Loading...


By MWALIMU ANDREW
More by this Author

As you already know, the recent handshake between Kuya and our female Headmaster, Bensouda, has caused ripples in and around the school. We all expected the friendship to fizzle within a week; but, to everyone’s shock, Bensouda and Kuya are still together, and the bond is only getting stronger

An unexpected casualty of the handshake was yours truly, and as such, following the executive order given in the staffroom two weeks ago, I found myself with nothing worth talking about.

Yet I am not the lazy type. I am a serious teacher who is used to work, and work I planned to do. With academic matters assigned to Kuya and discipline matters taken up by Erick, I found myself with little to keep me busy. You see, unlike many average human beings like Kuya who would rather be paid for doing nothing; I am different. I cannot stand being paid monthly for doing practically nothing.

That is why I went to Sella, the freshly minted Co-curricular activities mistress, and begged her assign me one of the first term activities.

“I am not giving you any role just because you need to keep yourself busy and forget about your current frustrations,” she said when I proposed to take up drama club.

“You know me Sella,” I told her. “When I put my mind to something, I work hard to achieve it. This year I want us to go all the way to Kibabii for the nationals.” She was happy to hear that the National Festivals will be in Kibabii, which is not very far from Mwisho wa Lami. I reminded her that the last time I handled drama club, we qualified for Nationals in Mombasa but we could not attend due to lack of funds.

“Kibabii is near, ukifaulu we can afford to transport the students there,” she agreed to give me Drama Club and Athletics Club was given to Kuya.

I had chosen Drama because during Christmas, my friend Wesonga, who teaches in secondary school, had used a play last year that took his school all the way to the regional level. I spent a week on the play making a few changes to make it relevant to primary school situation. The title of the play was ‘Hustler’.

After adapting the play for our situation, the next exercise was to select the students who would act different roles. I had quite a good number of students interested so I assigned three people per role, and we agreed that whoever would have known their parts well within a week would be assigned the role permanently. Every evening, in the early days, we just met to discuss principles of Drama and watched some plays so that the pupils could appreciate what acting was all about.

Two weeks ago, I chose my cast. The main criteria being one’s ability to bring out a character authentically. This caused me some discomfort, as some unsuccessful students started spreading rumours about favouritism.

Loading...

With the first competition in a few weeks, we got serious with rehearsals. While everyone had to act their role every day, I took keen interest in the two students who were playing major roles: Brian, Rasto’s grandson, and Janice, a nephew of Mrs Atika who joined this school last term from another school. She was now in class eight, a mature girl who could as well be in form three.

After the general rehearsals, I would remain with Brian and Janice behind because I wanted them to perfect their roles. I knew that as the main characters, they could make or break a play. We used to practice under a Mango tree, and as evenings went by, we would go to my office for more practice. On Wednesday, I released Janice and spent some time with Brian, trying to perfect his pronunciation and gestures. We did this in my office until 7.30pm.

I was happy with the progress and decided to do the same for Janice the next day. I released everyone at 6.25pm, except her. She was good in pronunciation, but I needed to work on her postures. We did this from under the mango tree until it got cold then we went to my office.

I showed Janice how I wanted certain postures to come out for effect. I asked her to relax, and held her arms and tried to show her how she should react when the main character — played by Brian — hugs her. At this particular moment, the door to my office abruptly opened. It was Kuya and Mrs Atika, Janice’s aunt. Janice quickly moved back.

“So this is what you two do when you remain here?” Asked an angry Mrs Atika.

“Yes, I was showing her how to embrace the main character,” I started explaining. I had not even realised that it was 7.30pm

“I am not a fool Dre,” said Mr Atika.

“So are you the main character, why is Brian not here?” asked Kuya. “Leo utajua hujui.”

“Janice, is this what I brought you here to do? You have disappointed me, let’s go talk it at home,” Mrs Atika said.

Once they left, Mr Kuya told me I was finished, but then said he could save me if I accepted his proposal. He suggested that I hand over Drama Club to him, and take up Athletics. Or else …

“No way,” I said. “I have really worked hard on this play.”

“Ok Dre,” he said, “Let’s see if you will still be in employment by the time the real competition starts. Do you know Mrs Atika?” Then left.

We talked more that night and he agreed to convince Mrs Atika that we had been acting. In exchange, I agreed to hand over the Drama Club to him, with all the work I had done. We informed Bensouda the next morning. That is how my dream of reaching the National Drama and Film Festivals died!



Loading...