The Highs and Lows of My Life in Campus

The highs:

First day in campus- definitely a life changing moment. I was so excited to be joining campus, though the queues to register and what not were the longest I’d ever seen. Campus meant new relationships, another chance to shine academically, the pursuit of computer studies, fashion etc. campus was everything.

Numerous crushes. I think I lead the list of the highest number of boys I have crushed on. And when they responded I was the happiest. At least for the week or two that it lasted.

Babaroa announcement in 2008. Babaroa is the award for being top of the class for your course. What do you know, working hard actually pays off. I was a diligent student in the first year and was rewarded with a trophy, certificate and 10K in cash. I bought a phone, Nokla 95, which was stolen from my room about a year later. Sadly, Babaroa has eluded me in subsequent years. Blame it on my competitive class.

Nokla N95

Writing/blogging contract- this came in June 2009. I signed a contract that would pay me about 10K thereof per month, and they used to delay payment, so after three or so months, you got yourself a nice fat cheque. For a student, 30k or more of your own cash, awesome. Sadly, it was not renewed come June this year.

Hanging out with my friends. One night in particular stands out, sometime when we were in third year. It’s my first ever twitpic.

My crew

The class trip to coast in third year. Our trips are purely un-academic.

Traveling to Uganda in September this year. I just packed my bags, called my ex-high schoolmate over there and off I went. I used my own hard-earned cash 🙂

Internal attachment (internship in campus) at the beginning of 2009. It was the most idle time of my life. I watched so many movies and series.

The day I bought Z (sometime in 2009). Z is my laptop.

Zee

The day my blog got a mention in Zuqka.

Getting a place for internship at the beginning of this year was not hard. In fact, I had two offers and I chose the better one. Turns out everyone else who was interning there knew somebody, but my papers spoke for me.

And now I have two job offers out of .ke, of course am yet to do even do my exams, let alone graduate. Decisions, decisions, don’t know which job to take. Hope I make the right choice.

The lows:

Having this fight in third year. I still bear the scars 😦

Soon after, somebody stole my Nokla and wallet. They didn’t just take the cash, they took the wallet and all my IDs, school, national, ATM card etc. I had to struggle to replace them. And I know it’s those chicks in the next room who took my stuff. Am watching you, if you’re reading this.

Every year, whenever the Babaroa list is out, and everyone is making comments like “Savvy, am sure you’re getting it again” and I just wish I’d never got it in the first place so guys don’t have to remind me every time of my earlier successful days 🙂

I’ve ever had a bad experience with Naps. First and last time to take it. Enough said.

Had a disastrous last day at work during my internship (Jan-April 2010). Almost got in the middle of some office politics, ended up not going home that night and got lectured the following day by my dad. He said stuff like, “if you want to get married, just tell us. You’re an adult now.” I’d never felt more of a kid.

Also during internship, I met a tweep who borrowed me my savings, to invest or so, I was stupid and all yeah. Anyway, it was hell getting it back but after a long struggle bravely borne, he finally MPESAd me the cash and I erased him from my phonebook. So long, sucker.

During internship yet again, I went to Naivasha for a weekend, and on my way back, my wallet was nicked by a pickpocket. I had to start replacing IDs and ATM cards all over again.

Last month, I’d just had a new Nokia C3 for about six days when yet again I was pick pocketed.

And so many more, the good and the bad, these are just but a few highlights of my adventurous life in JKUAT.

Where is that campus-to-do list again?

It’s time I updated you on my progress. I still have around one and half months more of campus, so if there is anything left, there may still be time. Let’s see what I’ve done of recent.

I got a tattoo

I tore down papers from the notice board and climbed the water tank at Studiz. I wasn’t drunk when I was doing this, au contraire mon ami. I had just had a few shots of vodka and smoked some tobacco and something else. Just a little. So I did both of these on the same night. I was with my friends when we relieved the notice board of its burden, just for once we wanted to be young again. To do something silly because we can.

Now as for climbing the (I think 30m high) tank, the only thought in my mind as I gripped the ladder was, I hope to God I don’t slip and fall. So I climbed ever so slowly and ever so carefully, and when I got to the top, the view was well worth it. It was at night, and you could see for miles on all round.

The campus was looking beautifully lit during the night, and I shouted to one of my friends who was waiting for me at the bottom: “It’s breathtaking. It’s so beautiful up here.” And so encouraged, he joined me up at the base of the tank and it was a beautiful moment, and for a time, we were flying, we were superheroes with the wind beneath our wings.

Ever so carefully, we made our way down and I ticked one more thing off my list. However, there were no pictures because my phone couldn’t take photos at night, and some moments just can’t be captured on camera, you know? If you have a fear of heights though, this may not have been your cuppatea.

Towards the end of the month, (24th of November to be precise) we are going to coast for a final class trip. It’s going to be so much fun, because we are almost under pressure. We have so much to do: a very demanding project and the usual course work of 7 other units, so this break will be good for us. It’s supposed to be an educational trip, but it’s going to be beach time during the day and club time at night. Will keep you updated.

The evolution of the campus dating game

The innocent age

This is mostly in the first year of campus. The girls are at their most naïve, of course, in spite of themselves thinking very wise. They have all kinds of set values and high standards. He must be smart, well dressed, kind, polite, a Christian (and preferably of the same denomination), hard worker, non-drinker, non-smoker, this list could go on and on.

hopeful Freshman

The older guys know this, and they will be at their most charming, polite and well-behaved, and before you know it, the fresher ‘ameingia box’, loosely translated to ‘entrapped.’ So she will believe his stories of evangelistic weekends (hence why he can’t be with her over the weekends), but will religiously (literally) attend the mid-week C.U services with her.

She will agree to visit his room for movies, and he will not make his move that first time if he’s any good. He will buy Alvaro for her, or perhaps offer a cup of coffee. Sooner or later, the little touches will begin, and before you know it, thoughts of the Bible are thrown out of the window. The next thing she knows, he is not picking her calls, and his creepy roommate is the only one she’ll find when she goes to his room. So much for the prince charming she had imagined graduating from campus with.

The Awakening

In the second year, it’s hard to pin a girl down because she just wants to have fun. She has been through the disappointment of seeing her heart torn into pieces and her favourite song will be Avril’s Happy Ending.
She will not be contented with a cheap Alvaro in the room, but wants to be taken out for the rave. If I was a guy, I’d avoid the second year, unless you also just want to have fun and your pockets are deep enough. Campus girls have a phobia for paying their entertainment bills.

sophisticated sophomore

The Maturity

Third year is when relationships mature, if they were ever there in the first place. There are some guys who have been couples since first year, and by this time they almost do everything together, worse if they are classmates. They are just short of dressing in matching outfits. In fact, they do wear similar colours sometimes, and they begin to look alike. Like brother and sister. Or distant cousins.

the sassy junior

The single girls in third year begin to ‘import’. Meaning they start relationships with guys in other campuses, but preferably, working class guys in shiny cars. The third year guys realize they cannot compete and well, they start hunting freshas.

Third year may date any guy with a car

The Conclusion

In the final years of campus (fourth, fifth, even sixth), it’s easy to tell who may marry whom, because they introduce each other to their respective families during graduation. Some go ahead and get pregnant, leaving campus with a degree, husband and kid.

Graduating couple: she's probably pregnant

The single guys will be desperate, wondering how time flew by and if you get into a relationship with someone in these years, they would like something serious.

The single girls may turn to dating younger guys for the sake of it, or maybe to boost their ego. They will also be desperately looking for older, working and financially stable guys. Okay, scratch that. They be looking for financially stable guys of any description, especially if they have no prospect of jobs when they graduate.

Senior chick with freshman

I almost got arrested

I almost got arrested.

Maybe it wasn’t as dramatic as am making it sound, but considering I’ve been arrested once (here is the story, but you won’t find an official record, that’s for sure) and as the cop explained to me, there are procedures to be followed at such times. See, I’d been caught handling fake money. I’d just ordered for a drink with a fake two-hundred shilling note.

Kenyan currency

The cop who was also at the counter, explained to me that the first thing he should do is arrest me, take me in for a thorough questioning so I can give clues to the source of the fake money or to find out if am possibly involved so I can lead him to my fellow criminals.

Okay, am beginning my story in the middle. Back to the beginning.

In Nairobi, Thursday is the new Friday. People go out on Thursday, whether they have the work the following day or not. There are students who don’t mind skipping Friday classes, and there are plenty of those with neither school nor work. The scene: Westlands. Any club in Westie is packed to capacity at midnight on a Thursday night, with constant lines of people streaming in and out. Uptown Thursday it is, or more appropriately, bendover Thursday because every club worth its name plays the song several times in the night.

This past Thursday was election day for our university student union officials. Which means a free day for us. After doing a CAT (continuous assessment test) in the morning, we headed to a hotel nearby to swim. At around 4 p.m., we took a break to have lunch and a drink and after that, it was swimming and drinks. There are a lot of generous people by the poolside and drinks just kept coming and we swam and made merry. Around 7p.m. it was time to leave so we changed and said bye to the drink buyers, among whom I came to learn later was an MP from some constituency whose name evades me.

The Senate Swimming Pool

Back in campus, we psyched each other up for Uptown Thursday. One thing we kept reminding ourselves is the fact that this was our last semester and we have to make the most of it. That means taking every opportunity we have to go out. So we got into a matatu, and I paid my fare with a five-hundred shilling note. One of my friends paid with the same amount too. The conductor was very quick to give us back our change, and whoever checks to see if notes are fake? Unless it’s 500 or 1000 note. But a 200 shilling note? I just made sure my change was correct and put it in my pocket and that was the end of that. I don’t remember the conductor’s face, what he was wearing, the driver, not even the colour of the matatu. The conductor gave us a total of Kshs. 800 in fake 200-shlling notes. Of course at this time, we didn’t know it.

We got to town and immediately headed to Westlands, first checked into Rezorus. We ordered our first drinks with this money, and made ourselves comfortable. We had arrived a little early, it wasn’t even 11p.m. yet but the place was filling up. The DJ at that time was boring though, DJ GMoney (or something like that) hadn’t arrived for his famous reggae/ragga uptown tunes so we decided to club hop a little and come back later when the place would be on fire. We decided to pass by Qs? Qz? Definitely a Q somewhere which is mainly a pool center, say hi to some friends over there, possibly play a game or two, then Changez, then Red Tape, possibly Black Diamond before heading back to Rezorus. These clubs are all next to each other.

It was at Qz where I almost got arrested. So we were both remaining with a fake Kshs. 200 note each. We hang out a little, played some pool, lost badly and then my friends wanted to leave but I wasn’t ready to go yet. I told them to go ahead, I’d meet them at Changez later. I wasn’t alone though, I was with the other friends whom we had met at Qz. (notice I decided to go with the z. though I think it’s Q’s).

I went to the counter to order a drink, rather a shot and I was to pay the lady 120 bob. I gave her the 200-shilling note, she gave me my poison and I was waiting for the change when instead she returned my note and was like, “Pesa yako ni fake.” Of course the first question you ask is:

“What do you mean pesa yangu ni fake?” I asked, disbelieving. She held up the note to the light. OMG, you
should have seen the lion. It was a sleepy as hell! Have you ever seen that lion picture in real notes? It’s wide awake and staring at you, possibly very scary. This one had droopy eyes and was sleeping at a most awkward corner of the note. She also showed me the UV light thingie, and this note was the fakest I’d ever seen, it’s like they used normal A4 paper, and even the texture could tell you that ladies and gentlemen, we have a bootleg.

By this time, a small crowd had gathered to look at the note, and the cop was among them. He started asking me questions: “who gave you this note? Are you sure he’s the one? What was the colour of the matatu? Number plate? Conductor’s name?” and I was losing patience trying to explain to him that no one ever takes note (no pun there) of these details when they are taking public transport. I wanted to tell him if I ever got involved in a fake money scandal, I wouldn’t print such fake-looking money and certainly not 200-bob notes, I’d go for the thousand ones and I wouldn’t be stupid enough to be an actual user of the said notes. But I didn’t because my special friend was there and he calmed me down. The cop let me go because he said he was off duty anyway, but it would have been better to launch investigations so they could get the source of this fake money.

My uptowny mood was ruined by this time, and I decided to leave Qz and join my friends at Changez. It was only when leaving I managed to see the humour of the situation. The fake note was very funny. The bartender kept it, I told her to punch holes in it and display it or something. I could’ve taken a pic, but it wouldn’t show anything fake so there was no point.

At Changez, I asked my other pal whom we had been given change with to show me any money she had left. So we checked out her note and it turns out it was fake too! We advised her not to use it, because if she was caught with it, things might turn out ugly. Anyway, some more drinks and good music later, my good mood resumed and it was almost 4a.m. when we headed back to Rezorus. By this time, the music was awesome though the crowd had lessened a bit, and we danced a little, had final drinks and it was six in the morning when we finally arrived at our rooms.

Random Tuesdays: Kwani Open Mic

There is this perfect week idea I have. Yes, I borrowed the idea from Bernie? Barnie? of How I Met Your Mother, but I don’t intend to sleep with a perfect stranger for seven days in a row. My intentions involve going out to party/club seven days in a row. Okay, maybe not seven but 5; I have it all worked out. Tuesday to Saturday. I’ll write about it so you watch out for when it happens.

Yesterday I attended Kwani? Open Mic at Club Soundd. I think I was the first to arrive and the last to leave; I remember the bouncer switching the lights on us while my friend requested the song bendover to usher us out. The request was granted and the bouncer told her she can always come back and request the song over and over again. Somebody was in like!

I’d like to say I listened to the poems for like an hour; after that your guess is as good as mine. Kenyanpoet (Njeri Wangari) performed some poems from her book and they were really good.

There were some tweeps in the house; the cheerful Chiira, the lovely Joliea, geeky gramware (hope you enjoy the book!), chilled out warothe, foxy Felix Mind and lovely Njeri. Who else was there but I forgot to mention? I’ll add you later if you remind me. I promise.

There was another tweep who deserves special mention, don’t ask why. His name is….drumrolls….. Zablon or Zabdyte on twitter.

So having been ushered out of Club Soundd, we made out way to Giggles to have that one more for the road. I’d want to write about the details of last night but that would be breaking my rule of kiss and no tell. It was a crazy night for a Tuesday though.

So am travelling to Uganda tomorrow; one more item crossed off my list.

The Princess Project ~ The Big City: The Mystery

We all love Mysteries, don’t’ we? Those things that happen around us that shock our understanding and lack explanations. We love mysteries because they allow our imagination to come up with absurd or logical explanations and even possible solutions to the perplexity at hand.

Look at what happened with the black holes, up to date astronomers are still poking them just so they can figure them out. Human nature does not allow us to ignore puzzles.

Gabrielle has just bumped into a hole of life threatening proportions. She finds herself smack in the middle of gunfire and a possible family fued involving an ‘IT’ that she knows nothing about. At the end of this dramatic event the definite mystery within the mystery is whether Gaby will try to look for explanations.

The Mystery
I don’t know why. I don’t know why it has been so easy to bond with Stella. I don’t know why it has been so easy for me to look at her lifestyle without the violent disapproval I might have reacted with just a few months ago. I don’t know why I am so eager to get started…. Read the rest here

Don’t forget to have a look at this week’s book review Mugasha -Epic of The Bahaya by Nyambura Mpesha and there is still Poetry by Meshack Sewe, the poet of the Month of July.

Thank you for paying us this cyber visit , and please stay to talk with us and everyone else!

Do you have something to tell the Princess out there? We welcome Mzee Articles: Pieces on personal experience overcoming trial or going through the staircase of life. We would also welcome Girl Royal Articles: How to and Skills from a personal perspective. Please drop us a line at theprincessprojectafrica@gmail.com.

Mr. and Miss University, Kenya

I was walking around in town, like I have been doing these days, bumping into schoolmates, celebrities, my fans, etc. This Wednesday, I met our Miss University, the reigning beauty queen (as the cliches put it), in a hurry. She tells me she’s just from an interview with Ghetto Radio. To be a presenter, I ask? No, as our representative for the Miss University to be held at Carnivore this Saturday the 26th of June.

I told her I’d blog about it, so here I am. Then someone tweeted a link (@Amasy, I think) to the website where they have these pictures of the contestants and you can vote for them. Here it is.

I couldn’t find her picture though…so this picture from Miss JKUAT 2008 where she was a contestant will have to do. She is at the right-most of the picture So if you have no plot on Saturday night…there you are.

Miss jkuat contestants.. Maria, the reigning queen, is at the right most.