A rat on a student’s plate on Thursday last week almost led to a riot at Meta Meta. Jezebel and her fellow cooks were serving murram (maize and beans) when the bizarre incident occurred.
At first, the form two girl was quite excited when she saw the lump in her plate of murram. She had thought that she was lucky to get such a big waru (Irish potato)!
On closer inspection, she saw what appeared like a tail. A little digging in the murram with her spoon revealed the dead rodent. Letting out a yell, she dropped the plate, gripped the hem of her green school skirt and took off. There was pandemonium when other students saw the dead rat.
“Siku hizi wameongeza panya tumbukiza kwa menu (they have now included rats in the menu),”commented Timo while picking up the rodent. “They want to kill us,” shouted Gloria as she and Kevo led screaming students to Okonkwo’s office.
It was quite a strange coincidence that the three infernal trouble makers were just by the dining hall door when the rat was discovered.
The trio led the students to the school head, Okonkwo’s office. Kevo surprised many with his singing talent as he led the students in Singing: ‘Meta Meta msilale, bado mapambano’. By the time they reached Okonkwo’s office, half the school was behind them waving twigs.
A form two student was blowing his young lungs away on a Vuvuzela, while a group of Form Ones were banging their tin plates together. “Ngai!” Screamed Okonkwo’s secretary, at the sight of the rodent. She took cover under her desk.
Okonkwo who had been roused from his lunch time siesta opened his door to a riotous sight.
Timo, threw the stewed rodent onto the principal’s table. Okonkwo was speechless when he was informed that the rat had been fished from the students’ food.
Not believing what he saw with his glasses on, he immediately removed them to stare at the object lying on his table with his natural pair of eyes. The deputy head, Wa Makeri and a few other teachers who had heard the commotion rushed to the principal’s office.
Thinking that Okonkwo was under attack, she instructed soldier the watchman to run to his rescue. Soldier, hails from a community famed for its bravery, and appeared carrying a bow and arrows. At the sight of the rowdy students, he made a roar that must have been snatched right from the throat of a lion.
Magarita, the Christian Union patron who had been meeting with a group of fasting CU students led them to Okonkwo’s office singing, ‘Chakutumaini sina ila damu ya Yesu’. The scandal brought Schola, Meta Meta’s rumour mill caretaker, to life. She had taken over the teacher’s lunch programme from Annette.
Some teachers led by Mr Thunder had refused to pay up and were eating the students’ ‘murram’. Schola uploaded a post on the staff’s WhatsApp page: “Hata panya ni nyama (rats constitute meat, too),” under the photo of a rat the size of a fully grown cat.
The school was in a riotous mood. The bell had to be rung and an emergency assembly held to address the matter.
Just two days earlier, the students had presented a memo to Okonkwo complaining about ‘murram’. Okonkwo had simply told them to tell their parents to pay more money if they wanted to eat chicken.
“The money we pay for lunch is enough for us to eat chips twice a week,” a Form One had shouted. Faced with the new scandal, Okonkwo was forced to temporarily withdraw ‘murram’ from the school’s menu in a bid to placate the students.