By Mike Omamo
I remember the time Learning and Testing Services of East Africa (LTS) told me I’d be writing for them. I freaked out. I had never written before. Not for an audience anyway. You see, I journal. I watched Stefan Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries journal and I picked it up. A quiet character but in his head, a very loud voice. That was me. Now I’m more like a Damon Salvatore. Not as loud as he is though. Mostly devilishly charming. Anyway, as I was saying before I got rudely interrupted by myself, I had never written before for anyone else but myself.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a blogger. It’s always been on my year goals. Every year for a couple of them. I have so many cool stories to talk about. You’ve probably heard me say this before, I am an old man trapped in a young man’s body. Maturity comes with experience. Not age like most people think. Anyway, I didn’t know how to start writing.
I suppose I should’ve just started. I’m glad LTS gave me this opportunity. I have no idea how they knew I should be writing. You will be hearing lots of stories from yours truly. But before I go, for now, I’m going to give you a glimpse of how school has been like. Drama school to be precise.
Like I said earlier before, my Hollywood dreams began when I was seven. Sitting with my dad, watching Robocop, asking him who made more money between the directors and the actors. He told me the directors so I chose the actors instead. They seemed to have more fun making the movies. Now I want to do both. Acting for a good number of years then directing when I am a little older and wiser.
Speaking of Hollywood, I saw Anthony Mackie is in Kenya. He was spotted somewhere in Lavington. He’s The Falcon in the Avengers…just google ‘The Falcon avengers’ you’ll know who I am talking about. An Avenger in Kenya! How awesome is that! I want to be an avenger one day. To be a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Always liked Spider-man. Now I’m torn between Black Panther and Spider-man. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there. Look me up in a few years. So, we were talking about my Hollywood dreams. So yeah, they started long long time ago and now I am in drama school! Here’s how it’s like.
It is scary as hell! Or rather it was. You think you can speak good English until you are in a class that only speaks it. A class that’s mostly full of people who have spoken it their entire lives. With drama classes, it’s worse because all we do is talk. We are either reading a script or discussing it or acting it out. It’s crazy I tell you. But weirdly you slowly adjust to it. Speaking it becomes easier.
These days, you wouldn’t know where I come from. I speak good English you’d think I am a New Yorker and Luhya like I am from the deep hidden bushes of Western. Khwisero is actually quite hidden…and bushy…and with trees and many birds and huts and rivers and hills, it’s very beautiful. You should visit sometime. So yeah, no matter how good your English might be, you become very conscious of what you are saying and how you are saying it when you are surrounded by white people. But don’t worry, it gets easier.
What else…oh! The education system is quite…different. I was gonna say superior but I figured I might offend some people here. Superiority is relative. Depends on what measures you are using. But the truth is it is so different from ours. I got a taste of a Kenyan University for a year and I can tell you for sure, theirs is so much better.
First of all, the faculty are very friendly. Any kind of assistance you need you will be given. All you have to do is ask for it! You need a recording of the previous class? Ask! You need school materials you cannot afford? Ask! You need more time to submit your finals? Ask! How about permission to skip class? Ask! Are you feeling a little overwhelmed and need a counsellor to talk to?
By now you know the answer to that question. They are very friendly and I’m thinking it’s because for most of them it seems like teaching and helping students is their passion. It doesn’t seem fake. They seem to have chosen to be there. It’s so awesome having help like that in school.
Another thing about their education system is that it is fashioned in a way to make you expand your thinking. You are taught something then you are allowed to explore it more and bring up your own findings and understanding to the table. I feel like here we are taught to stick to what we are taught as it is. Word to word. Which is crazy!
The whole point of education should be to allow you to understand that there are different approaches to things. To expand it beyond measure. Oh, and the work load is heavy as hell! You’re gonna drown in their weekly papers. Mwahaha. So, choose your pain carefully, okay?
Another interesting thing with their system is that we are taught to be emotionally intelligent. To be aware of what’s happening around the world. We openly talk about issues such as racism, gender discrimination and all manners of vices and we’re taught to be aware of it and how to deal with it and most importantly, how to make the world a better place than we found it. Since the beginning of Drama and theatre, it has always been a place to voice people’s voices and openly showcase the vices in our society so this is what we mostly do.
Do you ever wonder why all these performing arts people are deep people? It’s because that’s what we are taught in school. To be emotionally aware of what’s going on around. To be kinder, to make the world a little safer, to love a little harder, to live full and to die empty. I can’t possibly finish to tell all about Bennington and I am not even there yet. So, imagine all the stories I will be throwing at you on my blog!
And now it’s time for me to say goodbye. I continue to struggle with Shakespeare plays. I still have very little idea of what that guy was talking about. I continue to drown in my papers and scripts. I still feel the urge to throw in a Swahili word whenever I have no English word to finish my sentences in class. I still feel fear quite strongly except these days I do things scared then later find out they aren’t as scary.
My high-school friend and I still continue developing scripts for our Film company. I continue to love my girlfriend and family as hard as I possibly can. My Yale School of drama dreams are now brighter and burning my eyes up. I continue to be obsessed with Harry Potter books and movies. I continue to read lots of books on the world’s richest people.
I continue to be a great investment salesperson and not just making good money but also helping people invest their money wisely. I continue receiving all there is to receive from life abundantly and most importantly I continue to live this thing called life in my own awesome terms. So, start living yours too. Life is too short I tell you. You could leave life any minute now. Mortality shouldn’t scare you. It should make you live a little harder every day!
All those insane dreams you are imagining are all real! Dare to be a child again and dream. Sure you’ll have good days, bad days, overwhelming days, too tired days, I’m awesome days, I can’t go on days but every day make sure you show up.
It gets better and if you ever forget everything else, remember this, hope is grief’s best remedy. So continue dreaming dreamer. The little boy from Khwisero has become a wiser older man now. Cheers.
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