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‘ 42% of girls in Africa get married before they turn 18. Educating women up to secondary level would lead to reduction in this by 75%… UNESCO institute of statistics approximates that around…..’

My mind goes blank and my fingers don’t want to type any more. The Main Campus library is freezing and I can’t feel my toes and my whole body feels dumb. I want to finish up on this topic though and take it to my supervisor and if she rejects it, I might as well as kill her and the university will be forced to give me another one.

I drape my white scarf well around my neck and I am grateful to my brother for buying such a warm brown sweater and placing it somewhere I could easily take it from. I rub my hands together and they feel a bit warmer.

‘ In Kenya, only 60%of those who complete primary school are enrolled in secondary school. However, only 41% attend school…
I look at the pdf I am getting information from strangely. It reads ‘ Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya has a population of approximately 3 million people. 60%of these people live in slums which are characterised by a high level of poverty such that those living in it can’t afford to pay for secondary education. Only 12% of the young men in slums have been to school as compared to…… ‘

I curse under my breath. What the heck?? I want the statistics for Kenya as a country not those of Nairobi and it’s stupid slums!!!  I rub my hands again and key in ‘ education in Kenya pdf’ on the google homepage. It loads for a few minutes and trust it to give me ‘ error ‘ feedback.

I want to cry but then I think my tears are also frozen in my eyes. My stomach rumbles and I remember I have been sitting in the library for four hours and I have to get something to eat. I switch off my laptop, pick up my wallet, tag and phone and walk out of the library. My ass could have mumbled ‘ thank you ‘ just that it didn’t talk.

I pick my bag and pack my stuff and walk out. It’s warm outside and all I want is to get my shoes off and let my toes enjoy the warmth. Just that I don’t have time. I pull my phone out of my bag and call Debbie

Hey

Hey!! Uko? ( where are you?)

GW Third floor

Okay.. nakuja ( I am coming)

I head for the Gandhi Wing. That’s where the lecturer offices are and I have to see my supervisor. Before I get into gw, I have to go through guards and a check up due to the insecurity cases in the country and also show my student’s identification. My stomach rumbles loudly and the guard smiles at me as I get past her into the old elevator which immediately claims it is overloaded. I step out. Maybe I have gained weight.. I will just take the stairs.

Debbie is as usual her jovial self. We chat about the project and she laughs when I tell her if my supervisor takes me back on the topic am working on, I am quitting before graduation.

You are stupid Winnie. We always have the option of coming here and taking other units instead of specializing. I could take communication.

And I could take maths. I reply in a much less hopeful tone.

‘ fuck!! Just stick to your project ‘ she says and pats me on the back as if she is my mother.

Well, she is right though I don’t want to agree with her. My mind divorced mathematics in second year of campus after taking a unit in advanced calculus. The unit was okay but the lecturer who taught it was too learned to teach undergraduates. All I understood in that class was

The integral of x dx..

Nothing more. I never got to even know the answer. When the results came out, I scored a D in advanced calculus and a C in real analysis and topology. My mind went to court and successfully acquired a divorce.

We laugh at our problems and even pass by the Sociology department to inquire if we could pick other units. The secretary here is nice. She smiles and shakes her head and we leave complaining. I can imagine her smiling behind us.

We walk by GW408 and I knock turning meek and serious immediately. It’s time for business.
When there is no answer I turn the knob and the door is locked. The supervisor isn’t in. Maybe she is just lucky. Her death got postponed.

It’s time to walk to the bus station and the time is around 3 p.m.. I complain about my hunger issues and Debbie who is on diet offers to buy fruits in town. We have to share though because I am broke and the money I have on me is being saved for printing my project and bus fare to town. We walk looking for a fruit parlor discussing the rains that flooded the city on on Tuesday night and laugh at the idea of some people who got stuck in traffic jam for more than six hours.

We finally find one on Koinange street. We simply look at the prices and walk out. We could qualify for ‘ TWO BROKE GIRLS’ auditions.  The guy at the parlor tries to call us back and we ignore him like we were deaf.

Walking past Sanford fast foods and into Tom Mboya street, the bakers inn products are beckoning and pleading with us like
‘ eat me.. eat me…’ and none of us can resist the temptation. We want to taste everything especially the Swiss roll but economy is in recession. So we settle for cookies and some puff cookies.

They taste heavenly and I have managed to get Debbie to cheat on her diet.
I don’t get why you are even dieting. Your once great ass now looks like a China one (please let no Chinese take offense ).

She gets her share of cookies when am already done eating my puff cookie. A few minutes pass as we argue on who got more and then

Ah.. shit!!

What?? She asks concerned

My stomach hurts like hell.

I stoop and hold on my stomach and we walk past Archives and as we part ways, Debbie hugs me and tells me
‘ pole mama. Don’t think because you got sick I will walk you to railways. But nahope haujapata cholera.’
( sorry madam. Don’t think coz you got sick I will walk you to the bus station (railways). But I hope you haven’t caught cholera)

I clutch my stomach and give her a shove. I think of the few people who have passed away due to the cholera outbreak and hit myself on the head. I walk slowly towards railways. 
It starts drizzling.

always winnie

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