On a sultry summer afternoon, the Kenyan skies shone bright and spirits lifted higher despite the otherwise stifling airs. The heat just could not seem to cause a break in the exhilaration and enthusiasm etched upon the anticipating masses.
An entire crowd of students had gathered outside the airport to welcome their special and highly revered Brother Olan Adebayo.
They held colourful placards projecting cheerful messages. Local folksongs were played and the crowd danced gleefully to the tribal melodies of drums and banjo.
The sweltering Sun or parched lands; nothing seemed to hamper their spirits. The ardour and glow etched upon the pupil’s faces knew no bounds.
As the flight descended and landing announcements were made, the exhilaration was tremendous. ‘The buffaloes bellowed, the boys shouted, and the birds flew shrieking from the trees.’
The entire neighbourhood reverberated with the sounds “Karibu Nyumbani! Karibu Nyumbani!”
Held aloft by his cheering youngsters, Brother Olan Adebayo got a hero’s welcome in Kenya. He had returned from Kuwait brandishing a golden trophy after being named the world’s best teacher.
‘The International Best Teacher Prize’ was conferred upon him by a panel of global experts called upon for this prestigious event.
However, it was the beaming faces of his students that demonstrated true testament to his appreciation levels at home.
This modest Franciscan monk lead a life of simplicity. He was an exemplary to the true ideals of a teacher.
Edifying Science and Maths, he gave away most of his salary to support poor pupils at the rural secondary schools. He promoted better school facilities, cleaner hygiene conditions and encouraged girl child education.
He personally visited households convincing parents to let their children come out and get enlightened.
His work portrayed the essence of true values and earned him a well-deserved place in the global platform.
His name was recommended for nominations by the government of Kenya after considerable assessments and high recommendations from experts in the field.
Several news channels and radio stations were eager to learn about Olan’s inspiration.
Reflecting on the ceremony, Olan told the interviewers, “This award is a clear evidence and testimony that Africa’s young people have a lot of potential to positively transform the world”.
“Teachers play a very important role in drafting societal change through education”, he added.
“I remain committed to encouraging my pupils, especially girls, to get more interested in science. Education is an essential progress tool and I will ensure it reaches every household,” he concluded.
With Olan’s reforms, Kenya maximed a bright growth in the education system.
His innovative educational ideologies began to be accepted by major reform structures. Upscaling steps towards introduction of new technologies began.
Olan’s efforts were embraced at a global platform. His views began to be counted in other developing and underdeveloped economies.
This marked the beginning of a new era and once again in the far lands,
‘The buffaloes bellowed, the boys shouted, and the birds flew shrieking from the trees.’
Author’s note: This story is inspired by true events. The importance of modest social workers who pledge their lives towards the country’s progress and welfare often goes unrecognised. It was a remarkable achievement for this recognition to be bestowed upon a well deserving candidate from an disregarded territory.
Karibu Nyumbani- Welcome home in Swahili
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