I am happy that currently, the government is running lunch feeding programme in my school, and I do not miss lunch any more. In the afternoon we in upper primary (Class 4 to 8) go to class while the little ones go home. At 4:00 p.m. we break for games where we play our hearts out. For us who are in class seven and eight we go back to class at 5:00 p.m. for extra tuition until 6:00 p.m.