Students will always be cheeky and come up with nicknames for their teachers. There was a hilarious moment last week when a form one student went to the staffroom and asked to see Madam Trumpet.
Being new to the school, the boy had been cheated by some form two students that he was required in the staffroom by a teacher called Madam Trumpet.
Curious, Donatta asked him to repeat the name of the teacher he was looking for. He said that he had been informed that madam Trumpet was looking for him. The teachers were confused and told the boy to wait outside.
“The boy is looking for Schola,” said Vasco Da Gama. The whole staffroom burst into laughter. Schola’s ability to spread rumours had earned her the nickname. Incidentally the shape of her lips reminds one of that musical instrument.
Most teachers at Meta Meta have nicknames. The principal is known as Okonkwo - a character in Chinua Achebe’s novel ‘Things Fall Apart’. In the novel, Okonkwo is famed for having beaten Amalinze the cat during a wrestling match.
The feat earned him a lot of respect since it was widely known that Amalinze’s back never touched soil. The principal isn’t a wrestler. He, however, loves quoting Chinua Achebe. His deputy bears the nickname, Wangu Wa Makeri. Wa Makeri was a no nonsense Kikuyu colonial female chief. Her reign is fabled to have been one of terror and men were not spared.
Vasco da Gama, who is comfortable with the nickname, earned it due to his expansive knowledge of history. He can give a lecture on the Timbuktu gold and salt trade in the middle of his sleep. He waxes lyrical when talking about the conquests of Alexander the great.
Thunder is the only tutor at Meta Meta who doesn’t need a microphone to address the students. While teaching, his voice can be heard from a kilometre away. His mega vocal cords earned him the monicker - Thunder. Students have nicknamed Margarita the CU patron Mary Magdalene.
From the Bible, the students have also borrowed a name for the head cook. They refer to her as Jezebel.
She is particularly mean and carries as much food as she can from the school kitchen.
One evening while leaving school, the strap of her paper bag snapped. The contents that were spilt on the ground were astounding. Okonkwo and Wa Makeri had to be called. She had carried pieces of raw and cooked meat, beans, eggs, rice, flour and packets of milk.
“This is the reason we have been taking such ‘thin’ tea in the staffroom,” observed Aeneas. “You have even stolen salt from the kitchen?” asked an astonished Wa Makeri. “Mshahara ndio kidogo madam,” she murmured. The trumpet incident reminded me of my days in primary school.
There was this mean teacher we had nicknamed the black devil due to his love for the cane. Those were the days a cane and a teacher were inseparable.
A student he had sent to the staffroom to collect the duster told the teachers that he had been sent by the black devil. We were beaten until our buttocks were sore.