PART TWO: The dreadful night
From the Music center to Grieve Main House is about 100 metres. One follows the path next to the chapel, across the Old chapel then towards the Parade Ground , taking the swimming pool route then branching at the Grieve – Sellwood- Campbell – Smith Block , a building that had been commissioned by Uhuru Kenyatta in 2008 when he was the Deputy Prime Minister. However , this building was going to be my slaughter house. As I ran towards it following the command of Mr Y and Z , I thought of how my defiance from impunity was leading me to an experience that I never thought of.
We got to the Grieve House Upper ironing Bay, probably at 10. 54 pm. In the Daily Nation story of 2nd March 2017, the writer narrates how brutality reigned at the wee hours of the night at Alliance High School. I couldn’t agree more. I was pushed into this ironing bay, a place that was going to be my torture chamber for at least two hours. In the room, there were other fourteen students, most of them my fellow form twos, at that time serving as shadow committee Ernest Lango the one who had added salt to the wound was conspicuously present. It is as if I was thrown into a den of starving lions, because no sooner had I been pushed into the room than belts , wires ,sticks and all manner of brutal weapons started hitting me. Yes , I was going down for standing in the write path of history. I was being brought down by people I knew very well. My mole was equally present, but of course he could not have helped in this situation and I understood. I was wrestled to the ground and beatings continued. Imagine 16 people finding joy in beating one person. It was like mob justice. I tried thinking of an escape plan. All my plans were impractical except one, jumping outside the building in the first floor through the window. I was riding on the precedence of my classmate Brian Wanyaga who had earlier own jumped through the window from a first floor of similar height, though his jump was out of curiosity which killed the innocent cat. In his fall, he sustained minor injuries. But at a second thought, I imagined what could follow in the case that I developed a complete deformity. Yes , people have been confined to permanent wheelchairs as a result of such actions. I aborted the mission and let this energetic young men muscle themselves on me. It got to a point I felt nothing. Well, too much pain only makes you feel no more pain. During the beating, they boasted of how finally they had managed to drive the mediocrity out of me. Just like the Jesus at Golgotha, I was assaulted and again, my assailants marvelling at this. For them, they had their biggest and harshest critic down. At one point, Mr Z even connected an iron box to a socket and passed it live on my back. Yes , I am sure you are finding it hard to imagine, but he did it anyway. Mr Y was extremely happy that at the long run, he had managed to pay back in a big way. Throughout the entire beating, Mr X was conspicuously missing. He had needed my head desperate but was nowhere in my sight despite availing my head. A few people walked in and out of the room, most of them watched with pity and walked out. However , one Juma Kulah, a tall , brown eloquent gentleman from coast who had also been appointed a prefect got into the room and pin drop silence ensued. I had not interacted with him a lot. However , out of guilt or probably sympathy , he ordered my perpetrators to stop whatever they were doing and he set me free. My freedom was cut short by Mr X. I met him at the entrance of the block and to his disbelief, I had been released before he could feast of me. The guy , evidently seeing my sorry state ordered me back to the torture Chambers. This reminded me of despot Idi Amin, who even after bringing down all his critics, still continued being authoritarian and punishing his subjects without end, or even strongman fascist Benito Amilcare Mussolini who could only enjoy nothing apart from bloodbath, even after years of bringing Italy to his absolute rule. Mr X quickly took of his jersey, got out his belt and ensured that he descended his extreme bile on me. He did this for an hour while Mr Y and Z plus the entire shadow committee consisting of Lango, my mole and other 12 joyfully cheered. Then at around 1 am, my initial saviour was at it again. After consulting with Orimbo for a few minutes , he ordered me out. I choose to celebrate Kulah, not because he was entirely a good person,but because on a day when he could have easily joined oppressors , he made a tough choice to stop the oppression. On that Thursday 14th July 2016, at 1 am , I staggered to my bed not out of intoxication but pain caused by students who believed that a man cannot grow without inflicting pain on others. A type of men who believed that it is only through violence that their presence could be appreciated. When I got to my bed, I was a happy man, because unlike most of my fellow students, I stood firm with what I believed was right. I strongly believed that all wo/men are born equal, and are endowed by God with unalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit for happiness. At least it was through the practice of this belief that I was tortured by the tyrants. I believed a school is a place to develop an individual, create friendships, live moments and feel at home and not a place of torture. John Burke, in his book Imagine Heaven writes that in life of man there is always that time that you get too close to death, but you don’t actually die. This was my one time that I was closest to death, the saddest part being that it was as a result of my admission at my dream school. Isn’t it the place of a dream school to be the source of happiness , contentment and security? But here I was , writhing in pain out of torture in my dream school. Of course I completely failed to recognized the trio of Mr X, Y and Z as leaders even after the horrifying ordeal. In Plato’s The Republic, conversation ensued between Socrates and Polemarch on leadership and justice. Indeed polemarch defined a leader as a person who represents the will of the people and only holds that position in trust as mandated by the people. Definitely, Mr X, Y and Z by any definition and standards are not leaders
They say that a donkey can carry any amount of load, but gets to a point where it can nolonger carry the load. The donkey cannot move even if you beat it to death. What we call point of no return, or still the elastic limit. On 2nd day of March 2017, eight months after my near death experience at the hands of bullies , the nation woke up to a very disturbing news of bullying at The Alliance High School. A lot of the old boys tried saving the name and running endless PR stunts of how everything was stage managed. They believed that at that point, image was more important than the systematic ills of bullying. I think Dante forgot to include this particular group of people among those who are also reserved for the hottest place in hell . Mean how does one gets extremely concerned with protecting an image , rather than solving the issue that tainted the image. It is like having a rotten mango covered with newest silk, and because you don’t want anyone to see the rot, you cover it even tighter . The king was naked and it led to myriads of casualties including the administration. That was the most lame duck administration ,that even when it was evident enough that bullies we’re almost killing students, they refused to intervene completely.
It is an open secret that this trio badly mutilated my constitutional and human rights as stipulated In the Constitution of Kenya 2010 in Articles 28, 29 and 27,The Basic Education Acts of 2013 and 2001, the decision of the learned judge EC Mwita in the constitutional petition 452 of 2016 Mukaru Ng’ang’a vs Attorney General  eKLR and The Convention Against Torture and Cruel, Inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment of 1984 , successfully ratified in Kenya in 1997. These are sufficient grounds beyond any reasonable doubt to pursue a legal action against this trio to pay for their reckless actions, however I remain hesitant to take this route.
Desmond Tutu says that “The only way to experience healing and peace is to forgive. Untill we can forgive, we remain locked in our pain and locked out of the possibility of experiencing healing and the possibility of being at peace. And indeed our Lord Jesus Christ encourages us to forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11.4). Out of this trio, only one has appeared remorseful and humbled himself and recognized his atrocities. In his badly written apology statement, Mr Y states that…”I know we hurt you by being in leadership roles,we were in formative years and what had been formed in us may have caused us to act the way we did,,kindly understand that and forgive..”. I forgave him unconditionally, however it left a question lingering in my head. At what point does a man throw away his conscience simply because of what has been formed in him? At wait point do we accept to be part of dangerous formations just because of a the system? I now understand why good people , upon attaining power change completely. True to the words of Abraham Lincoln, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Leaders who could not restrain themselves because of systems and what was formed in them endend up killing, oppressing, stealing and maiming their subjects at will. Renowned social contract theorist John Locke , while supporting the necessities of governments quickly made a rejoinder that even during the social contract where subjects are to surrender their rights in exchange of security,some rights are fundamental and prerogative hence leaders do not have complete authoritarian rule on subjects. Before taking power, Yoweri Museveni was taunted as the Messiah of Uganda, the man to restore the dignity of Ugandans after years of civil strife. In his maiden speech as a president, Museveni heavily noted the rot in African leadership is the failure by African leaders to hand over power, 35 years later, he is still rulling through iron fist. Jean Badel Bokassa of CAR , taunted as a revolutionist but ended up with the worst authoritarian and autocratic ruler in Africa. Just at what point does a man get so drunk with power that he forgets to carry his conscience only to be haunted by the same years later?
The founders of Alliance built it on a strong foundation of service , with a mission of churning out men who are strong in body mind and character. I believe many old boys of this great school are a true representation of this ideology and to a large extent, the founders visions and dreams came to pass. And indeed Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyongo in his glowing tribute to his Alliance school mate late Minister Joe Nyaga dubbed Ties that Bind,Nyongo writes that” The years at Alliance were full of youthful experiences which remained printed in our minds, sometimes even romanticized,as nostalgia became the pass time of men and rapidly being swallowed by adulthood and its many earthly responsibility.” This statement is a clear indication of how Bush was a place of living great memories of friendships and accomplishment while still practising the visions of the founders with tranquility happiness and love. However, I am yet to understand where the rain started beating us, and wayward behaviours of bullying normalized.You can agree with me that bullying and torture do not represent the spirit of strong to serve , neither does it promote the ideology of men who are strong in body, mind and character. We can therefore confidently conclude that these bullies were completely against the doctrines and tenents that held dear the entire foundation of AHS. How this practice was normalized still mesmerizes me the most.
According to The Word Health Organization, stopbullying.org and indeed all health organizations and publications, bullying has adverse effects. Bullying leads to traumatic mental disorders and causes depression and anxiety, increased sadness, loss of social interest, suicide and suicidal thoughts, decreased academic performance, school drop out, violence among many more. Effects of bullying are almost similar to effects of sexual assaults which also lead to severe mental issues. I can imagine many students in different schools who graduated from their schools with such effects. A school should be the safest place , home away from home. These are effects that bullies like this trio do not consider about. They do not put in consideration the life long mental effects that they inflict on the people they bully. For them, a momentous gratification is their pursuit, typical of a man eat man society. The fact that I had to undergo numerous therapy sessions details how this trio , out of sheer insensitivity and recklessness had affected my overall health and to date , none except one has shown remorse and even that particular one , did it in the most careless manner. Indeed as Desmond Tutu says, “I am sorry” are the most difficult words to come from the tongue of man. I am not surprised that this is replicated at the national level where a few leaders who feel more privileged can the entire nation embezzle funds meant for a pandemic, at the middle of that pandemic, leaving the entire population vulnerable.
Even the longest darkest nights are usually replaced with bright and hopeful dawns with the sun rising to send the rays of liberation. It is true that some of the worst systematic ills were brought down after vicious sacrifices . Nobody ever believed that the American Slave Trade would ever cease. It was so deep rooted that it formed culture of any American. It took reformists who went through the American Civil war (1861-65), and for to bring finality, Abraham Lincoln paid dearly with his life when he was assassinated in 14th April 1985. He paid the ultimate price for agitating for the practice of the true ideologies of liberty, that the founders of America had vouched for. When the French could nolonger allow autocracy, they marched to the streets resulting to the French Revolution of 1789-1799. It is through this revolution that dark faces of evil of hopelessness such as Louis XVl were executed out of existence, leading to a prosperous nation with a clear rule of law. And also just like me and many others who were tortured at the hands of the bullies for demanding what is just and right, but at the end our efforts were made aware to the world leading to the finality of the bottomless pit of servitude.
My story resonates well to societies experiencing deep rooted socio political issues which continue to be advanced by repressive regimes. Racism in the western world, human trafficking at the Gulf, corruption in Africa and Latin America, disregard of rule of law in Africa and Latin America, poverty and illiteracy just to mention a few. However today, I urge to remain hopeful,and push the liberation out of the chains of such evils. I believe there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.