Bhang in Kenyan high schools not news
24 August 2015, 21:40
Nairobi - Whenever we went for the coveted trips, tours and term breaks back in high school, improvised treats always accompanied us as schoolboys and schoolgirls-with or without teachers’ knowledge or permission.
The breaks would be welcomed with glee and a lot of sudden activeness - even from the students who never answered anything in class.
For some of us who had been “brought up in the best of ways” by our beloved parents, it was a chance to sample what our parents had told us was bad; we had the chance to sample our future life on our own and decide whether to spend the rest of our lives smoking bhang, drinking alcohol, eating snuff, going to disco or simply wooing all the pretty girls and handsome men in the world.
It seemed fun, though, but the ghosts of our past followed some of us who were too weak and indulgent to tertiary education and for the rest of our miserable lives.
That is why some of you reading here can identify with the recent nabbing of high school children in a funky minibus smoking bhang and helping themselves with irresponsible sex. Truth be told, it is not news; it only got exposed.
It is what may have happened in a thousand other buses ferrying students from high schools around the country. Bhang, particularly, is not news.
Read Also: Nyeri students sex scandal: Who is to blame?
Long gone is the Moi era when bhang smokers would not be allowed even to use a public toilet when the attendant was too humane not to call police.
Long gone are those days when every non-smoker would recognize a smoker approaching 30 miles away. It is everywhere now, readily accessible and easily affordable.
And the ghost is relentlessly evolving again, this time disguised as a recreational aspect under our very own watch.
Walk on the streets and you will find bhang-smokers enjoying their “welding rods” in broad daylight, insensibly throwing faces at you to mind your own business not caring about what you think.
It has perforated into offices, hospitals, government facilities like police posts and all unlikely places-including the church.
Recently, a faithful was fined then chased away for hiding a roll of bhang in his turban which he forgot to tuck away before attending the church service. Drama ensued as he came back for the money he had been fined.
Our schools are the worst affected; bhang is a common thing, even teachers know this. It should be given a new definition; bhang is an elusive drug that teachers try to fight every day in high schools, ending up either canvassing for students or smoke it themselves.
Truth be said, with caning unceremoniously exterminated, giving students more rights to do what they think is right without possible reprimand, indiscipline of high level has crawled back into schools to an extent of students having sex, drinking alcohol and smoking bhang in a bus named “Team Cash”.
Though high school strikes have been there since school came to Kenya, the sort of strikes we see these days do not have clear and proper basis of genuine complaints.
Students today may be driven to act by a force unknown (and ignored) by relevant authorities until they get to a standoff. They retaliate by burning down a whole school and in the meantime on the other side of town, drug business is booming.
It is not surprising to say that drugs have in general affected high school performances while respective authorities tuck tails between their hind legs and wish the nightmare away.
Conversely, parents who know their children are in the mix think that it might only be in their children where the devil decided to set camp and direct his show.
Teachers, on the other hand, are too repute-oriented and embarrassed to declare their schools drug harbors while students are simply too busy having fun without any constructive second thoughts.
It’s not that time when we call upon the government to intervene and magically solve matters; that’s a decade late.
Nobody has any idea what to except elongate presently infinite investigations into the issue of drugs, especially bhang in schools. The only difference between the nabbed schoolgirls who were hiding rolls of bhang in their private parts and other students who arrived home “safely” around the country is that the latter did not get caught.
Bhang is ever present, like breakfast and dinner and the air we breathe.
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