Day I enjoyed our latest fad, nursery school graduation

By: CAROLINE NJUNG’E

When The Hague-based International Criminal Court denied Joshua Sang the opportunity to attend his daughter’s graduation, I thought to myself: “How heartless can those judges be?!” I mean, here is a man who had worked hard to educate his daughter up to university, he should at least have been allowed to be present as his child was awarded her degree, to see part of the fruits of his labour.

But that was until I learnt that his daughter was graduating from nursery school

My, how things have changed in Kenya since I was in nursery school!

Last Saturday, I accompanied a relative to her six-year-old daughter’s graduation. The small girl and her fellow graduands were decked out in flowing gowns and those fancy hats university graduands wear. And one after the other, like happens at institutions of higher learning, they were called out, one by one, to receive their certificates, complete with their smiling photographs. You should have seen parents clicking away in earnest — some had even bought those shiny, multi-coloured decorations we tend to hang on Christmas trees over the December holidays, which they proceeded to drape over their children’s necks.

It was a grand ceremony, which culminated with the graduates and their parents cutting two delicious cakes, which were shared out to all those who had attended. After this, we were served pilau and kachumbari. Talk of pomp!

BOYISH EXCITEMENT

Before the ceremony came to an end, the school director reminded the parents to hand over the gowns before they left, only for some parents to protest — they wanted to take their children to a studio, to have a professional photograph taken. If you belong to that era where you went to school barefoot, I have a feeling you would have found all this confounding.

Generally, I am a no-frills person. For instance, I have never understood why people get so excited and splash too much money on their birthdays. I mean, life goes on. In fact, I rarely remember that it is my birthday until I see texts and Facebook messages from relatives and friends. I have never thrown a birthday bash, not even bought myself a cake, or shoes, or handbag because it was my birthday. If those close to me did not make a fuss about it, my birthday would pass unnoticed.

However, I know people who make their birthdays the event of the century — new weave, a manicure and pedicure, new outfit and shoes, facial, and to crown it all, a full body massage and an expensive dinner in an over-priced restaurant, followed by drinking until their legs can no longer support them. I say, to each his own.

Back to nursery school graduations. My son, who turns six this year, graduated from nursery school yesterday. He had been telling me about this graduation since January this year, at least once a week. He was so excited, you would have thought he would be graduating with a degree in actuarial science — what is it, again, that those who studied this course do? Anyway, after being bombarded with his boyish excitement for almost a year, I decided that when he graduated, I would make a bit of fuss for his sake.

I wrote this article on Wednesday this week, so I was forced to envision what happened yesterday, drawing from that graduation I attended last week.

I have a feeling that just like those parents who amused me so much during my niece’s graduation, I too took tonnes of photographs of him in his gown and fancy hat, which I paid 1,000 bob for. I am pretty sure though, that I did not buy him those Christmas decorations because I think they are ugly. However, I might just have requested the headmistress to allow me to carry the gown home, so that we could take “proper” photographs in a studio, where the lighting is just right.

I will, of course, frame the picture, and place it somewhere strategic in the living room, where visitors can politely “awww” and “ahhhh” over it. For a no-frills person, I need a medal for going out of my way and getting into the spirit of things.

Heh! If you asked me, parenting is getting more and more complicated. I shudder to think about the other celebrations and events we will invent along the way.

I believe the role of a wife is to prepare the husband for the day regardless of the time he gets out of the house and the time he gets back. Seeing it as a bother to wake his wife up for breakfast is a way of not appreciating her meals.

Gitu

As much as the dutiful man would say he does not wake his wife early, a dutiful woman is also happy to serve her husband. This makes her feel that her presence in the house is appreciated.

Awita

I have learnt that avoiding a woman’s meal is not out of choice but out of necessity. One day a friend said we forego the usual dry fry at a certain joint since his new wife had prepared a “sumptuous” meal. Shock on us. We were served a brown mishmash of undercooked meat with ugali!

Buluma

I agree with you that not all men who don’t eat at home are unfaithful. However, with the case of the M-Pesa guy, maybe amekaliwa chapati. He might not have the voice to ask his wife to wake up.

Farah

I think apart from cheating, failing to eat a meal prepared by a wife could be another way of killing her ego.

Mutua

Thanks for being such an amazing defender of men. Just out of that sheer habit of kafry, many men have private detectives trailing them because the lady has already made conclusions.

Michuki

With a growing number of women who don’t know how to cook, it’s better to eat out than starve.

Macharia

“Dutiful men with just one side-dish: kafry”. This article makes interesting reading since I subscribe to some of the sentiments expressed by the M-Pesa guy. In my case, I wake up at 4am. Now tell me who in his right thinking mind would wake someone else that early to make them tea.

Collins

Its true, there are men who go extra mile just for their spouses. I agree with the M-pesa guy, sometimes you don’t necessarily have to force your wife to wake up as early when probably she doesn’t have to. We can prepare a cup of tea for ourselves and leavedoesn’t make one less a husband. Ngugi

That M-pesa guy should once in a while sample his wife’s food.. Anyway, if you grab something on your way home there is no need to get home and ‘haribu starehe za tumbo na gìtheri’ But you never know, may be those who eat out don’t enjoy what is served at home.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION