The first lesson in class 6,he beat out a tune on his desk with a ruler and told us to write down the note.We!Life had never been harder.Even my two deskmates,Elijah and Amos could not help.We were all looking at him open mouthed,tutururiirwo.Elijah was the the funny one,but Amos was the funnier one because at such an instance,he’d have started to speak in his mother tongue despite knowing very well that would put him into further trouble.I remember after much struggle,I scribbled something like-tuu…kakaka….tttt. and then drew a crotchet along the line.Mr.Jakubu looked at me once,looked at my book,back at me again,,then hurled his famous string of insults,asking me whether I had ever gone mad,and announced how he was going to land 7 canes across all our armpits.He was fond of saying-wee kihii giki ngugwikira thanju mugwanja cia njegeke ungurane,I’ll cane you 7 strokes across in your armpits until you recognize me.He spoke in kikuyu,always,at the parade,in class…When he explained how to draw a semiquiver,it was,D nini njeke,ina matu meri.A small letter D with two ears.
After two lessons in class,he decided to make us real musicians.He asked us to bring bottles,flutes,tins,plastics,,and when we had the fortnightly music lesson,we’d perform for the teachers, or for the villagers in their shambas around the school.
During assembly, if he realized someone was not paying attention,he would wait until he was finished and he’d call out the person’s name and ask them to translate his speech, first into Kiswahili,then English,and leave out not a single word.
Mr Jakubu held a wedding,and we attended,just to see the bride.She was pregnant,people said that was bad,I was puzzled because,it was widely known they were living together and raising other children for more than a decade.
I later caught up on music,not the singing,but recognizing the notes,the latin words,and the musical instruments in Kenya which had a whole text book dedicated to them.