I am presently or just have been conferred with my first degree, a Bachelor of Laws.
There’s a story one of my childhood teachers and neighbour likes to repeat to whoever will lend an ear (willingly or otherwise). Allegedly, which allegations I fully and undeniably associate myself with in toto, when I was in Standard 3 (8 years old, I reckon), my mum sent me with something to her house.
As I was about to leave, she says she asked, “Mutugi, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
I (allegedly and irrefutably) responded, “A judge or a lawyer.”
At that age until about 4 years later, I thought they were the same damn thing. I’m also pretty sure that I most likely added a quirky answer like astronaut or mad evil recluse scientist, but history usually ends up sanitised, sigh.
Four years ago, I made the final move in making that happen. Here I am now.
This post was written somewhere in between Mtito Andei and Emali, on my way “home” for this Friday, 18th event. I was tired and exhausted as heck, but really, my mood was something like this:
Muse with me. It’s only the beginning.
There’s only five minutes left to eight in the morning, we’re way past the estimated time of arrival but we’re way too far from the destination. Above & Beyond’s Sun In Your Eyes is playing, and the total opposite is happening; we can thank El Niño for that.
Out of the bus window, the contours of what our ancestors called a metal snake that belches smoke is carving its way through what seems like a most quaint countryside. Farmlands interrupted by concrete and steel figures in the name of economic development.
In much the same way, my mind is now interspersed with legal constructs and pseudo-philosophical musings, in the name of legal scholarship and other figments of education. It’s taken four years but with way less financial smoke-and-mirrors or internal political appendage-measuring contests. Thankfully.
It’s been a struggle once in a while. Long nights, and not long enough days. Suspect portions of coffee and inconsiderate decibels of house, trance and rock music.
But it’s done now. It’s done. It’s over. Finito.
6th September, 2011 to 18th December, 2015. Then someone will allege to give me the powers to read. I will scoff at that, definitely. As if I’ve been lounging all this time (actually, I have. A little bit. Look where it got me). I sincerely think they should reconsider that phrase to one more appreciative of the academic (or otherwise) struggles that I and many more pass through to get to such a day.
I’m graduating. Along with a handful of other jolly bright chaps who’ve earned it. I know of many more who should have been part of this day, but those struggles I mentioned above tend to have the most devious effects.
Nonetheless this is a celebration, and a celebration. Of not only the past four years, but of elements that surpass my lifetime.
I was of the mind of including the names of a few people here, who have been particularly instrumental in this journey. Lakini that entire thing of being considerate and asking for people’s consent is kidogo tedious; and I’ve been on a long bus ride that has sapped all that conversational energy out of me.
All in all, I don’t even have to mention them. They definitely know themselves.
So for now, I will enjoy the rest of this short trip as I go to pick my graduation gown and prep to symbolically brood in it for a few hours as they call out our names (numbers actually, it would seem).
By God, I will be overjoyed; not really because of what has happened but because of what is coming. There’s a whole world of promise out there; I’m a young fella who likes getting stuff done. And so I promise this world that I will get this stuff done. With or without the alleged conferment of powers to read, which I nonetheless welcome.
So finally, this is a salute (begone with your consents, hehehe). To Mum and Dad. To Grace, Faith, Peter, Paul John (oh yes I did). To Sue and Doreen. To Claire. To Moses, Macharia, Eva Claire, Nelly Eva, Sammy. To Matawi, Koi and the entire MDA, back to the bunker for now.
To Salome and Sarah, the ying and yang of my undergrad. For Saweria, Beryl, Roy, Cindy, Martha: my fellow Picteistes who know we can get through the most seemingly hapless of situations. For Linda, Kanze, Okechi, Evans, Yuvy, Mboya, Kama, and Jackie whose wit and passion and incessant lack of consideration for nonsense is unlike any I’ve met so far.
To some of my lecturers, yes, some. But in particular Ms. Nelly Kamunde-Aquino who facilitated some of my most enjoyable academic experiences. Apewe cheo already!
To that one person who offered the greatest legal and mental support even before undergrad started, through the four years and beyond.
To the many other persons who should be included above but my brain (and unshowered man seated next to me) do not permit me to recall just now, y’all are gems.
I’m pretty sure this graduation ceremony will be a “Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real” kind of thing. And I have zero apologies to make. So if you spot this post before you spot me, please don’t ask questions. Just ask where we can meet over later in the day with pseudo-powers to read and trade war stories. About how windows were broken, tyres almost slashed, handouts were borrowed, architectural plans misinterpreted, how Hollywood scripts in the name of exam questions were written, how people got together and broke up (or broke each other up), how we still don’t know what legal systems and methods was all about, or just what a nightmare SFL was for a first year student.
It’s been real. And it’s over.
*brews cup of coffee and pumps up Above & Beyond’s Prelude*
Folks, we are only getting started.