The good old times (an ode to primo)

For those of us who were lucky or unfortunate depending on the level of monolization, we can’t forget the good old times. Regardless of the initial shock and questioning whether your parents really love you, boarding was fun. And of course there is no way you can do justice to any boarding storo without the songs… rememberShetani akija, zote tuko tayari
Shetani akija zote tuko tayari,
Akija kwa kushoto, kanyanga, kanyanga
Kanyanga, kanyanga…


Milka, mama milka, milka
Milka bonye, bonye nini, bonye waru,
Sisi nini, nini? Sisi…

Obviously the words were kidogo different depending on your chuo. Some of the songs we sung I can’t tell you what exactly they were. We just used to mumble the words while holding our Golden Bells and staring at the teachers. And why did we need our Golden Bells everyday while we just recycled songs over and over again?

Remember the visiting days? You weka a pair of clothes away like a month or so before. Then you iron them nicely the night of visiting day. By ironing of course is laying them nicely under the mattress for a night. And then the day comes…

You chill with your pals and then one by one you start being called. When you see your parents its like you won the lottery. You know for sure that this visiting you aren’t left out. But we were kind to each other coz whoever missed out, we used to organize some chakula for the pal.

Alafu wacha we talk about the food. I don’t know where schools got their ‘tatas’ but they made terrible food. After boarding school food our stomachs have a lining that can even protect from a rocket attack. If we survived githeri with mbocas floating on top, we can take on anything. And don’t forget the additives to the food.

For chai we used to still mint leaves from our housekeepers plant and ‘spice’ up the tea. Adding avocadoes to mchele. Some guys had home made spices you could weka in any food. You pima the small ka blue band container until mid term. Yani a jamaa asks you for cocoa (to make cold power) even it’s a pal you feel like, oh shit… “lakini nitakuwekea kidogo sababu sijabakisha mingi” Saa hizo the container is like halfway.

But the best of all days was leaving. Last day of chuo. You tell yourself of the things you will do. Yani nikifika home nitakula chapo ka tano. Of course you didn’t do that but the excitement to go home, nothing could match it.

And what else but a song from last parade; I don’t know why we sang it coz its a funeral song but as we used to say in CU, if you know it feel free to join…

Till we meeee…eeeet, till we meeeeeet,
Till we meeee…eeeet, till we meeeeeet,

p.s. and remember the first insha and compo after you come back is going to be titled ‘How I spent my holiday”.

warning: the pic is obvioiusly not 3N but do notice the rubber and mathematical set.

2 thoughts on “The good old times (an ode to primo)


    This brings back memories of Musa Gitau primo vibaya sana… talking of visiting days … in class 4 it was never fun coz living in dorm 4 was chaos, all the senior boys would converge there on the night of visiting like vultures …all your chapos which u had hoped to dry in the sun the next day and eat leisurely until closing were gone in a flash…
    Those of us who were unfortunate enough to be delivered unto the gates of hell (a.k.a dorm three)had to learn how to trick the devil himself (kaungimo)…
    I remember the first visiting in class 5 as if it were jana… the senior boys would line up at the door at kindu 5pm and they would start appropriating our food as soon as we walked towards the dorm …”ile iko kwa paper bag kubwa ni yangu” or “nitachukua nyaki na wewe uchukue chapos”
    One would think that these merciless bullies were okotwad from korogocho and brought to Musa at the benovelence of Mrs. Ruhiu, bila families to focus them and bila dema ya home . Kumbe these idiots had already had their share of their relatives’ food, stored the mabakisho and were looking to augment their silos with our food… talk about hyenas.
    Once we learnt the tricks of the trade, we found all sorts of nooks and crannies to hide our food. One of the favourite places was in the ceiling of one’s class, coz the ceilings had holes all over the place. The drawback to this was that you had to abandon yourself to the laws of probability i.e pray fervently that most of your classmates would not be visited such as to result in the unfortunate event of two people trying to put their food in the same hole in the ceiling at different times … the first person almost always never found their dema upon return but if the second guy was “touched” he would only take your mbakas (biscuits} and chapos to add to his collection before moving on to find a safer hideout for his food …
    The bushes were also quite handy in providing “safehouses” for food lakini you had to seal that thing vibaya with nylon to preven the segereres from invading ur food … have u ever seen an army of segereres on your chapos? Manze it’s a sorry sight, coz the chapos turn black… and even when u brush them off, somehow a few of them found a way of embedding themselves into the molecular structure of the chapos coz u’d think u’d rubbed them all of only to find like 2 or 3 of them trying to crawl out of your throat upon swallowing…
    As for the damned rats, no paper bag would keep them out of a chapo… they’d tear their way through it, eat half of it and then shit and pee on the other half, guaranteeing that you would leave it for their second helpings whether u liked it or not… but not me, one time when a rat did my chapos i got soo mad … i didn’t know what was better, to have a useless bully grab them from me and eat everything … or to have a rat eat half, pee and leave the other half… i decided that the rat would not enjoy my chaps another time so i took the bag and deposited it in the pit latrine adjacent to Mr. James’ house…

    But all these visiting tales are nothing compared to what kaungimo made one of my classmates do while we were in class 5 … upon declining to unleash the chapos (the guy had been spotted sauntering around school with his parents)… kaungimo lowered his shorts and asked the guy to count his futhis (unmentionables) … and the boy counted 96 of them … yes ninety six !!

    On a “lighter” note… woe unto anyone who dared enter a packed tv-room next to Mr. Otieno’s officeon the night of visiting … that is when one would come face to face with the meaning and implication of the terminology “muthefeo”… in the most extreme cases, some idiots would “thefea” in bottles all evening, seal the smell tight in the bottles, and then open the bottles in the middles of a packed tv room ensuring maximum diffusion of particles in all directions… aki that was a killa … but in a crude such mischief contributed to make primo days the best days of my life hitherto …

  2. I didn’t know guys fichad chapos in bushes. I remember the ceiling, a pal of mine and I used to hide some of our quenchers there. Good times though, good times!

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