Walabataji Express


First things first, definitions:

Walabataji- athletes: it is a combination kalenjin and swahili, broken down as follows

“wa” the Swahili prefix for first person plural
“labat” – run in kalenjin
“ji” – the Swahili suffix to indicate a doer of something, in this case a doer of the running (a runner)

Express after the famous Eldoret Express

We coined this word back in high school to refer to the student athletes who used to go for training daily, except on Sundays. They were our express mail, just like the postal services but unlike the Post office, we could get our replies either on the same day or the next day..

I studied in one secondary school, which we liked calling “High” just because we were the best performers in the district. Close to us was our brother school, a real high school, not like us. One thing that we had in common is the ability to produce the best athletes that make news in the dailies and the international media.

Half the girls in our school had boyfriends in the brother school and that’s when the use of the Walambataji Express started. I can’t exactly say how it started but one thing for sure, it picked up pretty fast until the teachers we wondering what were happening to our mails. The advantages of the Walambataji Express included

• It was free- there was no need for stamps
• It was reliable- You are sure that the letter got to the recipient
• You get the replies as soon as possible

What you needed to do is to ensure that you have given out the letter, usually called the missive to the athlete just before they depart for their morning run, at 6 am or a quarter to six or you should give it to them just in the evening at six or half past six.

It was an interesting way of communicating to and fro, because the athletes from our school would meet those from the brother school, since most of them were trained by the same coach.

I got to hear about this service in a funny way. One morning we collided with my bedmate as she was literarilly storming out of the room to hand out the missive, for her most recent crush. I asked her later when she told me about the Walambataji express. I said I would use it one day, but never did. I don’t know if those I left behind are using it or not, whichever way, it served us well.

Advertisements
Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. The Day of Love…Going down Memory Lane | Bee illustrated

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: