In 1984, I graduated from Loreto Convent Msongori, a High School in Nairobi. I’d been there for 12 years - starting in Standard 1 with Mrs Braganza. By the time I reached secondary school my older sisters had paved the way as prefects, athletes, swimmers, artists, singers, actors, most popular in the boys school, motorbike racers, dancers, models, ... I couldn’t compete. They were prettier, taller, stronger, more social ... the only thing left for me to excel in was science and expeditions. I took to long field trips and spent a month hiking in northern Kenya’s wild, dangerous and burning deserts. The headmistress, Sister Pauline asked me why I stopped attending weekly church - it made no sense to me. The library was infinitely more fascinating. Still is. She could have expelled me, but she just said “oh”. I remember her as a super-strict woman on a black habit and open toed sandals. Her stern face seemed wooden. We called her Power - she had it over all of us. She knew each and every student in our huge sprawling school. She knew our parents, our friends, our likes and dislikes. She seemed to know what each child needed. I was allowed to slice off mass to roam the library, or miss weeks of class to go on expeditions. At the time it didn’t occur to me how lucky we all were. My school friends are so accomplished - it’s not a coincidence. I can’t say that I liked Sister Pauline at the time - I felt oppressed. But seeing her today for the first time since 1984 reminded me that she was what I needed most, and it was what what gave me a chance to make it in life. I meet children in schools from across Kenya, kids lost in a sea of faces in crowded classrooms and dusty playgrounds and I wish I could give them the chance that I had. Imagine if every school today graduated such promising young people each year. Where could Kenya be?
He was a young bull. His crime was a passion for human crops. Killed by one spear thrown from above. Death from internal bleeding three days ago. Nobody knows who threw it . He died trying to find safety, a slow painful experience.RIP young Bull.