A close friend updated this on Facebook yesternight
I couldn’t agree any better. Life in the Kenyan campus scene is hard. Money is never enough and folks never seem to understand where you take the money they give you. Sourcing for funds becomes all the more difficult if you happen to be a beneficiary of the Higher Educations Loans Board. See, parents seem to think that the 13,500/= you are allocated for each semester is not equivalent to millions and it barely lasts two months. Each time you call home asking for upkeep money, your mother will probably ask you “Ulipelekanga wapi hiyo pesa ya HELB yote?” What they forget is that the economy has changed, inflation happened.
While HELB money was more than enough back in the 80’s, it can no longer solely sustain your stay in campus. A kilo of sugar is no longer 20bob and rice is no longer 50 bob. That’s why you can’t survive alone in campus, you need friends. A comrade in need is a comrade indeed. The highest form of communism is practised in campus, you only need to ask. There’s no room for selfishness and the ‘my things are mine alone’ kind of mentality. You learn to share, either willingly or a force. Electric cooking coils and sufurias are borrowed all the time, sometimes they are returned, and sometimes they aren’t. If yours happens not to be returned, you borrow from someone and stay with it till they decide to come searching for it. I know of people who’ve never bought a single utensil since they joined campus, yet surprisingly their shelves are full of cups, plates and spoons.
When money becomes a problem, you need not starve. All you have to do is visit your classmates in the guise of borrowing notes or movies around supper time; they’ll be mean not to invite you. Or you could be blunt and just tell your roommates that the situation is hard, “leo ni kubaya”. They understand, everyone’s been through that 50 bob a week phase at least once in campus. You learn to survive; you learn the value of comradeship. You simply cannot survive on your own. There are those times that you are completely broke and that classmate that you barely talk to the whole semester lends you 1000bob. No one judges; it could be you in need the next day.
“You simply cannot sleep hungry in campus unless you have a problem”. You have to be really weird and socially awkward to sleep hungry in campus. And if you’ve ever wallowed in your own misery because you lacked someone to talk to, you just might be the problem. Everyone is a friend in campus and no one expects much from you either. Like the girl you say hi to in the communal washrooms every morning who just decided to buy you cake on your birthday. How she knew your birthday date you don’t know. Questions are never asked. Good deeds are received and reciprocated. That’s campus for you 🙂