From public to private to international and lastly Yale university. How did I make it? I have no fucking idea. Others say it’s smarts, but we all know one or two smarter dropouts out there. In fact, who gets to define the standards of smartness? What if one had a bad day while taking them SATs or ACTs for that matter? What if one is just not that good at taking tests? I guess we shall never know. And what about the intelligence quotient scores? What was the inventor Lewis Terman and Alfred Binet IQs anyways? Well, at least with the IQ scores, studies show that it measures developed skills, not native intelligence. Don’t say anything about a person’s intellectual limits, and can change dramatically over one’s lifetime. ( see here )
I consider myself very lucky to have reached where I am. Let’s go with fortunate though, after all, we don’t wanna scare off them anointed elite liberals who are paying for my fees now. We don’t want them to think that they have got a wrong representative for their institution (which they did, between me and you). You gotta admit though, we all need luck in life. Well, unless you Nicki Minaj – she ain’t lucky, that goddess is blessed.
From public to private to international.
Around March 2014, at the Kilimanjaro international airport. Pissed AF. I had missed my flight. Just a minute late, the plane wouldn’t have gone for another half an hour, and this Chagga security guy wouldn’t let me pass. I mean I understand the whole three hours too early, one minute too late narrative as Shakespear phrased it. But we’re in an airport as big as a classroom , in Africa, where’s African time at bruh?! Lemme give him the benefit of the doubt, the poor guy might have lost his NYANYA for Pete’s sake. I mean who knows.
Anyways, I unapologetically dragged my ass to the FAST JETS office. Five minutes later and I was listed in the next flight. Thanks to the low demand back in them days, I didn’t have to pay a single cent…FAST JET! Y’all are the real MVPs.
I now had to wait for more than five hours until the next flight. With little to nothing in my pockets, I could afford to treat myself with a beer and ZEGE. After all, that two days straight interview was no joke; the least I could do was to treat myself. As the famous KINGA biblical line goes ‘thou shalt treat thy tummies with yummy cuisine and beverages’, I savagely immersed myself in that praiseworthy -goldest- of the Usambara fries cemented in the midst of three worth of scrambled eggs, to only which is mouthwatering to WABONGO.
Whilst enjoying myself like no one’s business, my phone rings. THERE’S NO WAY THAT’S MINE. People never call me. Wait, what? God damn it, it’s mine. Arghh! – Dig me a grave, bury me away and don’t invite auntie Joy to the funeral reception – Who is this selfless and undeserving of my time son of a man dares to ring me at this time? Why do y’all gotta be like that?
‘Hallo! Shikamoo mama?’….’How’s it going?’…..’What?’…. ‘You’re kidding right?’. ‘There’s no way they chose me’…’OMG! Thank you so much’. ‘This is such good news’. ASANTE SANA MAMA! It must have been all those night prayers you had me do. I really appreciate your efforts. Ni nani kama mama?
So, just like that. I was in. Who would have known that I would one day spend two years with the children of our very own ‘top one percentile’.
MOVING ON… Three years after, I present to you my reflection on my time at the International School of Moshi, ISM. Btw, this is gonna be a featured interview in the upcoming ISM’s student-led SUMMIT magazine.
What has been the greatest advantage of studying at ISM?
To me, the greatest advantage of studying at ISM has been the exposure to the whole new world – which for the sake of clarity and lack of a better term I will lamely dub it as ‘internationalism’. I recall having a pretty skewed view of the world before my coming to ISM, partly because my former school’s syllabus was a lot more hesitant at nurturing their students into becoming global citizens. However, in my two years’ period at ISM, I had grown to be a well knowledgeable and multifaceted individual as far as global affairs were concerned.
How do you think ISM prepared you for Uni life?
Needless to say, University life is a lot harder than high school life, but ISM through its curriculum (IB) has done quite a good job at preparing me for the workload. The IB curriculum is without a doubt one of the best high school educational systems in the world, and to most this will only become evident once you reach university where most of the assignments are writing intensive.
Another thing is on the out of the class lifestyle. ISM being a cosmopolitan school that it is had prepared me well for the culture shocks that the very diverse American community brings to foreigners. The exposure I got from my teachers and some of my fellow students from Western countries gave me an idea of what to expect in university and US at large.
How do you think ISM is ideal for building up a global citizen (with you as an example)?
As I mentioned earlier in the first question; by the virtue of having a community as diverse as ISM has, international schools tend to be very effective at building up a global citizen. To me, ISM was an eye opener when it came to the celebration of different cultures and learning how to appreciate my own. With the school’s greater focus put into having a concern for integrity and honesty as well as open-mindedness, ISM students are bound to succeed at any institution where global citizenship mentality is celebrated
What do you remember and (probably cherish) most about your time at ISM?
My time at ISM was very exciting. There is a lot of memorable moments (if not all) that I will always cherish. What made my experience at ISM so special is the fact that every day was an adventure of some sort. One never knew what to expect, whether in class or out of one. From devoted teachers to the kind and loving school support staffs, ISM never felt foreign to me.
I recall having endless debates with my fellow students in the dorms, dining hall and at the DUKA . Playing soccer and basketball pickup games in Karibu Hall. Sometimes just hanging outdoors by the swimming pool. All these memories and experiences were very transformative and broadened my outlook in life.