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MALITI: Kidero should copy Starehe’s Friday meetings

The death of Joseph Gikubu last Thursday marks the end of the founders’ era at Starehe Boys School and Centre.

Mr Gikubu was a member of the triumvirate that founded and ran Starehe Boys for decades.

The other members were Mr Geoffrey Griffin, the director, and Mr Geoffrey Geturo, who was a deputy director, just as Mr Gikubu.

Mr Griffin died in 2005 and Mr Geturo in 1990.

I did not know Mr Gikubu nor was I a student at Starehe Boys. But his passing marks me because I consider Starehe Boys a Nairobi institution.

Its reach and impact has been national and international, but it’s clearly Nairobi born and bred.

As a Lenana School student I once visited Starehe during their annual Founders’ Day celebrations. I was amazed to learn about their Friday baraza.

At the baraza, any student could question, debate or criticise anything about the school and the director, his staff or prefects had to respond.

The baraza was the one place where authority was held to account, without any repercussions.

At Lenana we had no such thing. The only people who could question the school administration were prefects. And do not think that because prefects were students their juniors could question them. No way.

As the Starehe family prepares to say goodbye to one of its own, we should build on the founders’ legacy.

We can look out for the weak and disadvantaged in a meaningful and sustained way, just as the three Gs looked out for the street children of 1950s and left behind an institution to be proud of.

Our governor should follow through on his promise to hold regular town hall meetings to develop a better Nairobi, just as Starehe’s Friday barazas helped teachers and students make the school a better place.

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