I got very excited when I first heard about the reunion two weeks ago. MOBA reunion. MOBA in full is Maseno Old Boys Association. I even got more excited when I learned that the venue was Parklands Sports Club. The club is close to my school and that meant that the lazy me would not use any matatus but simply walk for about 5 minutes. So when Saturday came we made our way to the Club. If there is one thing I have done wrong for a very long time is to underestimate Parklands Sports Club. It looks lonely and deserted from the outside but the reality is that it’s so vibrant and lively in the inside. I realized that it’s way too much better than Nyanza Golf Club which basically the only club I am acquainted with.
The kind of cars you see at the parking lot make a statement. At Parklands Sports Club, you won’t see Vitz or Toyota Corollas. You will marvel at neatly parked Range Rover Sports and Porsches. I even saw a Tesla (not a model 3 though). There is a way in which the sight of a Tesla shakes the whole of my existence (If you are a lady and you want to win my heart just buy me a Tesla). For a moment I thought of taking a picture and uploading on my twitter handle then tagging Elon Musk (For the sake of those who love Willy Paul, Elon Musk is an American Business Magnate who founded the automobile company Tesla. I know Willy Paul fans only love and are interested in one thing: Willy Paul). If there’s one striking similarity between Elon Musk and I, it’s the fact that we both love Tesla. The striking difference between us, however, is that he is dollar billionaire while I’m a pauper still struggling to find his way in life.
So we walk through the inner gates of the Club to the designated venue. Of course, I am with Masiga Maurice and Ian Keganda. They are Maseno Old Boys just like me. Keganda is dressed like he’s been invited to the Trump’s White House to deliver a speech on ‘What next for Africa?’ A fine-tuned suit with a striking purple vest designed just for it. Typical Ian Keganda. A very suity man. He looks like one of those Brioni suit models you see on Pinterest when you go looking for dressing tips. Masiga is dressed simply in good casual wear for a Saturday afternoon. An outfit that matches his humble personality.
When we reach the hall where the event is to taking place, a strange feeling suddenly hits me. It’s a feeling of nostalgia. But it’s also mixed with a sense of belonging. I stare at the people around for a while and I feel a connection. The Maseno Connection. There is a way in which people who studied in Maseno School connect with one another even at first sight. It’s beyond literal comprehension. So we greet the old lads and introduce ourselves. Some of them completed the school in 1992. Others in 93 and 94. Then we reach a table full of members of the 2015 class. My class.
It is at this table where the real emotion strikes. I see Harmony Mukolwe and remember the good old days in Jaramogi House. I look at Smith and can’t help but laugh at the miserable life he led as a commoner. Then, of course, Trevor Munayi is somewhere around in the building.
A few moments later, Korindah Owino sets in the building with a bunch of other people I last saw when we were doing our KCSE Physics Paper 2 exams. I see people like Ombalo, John Ndonye and DJ. I feel like it’s 2015 all over again. And that it was 2015 without Mr. Fredrick Agie though. The class boss. If one day I become President of this nation I would give Mr. Agie a Presidential Medal of Honor. The man has mastered the art of transforming little boys into successful gentlemen. I still remember how he used to speak to us slowly but with conviction and assurance. When he spoke everyone listened. He taught Business Studies with devotion. It’s like him and Business Studies were meant for each other. And that one couldn’t do without the other. At least that’s how I saw it. Mr. Agie’s style of teaching struck me as sheer art and nothing less. World class. Cheers Mwalimu.
Then Jairus Okello and Nestor Ragot came in. Those two gym rats. Jairus is one guy you can’t ignore because every sentence that comes out of his mouth commands laughter. He’s a natural comedian. Churchill should recruit this guy. I remember the days when we were roommates in Jaramogi House. The whole cubical used to be entertained by his wit till the late hours of the night. So much has changed about him though. He has a tattoo on his right bicep that says “Eagles do not fly with pigeons”. I am sure he’ll be one hell of an engineer in the coming future.
After we had all settled, I looked around but was somehow disappointed. I couldn’t see the likes of Gabriel Oguda, Robinson Githae, Olago Aluoch and even Jackson Biko (Someone told me that Biko Zulu went to Maseno School. Biko if you read this kindly confirm. We need to know.) There are so many great people out here who went to the school that I had expectations of seeing but did not. I hope the MOBA leadership does something to reach out to these guys.
When the order of business of the day came to light, most of the young old boys like me just stared fixedly and nodded our heads. I thought it was only me but when I looked around I could see my friends listening to the plans of restructuring the MOBA Constitution and development of the school so resignedly. It’s like we only came to provide quorum and nod our heads. The same could not be said of those old boys of 93, 94, 96 and such ancient times. Those ‘fossils’.
They tackled the agenda with enthusiasm. They deconstructed the issue at hand in a very fashionable manner. Some of them were engineers but they spoke like Senior Counsels. Others were auditors but they reasoned like Winston Churchill. And then, of course, most of them had lots of money and were not afraid show it. They showered us with drinks worth over 10k. They said things like ” Money is not afraid of me”. I am sure such sentences left a majority of us in awe. The student life we led could not allow us to utter such remarks. Money was afraid of nearly all of us. We came to the club walking for Christ sake.
The speeches were awesome. There is a post in MOBA called the Chief Member. It’s not an elective post. It’s auctioned and it goes for the highest bidder. And the person who sits in the seat is like the President of all old boys. The current Chief Member has the personality of someone who should be in that seat. I loved his speech. He talks with deep confidence and has the humour of Kevin Hart. And you can tell that he is Luo from his first sentence. His humour made my night.
The highlight of the reunion was a guy who called himself a Certified Public Thinker. He spoke like a true thinker. Like a modern day Socrates. He was assertive. And he had a very strong command of the English language. His tone embodied subtlety yet the strength of his words was unmatched. His ideas wowed many. He obviously knew what he was talking about. He said things like “I can donate even 2 million for the fundraiser. It’s very little money. ” He got me at that sentence. Actually not only me. He got most of us. You hear someone talk like that and you just sip your Del Monte first then wonder whether he lives in the same country as you. The guy was simple but spoke with affluence.
At last, the speeches were over and the long-awaited moment was here. Food. The food was good. Fried chicken, fried meat, boiled meat and nyama choma among many others. That nyama choma was so good. It’s the kind you taste and chew with your eyes closed. I wanted to ask around for who prepared it and tell him what he had just done to me and my taste buds. The meat was quite tender. One of its kind. I think the cow that it came from was meant to be slaughtered. It’s like that was its whole purpose in life and it delivered.
After the delicacies, we had some little chats around. I talked to some of the few older people and listened to their perspectives. A guy called Job told me of how he has studied Biochemistry or something of the sort but ended up doing design for a living. I admired that. That courage to follow up your dreams and make a living out of it.
Then I talked with a few of my former classmates about the good old days. We laughed at how life used to be so cruel and fun at the same time. It’s amazing how time flies. Back then none of us could have imagined meeting years later for such a reunion.
We had a short photo session at the end. Then people started dispersing one by one. Others left in big machines while some like me left walking back to school. It was one hell of a reunion. When you have such an experience you always look forward to the next one. I sneaked back to my room in school and slept so soundly that night.