It has being quite a while since I last wrote on some things that my eye big as it is (despite my effort to squeeze it shut), doesn’t fail to clearly see.
If you have ever passionately worked on an assignment, a project or research woek, working fervently out not only your head but also you heart, then you will understand that it does not just take your knowledge, know how, blood and sweat to succeed at accomplishing the task.
It requires that you willingly sacrifice your time with family, friends, at work, maybe studies and use a big chunk of your so hard- earned money.
It equates to a love for the task so deep, that we baptize it passion!
Above all these, talent is KEY to your ultimate success.
And so, we advocate and strongly so, for a tender nurturing of talent from an early age – in fact, from the time our infants start moving their eyes and limbs.
Does this remind you of institutional slogans that incorporate talent as a shouting integral part of their philosophies?
I am talking about schools, colleges, universities. Learning institutions to be precise.
My story microscopes on one kind of the above-mentioned sort of talent incubators – a School.
I witnessed a scenario early this month that left my heart wrenched and oozing with despair.
Wakesho, a form one student in one of the very much recognized high schools along the shores of the Indian Ocean, ran home one evening all elated about her new school.
According to her, it was incomparable to any other along the ocean shores.
Magnificent. Wonderful. Fabulous. Just extremely exceptional and the right place for her to be!
And why was the school accorded all these humongous adjectives?
Because the school offered Music club, Drama club, Home Science club, French club among other clubs, best of all, a Dance club!
She went on endlessly all through dinner about how she had never thought such a school would offer dance training for whatever reason. She loved dancing.
Ever since her kindergarten schooling, she had been in an Indian dance team.
Her Reception teacher, Mrs Prashita of Shree Swaminarayan Academy, had taken her through every Indian song dance step that her mentor, Swatisha, a year 11 girl, rigorously yet tenderly, taught her.
You see my friend, the reason why this particular girl and I presume other form one students as well, might have felt the East Religious Royal High school (ERRH) was the best place to be for a teenage growing student like her, was simply because the school was flexible, accommodating and marching in time with the international trend of developing talent, irrespective of it being based on largely religious ethical standards and environment, that would otherwise deem dance as ‘haram’.
So Wakesho, registered with other few girls for the National Dance competition to be held in Nyeri, Nairobi at the end of the term.
Oh, Didn’t she wriggle her waist out?
Throw her limbs this way and that way?
Cut down on bread (a relief for the mother!), fries and chapati?
Didn’t she wake up 45 minutes earlier in the morning to work out and practice on one step or two every morning before speeding off to school?
She even boycotted some Geography or Physics lesson during some afternoons to join the rest of the ‘wrigglers’ for practice.
How many times did her mom call her class teacher to find out why Wakesho had not reached home as usual, two hours late, only to be informed that she had been left behind with the dance team sweating hard over their moves!
Her team Chorographer, Urmi, who happened be two classes ahead of her was a thorough organizer; Superb!
And so, at the end of the term, Wakesho and the rest of the dance team assembled at parking lot of the school, on this fine Wednesday morning, luggage all placed together, delightedly chatting up as they awaited their Patron.
They were ready to start off their well- deserved long trip to Nyeri county!
Mummy and Nate, her brother, were here to see her off.
Mummy took a few snapshots of her and her friends, proud that her baby was finally taking her talent to the next level, after years of dedicated nurturing.
Finally Mummy and Nate had to leave the team of dancers, as they chatted up their patron all at one go; weaver birds wouldn’t have sounded any different.
Alhamdhulilahi. (Thanks be to God) Mummy walked away inwardly sighing.
“Nate, come let’s go,” she ushered her youngest child, who was both glad and sad, that his elder sister was venturing off to new lands without him.
Both took a taxi to Marikiti stage within Mombasa town, alighted to get a Matatu to their residence along Customs road.
The ride home was one filled with a sense of pride and a longing for the other just left behind member of the family.
Mummy could not help but whisper several prayers to the Creator to grant journey mercies to the team and chaperons of ERRH as they embarked on the five-day trip.
Exactly one hour and a half later, her phone got ringing….
Sheila Munguti is a writer and a teacher. She hails from Kenya and is passionate about changing the negative misconceptions of the African continent as well as re-telling the African story from her own eyes. She lives in Mombasa.