“Because they do not understand our struggle they will never understand our praise”
I always pictured that on the day of my graduation, I will not show up.Or I will probably show up late,running into the Kenyatta University Graduation Square struggling to put my gown in place, my hair in a mess and trying to tie the laces of my sneakers. No!my mum will have me in heels without debate. until I watched a certain video on twitter,I had not acknowledged what education meant in an African home and what was invested into a black child’s education so as to warrant such excitement. black pride is built, not given. Black excellence is the finished product and like many others, I am a diamond in the rough. When the whole village hires a bus to travel to the city for their child’s graduation, when the graduand is put on a bicycle and paraded on the footpaths of the village while everyone is singing and dancing in tow,”Mwana wa mberi vayaye” and the women are ululating like life depends on it, when the graduation photo (which has to be exclusively taken by the proverbial camera man after tilting your head in several angles)holds a special place in the living room ,you realise education is the only realistic way out of poverty for most black families and all the school mottos: “elimu ni nguvu”start making sense. The joy is raw and real and every tear shed is meant. The whole clan had to part with a hen,lamb,cow or even egg so that their son or daughter could graduate and now the moment is come. Graduation is not only a celebration of success but most importantly a celebration of the struggle. So come next year, let the village hire Mbukinya, Msamaria Mwema, Akamba or Eldoret Express and make their way to the city for their daughter’s time is come. Let them drown me on flower wreaths and make a fool of themselves to the whole school. Let no one hold back,even if it means coming with the Kakamega country flag as a banner on the bus,even if it means coming with Emachina Isukuti dancers and drummers.. Let everyone get caught in the moment because ” our daughter ” is graduating..
-by Trizah Loch