Boring Yeltsin, history, history teachers
With the demise of a figure some described as “Boring” Yeltsin, I’ve been tempted to recall the men and women who taught me history from primary school through to university.
- Mrs. Tanui – She cut a gentle, grandmotherly figure. I, predictably, slept through most of her G.H.C classes, but always somehow passed all her questions at exam time.
- Mrs. Okello – Gentle, but firm. Very businesslike. I had to stay awake. I never dissapointed her at exam time.
- Mr. Sese – Like Mrs. Okello, only he was a man. Similar experience.
- Mr. Njenga – Taught me to cram all world capitals, names of all nations and their leaders. He also made our classes quite hillarious with his shrubs, kwanza on the word “baba.” He always said “mbamba.”
- Mr. Muriithi – Extremely dramatic. Hearing him teach was to see the historical events he described unfold right infront of you. Comical guy. With him, we quite literally lived through the Mwene Mutapa and Old Ghana empires, not to mention the nationalist and independence movements around the world. He also had a thing for current affairs. Taught us off-head.
- Mrs. Wekesa – A variation of both Mrs. Tanui and Mrs. Okello that I experienced in high school. Had a deep knowledge of what she taught. I especially enjoyed her grasp of the history of East Africa, the Middle and Far East. Allowed me to teach some of her classes…yeah…
- “Mr. Kasavubu” – That is a nickname by which this particular teacher went. As can be imagined, he was Kasavubu reincarnate, if you recall that little Congolese affair. Was a funny guy, but also had a very short fuse. Was very passionate and dramatic about each topic he taught. I recall the day when he dramatized the intrigues surrounding the dissapearance and death of Patrice Lumumba. Chilling stuff. Like Mr. Muriithi, taught us off-head.
- Mrs. Ondera – Always told us “the exams will sort you out.” Needless to say, they did indeed.
- Mrs. Mbugua – Another variation of both Mrs. Tanui and Mrs.Okello. One had no excuse to fail in her class, though.
- I forget his name, but an equally effective history prof. He was a quiet gentlrman.
- Prof. Eshlemann – He was as good as they come in American history and government. As sober as a judge too 🙂