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Classmate boycotts final exam paper to get married

By William Dekker | January 21st 2016

It is about 8:46am and I’m I headed to my final 4th year exam paper that begins in 14 minutes time. I meet Shadrack, my class representative along the academic highway, slightly some distance from the usual spot. He is in a hurry much more than I am. His face is wrinkled, devoid of any smile and unlike him, he isn’t enthusiastic to talk. Something must be eating him up.

Shadrack, or Shaddy as we usually referred to him, has been a classmate since first year.  Unlike the rest of my colleagues in the IT class, he has been very aggressive in class; quick to ask and answer questions, does his assignment in time, finishes exams before the rest, inquisitive, follows every lecture after class to create rapports with them. He is the type you would call a teacher’s pet. Birds of a feather flock together. While I don’t possess some of those traits, we became good friends. When I joined the Student Governing Council, I resigned from being a class rep and he enthusiastically took over. Still, he consulted me on a lot, especially on how to deal with the stubborn classmates. Whenever he had personal issues, he’d openly share them. But today, something wasn’t right. Being the last paper, majority of us were all smiles, it was a moment of achievement. Instead he seemed disturbed and couldn’t talk about it. Perhaps this fella doesn’t want to finish this campus, I thought. Unknown to me, the fella was just about to end 8-4-4 in style.

We headed straight to the classroom and booked a “good spot”. You see folks, it is the last exam in 8-4-4 and you better finish it with ump, even if it means “going an extra mile.” Call it “Mwakenya” we call it “finishing power.” On top of that, knowing that Shady was well read, a teacher’s pet and a class rep, I knew his prospects of rightly answering the questions were higher than mine. I had to keep him by my side the entire time, he was my only hope.

The lecturer got in and stood there to give instructions before distributing the papers. Beside me Shadrack was sweating and distracted. Suddenly a call came in, he looked at it and before get out to pick it, he said to me, “I’m not doing this paper”. I couldn’t follow him. Even though it was an elective course Unit, I wanted it so much in my transcript. However, I did it so quickly and left the exam room before everyone else to go find the whereabouts of Shadrack.

On switching my phone, I found a text, “I AM GETTING MARRIED TODAY, PLEASE MOBILISE THE CLASS TO COME TO MY WEDDING AND IT BEGINS AT 11.00AM IN NANDI HILLS”. I read the text with contempt and in my mind it sounded like a joke. I called him immediately but went unanswered twice before Hillary, another classmate picked it. He wasn’t sitting for today’s elective paper and there he was the best man in the wedding; just like a movie!

I stood outside the faculty gate, nabbing every classmate who walked out, in the order they came. When the number was big enough to fit one Nissan Matatu, we walked to the University bus stop and “hijacked” one for the wedding trip. On arrival at Nandi hills, the church session had finished and now the newlyweds, Shadrack and his…(I am embarrassed to say wife), yes…were on their way to the home reception, with village ululations, singing and traditional dances. Oh God! This dude was damn serious!

Well, even with the shock on our faces, we had to fit in. In fact we didn’t fit in, we took over the celebrations. It would look like a raid; in a span of seconds, the brides were floating in the air, carried with no formula as we chanted all available “comrades power” slogan.

I’ve seen people get drank with alcohol, but the effect is worse when one is drunk of mursik. The platoon of 18 comrades raided every mursik jar that was available, drank it through the heavy rain that poured. With the short notice, we had no gift to offer, but found many ways to evade the embarrassment, with promises of paying for his graduation gown, others offering to help him out with the coding on the final year project etc.

I still remember when we returned in the evening, two mursik containers were found under the car; A mursiky wedding it was.  You see a fella just finished 8-4-4 in style. How did this guy even plan for this amidst the series of marathon exam papers? Actually, the difference is very thin between uchawi na miujiza!

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