Poem by Elvis Ondieki.

You told me never to cite Wikipedia in my assignments

That it isn’t a credible source for academics.

Why? And the way they have info on everything?

Okay, I nowadays don’t cite Wikipedia.

But sure, I use Wikipedia for assignments

I won’t tell you how I do it.

You told me to stop being an African timer;

An 8am class should start at 8am and not 8.15

Heh, that was hard for our class in the beginning

We always add a few minutes on top, you know

But thanks for being strict.

Nowadays we work by the clock

We have stopped rounding off minutes.

You showed us how to do it.

You told me to work in groups.

But, Prof, do you know mine is a dysfunctional group?

Call a meeting, only two show up,

Kev is out of campus, Meg is unreachable

Lud has an emergency, Lola is on a date

But they want their names on the final script

On presentation day, they push me to the front

“Speak well, we’ll support you.”

And almost always we shine. 

Always there are claps for my group

Today you’ve known how we do it.

You told me to trust books.

The hard copy, browning books in the library,

But I find it hard and tedious

Searching for hours on end, trying to stretch my bibliography.

I love the internet, I love e-books.

You get what you want fast

And you get it any time, anywhere

But with printed books, I still have some adaptation to do

I don’t know how to do it.

You told me to keep it up.

That I will go places if I keep excelling

You said I’ll make Africa proud one day.

That I can be the best of the best.

Now I study with verve, attend lectures with eagerness.

I want to reach those stars, to reach the top of Africa.

You said I can do it.

You told me never to cheat.

To be frank with my knowledge.

And maintain the standards of our college.

I obey you, Prof

I stay the course and avoid shortcuts.

You said that’s how the successful made it

You said we should be expressive, 

And spontaneous and fair.

That’s why I write this

To wish you a Africa Day

You’re the best

You’re a good lecturer

You’re what Africa needs

I will say you’re a great child of Africa!

origami heart, patterned with a map of Africa