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Old School: Where the late Cabinet minister JJ Kamotho and ‘Kamau wa Jiggers’ were fuelled by ‘ugali cabbage’

 JJ Kamotho and other alumni

Njumbi High School in Mathioya, Murang’a County, was founded by the Anglican Church of Kenya, Diocese of Mt Kenya as a mixed boarding school.

The school which was later changed into a boys’ only boarding school sitting on 29 acres, was upgraded from an intermediate to a high school in 1965.

Njumbi had memorable teachers, like ‘Perday’, the deputy principal who was ‘an invisible man’, a strict ‘omnipresent’ teacher who was feared and liked in equal measure.

There was the time bees ran amok sending everybody to the ground, but Perday sauntered around as if the bees were butterflies sucking nectar.

Whenever boys resorted to vernacular, chatted girls or imitated him in the dormitory, Perday would simply spring from the blues and corner them.

Even when they poured leftovers on the dining table, dozed off in class, sneaked booze while singing reggae — or tried skipping sermons by overstaying in the toilet - Perday smoked them out.

Boys were gassed by Karomo, the school bus driver of the KAJ, 100-seater truck with a ‘look you-look me’ sitting arrangement.

There were punishments students loathed at Njumbi. Being caught sneaking food out of the dining hall meant being forced to clear the plate while seated on the dusty ground while enduring stinging whips. Then there was the worst punishment of washing 71 stairs.

But boys enjoyed Wednesday meals comprising ugali, cabbage and a piece of meat with ‘Buju’ the cook, filling grumbling tummies.

Notable alumni include the late Cabinet minister and Mathioya MP JJ Kamotho, anti-jigger campaigner and Ahadi Trust honcho Stanley Kamau and Benson Gatu, the flamboyant aspirant for the Mathioya parliamentary seat and Saumu Sonko’s baby daddy.

Others who wore the green skirt, gray pullover, and light-blue shirt include Inooro TV reporter Wangui wa Mwangi, journalist-cum-blogger Jane Mugambi, Cyrus Muchemi, a procurement assistant at Nairobi City County, Margaret Mwangi, an occupational therapist, and John Mutura, the assistant production manager at KTDA.

Others are John Wahianyu, Kameme FM presenter and producer and KBC reporter Hunja Macharia. Those who were also guided by the motto ‘Strive for Excellence’ are Ngarega Waiyaki of Ngarega Waiyaki & Co. Advocates, Miriam Sindel, tutor at Tricent School of Medical Health Sciences and Technology and Zakaria Mitei , the sustainable agriculture manager at Unilever Kenya.


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