-Hesborn and Sons Textiles and associated tailoring works.
-Barasa’s Photographic studio: Passports, Passbooks, Exam cards and Pass anything.
You miserably failed in first year and got discontinued, but no one knows this in the village, if anything for the past seven years you’ve been leaving the village ‘headed to school’. But some would start wondering just how long your said degree was taking, until you voluntarily chipped in, ‘’Oh I forgot to say, I changed my course way back in first year, I now take an Engineering course. This is my final year though.’’ So they believed that the hope of the village could in fact become the first Engineer in the village, little did they know that this idiot only went to school to man the ka dingy, smoky hotel he had opened using first year HELB money.
So my friend, that has been you for the past seven years, and villagers have piled pressure on you that they want to see you graduate, you cannot escape the seventh year. You were admitted in the University to take BA but still don’t understand how you ended up doing Math 100 (which is in fact the first unit you recorded an impressive F). They want graduation? We will give the graduation my friend! Here’s how..
Announce to all and sundry that you, the hope of the village are finally getting the power to read. Call home, tell them that you are top of your class at the end of seven years (we all know your actual class left the school ages ago). Take a loan from your bank, use your fast-growing hotel in Njokerio as security. Do not forget to take an Mshwari loan too, the villagers must be spoiled proper.
Now visit Hesborn and Sons tailoring services and upon entering just whisper ‘’Gown size yangu’’ and leave. He will not take any measurement, that’s the kind of professional we’re dealing with here. One look at you and Hesborn’s eldest son will know what to do. So you’ll pick your gown after half an hour. Use this break to drop by Barasa’s Photographic studio. Technically you’re getting the power to read right in this studio but we’ll reserve the party for tomorrow, your family must see you among other graduands. Barasa takes about ten minutes to manufacture a diploma, twenty for your degree and slightly over half an hour to confer to you a Doctorate. But we’re here for a degree, a seven-year degree. His rates too are not that exorbitant, Ksh 310 for BA isn’t bad now, is it? Additional costs will include the encryption of your name and of course the course ‘’A.N OTHER, B.A PHILOSOPHY & HISTORY’’. This piece of paper must be stuck on the backrest of a chair that you should pick from Kilimo Hall as you head to the graduation square.
You will find peeps doing their rehearsal, do not interact with any, I repeat, do not interact with anyone. Position your chair just at the front and leave the party. Pass through Njokerio on your way to your room pick your gown and go meet the whole village who insisted they had to come. They should be waiting at the main gates, adorn in your gown and prepare to give the smile of your life.
Your tiny room will house everyone tonight but not to worry, the ,loans you took now come in handy, spoil these people man, spoil them with loads of fried githeri, order mama mboga to deliver baskets of oranges to your room. Brother make sure these guys have no doubts as to what an undergraduate Engineer is capable of.
This is the real deal now, wake up EARLY (I won’t remind you that early is in caps). Head to the graduation square, find your chair and begin the journey to locating your imaginary classmates. Take a walk man, WIEM? No they don’t have many first classes, you’ll easily be noticed if you assume that class. Engineering? Yes this is actually your course but there’s no first class this year, so let’s move. BA? Now that’s your class, place your chair next to the last First Class chair you’ll find there, it should be a female I’m guessing, they get loads of First classes in this course. So place your chair next to Atieno, or Njoki perhaps. Call Barasa thereafter just to make sure the photographs deal is still on. Now head to your room and wake everyone up. With heavy breakfast served, usher the village into the gates of the University and witness their hope finally graduate.
As soon as you settle beside Atieno, or was it Njoki? Let’s use Njoki, make sure you offer your best smile whenever she gives you that ‘Do I know you?’ look. Keep on smiling even after she turns away, actually just plaster a permanent smile on your face, it’s a happy day after all. Occasionally turn to your family way at the back and wave to them while smiling, put them in the mood, let them feel you graduate. And please do not pop into any discussions going on in this region, you’re sitting right at the heart of first class holders remember, and the last time you sat for a Philosophy paper you walked out having only written your name on the question paper. That was six years ago though. Just to keep safe, let the kids discuss, do not join. Keep smiling till when the names start blurting out of the Dean’s mouth. Your name won’t be called out of course but as soon as Njoki’s name comes out rise with her, look back to your village and give the best smile you can, wave at them and imitate clapping, they will clap too. They will definitely wave back all smiles, and perhaps imagine that with the dean’s heavy accent, they must have just missed your name, but it was called alright.
Hesborn designs his gowns in such a way that you have pocket inside of the gown. The degree Barasa conferred to you last evening has all this while been tucked in there so at the end of the ceremony you will need to practically relocate your family to the bushy edges of the campus for the last bit of #Graduation101- Barasa’s Photography. Why the bushy edges of the school? My friend we are done with the most important part and that is your family seeing you rise up to a name that is not even yours. If you take pictures around this place with other graduands you might just bump into Prof S.F Owido who signed your discontinuation letter way back in first year.
Barasa will do a tidy job taking pictures of you and your village, each one of them wanting a separate picture of themselves and you alone.
Who said Facebook shouldn’t know that you graduated? My friend buy those MB’s, upload those pictures. Caption them proper. For example the one in which you’re holding your degree on one hand and your five month old son on the other (oh I forgot this part, Awiti also decided that she must bring your son to your graduation). As you upload that picture on Facebook, just write above it ‘’ Finally, two degrees #graduationtings #hatersgonnahate #lol #ratchetness #yolo #SecurityBill’’ . Post it on Facebook and wait for comments.
—A special dedication to all FOWN (Friends of Wandering Nilote) who graduated this year. I’m still roaming these streets fellas.