Its origin was not a discovery but a necessity to staying comfortable and relaxed. For thousands of years, men have always found solace in this necessity and none has ever been documented to boycott it. The ultimate architectural element. Some call it The House of Lords. The Gong. Lavabo. The Throne Room. Bench-hole… the list of names being so long that writing all of them can be akin to compiling a list of people attending a soccer match. For this session, let’s call it the toilet.
Everyone goes to the toilet; however cool, hot, powerful or smart you think you are (even Donald Trump does, just don’t try imagining him in one, that’s gross.) That’s a fact you already know. But perhaps what you don’t know is that approximately ten million people occupy a toilet space every second. Moreover, an average human being spends approximately a quarter of their lives in a toilet. But perhaps it should not pain you to do more research on toilet 99999 as mine are completely and factually incorrect.
I had the privilege of attending a public school. The best thing about anything public is that it’s always almost never right. Take for instance, many public roads in Kenya, always riddled with potholes. A public hospital? Understaffed, under-equipped… A public government institution will always cater poor services. Let’s not even talk about a public university that I know (whispers University Of Nairobi). The baseline is that nothing public is perfect. Nothing.
Anyway, my toilet experience in highschool was somewhat of a public experience. It was not perfect but still helpful for we had no other choice but to use them. First, for one to use such toilet you had to remove your shirt, sweater or any other torso-hugging material. Woe to you if you were to use these toilets with your upper clothing on for there would be no difference between you and the smell of the toilet itself. Thinking about it, the use of these toilets could perfectly be compared to making an entrance into a witch’s manor. For those that haven’t watched enough Nigerian movies, you have to remove your shoes before you get inside there, lest you be struck by lightning from some vengeful god.
My highschool toilets were the normal standard issue pit latrine found in public schools. These toilets were not necessarily the type where you go in , finish your stuff and get out with decorum. No. These were the types of toilet where, for you to access, you had to wait in line with a dozen or so boys- all shirtless. The bad thing about this was that the toilets smelled. And by smelling, I mean these structures emitted a funky sickening and stinging aroma that was not for the faint hearted. I bet that’s why some of us descendants from that school are strong people in this society.
Kushikilia ukuta (touching the wall), as some of us called it, was going into these toilets for a long call. No one in their right state of mind would actually dare touch these walls- I will explain the reason somewhere ahead. The phrase is a reference to the act of constipation where a person would, with no support other than the walls, press both of their hands against the opposite sides of the wall and exert their strength into birthing the stubborn piece of turd stuck in their nether lands.
The walls in these toilets were pieces of art. We might have seen the incredible street works by Banksy but the combined works of artistry on a toilet wall by various ‘artists’ across the years are definitely underappreciated (let it not be said that I’m comparing Banksy to toilet scribblings.) If one were an appreciator of nudity as a form of art, then my highschool toilets are a place for you. Independent artists from all classes and forms might have unilaterally and unanimously agreed to use these walls to let out their fantasies. And they never held back. To spare you the gore of explaining the nature of nude writing, I would point out that a whopping thirty percent of students who went into these toilets never went to answer to the call of nature (the rest was shared among weed smokers, phone users, exam cheats and actual nature call receivers.)
Apart from the scribblings, there is so much wisdom to be gained from these toilets. Wisdom that would have otherwise be lost to the world unless I , as a good and responsible citizen of our society, would not have shared with the rest of the world. Let us start by recognising this quote, as found on a toilet wall, as I was relieving out my stress on one hot Thursday afternoon…
Virginity is not a virtue, but a lack of opportunity
As a maturing adolescent in highschool, a student, who, unluckily, might have been virgin -innocently waiting for marriage- might have gone to relieve the biological pressure of holding a long call for a long time, but instead come out with questions about his virginity that would have been better left unanswered.
Ronaldo anaishi vizuri kuliko princi na mamode wote Kwa hii chuo na bado wanalia tuache michezo shuleni. Wajinga! #fuckschool #fucktheprincipal #fuckmaths #educationisalie #mwalimuwachemistryananukatesttubes
Let me translate this for my readers , that i appreciate, who don’t understand Kiswahili.
“Ronaldo lives better than the principal and all the teaching staff in this school combined but they still tell us to stop playing. Idiots…”
This might not have been a quote or words of wisdom ,rather frustrations from a sports student. But let us all take a moment to think about it. Maybe talent pays better than education. Anyway, education is the key! Let’s move on.
One day, I went to this shit cubicle to let out one that had been bugging me before an exam, and , squatting facing the door, these words scream at me :
Will you be happy if your crush saw you like that?
I walked out of my process, as hurriedly as I went in.
With these and much more, I will leave you with another question I once read in one of my many visits to these toilets, why do you have to close the toilet door if what you’re doing in here is not wrong ?