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Teachers’ strike might just break homes

By Maftah Yusuf | September 19th 2015

NAIROBI: Peace is not a guest in my house. We had paid for bliss in the form of school fees only for teachers to down their tools at the most inconvenience of times. My son, alongside children of other Kenyans who subscribe to public education is causing mayhem at home. Though some parents deny, homes are the real hotbeds of terror whenever kids are around. What this particular strike is doing is prolonging the agony parents have to bear whenever schools close.

My house is the perfect example. I deal with the invasion of a thug who calls himself Young Money. Gone are the days fathers spoke and sons paid attention. This cookie suffers from a condition that impairs his ability to listen to instruction. I suppose he could be described as stubborn had the word not been too superficial.

Or maybe if I was his biological father he would acknowledge my efforts of bringing him up. Basically, he is supposed to be the bonus in my marriage to his mother. “Children grow up so fast he will be out of our hair before you know it,” Michelle assured me. What I should have asked is what they grow into because this one is a cross between mungiki and al Shabbab. Parents require all the tranquility they can get to deal with disorder of the Kenyan society. With ‘Haki Yetu’ cacophony, and the gangs running amok in the homes, I can no longer take it.

With a guy like Cookie in the house, it is difficult to focus on the real issues like whether your wife is still attending Gomorrah Clinic in Githurai, or which people to approach to have your Facebook operating tender approved by your respective county government. I hear they are quite lucrative. Young Money, who by the way wants to be a rapper when he grows up insists on playing the Juke box really loud. I have warned the guy that unless he turns it down, Nema might be on to us.

“Buda wacha za ovyo. This home could do with Maendeleo chap chap. Upgrade this relic to some decent sub-woofers like they have in other homes,” he suggested cranking up the volume. I must admit rigging a DVD player to the old machine so it takes a flashdrive is dope engineering. It is a wonder his teacher fails him in physics.

I invited him to relocate to a home with maendeleo where they use strobe disco lights for the living room. This conflict of ideas is not restricted to homes alone. It doesn’t take a poll by Ipsos to chalk rising crime in the inner cities. Youth have revived jobless corners and are responsible for muggings.

Abortion clinics are recording booming business and peddlers have raised the price of a roll of bhang by Sh10. To sellers of sin, schools should not be reopened anytime soon. Parents have been pushed to the point where no amount of taxation is too high to have these brats back in school. The only thing we are asking is that government approves a hardship allowance for the period we had to bear with our children when they ought to have been in school.

If we proceed along the avenue this standoff is headed, we might just have to ditch end of the year exams.

And then, perish the thought, children will not be promoted to the next class. All the while, Haki Yetu will have been sung so loudly it will be replaying in the head all day and night.

Fathers who are perpetually undermined by their stepsons may just call it a day and quit without notice. Mothers like Michelle who have been calling this rivalry a non-issue might just find themselves single, unless of course, teachers resume work. It’s their time to stay with the children.

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